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Bhutan Observer
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Netizens on the loose
Ap Tsara, June 14, 2013
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 Wai! Bhutan’s political atmosphere is rife with speculations, romours, and some degree of rancour. The Bhutanese are traditionally not a disgruntled lot. We have been at peace with ourselves. No more, it seems, if the mood in social media is anything to go by.

There are numerous anonymous Bhutanese on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter who are there to take sides with strong opinions. There’s no problem with taking sides or criticisms. But some are simply there to vilify and demonise individuals and groups with concocted stories without any concern for harmony and unity of society.

In our debates and criticisms, we should be mature enough to rise above petty issues that set us apart. Personal differences or vendetta should not colour our discourse on the bigger national issues, political or otherwise. When issues of national unity and harmony are concerned, we need to agree in disagreement.

Some individuals are propagating dangerous interpretations about political allegiance and voting patterns. Voting and political support could be swayed in unexpected ways, but it’s simplistic to interpret it in regional or linguistic terms. There’s more to it for someone with a broader perspective.

If we want to see a good democratic culture, we need to build one. Hiding behind fake identities to spew venom at individuals and groups, and deliberately taking potentially healthy discourse out of context will breed a generation of democratic citizens who, being afraid to be upfront, are insidious behind anonymity. We want citizens who have the courage and sense of responsibility to express their views openly, not those who are not confident about themselves.

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