Bhutan Observer
LifestyleAP Tsara
Beyond promises
Ap Tsara, July 25, 2013

Wai! Now that politicking is almost over, we hope that the resulting damage to communal harmony and peace will heal and society will be able to come together as equal partners in nation building, not opposing forces on either side of political divides. Now that a new government is here, it’s the responsibility of the voters to keep the leaders afoot. We need to observe them, and whenever there’s something constructive to say, we need to tell them. But, we need to keep cynicism at bay.

And as we push the government to deliver, let’s think beyond campaign promises and manifesto. Yes, it’s important for the government to deliver all their promises – infrastructure, money, and growth. But it’s also equally important to ask the government to deliver beyond its promises. Society is, after all, not made up of only tangible development that translates into votes.

How about turning around our waste management system, for a start? Mounting waste is turning this pristine country dirty and ugly. It’s not too late to start something workable.

And how about making life better for our youth? Substance abuse, violence, divorce, unemployment, cultural disorientation – all of these and more problems affect them. The previous government said GNH was an answer to the problems afflicting the youth. Let’s not live with empty rhetoric.

And how about rescuing some of the dying cultures integral to our nationhood? Money and cars and roads can wait, but not fading cultures. Issues like these are not stimulating enough to find generous space in parties’ manifestoes, but any good government must find reason and time to address them. Bhutan needs to balance the immediate with the enduring.