It is disheartening to read that top Indian team of foreign and military dignatories visited Bhutan recently ( 6th and 7th Feburary, 2018) from sources who shared Indian media news in fb. Only a dishonest Bhutanese leadership would blackout such critical news from our own media when the same is shared with Indian media by Indian Government..
I do not mind Bhutan being led by PDP or any other Bhutanese Political Parties or individuals as long as they act out policies and deeds as true sovereign Pelden Drukpa citizens and keaders. But sadly our sovereignty is being eroded and our own leaders are playing the role of eroding agents with self intent or under manipulation. And the attention of the public is being diverted to Zhemgang gho and kira and childish public controversies/ allegations between PDP and DPT.
True Bhutanese citizens will wear their dedication to Palden Drukpa in their heart whilst others will wear their outward sentiment on their sleeves as in faithfully following gho and kira dictates and duping public with political gimmicks.
There is real danger of money and India taking over 2018 Elections no matter who comes to power. In 2008, I had no doubts about the priorities of the leaderships of both Presidents of DPT and PDP. Both Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley and Lyonpo Sangay Ngedrup were well groomed and seasoned national leaders. Sons of Pelden Drukpa and dedicated to national sovereign dignity. I believe that Lyonpo Sangay Ngedrup would have made a fine Prime Minister. His record of service as Minister and Prime Minister under absolute Monarchy reign stands as testimonies. And I do not believe that Lyonchen Jigmi Thinley betrayed Tsawa Sum as the 1st Prime Minister of democratic Bhutan. He is too smart and deeply ingrained in the Bhutanese cultural and political system not to have known that national strength comes from Tsawa Sum especially the nation reverred Institution of Monarchy. Too bad that possible misunderstandings cropped up or were deliberately created so successfully. And it is not the first time in the history of modern Bhutan. We still suffer as a nation and as a society from the grievous wounds of suspicions and hurt of 1960s and 70s. There are dark forces out to weaken and wreak a united Bhutanese heirachy.
I dearly wished that democracy party system was not introduced in Bhutan. Mind you democratic elections for political posts was there for a long time since the reign of the illustrious Third King. Bhutanese public chose their gups, elected their Royal Advisory Councillors and Representatives to the National Assembly. And from those august Bodies, members moved to Executive and Judicial posts. Thus Bhutanese national administration had elements of grassroot representations long before 2008.
I am not against principles of democracy. And I sincerely believe in freedom of speech and thoughts that democracy is supposed to value and which I believe are birth right of a human being along with duty of being a responsible member of a community or national society. Looking back, maybe , in many ways , my inner hesitation to adopt party democracy has been justified. Today, I cannot pinpoint one concrete and complete gift of democracy that benefitted the nation as a whole. Sure many more individuals entered the top social pyramid level. We have grossly paid Ministers and MPs and many such elected members owe their positions to democracy party system and not to the grace of the King as was under the old system. But on the whole, the national sovereign status has dipped under party democracy. We have more political leaders with more confused or self priorities.
There is no certainty what lies beneath the loud public talks of our political leaders. I am weary of all Political Parties not that they cannot be trusted for their Bhutanese blood or birth. Simply I fear their pursuit to rule Bhutan may compel them to compromise their Pelden Drukpa aspirations and ultimately reduce Bhuan to a vassal state of India. We are definitely on the path of vassal state. Not just PDP but even another Political Party including DPT may now lack the political will and clout to sign the Border Agreement with China. And BBIN will come back no matter who comes into power. The Southern Highway is dead forever and gradually there will be more cession of Drul Yul priorities to Indian hegemony. And such situation will promote internal turmoil of regionalism. Race and religion will boil over as faith in national leadership is worn down.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay is not our problem or the weak link in the chain of national pursuit to sovereign dignity. The nation and we the people are suffering from a disease of confidence level and greed for personal super survival. Thus our inclination to think that only India can gurantee our personal and political aspirations and status. And China overewhelms our national leadership fear psyche. Actually it is not only the meadow in front but also the forest behind that can sustain the herd. But our political herders are too lazy and over comfortable in set ways and trends to even attempt exploring the unknown forests.
In real geopolitical and social psyche, it seems we as a society are overwhelmed by white people, scared of China due to brain washing through decades of anti- China propaganda and feel comfortable only with India because Indians were once serfs of British. Its like slaves finding common survival comfort in America but for Martin Luther King who believed in the dignity of existence. Bhutan too needs a Martin Luther type Leader to pull us out of India dominance orbit of life.
There is no need to prefer China over India. No necessity to accord China the same equivalent privileges like accepting Chinese substitutes or equivalents of DANTAK and IMTRAT in Bhutan. In fact the roles of these two military or para- military of Indian Army Forces in Bhutan will have to deminish in future as Bhutan improves her own abilities. Have India as number one friend but acquire China as our number two friend. Sign the Border Agreement and establish diplomatic ties with China. We are linked by physical geography and historical culture with both China and India. It is an ill advice to ignore the importance of China to Druk yul sovereign dignity. We must also genuinely keep fostering understandings and co-operations with Bangladesh and Nepal the other two closest neighbours regardless of the status of those two countries' bilateral relations with China or India. Their bilateral relations are theirs to look out. The Kingdom of Bhutan must build bilateral relations with Bangladesh, China, India and Nepal for our own interests and national comfort.
With deep respects and love, I feel that only His Majesty the King can soar up the necessary national resolve to sign the Bhutan- China Border Agreement. I pray that our Monarch acts now. I hear some political leaders say diplomatic relationship with China is essential but not now. And they are tongue tied when asked why not now ? Are we awaiting for a different leadership or are we going to push such a sovereign task from the Third King to the Sixth King? In all truth if what is taking place is not arrested now, the opportunity to secure our sovereignty as Druk Yul may disappear much before the Sixth King enthronement.
King Ugyen Wangchuck was enthroned and Wangchuck Dynasty instituted for the sole objective of safe guarding Druk Yul sovereignty and dignity. Now it is the crucial time that the Kingdom needs the King to fulfill that objective of 1907 in total. . This certainly is no time for Bhutanese leaders to play hide and seek game of secret collusions with visiting Indian high level delegations.
Please do not misunderstand or misread political situation of Bhutan or the political choice of Bhutan. India alone or China alone cannot be trusted to respect Bhutan's sovereignty for good. The reality is that Bhutan cannot put her political relationship in one basket of either India or China. For our sovereign preservation, we need to have diplomatic relation with China too. A Kingdom needs defined international border respected by neighbours. A Kingdom must be in position to establish and maintain internationally recognised position of sovereignty. Respect India as a vital friend but stop this political homage to a Master.
We also cannot keep on saying our wise and great King will take care of everything. We have had citizenship infiltration problems, militant infiltration problems in Southern Bhutan and recent Doklam transgression by India and continuous gigantic resentments amongst national Political Parties take place despite our wise and able Kings. It demonstrates that both people and officials must be there upholding respective roles. Only united efforts have found solution to national crisis. The King ofcourse is the ultimate trusted and unquestioned leader. But even the best and best of world leaders require followers not just following but actively upholding both individual and collective responsbilities. Even the Almighty God need Prayers and efforts from believers to grant required salvations.
Our Monarch too need support of the people and Political Parties and their leaders. And in today's political world such support must be demonstrated for the world to notice. And it is not at all adequate to declare that you conducted your annual Chhoku or scripture reading for the health of Tsawa Sum. Or you took an official tour to foreign land to talk of the King and GNH. You know and everyone knows your chhoku and annual scripture reading is only meant for your individual self and family upkeeps. And foreign tours have so many other fringe reasons. Likewise today, political leaders and their Parties are clamouring for the chance to govern but rarely for the national interests of sovereign Bhutan. Bhutan needs genuine democratic leadership to lead the nation. Not sticklers that leech onto national positions and bleed Druh Yul to demise.
If there really is in existence in the universe of Druk Yul the Palden Drukpa Chhoe Chhangs, I guess what is happening now are only occurring to cause a major upheaval to enable true establishment of sovereign dignity of nationhood. Maybe Palden Drukpa Chhoe Chhangs are just figments of our beliefs and faith indoctrinated since ancestors' time. Or maybe we cannot leave everything to the Dieties. Perhaps both leadership and people must put in more selfless efforts in nation building. No nation needs an upheaval. We need courage and determination to change the course of nation before the so called " elder sibling " strips us to defenceless nakedness.
Sikkim has sunk into the Indian Union. And not one original Sikkimise leader has survived afloat. Likewise has been the fate of Tibet and her traditional leaders. Bhutan will not suffer the same fate of total submersion like that of Sikkim due to geopolitical startegic reasons of China and India. Even then none of us will survive with our status intact if an upheaval happens. The common people in general will be carrying on life as they have been since forefathers time under one leader or another. Perhaps less sure and more uncertain and definitely devoid of national and self pride. So a united selfless step to secure real sovereign status at this period when we have our Druk Yul as still ours is worth accomplishing over and above shortlived self pursuit of comfort and power.
Sovereign dignity is not just having our own King and elected Prime Minister. A system alone does not represent national dignity. It is exercising national right to secure our national priorities and our leaders accomplishing such national goals instead of camoflaging failures with grand bilateral Indo- Bhutan priorities. Signing Bhutan-China Border Agreement is Bhutan's mark of sovereignty and dignity. Not a favour to China or pivot to China policy adoption forsaking India as a friend.
Thadamtsi must be a two way faith built on honest trust and truth. Lets us be honest and trustworthy leaders and citizens. Serve Pelden Drukpa not Hindustan.
Pelden Drukpa! Gyal Lo !