Are Bhutanese leaderships both local and national stunting the society instead of leading the nation? This time the cultural zealots attacked track suits for physical education with the goal to slaughter the lambs in the schools. From legal perspective, it is an unhealthy and unwarranted interference into what is a clear domain of autonomous School Management Board.
1.It demonstrates that the nation has too many over paid Dolittle elected and appointed officials who can do nothing progressive. All they can think of are rules and regulations to harrass, control and demean general public and particularly the young generation.
2. Track suits long adopted as sports uniform by individusl schools has been now branded as uniform of disloyals and indisciplined packs by an ad hoc assembled group that does not even have necessary legal standing.
3. The non-traditional trouser and shirt uniforms of defence forces, desuups and bureaucracies glorified as cloaks of triple loyalties. But non- traditional sports track suits of students condemned as disrespectful attire by a grouo of officials under Thimphu Thromde.
4. School kids are being made the helpless guinea pigs of ceaseless experiments by local governments and the Education Ministry. The ultra short hair cuts for boys; the halving of winter vacation that require students to put up with freezing class rooms of himalayan winter. And now this move against track suits with ulterior objective to demote physical health activities after repeated labelling of students as drug addicts with stunted growth . Did we elect fascist or communist leaders at local and national levels who are out to degrade, control and condition young minds?
All schools have regular gho and Kira uniforms. Track suits are only for one day a week for those students who have their physical exercise period. Why must this essential part of school sports culture be declared officially intolerable?
The cultural hawks bemoans that some students are in track suits whilst most are in gho and Kira school dress during morning school assembly. " It does not look respectful ", they declared. Please do not let cultural dictum run haywire. Students are not soldiers and school assembly is not a regimental parade. Restrain acts of social aggression and stop disrupting education environment of schools. And stop interfering into the rightful domain of School Management Board. The offering of prayers to Jampel Yang and respectfully standing in attention singing the national anthem by all students and teachers during the school morning assembly should more then quench any reasonable thirst of cultural and political zealots.
5. I am perplexed by this horrific attack on the school physical education activities.
Track suit issue was raised by a local government in the East and then Thimphu Thromde suddenly picked it up and implemented it. This means the policy has Central Government backing. Now I wonder why this is happening against the backdrop of progressive strides made by the PDP Government?
The Government of Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay brought about a lot of economic improvements to individual Bhutanese life. His Excellency's Government had provided house rent allowance to all civil servants and six months maternity leave for mothers in civil service and public corporations; established Central Schools; enhanced by 10 times the in- country education tax deductible amount; provided electricity subsidy to rural dwellers; improved farm roads; provided power tillers for every Chiwog and opened rural fair price shops with marketting outlets for farm products ; adopted economic liberalisation and tax relief policies; provided grassroot soft loans to promote commercial activities and education loans to needy students; doubled the non- taxable personal income amount from one lakh to two lakhs ngultrums; provided incentive to save money especially for salaried employees by waiving off tax on accrued interests from fixed deposits; provided incentives for Bhutanese oversea workers to open hard currency accounts in Bhutan.
6. Sometimes, I am made to deduce that two sets of teams are running the nation on alternate days: The devils one day and the angels the next day. That's how perplexed I am. Do we have a divided Cabinet or simply a confused Government that cannot co-ordinate or has now run out of productive steam at this penultimate stage. Or is this a strategy of diversion from debacles in other fields like rising national debts and shameful, corruption soaked delays in hydro- projects.
Perhaps the strategy is more sinister. Could the Government be providing economic incentives and curtailing basic human rights. Very much like powerful Countries providing financial assistance to weak nations and taking over their national freedom. This seemd the only plausible explanation. The young generation is our future. So political control is exercised from school stage? Could establishment of Central Schools also be a pivotal project to control and shape the youth? Are we sowing the seed of turmoil or raising social brigades? If the PDP Government does not have intent of a communist regime then the Prime Minister must rein in the hawks of local government and culture Agencies who exercise extraordinary powers to disrupt national life and social well being.
7. Such regressive rules are heading in the direction of enslavement of thoughts and dress. I thought excessive cultural indoctrination was part of early Chinese cultural revolution long since rejected by more civilised Governments. But somehow who ever came to hold the reign of power in Bhutan, this culture fixation has been central to their administration. How much discipline and obedience is sought? Pacific width, Atlantic depth or Everest height? Apart from North Koreans no others praise their nation and leaders as Bhutanese do.
8. Can any Bhutanese leadership heirachy ever develop the leadership confidence to go for genuine unadulterated comprehensive and inclusive national growth? Can successive local and national leaders stop dwelling upon dress codes and behaviour codes? Why feel so damn insecure and be intellectually bankrupt? Do the leaders not believe that they came through the democratic process to lead not contain the nation?.
9. Gho and Kira the pride of national heritage is being continuously codified as status of obedience and discipline. What was a showcase attire of proud national heritage now turned into a compulsory uniform of artificial allegiance. Should patang and gyenta form part of every Bhutanese traditional attire to induce everyone to wear gho and Kira even to visit public toilets?
10. The common people of Bhutan and our students cannot be against Tsawa Sum. They constitute national vitality and is the soul of Tsawa Sum. Therefore, I appeal for national sense of cohesion to prevail. This victimisation of every day life by leaders who feel either insecure or omnipotent, must stop for sake of gross national unity and decency.
Gross official intolerance causes not only consternations for basic human rights but creates unnecessary fear and frustrations among a populace that only want peace and happiness.
11. The main thrust of any 5 year Plan objective has become the reproduction of clones who are prone to sing national praise like native parrots. Can a society of clones and parrots invigorate the nation, uphold the crucial monarchy institution and most importantly defend the sovereignty of Druk Yul ?
A national realisation is urgently needed. Rigidity breaks not binds society! Please, Please! Be sensible. Not culture or political demons. We each have a responsibility to secure a peaceful and true GNH national society. Demonstrate genuine love and care not domination of the most important element ( the people) of Tsawa Sum.