By now it is high time that most people of Bhutan understood what the adjective, ‘Special’ annotates when it is used in describing Indo - Bhutan status. It signifies superior - subordinate as in hierarchy; indispensable – over dependent relation as in light and darkness; Lord and Butler as in social status and finally a role of pampered and gilded northern sentry who keeps guard against China for master commander India as in guard dog parlance.
That’s why the leaders of India and Bhutan preferred this adjective because no other words can accurately describe the gradient of the Indo-Bhutan relationship wherein India so fully jockeys Bhutan’s fragile existence. In the prevailing political venture, reality cannot be amended but maybe majority of Bhutanese officials could learn to utter few Indo –Bhutan sentences free of the insulting and subjugating adjective ‘special ’.
Bhutan is few days away from bountiful, Rs. 50 Billion for 5 years. That is Rs. 10 Billion a year. Maybe it is possible to reap even more bountiful harvest of Rs. 50 Billion a year if Chomolhari transforms to Indo-Bhutan Special ! By the way this expression of thought has no relevance to the Bhutanese Prime Minister’s visit to India. It is a food for thought to those of us who feel that for abundant Rupees, Bhutan should endlessly submit to India.
As for Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay’s visit, I have no doubt that he will get the target of Rs. 45 Billion plus 5 Billion and very possibly will put the same in good use. As a Haap, I don’t expect much because by now Haaps are used to being left in the void by their past Lyonpos. But on the basis of one to one talk, somehow, I got the feeling he aims to trek a different path. When it comes to serving Bhutan, I suppose, he too will travel the same dedicated path as that of other Lyonpos from Haa.
Here I wish to deviate from my normal code of conduct. I do not usually quote one to one talk but I am doing so because I feel it is vital to record historical or history making event.
‘Do you feel I could betray my Country? “He remarked (not asked)”. “No, I do not feel that any Bhutanese leader will betray Bhutan, at least not by intent,” I responded.
His Excellency said, “I am an ordinary man”. “No, you are a Lungtenchen” I corrected. I knew MP Tshering Tobgay from Haa was a man of destiny when fate somersaulted him to Opposition Leader seat in 2008. Even then, I was astounded, when after Nyamrup’s exit, all the anti DPT forces in Bhutan piled up behind Tshering Tobgay’s Party. Even an outright intervention by India into the General Election of Bhutan was ( ominous ? ) embraced by Bhutanese who otherwise would be prepared to give their lives to defend the Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
It is an indisputable fact that he created substantial anti-incumbency emotions during the 5 years Opposition leadership and his supposed inconsequential acts of adorning white scarf and surrendering a 5 year old duty vehicle created mass public fever. In the most crucial primary election, the anti –incumbency emotion he had nurtured and the two almost insignificant acts vanquished Nyamrup Party from the 2nd party competition. Otherwise Tshering Tobgay would have been history of the past because he himself would not have joined Nyamrup in any secondary position. Haaps possess such incomprehensible sense of dignity or ego as some would term that often baffles outsiders and brings no tangible benefit to the Haap person. And now he is in the making of future history.
In 2012, I wrote to the Opposition Leader to graduate to national leadership role. I felt he had to move beyond being a successful Opposition Leader. My blunt statements are actually quite prophetic but many dislike hearing them. Anyway general election saw so many internal and external forces working overtime to install the man of destiny in the seat of premiership. Even DPT flipped and flopped thus aiding to the process.
In retrospect, no one can doubt he is a man of destiny. My fateful anxiety is for Bhutan’s destiny. Is the Kingdom of Bhutan destined to be for the foresee-able future a nation unto itself? Not by intent, but in the heat of competition, self preservation or diehard approach to win or destroy, could Bhutanese jeopardize Bhutan’s sovereignty? I pray that it never happens. Palden Drukpa Lha Gyalo!