Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rendezvous with His Majesty


This is a short excerpt from my book, The Joy of Beautiful Dream, which I published in 2011. Though it has been  more than one year that I got this golden opportunity to be an audience of His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, but it is still so fresh in my mind.

What is the most unforgettable day of your life?

I have been asked this question on a thousand occasions. But I had no answer. 
Now I do: March 7, 2011, when I was blessed to be one of the 153 students who received an audience with His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck at Lingkana- His Majesty's official residence.
I heard about the palace, driven along the gates and seen walls. But I had never stepped inside; I never thought I would.
His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
The invisible force at work sometimes showers you with blessings, which they did-I would be walking into the Lingkana Palace. 
Happy, nervous, anxious, I do not know which feeling dominated the other. But everything was subdued by the fact that I would be relishing a moment which perhaps would be the last one.

At 9:00 am, 153 of us, who were selected to study abroad, stood in a queue. We were 153 students who were selected to study abroad in India, Thailand, Australia and USA. It was a special day for all of us and the fruit of our dedication that we put in class XII. It was a life time achievement for all of us.
As I proudly stood holding my diary and pen in my hand, security personnel began to check. The machine buzzed as it ran across my stomach. I was worried: What did I have?
I have never been as relieved as I was that moment: the buzz came from my bunch of keys.
When His Majesty finally arrived, we were filled with joy and contentment. I saw flowers bloom and birds twitter, though there was none. Everyone listened to His Majesty's words of wisdom, inspiring and rejuvenating. 
"Never change for any one, for any circumstances. Be who you are." His Majesty advised us and the moment, the way in which His Majesty said that is fresh in my mind.
I would not change just to please my girl friends. My hair color and my dress code will not change. I am a Bhutanese by birth, in thoughts and in actions. I would remain honest to myself and a Bhutanese forever.
Inspiration has been such that I feel like a different person today.
PS: Keep reading my blog. For the month of October, I would dedicate my blog to Royal Couple- His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Gyaltshuen Jetsun Pema Wangchuck to celebrate the one year anniversary of Royal Wedding. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Monkeys in Raichur



"Ha-ha-ha-ha......"

I can't stop laughing, he-he-he.....because my roommate used to wake up from his deep slumber and start chasing mosquitoes. I could not help laughing out. I know for sure if it’s just the fist-sized creature he would squeeze it to the death. We brought All Out and Mosquito Coil and problem solved. We can snore now. Ah, again, recently cricket entered our peaceful and tranquil room with ear-piercing stridulation. My roommate chases it off with patience when he is free, but don't mind killing one or two if he is not in good mood. It creaks sharper than our alarm clock. I wish it do the function of Alarm Clock so that we need not buy Alarm clock. But it is not doing it sincerely. Sometimes it creaks early in the morning and sometimes late in night. It is most irritating when it has to creak as soon as we sleep. That is the time where it face hard blow from my cool roommate. We call our room Eco-friendly and look at each other and laugh heartily when we are in good mood.  But when we are not in good mood, both of us hunt for it and crush one or two before we realize it is sinful to kill.


Monkeys climbing on the building wall

Monkey is a wild animal. It runs away when it sees human beings and its predator. Our Primary school’s textbooks used to say. But just like the human being undergoing transition with modernization (I need not mention what are the changes taking place because we are part of it), I saw modernized troop of monkeys in Raichur. It has been several days that I am seeing monkeys roaming around in our College campus. They don’t run off when human approach them, rather come to the possible proximity. I heard my classmate lost banana and juice bottle to the monkey yesterday. They will be on the trees, walking along the road seeing us passing by, climbs on the walls of buildings but they don’t run away.

Monkeys near ATM
Yesterday, I was going to the ATM to withdraw some amount but I land up capturing the photos of monkeys. I found it interesting to capture them because it is for the first time I am meeting with the monkeys, confident enough to pose for my camera. I didn't withdraw money from ATM fearing that the monkeys will snatch it. When they can snatch bananas and juice, I am afraid they will snatch my money also. I don’t wish to see monkey going for shopping. That would be ridiculous. And I can’t run after them for I never took part in Marathon with monkeys. Moreover, police do not register the case of robbery by monkeys, they are out of the laws.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alcohol in, Truth out....



"He is drunkard. He talks nonsense."

This is what we believe and what we say. But I have different views. I would rather say, alcohol in, truth out instead of alcohol in, wit out. I have this experience, when my friends get drunk I love asking them numerous  questions. They answer it truthfully. They don't hesitate. If you want to ask what they feel about you, they will flatter endless while he is normal. But he would tell the truth about you after the in pour of one or two bottles.  

I don't find my drunk friends senseless or nonsense. They get courage to speak out. They propose the girl of their dream if they could not do it when he is not drunk. They speak out what they hide so long but want to speak out. 

Take this chance, but I am not encouraging you all to drink and experiment it. But when you go out for casual drinking, do this experiment. I wish they be so truthful as when they are drunk. Alcohol make my friend truthful, courageous and straight forward. 

This is my experience of Thrue Baab night's episode. We enjoyed a lot. We took bath with thrue Chhu (blessed water)in the morning and internal organ cleansed with alcohol at night.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Happy Blessed Rainy Day


I would like to thank Dasho Sangay Khandu, Member of National Council, Representative of Gasa Dzongkhag for sparing his time to answer to my questions in Facbook. I would like to reproduce here in my blog for it would help us understand Blessed Rainy Day in better way. 


Dasho Sangay Khandu
While I am not very sure I thought I would share something I found relevant on the internet (nopkin) if you havent found it already.

#A statue of Buddha Dipenkara was newly constructed in an ocean. An ambrosia rained upon the statue from the Reekhee Star twinkling in heaven. Thus all the medical properties of worldly elements and compounds came into existence. The Blessed Rainy Day is a commemoration of that ancient rain which is believed to reoccur annually.

Billions of years ago there existed a Buddha called Dipenkara. One day he passed away. Later, a statue of Buddha Dipenkara (Sangay Marmayzey) was newly constructed in an ocean (most probably in the Indian Ocean) by the King of the Nagas (Luu Gyel Tsugna Rinchen) as a symbol of worship. As soon as the construction was completed a rain of ambrosia (Dhueetsi) fell upon the statue from the Reekhee Star (Karma Reekhee) twinkling in heaven as an offering of the King of Devas (Lhai Gyelp Tshangpa and Jajin). The ambrosia had had all curing medical values. Thus all the worldly elements and compounds are believed to have got their medical properties from the legendary star. Today, the Blessed Rainy Day is a commemoration of that great ancient rain which is believed to reoccur and cleanse the world annually.#


 
A lot of why we bathe and how we collect the dews outside our homes in containers to bathe with is related to the medicinal properties that the article refers to. While traditionally people would wake up very early and bathe dependent on the exact timing of the fall as the astrologer predicts, now people collect dews but bathe at their own convenience increasingly. Thrue is also a time to start the day with 'thuep' (broth). Archery is increasingly becoming the choice of sport for this festive day.




I would like to wish all of my readers, friends and all of you very happy Blessed Rainy Day. May the drop of water add drop of happiness in your life. 

In Memory: I stared at my bench-mate as if to say, Hey why are you shaking your legs? But he stared back with same look. Even my English Madam stared at me. What is wrong? I thought. Whole earth was trembling and all of my friends shouted, Earthquake!! We rushed out of the classes. That was in 21 September 2009. I was in class 11. Many people lost their precious lives, many lost their homes and many lost their relatives and neighbors. Today, on this same day, I would like to express my deep prayers in their memory. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bhutanese Students Gathering in Raichur...


Throughout the program I was busy with my mobile phone. But I was not chatting with anyone, not talking through it, not using internet, not snapping photos or recording videos. Then, what was I doing? You all guess....


Bhutanese in Raichur: Growing Family

Dzongkha music filled the room accommodating around 70 Bhutanese students studying in Raichur. Portrait of Guru Rinpochoe and His Majesty the kings on the stage made us felt so heavenly and homely. Everybody communicating in Dzongkha and most of us in National dress made me forget that I am in India for some hours. Today, there was Bhutanese students gathering cum Welcome to our young Freshers. Language is the fundamental ingredient that keeps Bhutanese united while away from the home. Blushing juniors came in queue where we lined to welcome them. Blushing juniors and serious seniors in college? Nope, confident juniors and frank seniors we have. Program kicked full after solemn National Anthem. 

Highlights of the Speech...

President of Bhutanese Students Association (BSA) in Raichur, Mr. Dawa Gyeltshen, gave a short and profound speech at the commencement of the program. He said, "Take care of yourself. Be responsible. His Majesty has great trust, faith and confidence on us and it is us who have to prove that we are the best." And read out the rules and regulations of BSA. 

Thank you Dr. Doss Prakash for his lovely words. He appreciated our tradition and culture. He called us soft and humble students. I loved the way he quote our His Majesty, "though he is the king of a small Himalayan country but I profoundly love him and his wisdom," and he quoted, "Throughout my reign I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son." And we have Madam Passang Wangmo, only PG student from Bhutan in Raichur, pursuing M.Sc (Nursing).  "Strive for the excellence for whatever profession you are in" said she. It tells us all about our purpose of being here.  Azim Sonam Choki said, "we are not just the students here, we are the ambassador of Bhutan." It is very much true. People out here see Bhutan through us. What we do speak of what our country is. 

Seniors...

We are so thankful to our seniors who coordinated the program so smoothly and thoroughly. They are our guidance, support and source of inspirations. They are very approachable and friendly. They are more of our brothers and sisters unlike ragging seniors of other colleges. 

Songs sung by my friends speak louder than their voice, mingled feelings of missing home, beloved parents and close one zoomed through my mind.  


Front row: Acho Rigzeen, Kinley Tob and Kinley T
Back row: Acho Dawa, Bhagawat, and Thinley (Left-right)
Kinley Tob is a hugely built guy. But he startled me with what he did today. He is such a good and flexible dancer. He shook his body as if he is just a thinnest guy ever. He was joined by a group of boys, among them our seniors (Acho Rigzeen and Acho Dawa) joined giving them the backbone of confidence to perform it fully. Tharingsa Joo Ma da, was the popular song of the day. Fresher and senior girls combined to dance for this song. They made innovative and wonderful steps. They are capable of choreography. They made steps for Dzongkha more  modern and flexible. Tshering Dorji (DaaZa) is a budding singer with great passion for it. He was having sore throat but his love for singing didn't stop him from singing. He sang as if he is all fine. May his potential find the right light in the future. Who knows that he would be next Ugyen Panday?  


A group of boys from Sardar Patel House did their share. They were six in number and they wiggled in six different ways. I could not stop laughing for they danced as if they are going to scoot away if one does. Suddenly, they dispersed abruptly and randomly, blushing iron red. 


Juniors...  

Girls performing Tharingsa Joo ma da

I personally appreciate their talents and confidence. We are happy to have them you all. Kinley Rigzin, shyly requested to clap our hands while he was singing Ngesem Ngesem. He has passion and potential in singing. His performance was very promising and who knows he would be next Namgay Jigs of Bhutan. I loved seeing our junior boys dance for YueChhung Trala sipay, traditional boedra song. Harmonious and traditional song made me miss home more. How beautiful they look when they tap their feet and swing their hands going round in the circle?  Sangay Tenzin imitated a drunkard and he did awesome. Jamyang was to imitate Micheal Jackson but she skillfully imitated the signature moves of some of the Bollywood Actors. Tshewang Tobden looks shy and cool but I am amazed with his talents. He is good imitater and made us laugh thoroughly. Could be another Ulap Leki? During introduction session I loved the way Tobden narrated  why he chose to be in health profession, "Because I promised to my uncle that I would one day walk in the corridor of Thimphu Hospital with white coat." Among the youth it is very rare we find some one who speak fluent and pure Dzongkha, but we have Tshewang Gyeltshen. 

 Concluding remarks...

I wish you all happy and successful stay here in Raichur. Strive for the excellence in whatever you are doing. It is always better to be an excellent in what we do than to be doing the best job of this world.  

Throughout the program I was staying like a statue. I didn't even moved sometimes just to escape my seniors pointing at me. I know I am not in singing and dancing. I learnt it but I failed every time I tried. That's why I was all silent. It is not fair that somebody did their job, and me without it. Writing is what I am little good at, so I would make it memorable by posting here in my Blog. By now, I am pretty sure that you all knew what I was doing with my Mobile throughout the program. I was typing this post, so that I can post it as soon as possible. 

Program ended with Trashi Lapay, traditional dance we perform at the conclusion of the program. No matter where we are, where we go, we are Bhutanese in our heart. 

P.S: Thank you Seniors, we got to lunch Bhutanese dish away from Home. Had yummy kewadatsi, chicken and many delicious items. I liked the idea of serving kewadatshi (Bhutanese dish) and Briyani (South Indian dish) because we are the Bhutanese in Raichur....:P

Monday, September 17, 2012

Examination: Nightmare for the students...


"What work do students have? You need not work in shine and rain. Just study and study. That's all," my mom used to tell me. 

What work do students have? Just to study and to pass the examination. 


Me: Should I touch it? Its human carcass in Dissection Hall.
But that is the most difficult thing in student's life. We do not put physical effort but mentally we do a lot. Examination is the nightmare for every students. I was of the view that Examination for the college students would not be as tough as in the school. But I am proved wrong.  Endless theories and clueless practicals  eats half of our brain. Recently, I did my University Examination and I had tough time. I was with cup of coffee and dozens of books on my table. As I dozed off, I downpour the coffee, it did good job to keep me awake. My eyes were closing and head dropping towards the pillow but, the thought of exam wake me up. I still feel the hangover. 

My friends too underwent pathetic condition. Eyes sunken into the socket, have no time to comb their hair, slept on the bed half covered by the books, endless buzz of alarm clocks and friends waking their friends.  I felt like we are doing Police Duty when I have to wake up because my friend want to sleep so that I can wake him up exactly after one hour. College became pressure cooker. That was horrible! 

In Classroom: can't explain what is there inside, just the cover reading.
During Examination my friend noticed something interesting. Hope it would be interesting for you all too? Firstly, we study whole text books thoroughly, then we make the notes to make it easy. Still, we make summarized notes for quick reference during the eleventh hour. What we realized is that, we even didn't finish reading (not studying) those highly condensed notes. When I am writing the examination, I just have to write whatever I learnt during one year within a short three hours in less than 50 pages. Everything goes on dwindling. After the exam, none of the theories remain in our head.   

When we don't read the book, book reads us.

If so, what good is examination going to do? We must understand that we have to learn more than what is required in Examination. We need to prepare ourselves to face the examination of our life. Life does not come with instruction, we must make it happen. 

We did our best, may God do the rest. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Health Ministry is not healthy??...


We are so grateful to our Government for free services, especially in Health and Education sector. We are so lucky that we don't have to pay for the notebooks and textbooks in schools. We need not pay for the medicines and for admission in Hospitals. It is free services. That is the gift and the blessing to the Bhutanese people which we were enjoying. We too have hardworking doctors and dedicated nurses. They are doing their best in service of our people and the nation. 


Thimphu hospital. Photo source: Google.
But I am confused these days, because Health Ministry is on the headlines- corruptions and ineffective service delivery. We would be working in hospitals in near future and we feel the pinch when it is talked bad. We are in need of the role models, who lead us by showing us an example. Damphu Hospital was short of proper garbage disposal pit, Paro Hospital was on The Bhutanese for lapses in hospital procedures, and Thimphu hospital often come in headlines: drugs-shortage, inefficient management, procrastination of treatment time and many more. It is better to check the blood pressure of patients visiting dental department. Because our people (mostly) are not aware of their BP, so verbal inquiries should not be done. It does not take any time to check the BP.  

We always see people complaining about the Hospitals. It does not make us feel happy. It makes us feel demotivated. Health profession is the noble profession. We can relief the pain and cure the disease. Smile on their face bless us deep to the soul. But slightest of our mistake is unacceptable and devastating: patient has to pay their life for our mistake. Bhutanese are innocent and illiterate at first. And equally arrogant! By the time they come to the hospital, it is already too late. They come to hospital when pleasing deities and local medications fail. They don't heed minor headache unless they faint. They don't mind mild toothache unless it is too severe to bear. If still their treatment is procrastinated, they may have to pay their life as the cost. 

Educated people may go to private hospitals and other hospitals, but what about the innocent people who treat Doctors as their God? What about the people who have to wait in queue? Should they pay their lives? For any health problem, it is earlier the better: in Physiotherapy, we are taught that paralyzed patient due to BP stroke would recover to the great extent if they were given timely treatment. So is the case with other diseases. We can't make our people lose their precious lives just that other two endoscopy is not functioning in Thimphu Hospital. It is good if we didn't lose any life because of that non-functioning Endoscopy but if we always keep quite it will neither get repaired nor replaced. What is the point in advocating about early treatment when we can't give them early treatment? 

Same as the medical treatment, system in Hospital must be rectified at the earliest possible. Or it would be untreated and incurable follies, and in future, we would not be able to change it. It would be just the trend where every body would adjust and adapt with that system. We can change and make  Hospital a  better  and safer place for our people. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

PLEASE UNDERSTAND ……..


GUEST WRITER SPEAKS...




Mr.Sonam Dorji
I am extremely happy to have Mr. Sonam Dorji as my first guest writer. He is Biology and Chemistry teacher  at Lichen, Yangtse, Bhutan and regular blogger. This is what he wrote as a reply to my recent post, stress and pain of Youths. I am extremely thankful that he found time to write this post as an answer and as an explanation. Secondly, I am happy that adults listen to our voice where most of the time they don't care.


First, let me take a moment to thank Mr. Monu, for giving me a platform to write in his blog as a guest writer.
  
This article or the post that I am writing; please understand that, I am writing as a parent, adult, friend and most importantly as a teacher.

Well the other day, I was reading Mr. Monu’s post on ‘stress and pain of youth’. A kind of thought arose in my mind about how confused our youths really are, today. The parents and the teachers are over looked as a pressure cooker by our youth, today. And they have their own share of justification for it.

Today we see problem to every solution which should be otherwise, in actuality. And these problems are by far or less associated with our young people in some way or the other. 

We can totally understand the pressure, that our youths, having to bear, from the parents, families and society in general and the stress too; in that matter. This is because our society is constantly redefining morality and dragging it gradually towards permissiveness, self-centeredness and clubbing everything under the umbrella of being judgmental in society over them, the youths. 

Now what our young people should really understand is that, they are the FUTURE. Hence, we the parents and teachers have tremendous responsibility to shape them into a better HUMAN, after all Humanity is more important than being simply educated. It is uncommon to see parents sacrifice their needs in order to meet their children’s wants. However, being accepting doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to make our children accountable for their behavior.

So when we make them accountable for their doings and behavior; the youths presume it as a PRESSURE.

Today we read in the papers and also hear on the air, of killing and stealing and crime everywhere. What can we do now is the question that constantly runs every parent’s mind. We sigh and we notice the trend of our younger generation and we think; where will it actually end?

Now, can we say that, it’s the children’s fault alone? Or are we less guilty for not doing enough. Children defend themselves by blurting, “Times are changing, it’s a 21st century for god’s sake” Really? And this is what we get in this modern era?  Real sophisticated, I suppose!

Perhaps we really need to make them understand that, THE COUNTRY IS NOT BUILT BY THE BRICKS BUT BY THE MINDS.     
  
What can we make of our FUTURE if half a nation is walking nude? Remember, the outsiders take advantage when there is a feud inside. Today every child in our society is being educated. We the teachers in this regard need to teach them to think clearly and logically live honorably and courageously, give willingly and generously, forgive lovingly and graciously.

Yes! You definitely felt the PRESSURE and STRESS my young friends but did you also know that there is an equal CAUSE for it?

Perhaps the following excerpt will awaken our younger minds fully.

I loved you enough to make you save your own money
to buy a bike even though I could afford to buy you one.
I loved you enough to let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.
I loved you enough to take a chocolate (even with a bite) back to the shop and
Tell him that you didn’t pay for it that day.
I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours to have your room cleaned, an
Act that would have taken me 15 minutes
I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment and tears in my eyes.
Children must learn that parents are not perfect either.
I loved you enough to let you accept responsibility for your actions, even though
Penalties were harsh enough to break my heart.
But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it but those were the most difficult battles of all.
I am glad I won them because in the end you won them TOO


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stress and Pain of Youth


Today, the Bhutanese youth are in cross-road like never before. Transition of century old Monarchy into Constitutional Democratic Monarchy, media getting critical and investigative with freedom of speech, evolution of social networks, unemployment becoming burning problem, and many more.  World around us are moving at the speed of light. We feel insecure about our own future. 

What comes into our mind when we say "Youth"? Punk hairstyles,undisciplined and hyper-active young men and women, drug-addicts, alcoholics, girls who expose most of their body parts, boys filled with tattoos, care-free and directionless! Ah, yeah, this is what we are thought about. But it must be comprehended that we are beyond this. We are more than this. Don't judge us by our physical presentations. We know that many call us "stray dogs" because we would be found roaming and hanging around. But they just know our name, not our story. 

Stress during Examination
Youth are under constant pressure and stress. I was deeply touched when my friends during University Examination (finished today) spent sleepless night, dozing off. The were not giving up. They took shower at middle of the night and drank coffee to keep awake. They slept with books in their hand. It is not the last moment struggles. But they endeavor throughout the year. Of course, with lesser intensity in other days. 

We are in need of a mom who love us, not the one who leave us after breast-feeding. We need a dad who brings happiness and integrity in our family, not the one only for biological birth. We fear failure: failure in examinations, failure in our responsibilities and obligations towards the society, failure to fail to stand up to the expectations (of our neighbors, relatives and teachers), and failure to serve our nation. We are not as care-free as you think. We want to be good son and daughter to our parents, good doctors to our patients, good engineers, good civil servant and good human beings. Every youth has this desire burning deep in our heart.

People trust us less or don't trust us. They do not trust our degree certificates and our academic excellence. They discard us by saying "experienced candidates required." Aren't we capable to work? Aren't we capable of serving our nation? Aren't we capable of serving our parents and our siblings? Give us this opportunity to get experienced. We need to learn, experience and explore. Let us experience, so that we would be experienced. 

Youth are inclined to drugs, alcohol, juvenile delinquencies, prostitution,  not because we want to do that, just because we find solace in it. It is not the problems of a youth alone. It is the problem of our society. Youth chose these business when they feel vulnerable and fragile. Give us the platform to stand, appreciate our little work, applause our achievements, we would surely walk on right track. We endeavor to do our best. But what to do when we fall off the stepping stones by mistake. Just give us the second chance to stand. Give the second chance to those recovering addicts who realized who they are. Don't hurt them when they are already hurt enormously. They missed the bus of their age, but don't deny them the next. It is better late than never.    

Monday, September 10, 2012

My 100th Post- One Century.



I am one year and four months old blogger. Thank you Mr. Pema Namgay for introducing me to the blogging world.  I was not so serious about blogging until recently. I just used to write something and post it casually. But I started feeling that I can be little more responsible especially when the popularity of the social media is on rise in Bhutan. Election Commission of Bhutan rightly felt it essential to draft the social media policy because we know how powerful is the social media. I was waiting for the right readers to read  my blog but I would be too late if I keep waiting.


100th post postcard
This is my 100th post since I started blogging. I would take this opportunity to thank all of my readers and mentors. You all succeeded to inspire me. I started enjoying blogging like never before. I am happy that I at least accumulated one follower for two posts and now around 23000 page views. That is success big for me. And I  collect five or six comments per post from my readers. I know that comments from reader is a gift for the blogger. Am I right? It is the source of inspiration and potential motivation. 

I always wanted to post the best for my readers. However, I know I could not manage one but I will keep trying. Toil with my endurance and I would make you say, "wow!!" one day. I always want my reader to have the best out of my blog. I always treasure my readers and their comments. To this date I could not get any critical comment from my readers until recently by one Anonymous. To make you all feel good, I changed my template and I added Facebook comment box in my blog. Thank you Mr. Sonam Dorji for the template and Mr. Sogyel Tobgay for adding Facebook comment box to my blog. I only know how happy I am with their priceless assistance. That happiness can be felt only by those who keep blog close to their heart. I am very thankful to them. 

I would focus on why I started to blog from next post. I would post something different. Let me keep you curious for some more days. Keep viewing my blog and keep dropping your precious comment (both complimentary and critical). Much easier in Facebook comment box.    

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Anonymity- Going viral in Bhutan



Everyone does not think alike, that is why different view point arises.

Anonymous Social media users on rise in Bhutan

Anonymity is masking our real identity. It is good in our small and close community where we value relationship the most. It will protect us from blames and defamation for what we write. It also protects us from the consequences of whatever follies we speak out in public. It safeguards our self security. Anonymous commenter were not so popular after the closure of forum, Bhutan Times, but it seems that we are again on full swing with popularity of Twitter spreading like wild fire in Bhutan. It is good that they exercise the freedom of speech and expression through anonymity. But I have my say for these: 

It looks like that, in Bhutan freedom of speech is just a theoretical phenomenon when most of our intelligent people choose to remain anonymous. Foreigners may feel that Bhutanese are choosing anonymity because there is no freedom of speech in our country which is wrong. We have freedom to speak and responsibility to speak responsibly. We have right to criticize but I am sure that we don't have the right to personal attacks and back stab on the online forum. Latter is happening mostly when people speak from the masked face. I don't mean to demean all of the anonymous social media users. Some are pretty constructive users even under the mask.

We need to look up to some of our social media users like Opposition Leader, he maintains his blog for discussions and uses micro-blogging site Twitter for quick dissemination of the news. He does it by himself. It gives us the charm of credibility when we got to know the person in reality. Many people who comments on his blog give constructive ideas, however, handful chose to defame and attack the person personally in the online forum under anonymity and using pseudonym. We have Mr. PaSsu who is very popular blogger of Bhutan.  He posted a post on his blog as reply to Mr. Khaw's observation in Bhutan. His blog received viral comments from the people of Singapore as well as from Bhutanese. It was for the first time I realized how powerful the social media is. We have freedom of expression; it is our right by our responsibility. 

When we are capable of speaking something, we must be capable to justify it. We should not write hearsay stuffs and rumors backed with fictitious facts under anonymity. Last week, the spread of inflammatory contents and hatred messages in social media lead to large exodus of North-East Indians from the Southern cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai etc... It shows how people misuse the useful sites to misinform and create disharmony. Social media should not be used for gossiping. It is not the family gossip bounded by four walls. If the trend of anonymity continues with personal hatred messages, it could lead to the disharmony and division of the people in our country too. Rumors should not be disseminated in social media if the user is not sure of the fact. When one former journalist of Bhutan actively participated in the Amendment of Tobacco Control Act, some people suspected her of political ambition in 2013. But as of now I didn't hear of her joining any political parties. That is how we presume wrong thing and gossip about it openly.
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If we keep on passing filthy and personal-attack messages in social media, our story might turn like that of "a boy who cried Wolf Wolf." Concerned authority to whom we intend to speak to may not give heed to us anymore. In this way we are dismantling the ground of those people who use it usefully. What "commonman" did in 2008 is unforgettable, under the mask. Nobody knows who he is and where he is now but what he did is not forgotten. His post against the contending candidate made all the difference. He (candidate) lost the battle but I would say that he didn't lose the war. Thus, some anonymous social media users are the snake under the grass. Dangerous!

Be strong enough to stand in the crowd when we can speak in the crowd. Look at Tenzing Lamzang, he is the right icon. He uses his freedom of speech in public. He does not fear to speak out because he has the evidences and facts about what he is speaking. He too received numerous comments, some supporting him and other opposing him. It reached to the extent where the government is against him, but he is doing his job. Government should not threaten the bold person like him. Because of him, government could clear most of the doubts of the public. I am sure many people talk about the issues like Gyelposhing land scam, about Denchi Land, to mention few in bars and around the coffee table, but none dare to speak it out in public but he did it. In a way, Government got an opportunity to clear the doubts. Government took it seriously because person who raised the issue is not the anonymous person. That is what makes the difference.

If rumors and defaming messages continue to circulate in the social media, won’t it bring disharmony in our small community? Won’t it undermine the achievement of our democratic leaders because of few who attacks them personally? And with the upcoming election, won’t people elect wrong leader if good are rumored in the social media? We don’t realize the power of social media unless we see the irreversible impact it caused. Then, it would be too late.              

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