Pseudo Gomchens begging at set-rates

Begging ‘in The Name’… is common place everywhere, I suppose. Elsewhere they do it neatly dressed all prim and proper, in properly designated locations, some do it under huge and well established banners, the flagship of which you submit-to graciously, and you are compelled to give till it hurts.

Back home, the culture ‘robes’ itself in colors we are tuned since birth, to associate with sanctimonious accord. Add to it the familiar scent that paints the picture of renounced-worldliness (although in-reality the striking smell would plunge you down from any level of nirvana).

So, What would you do if you hear a door bell ringing veraciously early morning, every morning? What would you feel while shelling-out a few bucks from your thin wallet; to that figurine robed in red, perforating the very (un) heavenly aroma, chanting words he barely understands and sounds exotically alien to you.

A good Buddhist that you are, you will probably hold-out until a fine morning when you can no longer play-ball with your patience. You explode into a tantrum; compassion is a remote concept then.

Fact here is not about A Buddhist’s endurance or compassion, it’s a social ill imported and exported internationally. Now, It is here in Bhutan. But maybe it’s always been here.

Simply writing against this is perhaps ‘Blasphemy.

Realization has landed in many heads, and why not? You see the same faces robed in a different red, you notice them loitering cinema hall complexes, you see them employing the luxury of modern entertainment at the expense of the good giving-people.

It is sheer outright profanity, termed under alternate nomenclatures – fraud, deception…

Latest development among the righteous beggars; they have a set-rate beyond which, your contribution will be turned down, with a kick on the door, a steely gaze or a distorted rap on the bars of your gate at the exit.

So much better back in the days, your folks will tell you, when they would accept worn-out clothes, Mismatched gumboots, ribs of a cow with barely a scrap of meat on it… pretty much anything. But they would sincerely say the prayers genuinely from the book.

Government is always concerned about rural-urban migration and agricultural fields that are left barren. I would suggest concerned authorities to check this issue seriously. A Big ‘pie’ from youth unemployment here!

(The writer is a reporter with the Bhutanese)

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7 comments

  1. As long as they have the dignity to beg, i will not deny to practice compassion. There are people who are stealing. These pseudo-gomchens at least have the courage to beg than to steal. So who dont you practice compassion by giving away Nu. 5. It is not much.

  2. But to Mr/Ms Sonam by day they beg as pseudo -gomchens and by night they steal it,I think you are aware of the recent stabbing case at Expressway and the high flying monk who has been stealing for quite some time.So I am totally against these pseudo-gomchens.I even have experienced that these beggars stole my slippers too.

  3. The beggars must be having genuine reasons for begging. Genuine alms begging (which I think our so called GNH aspiring government should approve and encourage if they are serious about GNH) or fraud (out of unavoidable necessity to fill their stomach). Either way, begging is not bad. Begging (alms begging) should  be encouraged especially in a Buddhist country like ours. Let us not forget that Lord Buddha went alms begging every day.

  4. Whether pseudo or not i think its upto the individual to decide whether to give or not to give the gomchens/pseudo gomchens alms or not. No one is imposing it as a law. If you think its a genuinely poor gomchen then give and if not politely turn them away or give something of lesser value. I think a human being is capable of that judgement. As far as compassion is concerned it doesnot matter who the recipient are as long as the giver gives it in the name of compassion. No one should judge who is worthy of kindness and compassion. The concept is more important than the participants. 

    • Hingtam chi Zhuwachen

      What to do…….we need more social education… or otherwise it is difficult. It may be upto the person who gives/not. Still then, I am still against this, in a way that  when we are not able to reach to the person/family  real in need, some just do take a chance meanwhile.  

      Actually, it is a fact  that  one who is poor and really in need, they do not have courage by themselves to make a move or they even deny from begging.  But there are people who simply take a chance, thinking if  some one gives, it will be better for their posted or if not, that is not going to matter much…….   

      However, a true gomchen.. need to do that and that has the meaning in many ways.

  5. begging can be accepted if the gomchen follows strict vows as laid down by the Buddha or his eminent followers. but now we see less than 20% of the gomchens following religious vows and the rest do all sorts of nonsenses. that is where people hate them. in the name of religion, we even see khenpos and lams doing deeds worse than the laymen. i think we haven’t forgotten the Bangkok maid case.

  6. True gomchens need not come for begging coz, now people are very religious n every need for them is being sponsered. The ones that come to knock ur doors are those pseudo gomchens (money lovers) mostly hailing from Wangdue side who actually r farmers but not poor, yet they r used to. Yes, they do steal if chances are there. Some of them even have their ceiling of alms n wont accept if given less,thats quite strange. Some restriction is needed to stop this practice if possible.

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