I have never really left my country. And I never will. I still try my best to promote tourism, His Majesty’s vision and uphold the constitution. It’s sad, how the widely read international mainstream newspapers and televised posts of highly reputed and intelligent public figures are causing a dent in my Tsa-Wa-Sum.
Sometimes, I feel sad that we have had to accept democracy at such a young age for our people and the nation. Our history dates back to the times of cannibalism and arrival of Phajo Drugom Zhigpo in the 1200’s but for most Bhutanese our history starts from 1907 with the enthronement of the Wangchuck Dynasty. In less than 100 years, we have made so much progress. This has been accompanied with a social economic development model with vision, sustainability and inclusiveness of the environment at the core.
Now, with the hyper usage of internet and the social media everyone seems to be building their brand-a brand of voice.
People use Facebook and other social platforms to express their thoughts and ideas. It’s good to have a constructive debate but we have been witnessing more disagreements on almost everything.
Being in a small society of ‘hello and hi’, people at the executive and key positions of judiciary, legislature and corporate sectors are constantly surfing the internet in fear of their execution orders. We can’t progress as a nation if we fear the online rumors and the post of a sentimental 15 year old guy disguised as a ‘atsara’ or a journalist disguised as Yamraj. But Bhutanese are being carried away and it’s dreadful, it’s careless, it’s dramatic and it is shameful.
The audacity of Facebook pages and groups has swept our image in a surprising manner. A person would instantly post a picture of a ward room from the hospital if the doctor goes out for lunch and if he or she has to wait for more than 15 minutes.
This is dangerous to our very few professionals doing their best, and likewise there are so many such posts and incidences which most of us blame and shame.
I have been denied to sell my startup mobile phones by BICMA. I have been denied from promoting online shops by Department of Revenue and Customs. I have been denied a family reunion visa by Immigration and I have been questioned for marrying a Chinese girl. But, I don’t want to make these issues sensational and point my finger at individuals in key positions. This is because we all know, these are important sets of laws and regulations for the Bhutanese, by the Bhutanese and to the Bhutanese. These laws don’t come from one person and his thoughts. It is the collective decision of people who have given everything for our sovereignty and cultural dynamism.
There are people doing things like Uber version of startups, job applications, SaaS, reporting potholes, Clean Bhutan, carrying toilets to the gatherings, promoting reading, sheltering animals, creating youth funds and plastering roads with recycled waste. But, we are more concerned about gewog Bolero cars and having to wait in the queue.
Did you ever realize how we have managed to top the charts of corruption and nepotism? It is because we celebrate forums and pages of one sentimental voice, because we can’t accept excellence in others and we can’t wait in the queue. ‘General public,’ is to be blamed more than any other organization.
If someone goes against my Tsa-Wa-Sum just to prove how times are changing and how we should change -please remember the words of General Batoo, “My King is my religion.”
Just because you sneeze in a democracy you won’t win a Noble prize.
If you find this article meaningful. Please do what’s in front of you and what you are good at. This is how we build a nation.
by Ugyen Rangdol
The writer is an entrepreneur currently taking a course at Harvard University