Monday, July 4, 2011
The Prime Minister’s State of the Nation address was, as usual, moving and provocative without being offensive, defensive or parlaying neutrality. There is certainly no second guessing the power of oratory at his disposal. And when the Prime Minister speaks, even the most skeptical Bhutanese turns around to lend a ear, and generally that ear endorses and approves the messages coming forth from the country’s first elected Prime Minister. This was a keynote element of the 2008 DPT victory. It brought back memoirs of an exciting time of the country’s transition phase, when campaigning was as passionate as it was furious and citizens were as involved as registered party members.
Time does fly and when it’s in flight, everything tends to become a blur. The cause of such blurry minds and absentmindedness is forgotten about because of the very reason that you are still in flight and the images are a blur, again.
But as the Prime Minster spoke, dregs and remnants of the holistic bit of the DPT party’s verbal assurances began to resurface. The first was the invaluable gift of the vote and the need to treat and worship it like a wish-fulfilling jewel, placed at the altar of the polling booth, with your conscience.
Thus surfaced that old tune in the head – that if wishes were horses then pigs would fly, or in this context cranes would fly. But flying is what the bird does; it is the bird’s forte. For better or for worse, the bird has decided to either stop flying or decided to fall down straight from the sky – thud! And the reasons cited have been more than obvious; want of state funding. The blurry memories come back yet again; bringing messages of hope, equity and justice in the truest sense of the word and in the name of the greater good – to become politicians not necessarily to become politicians but to serve king, country and people. “We will serve you and that is the reason why we are contesting the elections. It is for your representation, your wellbeing and your prosperity.” Public service is a place people choose to come in to help better their communities, society and the general populace. The question is, “what happened to the proclamation of building a unique democracy because of its inherent qualities and the misnomer of trying to ape practices in other regions that were cited as unsavory habits best left ignored?”
The questions arise on their own because the Bhutanese politician has become just that – a politician. The call of the public service has gone AWOL. Non-veiled panic buttons bordering on scary propositions are being tapped and honked and hooted about with doomsday calls of a failing state and democracy. The forest is home to all kinds of flora and fauna. The oceans absorb everything thrown at it. The mountains stand tall yet rooted but none of the species living in this natural theater demand supremacy. Dinosaurs lived longer than any other species and even when they went extinct, they did not perish - rather they evolved to adapt to the changing environment.
When mother earth gets burdened to the tilt, the consequences are disastrous yet it heals and regenerates.
To forget to remember this fundamental change that is the only permanent phenomena in life is foolishly dogged. To ask for services when sacrifice is the call is reneging on promises made and bought without a doubt, and with full faith to the electorate. They do not deserve such public services. Monies that helped local villagers now have a name and a game in the form of CDG. If something is not broken you do not fix it. Asking for state funding because the state itself might collapse in the absence of the horse and the crane sounds shallow, for the forest is full of calls and shrieks. Be that as it may, if that is indeed the need of the hour and the future to better serve the people and cement democracy, than perhaps following every minute procedure as enshrined in the constitution is the honorable way to go about it.
The constitution does not mix money and politics and perhaps that is as perfect as it can get. When has mixing money and politics, or religion, money and politics, ever made contributions that are of service to the people? There is no nobler example of public service than in the person of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and His Majesty the King. They make personal sacrifices for public services. When such incarnations spontaneously demonstrate the lip service bandied about with no real service to the people in mind, the reality is anything but real.
And in the end, we’ll all fail and complain, perhaps talking about the IF in LIFE.