Sunday, August 30, 2009
Old (S)Wine, New Bottles!
The Calligraphy of Our Psyche
You can only analyze so much. In the end, we have to either accept that an overwhelming
majority of the Bhutanese chose the DPT, or conversely, rejected the PDP. Any which way, it does not matter. What matters is that the losing party should shoulder the responsibility of regrouping and reforming the party’s stance, beginning from the ground upward. That is what the people expect, regardless of the DPT landslide; the PDP should now launch an avalanche of change within.
Five years may seem long, but nothing gallops like time.
Before we know it, it will be time for the second election. In between, what the parties do and what they do not will resound and resonate, with echoes collected everywhere.
The mandate given to the DPT is also a mandate for the PDP to start the rebuilding process. The Bhutanese expect nothing less; all that counts. The PDP president is right in saying, “we’ll live to fight another day.”
The DPT hierarchy is also right in saying that, “it is an enormous burden and a heavy
This historic election has been well grounded, and credit must go where credit is due; the Bhutanese people and their proactive demonstration of the importance of each and every single vote, demonstrating without a shred of doubt that they are capable of being decisive. The numbers speak for themselves. The votes cast speak for themselves.
In this the real victor has been the Bhutanese people. It was their turnout that erased whatever doubts there may have been. The Bhutanese, it seems, are inherently a political lot. Democracy as a theoretical term was perhaps new, but only in its theory, in practice, the Bhutanese have been democratic all along. Nearly an eighty percent turned-out. Everybody understood the power of the poll, and nobody took it for granted.
Credit must go to our security forces too. The peaceful circumstances under which we voted without fear or favor was in no small measure a sudden miracle. Troops along the borders, law enforcement agencies along the highways did their part and did it admirably.
Minus a strong opposition, “but now what?” is a reasonable reservation. A question can also come loaded with answers, and the answer to that is the very mandate bequeathed upon the winning party by the people. A woman walked 600km. A man made it in the nick of time, paying his cabbie an extra Nu 200 to speed up to his booth 2 minutes before the polls shut. He made it, and so did thousands. The ink-smudges have not yet dried on people’s fingers, they display it proudly. For they contemplated, mobilized and voted, just as our Kings advised and decreed, just as both the parties’ urged and encouraged.
Now we hope the same kind of practical wisdom will be exercised by the new government- elect. That they practice what they have preached. Transform the manifesto into a workable reality. Not only walk the talk but do so with humility. Change the lofty ideals, “Equity and Justice” from a slogan into a practicable reality
beneficial to all Bhutanese.
We have become, either by default or through our own choices, for all practical purposes, the opposition de-facto. Here the opposition party should take heart. They have nothing to lose but everything to build upon. The people too have nothing to lose but their trust. And that is a price too high to pay for the government-elect.
For the Bhutanese are endowed with long memories; and memories shall play a role, as it did in this election, and as it invariably will do so, in the next.