On Sunday evening thousands of Bhutanese headed out to offer Khadars to the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and the Speaker.
There were long lines everywhere with some taking 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the minister. This time could have been much faster if the late coming officials did not break the line and stood in line like everyone else.
Exceptions can always be made for former Ministers, Red Scarf recipients, Constitutional Post Holders and Government Secretaries by their designation, but the rest should learn to fall in line.
The problem was two-fold. Firstly, a lot of people who are not VIPs and do not fit in the above categories behaved like VIPs and broke the lines in large numbers adding to the misery of those patiently standing in line.
The second problem was that when VIPs like Red Scarf officers, government Secretaries and others attempted to stand in line like everyone else, there were those who could not bear to see them in line and sent them on ahead without any concern for those waiting ahead of course.
Bhutanese tradition and culture is very important, but it should not be misused to not follow common sense norms.
It cannot be that one person’s time is less important than another.
Waiting in line is one of the most basic norms and good practices in any society and country. The inability to follow that does not reflect well on us.
The same ones eagerly asking officials to break the line and go ahead will be the same ones complaining when their children lose out jobs or other opportunities to the children of these powerful officials.
They should understand that by asking senior officials to break the line they are helping create a culture of entitlement in the country where some officials become more equal than others and so they get the first right on everything, regardless of the laws.
Bhutan is not America but while we follow our culture it should be fair for all and it should not perpetuate inequity among people.
“That which is not good for the swarm, neither is it good for the bee.”