Monday, April 11, 2011
Memo: Repair Expensive Experiments
If we had foresight, we wouldn’t need hindsight. Everything will be well with fairy tale endings. It makes you wonder where the story actually leads. One can sense all kinds of twists and turns. And here life begins where those tales finish. Learning is a continuous experience riddled with mistakes. The DPT government turned three this week. The PM spoke about the journey so far. Sounded like everyone did their best and if there were bumps on the road, the resulting jerks were accidental. Hence learning the ropes of the roles was the highlighter of the government’s third anniversary in power. Having said that, there are still plenty of thorns stored in the files. Some of them have been activated, for instance, the CDG.
Why have MPs with their political portfolio mingling the money with the grassroots men who have had thorough experiences dispensing local governance was the bait that got rejected. Here, the OL, having disagreed with that proposition, must be credited for keeping his moral stance by directing his fund to the localities. The mix of money, politicos and grassroots governance makes strange bedfellows with who knows what results. Now that the LG elections are nearing, perhaps some of those conflicts will surface, due to the plain fact that as it stands, everything in Bhutanese culture, from apolitical bureaucrats to business folks and whatever makes and shapes our communities are all embroiled in one hot potpourri.
The LG election staying apolitical is a misnomer. Where are the fines lines? Because as with all things, we’ll play the Yum. Another issue in that folder is State Funding. Do we really need established parties? The US has Democrats and Republicans. The rest are just journeymen, meaning a citizen has to compromise on certain values because there are only two parties. Let those who want to contest do so. Let people vote accordingly. If nothing, democracy should provide options.
Which brings us to the Tobacco Act. How many must be jailed before hindsight comes in? Minorities speak up because the majority slumbers, otherwise we’ll have anarchy. If the smoking minority got this act from the non-smoking drinking majority, then here is a reflective nugget: the non-drinking minority wants a ban on alcohol (a prerequisite of the holy majority which largely affects the weaker minority that get physically beaten up, mentally traumatized and spiritually shattered).
A mother posted this quote from her son – “I’d rather have a father that smokes than one that drinks and abuses.” If learning from our mistakes was and is the theme we are looking at, then a gesture or two extending that newfound wisdom will bring you no shame. On the contrary, it might bring back the grace with which you promised to yield the ruling staff. A good and welcome move has been to assess MPs. Now that its been established that we all made mistakes and that the task of building a uniquely Bhutanese democracy on a positive note prods on, wouldn’t a pardon to those jailed be just the right thing to do? And cement that faith farther by temporarily lifting the act? It is not out of the norms to do so.
For when reelection beckons, the one thing all Bhutanese will have in abundance will be hindsight.