I am amazed by the emotional outbursts of some people when they read articles obviously designed to defame a person and motivated by hatred against, more often than not, the numero uno politician in the country, in this website.
Do I approve of such articles?
A big NO.
They are cowardly, un-Buddhist and harmful.
Should the site be banned?
A bigger NO.
The answer to such articles is not repression, which goes against the basic tenets of democracy and which is impossible in this day and age anyway, but refutation by more reasonable, rational and tolerant people.
Democracy will fail if good people allow the voices of tyrants and bigots and hatemongers to dominate our airwaves and the newspapers.
Freedom of expression will be misused and abused by autocrats and narrow interests if censorship becomes the accepted response to criticism no matter how unfair and the common person does not participate and express themselves freely.
The fact that so many dissenting voices feel they have to do so under the relative safety of anonymity is a reflection of the small society where everyone is connected to everybody AND the policies of the current government which has proven time and again that it does not take kindly to criticism and opposition.
Whether the supporters of the DPT government accept this truth or not, everyone knows the character of the party leader.
But the answer to hateful, slanderous blogs is not condemnation and cussing and swearing but participation. For every article that spews venom and poison, let there be 10 that promotes reasoned debate, tolerance and desire for genuine reform in the overall long-term interest of the people and the country.
It’s easy to attack and tear down – even a complete duffer can do that.
But difficult to build and create. That’s why good leaders are hard to find not just in tiny Bhutan but all over the world.
We must respect them and allow them the chance to perform their duties. But we are not in the 19th century. They cannot take people for granted and think that just because they are wearing namzha and patang, that they are lords in the feudal era.
Respect must be earned and deserved. They must be held accountable for their acts of not only commission but omission as well.
And since we are in a democracy in which contest for power is the name of the game, the stakes are extremely high and players are not innocent babes In the woods, but those that are drawn in by their lust for a seat on the high table and All the goodies that is brings. Winning is everything and the players who win – like in all contests, are those who are prepared to do anything to win. So let’s not delude ourselves for even a fleeting moment that our politicians are in it only to serve the tsa-wa-sum!
Any politician who does not swear selfless dedication to King, country and people, of course, is a fool but any voter who believes whatever a politician says is a bigger fool.
So, let’s not get oh-so-shocked that politicians are being attacked left right and center. Hey, they are politicians, if they and their supporters can’t handle that, they should get out of politics and join the nunnery. I bet even there, there will be vicious fights for one thing or the other.
Another thing that I am sick of is a compatriot saying how special Bhutan and the Bhutanese are. Let’s stop deluding ourselves that we are special, and that politics is dirty everywhere but it cannot be so in this blessed land. Come on, guys, grow up! The sooner we accept a few truths and stop deluding ourselves, the better our chances of of survival.
The chance of a poor, vulnerable country succeeding in the democratisation process is very slim. Studies have shown an average shelf-life of 5 to 7 years of democracy in a country with similar stage of development and indicators like ours.
So we really need to roll up our sleeves and prepare to do some hard yakka, as the Aussies say.
In order to do that we need to get our fundas correct.
…to be continued…
This story by Rambler first appeared as a comment under our article Jigmi Y Thinley – The Armchair War Hero.
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