Who is JigsNews?

The tweets are absurd, hilarious and witty: a complete ROFL. But for those without a sense of humor and especially if the joke is on you, it can get a little over the top, or into your nerves.

Read it to believe it. Here’s a classic sample, to start with.

Men have failed at democracy, now it is women’s turn, said MP Aum Sangay Zam. We also know how to screw things up, she added.

MoIC Secretary suspects corruption brewing in Bht media & says ‘still in infantile stage’. Media suspects same in MoIC, says ‘terminal’.

JigsNews seems to have enough time to while away, commenting and writing on current events, people, both real and fictional, with a tinge of humor, sarcasm and wit. Funny one liners, to sum it up.

It has got a huge fan following too, among them, social media savvy, opposition leader, Tshering Tobgay. “JigNews seems to have taken Bhutan’s Twittersphere by storm. His (or her or their) satiral tweets are lighthearted, but insightful commentary on the state of our country,” he says.

By the time Business Bhutan asked JigsNews for an interview, it had already tweeted: JigsNews bombarded with interview requests. Today replied to queries for a local newspaper. Foreign media will have to wait.

Yet it found time to answer: “We are in the serious business of making people laugh. There is no wisdom in our blogs or tweets. Those people who take us seriously should be fined.”

Why start a fake news?

“Traditionally, Bhutanese are fun loving people. But of late, with the proliferation of the media, we felt our journalists and readers have lost their funny bone, and we have started becoming too intolerant. We were becoming too serious as a nation,” says Astara, JigsNews’ spokesperson.

“Bhutanese people talk about GNH like it’s a preparation for a life-and-death examinations,” says Atsara, “our mission is to enable people to laugh in a GNH society as Phurba Thinley, one of our patrons, said, ‘don’t worry huh! take things lightly.”

JigsNews will soon be publishing a 213-page charter, mission and vision.

“We have also announced that JigsNews tweets can be used to enhance five year plan documents, foreign policy statements and be used in the school syllabus,” said JigsNews.

JigsNews also wants to ‘generate synergistic models that can rebrand groundbreaking performance assessments to envision possible benchmark cutting-edge deliverables in a GNH society.’ Whatever that means.

“We would like to meet all stakeholders in the happiness business and encourage civic engagement, capacity building, and improve in the core competencies of psychological wellbeing that can help us laugh,” simplifies JigsNews.

The man and the people behind JigsNews twitter, tumblr and Facebook page is anonymous, creating an aura of mysticism behind all the hilarious tweets and comments.

But why choose anonymity? Says Atsara: “We want to create a culture where celebrities can walk on the streets without being mobbed. So celebrities which include the JigsNews team should be anonymous.”

The other reason for being anonymous is part of its corporate social responsibility.

“We fear that, once we cease to be anonymous, there would be thousands of vehicles moving from different parts of the country and many chartered flights from abroad flying in just to see us. That would increase pollution and could defeat Bhutan’s international commitment to remain carbon neutral,” adds JigsNews.

For readers not on Twitter or Facebook, and worst still, those not connected to internet, here’s some more JigsNews tweets:

Every1 is blaming rupee shortage 4 everything. Soon ppl will start blaming it even 4 extramarital affairs, said RMA Governor

And beat these two:

Confused Bht villagers ask if JYT is extension of DYT and GYT.

High increase of population in Chapcha blamed on trucks. Early morning noisy trucks climbing uphill wake us up at 5.30 am, says Chapcha Gup

Seriously, it is just for laughs! Just in case, BICMA finds it rather too serious, and goes after JigsNews.



Written for Business Bhutan by Yiwang Pindarica on 21 April, 2012.

JigsNews is still going strong. And people are still pretending to be JigsNews.

JigsNews is @ twitter.com/JigsNews




This story from Sonam Pem

Sonam Pem has the distinction of being our very first author on Bhutanomics.