The Drayang ban by the government is not just about Drayangs, but it has far deeper implications.
The arbitrary use of executive power by the elected government to take a decision based on morality and hearsay does not portend well for us.
Today it could be drayangs, but tomorrow it could be anything and anyone.
In the future we could get a Prime Minister who is environmentally very conscious, and just like that, he could shut down all polluting industries in the south.
Another PM may not like a loud media and he could come up with arbitrary standards to curtail free press.
In the time of the first elected government, we had the Pedestrian Day of walking every Tuesday. It was deeply unpopular.
Governance is a complicated process, and it involves so many components and consequences. Taking decisions based on simplistic gut feelings or an incomplete picture is not advisable.
If the government is truly concerned about the welfare of Drayang employees, then it should address the root causes that causes women to take up such jobs rather than just banning the symptoms.
Any government must also be careful to go with popular assumption as it can be self perpetuating even if it is not true.
Multiple research papers on Drayangs based on surveys actually challenge many popular assumptions of Drayangs being virtual brothels. They show a low rate of transactional sex and most being happy with their jobs.
Drayangs are also often the last safety net for vulnerable women as they could be pushed into prostitution if this avenue is not there.
On the legal side, the Drayang ban also raises important Constitutional questions on the fundamental rights of a Bhutanese citizen to practice any lawful trade, profession or vocation.
The ban comes in the middle of a pandemic where it is very difficult to get jobs thus compounding the situation.
While Drayangs have issues like every sector this was an opportunity to better regulate them and set standards.
“What if I got hit by lightning while walking with an umbrella? Ban umbrellas! Fight the menace of lightning!”