Monday, May 23, 2011
Spotting the Elephant in the Room... Obviously!
Yesterday was a milestone in the DPT government’s more than three-year reign. The reason there was a milestone on the side of the road was the strong statement made by the DPT vice president and the minister for works and human settlement, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba.
Perhaps our leaders and the government have had a change of heart, or perhaps the sheer presence of the elephant in the room could not be ignored anymore. He stated that the country was in danger of becoming a de facto “Police State” if things continue unabated in the face of some laws that have been recently enacted, perhaps in ignorance of ground realities, or in the zeal to do something good.
The intention of the government to ‘do right’ has never been subjected to microscopic scrutiny. But in the rash Tobacco Act, the powers that be unwittingly or otherwise created a monster that now harkens back with a vengeance, much like Frankenstein and his creation.
If that was the reference point, and if the minister for works and human settlement words are to be taken specifically, in light of that act, and generally, in a clear moment of caution and recognition of the gravity of such unilateral laws, and the dangers thereby of such actions, then the government must be applauded, and the minister must be applauded.
It takes courage to admit a mistake; it takes a nobleman to not only accept mistakes made, but also to recognize and repair what is detrimental to the very people they govern; for they elected them, and entrusted them with their wellbeing.
Some of them remain imprisoned because a bill became a law that simply astounds and arrests common sense. In omitting the tobacco act from the agenda, an urgent and necessary amendment was denied, together with the hopes of those imprisoned in lieu of that act. The fact that yesterday’s parliamentary session was dominated by a topic unlisted in the official agenda speaks volumes.
The fact that senior leaders of the DPT hierarchy categorically, although without naming the elephant in the room, spoke about the concerns thereby, and the dire consequences of hastening to such laws in the future bodes well for the country.
Quite frankly, people were losing faith. When the agenda for the ongoing session was made known, there were disheartened voices that felt demoralized by a government they aided to power and victory. Their only solace was in awaiting 2013. The guilt runs so deep and helpless that the next general election awaits them like a cathartic balm – to extinguish the ghosts of 2008.
In recognizing the jumbo on the loose in the room and calling it as such, the minister for works and human settlement has taken the right step.
Now we expect him to name the beast for what it is – a Frankenstein’s monster called the Tobacco Act.
That old saying rings a bell – “Calling a Spade a Spade.” An Elephant in the Room An Elephant in the Room... And the Chinese Love of Building Great Walls With the First, Single Brick or the Mammoth Journey With the First Single Solitary Step!!!