Thursday, July 25, 2019

Politics of Cooking Gas Subsidy.

In India gas subsidy politics worked because cooking  gas set ( gas jar and gas stove ) was distributed free in some regions by BJP government and such receipant housewomen were supposed to have voted for BJP candidates in General Election.

In Bhutan PDP government too made available  cooking gas cylinders in rural area. But people had to pay. Thus receipants were happy but not obliged. The 100 unit electricity subsidy, supply of power Tillers, tax free Boleros for  rural dwellers  did not garner that much  votes for PDP in the 3rd General Election primarily because the first two were campaign commitments for which votes were given in 2013 and as for tax free  boleros, it mainly. benefited rural well offs and urban smarts.

It is a very good begining that DNT government has decided to do away with distribution of subsidised cooking gas in 4 Thromdes from January, 2020. Now one has to ask why only the Thromdes?  Afterall so many Thromde residents live hand to mouth. In fact as some people have voiced out,  the rural people are better equipped than most urban poor to deal with non subsidised gas because there are alternatives like  fire wood and some relief by way of free 100 units of electricity in rural areas.

One unstated reason for excluding rural areas maybe at the request of Gas Dealers. If government goes for nation wide non subdised cooking gas, three things would immediately happen:

a) gas consuption will reduce.

b) electrical cooking stove will become popular.

c) Owners of subsidised gas jars would want to return extra  empty cylinders and reclaim.reimbursement. Afterall they may not want to own several cylinders  because it would be expensive to block money.   And moreover, it does not make commercial sense to stock up for what should be readily available. And this may create both fund and other problems for present gas dealers.

All these above factors will dent the
profit of gas Dealers.

The government can bail out present monopoly favoured Gas Dealers with a smart solution in regards to excess gas cylinder repurchase fund. Set up a new company and float 100% shares to the public. Let this new company buy the excess empty  cylinders at prevailing rate. And the new company can exchage these subsidised cylinders with non-subsidised gas cylinders by just paying for filling the gas and sell to Bhutanese customers.

This way the government can implement its goal of nation wide  ban on subsidised cooking gas grant from India as of January, 2020. It will be a fair decision. Not a discriminatory action  between urban poor and rural residents. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck the King I saw through my heart lens.

At every death anniversary of the late King on 21st July, I struggled with the gnawing emotion " to write and not write ".  But life is unpredictable. Today you are sailing well in good health and next day you could be on the pyre at the crematorium ground. I do not wish to carry the burden of my feeling of what the King was. So here I share an insight into the heart of the Father of modern Bhutan.

I look back to my early years and still feel astounded with the rare occassions of holding substantive national discussions with the King. Why did the King take me a young student into confidence and in all seriousness? Perhaps it was my frankness free of inhibition and pure matter of fact approach. I am like any ordinary  Bhutanese but minus the fear for self preservation. Fear is good caution but quite meaningless when it comes to Death and King. If the two forces wish to end your life or cause misery, they need no valid cause. There is nothing one can do. I guess His Majesty was able to gain royal sight directly into my sub- conscience.

The King loved his Queen Her Majesty Kesang Choden and genuinely cared of Her Majesty's concerns in regards to the Crown Prince. In his first reference to the queen, I was for awhile baffled. " Kesang " who could HM be referring to I wondered. Then it dawned upon me that the King need not address the Queen as I needed to in honorific terms.

The celebration Day of Bhutan's entry to United Nations was not complete until the Queen of Bhutan joined the King in person at the celebration ground. " I must go to ..... ' HM said as he turned to walk towards the approaching car to receive Her Majesty. For me it was such an emotional moment on a very proud and emotional national occassion. The sight of King and Queen hand in hand was so very rare those days.  So imagine my emotional whirpool on the day of  Bhutan becoming member of UN Family of Nations and our King with our still beautiful brave Queen walking hand in hand !

His Majesty was a Bhutanese Leader of extraordinary calibre who seemed  endowed with  leadership courage and insight at birth itself. Bhutan was his only priority.

For him India and China were neighbours of Bhutan. Other less responsible and more reckless might tag one as friend and the other as enemy. But the King of Butan had the ultimate  national obligation to value correct relationship with the two giant neighbours. It cannot  be reduced to simple mathmatics based on a matter of  weighing scale on volume of monetary gifts or number of handshakes. The crux is the end goal. Who was more sincere in respecting sovereign status of Bhutan without that  dangerous all embracing affection of a Protector of a Protectorate?

In 1962 during Sino- India war, His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck was determined to protect his Kingdom and even more importantly demonstrate Bhutan's neutrality in the war between China and India. The Indian PM Nehru had come to Bhutan on a state visit in 1958. And had warned Bhutan about  China. And in 1959, many Tibetans fled to India via Bhutan. Some stayed within Bhutan as refugees.This Tibet China episode ofcourse haunted Bhutanese society.

However,  His Majesty King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck never under valued the Bhutanese  national need to  preserve sensible relationship with China. And that paid off handsome dividend in 1962 when Chinese troops did not cross into Bhutan from Arunachal Pradesh.  And the visionary King with inborn political astuteness granted passage to the fleeing Indian troops through Bhutanese territory down to the  Indian plains only after arms were surrendered. It was clearly a humanitarian gesture not at all political. Such a gesture was made easier because the fleeing Indian soldiers were not carrying much of military hardwares or fighting will.  And unlike the 2017 Doklam intrusion, India in 1962 had no intention  to use Bhutanese soil to renew the fight against Chinese troops. 

The King also deftly tided over the mid 1950s southern uprising and began modernising Bhutan. Further the greatest internal.challenges to Bhutan's stabilty was wisely managed with out-of-norm patience,  candour and diplomacy when his able Prime Minister was assassinated. The King wisely refused offer of any help from India in such internal political turmoil as grave as those were. Strangely, there were insinuations planted here and there that pro King forces had the Prime Minister Jigme Palden Dorji killed because they deemed that the Dorji family was out to overshadow the King's authority. If so then  who had incited and helped the two uprisings from southern Bhutanese  during the reigns of both  3rd King and 4th King calling for democracy and ouster of absolute Monarchy?

The 3rd King commanded absolute dedication of his subjects from East to West of the Kingdom. He never felt insecure about the Throne and the rabin crown. He was one great King who felt he was there to serve the nation not his dynasty. He did not order the conscripted soldiers to fight for the King and Country. He asked them to join him to " defend our country and way of life ". But recognising the danger of foreign induced internal strifes or rivalries, HM  did secure the dynasty reign before his untimely death. He was convined by people of all walks of life that Bhutanese people believed in the leadership of the Wangchuck Kings. And His Majesty was very confident that his son the Crown Prince would not fail the demands upon Kingship to serve the Kingdom.

History will confirm that His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck the 4th King served the nation with exemplary Kingship.  But as a son,  it is hard to say for sure how far he fulfilled royal.personal wishes if any passed down in some kind of form by the 3rd King. If there were mistakes by a very young King under the political storms that haunted his early reign,  I feel that a father like the 3rd King would understand and surely forgive.

All I want to say and wish our 4th and 5th Kings is that may their Majesties be served by such selfless Faithfuls as were those unwavering Tha-Dhsmtse-Chen officers and Palace  staffs  who served the 3rd King. They were not highly educated and sophiscated. Simple and cultured were thrir ways. And their love and respect for the King was beyond extra- ordinary. For few of them the call of duty had no limits to personal and family sacrifice for a King who had passed into another world.. Incredible Bhutanese whose spirit matched royal valour!  True respects and faithfulness can be tested  when the King is without the sceptre and especially if the King was dead like the 3rd King. I humbly bow to such great  spirit of relationship of King and his men.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Are you Thimphu bio social literate? Try these.

Well what is bio resilient? In case you need to think, it means the ability to keep a relationship going.

And what is bio relationship? Could be man & woman; man & monk; woman & nun  or simply mating with whatever or whoever in our animalistic fancy.

What is bio democracy? Oh! There was just today a conference about it in Thimphu.  Still if you need to ponder, it is voting right for trees and animals because humans  vote  stupidly- You know like voting proudly and later cursing viciously the Party voted in.

What is bio rights? Lets jointly figure out starting with phallus and baka nuisance of grievances and equalities of natural differences.  

What is bio authority? That must be simple because we live it. But lets spell it right. It is exercising equal authority by the couple. Like husband becomes a PM or a General and wife is Madam PM or Madam General. Also like wife becomes office boss and husband turns home boss.

Along with "bio "  the other ongoing fancy high class term is " resilience or resilient ". Do not be fazed out. It just means shut up and put up like a tree silently bearing the axe chopping till fall.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Never doubt Faith. But curiosity raises questions.

Faith is miraculous for its single minded trust. It should not be questioned but for curiosity of the human mind.

I am deeply religious though deviate much from paths taken by other religious people. I am not a spiritual person like those who attend so many riligious events and even are part of sponsoring committees. I just  trust in the goodness and the  power of the unknown to help me to tide over obsticles in order to preserve home harmony and health. And at times seeking the courage to accept and tide over what naure, man made and vicious laws mandate.  Maybe this kind of faith in the unknown  came about because I had to do my own battles like most kids without backups.

I am a born Buddhist but I do respects the goodness of other religions. Only I draw a line between faith and imagination. And that may trouble so many who are ardent believers of imaginations.

1. I do not belive that Buddha was born from the arm pit or from in-between ribs of his mother or that he took seven steps upon birth. If Lord Buddha really desired for human beings to believe that an ordinary person can attain Buddhahood then he had to follow the normal path of birth and death. During Buddha era, there is no findings of caesarian birth. In any case he was born in a forest and his mother may have lost her life because of loss of blood which reflects upon lack.of proper medical care.

However, my belief in the goodness of Buddha greatness is unshakable. My life at my present place took root only with the blessings of one Buddha statue. A man came three times to sell the same Tempa Ku. We were in no position to make such a purchase but 3 times in one year was too much of a fate of coincidence.

2. I cannot believe Guru Pema Juney was born from a lotus. Could an erring Prince had his offspring from a lady left on a lake like baby Moses among the reeds of River Nile to be found by a royal house and cared for?

However, my belief in the powers of Guru and eight manifestations is unshakable. From an early age of my adulthood when I was able to  stand on my own feet economically, I had an extremely talented scholar paint the Guru Tsengye on one side of the wall in the alter room of our traditional home in Haa. Then I repeated that when I was able to build my present  family home.

3. I do not belive that Joseph was not the father of Jesus Christ. But I do not doubt that God chose to have that offspring of holy Mary and holy Joseph to be His Son on earth. I base my reasoning on the fact that Pope of Rome treats marriage between man and woman not just a very  serious commitment  but also very sacred union. King Henry the VIII of England  broke rank with Rome because the Pope would not recognise his divorce.  If divorce is almost treated like a blasphmey how wrong would it be to be falsely married? If only christians believe that married man and woman do have sexual intercourse and that mothers can be virgin in  pureness of mind but not virgin physically,  maybe the Catholic Priests would not have assulted so many choir boys.

I also do not believe in the resurrection. A Son of God would ofcourse be able to rise from dead. But why die in the first place? If Roman soldiers had failed to take his life after nailing him on the cross, that itself would have proved that he was no ordinary human being. And Christian faith would not be reaching an eroding phase now in the belief that it will resurrect at another time. 

Lord Buddha, Guru Padma and Jesus Chirst had to be extraordinarily great Teachers. But we human beings may have been responsible for the added on colours about their lives. Humans love blowing almost  everything out of proportion.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Too much air balloon of international research on learning and children aptitude.

Well !  Royal Thimphu College provides adult classes for those working adults to get a college degree. I presume the ratio of pass percentage among these are higher than those among  young college kids. Why? More mature so more brainy maybe the conclusion of MOE based on research statistic and output.

Haha !  Fools must so think. But do you know what those college kids would be doing at the age of the adults now labouring to get a college degree?  Very possibly some of them may be leading the nation by then. 

Sure there would be a difference of tackling a particular learning task between age 5s and age 6s. But it is silly to assume that children of age 5 are less capable  to be in PP than children of age 6.

Not just traditionally but even today, there is a tendency to assume that men are more capable than women. Perhaps so in majority of beast of burden task. I do not compare men and women because each have different endownents by natural birth.  But intellectually and leadership wise, such assumptions of men being more capable are proved false beyond any doubt.

Do we know the real reason why for adults computer is a necessary implement and for the young computer is a play mate? Versatile is the reason. The younger the age more versatile the mind/ brain  to adapt and learn without  undue pressure and therefore more retention and more information and more joyful the learning process.

Growing up and nuturing is multi task. Not
just nursey rhymes and pampering. Do you know why I never had guard railing around my bhukhari despite kids crawling or playing nearby in the same room?  No one among my eight kids got burns from touching the hot bukhari. They adapted fast to the warmth and also the danger that bukhari presents from early toddler stage. I do not believe in cocooning children from the " hazards "  of outside environment. Real life of joys and challenges lie in the real natural world outside. Rather I got them interested in the environment outside the security of home and encouraged them to do more than just  stand and walk out into the outside world. Its like learning to drive a car. Far, far easier and joyful at a younger age than waiting till you can buy a car.

Love your children in the right way. Give them time not just toys. Watch them literally and learn to appreciate the stumbles in the process to walk on their own rwo little feet. Care for them but do not direct your love and efforts to make them dependent on you. You are in no position to be their guide and crutch throughout their life.

You have a mighty influential role when they are helpless in the cradle but once they start crawling in the 8th to 9th month, they not only have a mind of their own but also have the physical ability to execute their thought. Once they cut their teeth in around the 8th month, gone are days of soft and crushed meals. Step in with the biological transformstions of your child. And  you will not have to wring your head in helpless frustrations when they reach puberty age. 

Majority of the Bhutanese young children receive more love and care than their counter parts elsewhere because the extended family system is very strong in Bhutan. And moreover our children's growth takes place in a social and community  environment which is so free of racial, religion and colour prejudices. Our children can handle more because they grew up in a bigger world of  tolerance and appreciation. 

When you religiously delve into so adulated international researches,  find out what kind of upbringing the researchers had and what kind of environment they live in. Through what lense they look at the world?  Many of these same people and society do not believe in equality of life or blacks, browns, yellows and whites living in same community environnent or be carefreely comfortable in schooling together. Bhutan has had a far richer and broader social perspective. Do not be indoctrinated to outsiders' lesser tolerance.

So please get that shit of an idea from your adult system that gives you that stupid righteous dictum that a wholesomely nutured physically fit Bhutanese child of aged five is unfit to attend PP schooling.

Instead do a better parenting job and responsibility. And more important learn to be a less sheparded adult because I think you are transfering your adult insecurity upon those children of five years age.  I assure you such aged children are better in coping with PP environment  than we adults in coping with each other even after sleeping in the same marriage bed for decades. And dear fellows of anti PP aged 5s children,   please take a walk out of your memory of helpless childhood. Not your fault but shortcomings of alike adults that you have now  turned into.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Bhutan Education scene.

Over 800 kids ousted from Pre Primary Classes at mid academic year.  Heartless new Education Ministry out to flex authority. Even the appeal by parents and schools to spare the kids of this academic year has been spurned.

Nobody doubts the power of authority in Bhutan. It is compassion that is so  scarce where dividends are not immediate..

No repercussion at all for the governing Political Party.  These kids are too young to vote for a long time to come. Seemingly and decidedly more  beficial to pamper those who will be voting in 3-4 years time like the unqualified class 10 passouts. Politics is razor sharp with rules when fringe benefit is nil.

I thought the PM was really being rightly considerate when I read an indication that already enrolled kids could be considered but making a new rule for age 5 and above was totally another matter.  

Considerations could have been.made for this year kids already with half academic year gone. And from next 2020 academic session, Educatiin Ministry could have come up with free or subsidised care centres for children between ages of four and half to five snd half.

That stand by the Cabinet about waiving off  cut off marks this year instead of next year because so many class 10 students were affected is most laudable. But the very same stand now sounds hollow because the Cabinet now cannot consider another half year reprieve for 890 Pre- Primary students.

Surely the Nation has a conscience to encourage population growth. Assisting young parents to care for their offsprings during difficult pre- primary period is one additional way that would beautifully suppliment the proposed  noble initiative of providing six months stipend to young mothers. One step forward and next step backward is more than just regression in terms of time and investment wasted.