The Attorney General and the Map of Bhutan

Balance justice

Upon receiving the ACC report on the Gyalpozhing land scam, the AG went home and reported to his wife. His wife and children yelled, ‘Wonderful. These powerful ministers should be put in their place. Good. Get them to pay the penalty of breaking the law and bullying people.”

His wife rarely supported him. Normally she said things like, ‘your underpants are all brown, you pig. Wash it yourself.” In front of the neighbours.

So, emboldened by his wife’s rare support, in a blistering exhortation to his OAG staff he said, ‘My dear office of attorney general staffs. Our country has called on us to do our duty, ya. We must fight corruption and kill this disease before it kills country, mena!”

As he went on, he saw his staff puff their chests out with pride. Even the drunkard lawyer seemed to have his eyes open attentively. He could sense their strength and readiness for battle. They were willing to take on the government and WIN.

But as their confidence went up, the AG’s own started to dive. He kept getting distracted by flashes of something dark before his eyes. He paused mid speech and tried to focus. The blackness came again. This time he saw it. He was seeing a certain leaders’s (ACL) face. Scowling face. And then he began to sweat. He remembered the words and the anger during a lecture he had received a few weeks ago.

Somehow the ACC report he only received yesterday, was lying on ACL’s table at the meeting two weeks ago. ACL was red faced and tapping his fingers on the report. He spoke loudly and then began shouting, “Forty years of sacrificing my life, my dreams, my own potential and my family life I served the people. My grandfather put the first king on the throne, having served Jigme Namgyal. Without his signature there would be no 1907 coronation. My father served the second and third king. I, the fourth and fifth. I am more like an adviser now. In my previous lives I feel I served the Zhabdrung and advised Desi Tenzin Rabgye. Now the people call me a CRIMINAL! The ACC does not say I am a criminal? The OAG, that is you, will not call me a criminal? So how am I a criminal? I did Gyalpozhing people a favour. A man of my stature owning land there only adds to the history of the place. A man whose family has led the nation for generations and even in previous lives, has chosen to own land in Mongar. They should be proud.

My owning land here will not only attract development and growth but also investors. From here and from abroad. Why do you think I am travelling around the world? To bring foreign investment to Gyalpozhing and Denchi. That’s why! Get this damn case closed AG. Get it closed. Go and represent me in the eyes of the people and tell them I am INNOCENT.” With that he had thrown the report (very thick and heavy) at the AG hitting him in the face.

The AG had said, ‘sorry sir I came between the book and the wall.’

As the AG picked up the report, ACL hastily asked for it back. “There is nothing inside. The pages are blank. ACC just sent me a sample to approve the cover design.”

Well to cut a long story short, the AG remembered this encounter with the angry ACL. And his dreams of leading his staff in full battle armour and winning the case for the people, who elected ACL began to seem farfetched. His dreams of being carried on the shoulders of common Bhutanese seemed even further and not even worth it. He decided it was time to cut his battle speech short and begin to find a way to win the case for ACL against the people who elected him.

Thus, abruptly, he said, “Yet, my dear OAG staffs, yes we must do all this to fight corruption. But in a democracy everyone has their own job, mena? And this job belongs to ACC and RAA and maybe ECB and even the two lettered ones like HC (high court) but not us. We are the lawyers of the government. Even a murderer has a right to a lawyer!’ he said without seeing the irony.

“Ultimately GOD will judge. Not you and me.”

With that the bewildered staff rose to their feet. Luckily, being so used to doing nothing but agreeing with the government, they cast aside the few moments of inspiration as a dream.

Today, we learnt from anonymous sources that the Attorney General and his team are busy scouring the web for a company that sells the latest map of Bhutan. They will spend the next few weeks trying to locate Gyalpozhing on the map. Then they will study the science of how water is harnessed through turbines to create power for Kurichhu. Why fish die in the dam. What is the average temperature of a man who has just swum in the river? When ACC visited Gyalpozhing, what time did the sun set?

In case these do not take long enough and are not good enough to avoid the land scam, the OAG will also study all CBS publications on GNH till now. That should take a few years and result in nothing. ‘Perfect, ya,’ says AG.

(The reference to the principal person involved has been changed to ‘A Certain Leader” as this website and author wish to avoid the fate of the AG)




Drukpa Kinley
This story from Drukpa Kinley

Drukpa Kinley, from the 1400s, is one of Bhutan's foremost saints and yogis. He was known for his crazy methods of enlightening other beings, which earned him the title "The Divine Madman".