Saturday, June 4, 2016

Haa Moenlam Chhenmo and it's distractions.

SOn 3rd June evening, BBS2 showed an hour long interviews with few personalities of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo Organisers.

1. I thank venerable Lam Neten and Haa Dratsang. And I thank Dasho Dzongda. Both venerable Lam and Dasho had such positive attitude towards the Moenlam Chhenmo.

2. I thank both Seniors Dasho Nob Gyeltshen and Aue Dori Desang for their concern on the toil placed upon the common folks for construction of Moenlam Chhenmo Shed. They were requesting Dzongkhag help to construct a permanent Hall.

3. I wish to humbly remind the Moenlam Chhenmo Thrizen Dasho Nim Tshering that cheques are not supposed to be signed by Thrizen and his deputy. It was unfortunately done during Dasho Dr. Gado's time as Thrizen. As per approved Chatrim, the General Body   approves  the advance and then the Executive Committee is to operate the specific Moenlam budget/ advance through an account specially to be opened for the occasion. The advance is to be transferred from the main account to such a subsidiary account  Ofcourse the Thrizen and Deputy have full authority and responsibility to supervise everything. There is the Audit Committee to check and verify all accounts. There is also a stakeholder group to register all contributions. 

4. I drafted the Chatrim when people of Haa requested that Haa Moenlam Chhenmo fund had to be protected from some forces who were in the process of hijacking the fund for other purposes. All of you are well aware of the background.  The Chatrim was approved by the General Body for Moenlam Chhenmo comprising of Haa Dratsang, Dzongkhag Administration, the Gups, the initiators of 1st Moenlam Chhenmo and Chundu Tsokpa. And was even submitted to His Holiness who appreciated it not just in words but by deeds.

5. For record I had nothing to do with initial 1st Moenlam Chhenpo and the subsequent ones managed by Chhundu Tsokpa and others. That's is why I always acknowledged the vital role of original three persons who initiated and then Chhundu Tsokpa who consolidated the process. And I am always thankful that Chundu Tsokpa have such good reverential relation with His Holiness that later encompassed all of Haa people in the Good Will and Blessings of His Holiness Trulku Jigme Chhoedra the 70th Jhe Khenpo. The Moenlam Chhenpo fund is also due to all contributions from mainly people of Haa origin.

Our deepest  gratitude must be to His Holiness for always fitting Haa Moenlam Chhenmo in his busy and tight schedules. Due to respect and reverence for His Holiness, people flocked to Moenlam Chhenmo and made so much monetary contributions as well as overwhelming rush to serve meals to the congregation. The fact is without the people of Haa even the Nu: 3 lakhs capital  as considerable as it was at that time it could not finance a Moenlam Chhenmo. There was so much contributions that at the end several lakhs were left over to start the real fund when Chundu Tsokpa was asked to manage the second Moenlam Chhenmo.

6. I would like to inform the Gups that it is not necessary to rotate Geog wise to manage annual Moenlam Chhenmo. There is the Executive Committee to do that. But if Gups want to do that then do it under supervision and budget from the Executive Committee. All of you have a role in the General Body to elect post holders of all Committees and Thrizen and his deputy for three years term. If people trust you you will be elected. So do not look to create different avenues to seek extraordinary roles. And please do not call for compulsory labour contributions and monetary contributions from village people of your Geog.  They are not your slaves nor your purse. You are not saving Moenlam Chhenmo fund. You are creating sources for individual corrupt practice. 

Moenlam Chhenmo of Haa is especially to benefit the souls of the departed and make it possible for those people of Haa who cannot travel out to get such Spiritual Blessings. It is not supposed to be an opportunity for local leaders to boss around the simple folks. People of all walks of life in Haa are to receive Blessings thanks to Haa Moenlam Chhenmo and not toil to make possible Moenlam Chhenmo. People are always toiling in their daily lives. They just do not need another glorified reason to toil and get bullied in the name of good deed.

7. There is more than sufficient fund to meet any and all expenses.  Just spend on what is necessary. And not lavish upon individual inspirations and pet activities. I have throughly examined the income flow. It is always far more than expanses. This is why there is considerable fund that we do not even have to touch.

8. I must thank so many of our notable figures especially among  business people for always generously contributing both money and time to Moenlam Chhenmo. And only expecting spiritual blessings in return.

9. Today I hear you are looking to institute new rules. I hope such rules are not for sanctifying the wrong doings of few. If Chatrim that was approved by all is respected to the letter even  if not in spirit there is no need for new rules. Please for your own good health do not look towards self benefit from Moenlam Chhenmo activities.  The Miriphuensum is always watching. You have seen what can befall those who treat public religious fund as their own biefdom. 

10. At BBS reporter prodding,  the Dzongkhag Tsogdue Thrizen who is also the Deputy Thrizen of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo declared that  after banning the traditional Soelkha sacrifice to Ap Chhundu in 2013,  there has been no earthquake and no wind storm. He is wrong.  There were but not so impactful.  And that applies to all parts of Bhutan not just Haa.

Also we have to be careful to draw quick conclusions of goodness in altering traditional offerings. Let me illustrate:

a) You can say that after the banning of one single yak offering to Ap Chhundu in 2013, the Prime Minister of Bhutan was elected from Haa. Next if we ban meat diet for all Haaps  then the 7th King will be born in Haa.

b) To this great goodness, one can counter by saying that national  political storm happened  in 2013. And later even His Holiness decided for whatever reasons to take a leave of absence for one year from his religious throne. Such a leave is unimaginable and unheard of in our Dratsang history.   So it is a matter of our capricious and fluid mind and spirit conjectures  to claims things as we want to see.

c) Ap Chundu is not just a deity of Haa. It is said that all dwelling that raise a flag on the roof are his households and all men are his soldiers. He is not meant to be controlled He must be respected in his fiery form so that we are protected by such aura. And frankly it is too early to state for sure the consequences of banning his offering and  taming Ap Chundu.

And please do not use Moenlam Chhenmo to totally upset the animal husbandry livelihood before you can deliver an alternative to the folks. I too cherish life so much so that not just killing animals I do not even cut a down a tree for a prayer flag pole. But I have no right to stop people from rearing a pig to meet their livelihood necessities unless I can provide a decent economical alternative. Try not to dictate but rather provide solutions so that what is less preferable can be gradually abandoned. 

I never wanted to be the Chairman of Haa Moenlam Chhenmo. But I was obliged to when members refused to budge. So we compromised on one year term instead of usual 3 year term. Then I handed over to Dasho Dr. Gado. Unfortunately some were not happy though I have no complaints. Again I was approached by many to take up the post and the only way to avoid it gracefully was to avoid the General Body Meeting. I have avoided attending Moenlam Chhenmo itself  because I want to avoid knowing details.  As long as it is held every year I am grateful. But today I hear some national declaration from some of you. And I think it is only fair that once outside Haa,  the opinion/facts must be balanced. So you have had your say on BBS and I who might be representing more than just me or few have decided to say it in social media. We all have our own responsibilities to our beloved Valley, in our regards for our community and reverence for Ap Chundu and Miriphurnsum. Let us honestly and sincerely fulfill such duties in the best possible intent of general goodness for the majority. Thank you and warm regards.

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