Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why so Apolitical?

There was a time, I would write about politics, I would write why we faced inflation and why they raised their salaries. That was in first term. But during those days, not many would. Then within a year or two, it became a viral thing in Bhutan to write against one party or the other. 

I have however enjoyed my peace of mind, ever since I stopped reading news and started to become ignorant about the whole governance thing. It has become a very sensitive issue over the years to actually have comment on anything, the moment politics is discussed. You are judged for being a PDP supporter or a DPT supporter. 


So, here's the story. For the last time, I shall write about something, related to politics. And I once did criticize DPT government when they set their salaries and vehicle quota. I even criticized the then OL and present PM for commenting over Bajo's ugliness. Basically, I am least bothered, who would be my favourite party or politician. I am a firm believer and have experienced that shaped my beliefs: we people only love orators. We were fans of folklore, bed time stories, gossips, friends who could speak, politicians who could speak: we were never much of narrator appreciative breed, we were orators oriented. Why you like Obama? You just want to speak like him, don't you? I do. His work? Not much. 

Anyways, I left Bhutan for my studies in 2007 for my studies. When I went to college, it was a simply cultural political shock for me. You see, back home, we didn't bother much about politics then. And people were discussing politics in corridor. Even chai wallas during local elections would discuss about who is what and who is how? But a judgement of any particular person or party can't be drawn in blink of months? And that too before few weeks or months of elections? We had class CR elections and the elected person would be the one who had his tribesmen in the class. There was too much of division. National level wise, students from Bangladesh, Nepal and India would discuss over government early in mess, corridors, cafes, online, rooms and everywhere: It seemed everybody knew whom to follow? 

I however would always shrug away from talks like those because I was least bothered then. I came from kingdom and where many kingdoms had failed, ours didn't. We were doing good. Our income per capita was better than our neighbouring states and we weren't having people dying out of starvation. But I still remember one of the statements made by my Nepali friend, Shuva Raj : Dawa do you know why our nation is having tough time now? 


Why? I asked. 

Shuva Raj: Because everybody is smart in my nation. Everybody knows what to do. Everybody has something to say. Nobody wants to do anything though. And even if they don't know anything, they think they know something. 

I still remember that line and his dream of a peaceful and prosperous motherland, his Nepal. Which then, wasn't into good shape. That year or the following, they had three PMs changed and poverty level was just too pathetic. He stated that many of his countrymen didn't work back home, for it was hard to get jobs. Most of his friends had left the nation and had started to work in neighbouring states. Earn some amount and send home. I am not trying to criticize Nepal, but Bhutan never faced the problems like they did. We were happy in our nation, and even the poorest had their own houses and lands to work on. Education and Health systems were always free for us.

I even had a Bangladeshi Friend Arnab. But Arnab was always positive about his nation. Statistics however didn't speak much in his favor. He however did admit then that, at one point, Bangladesh did rank numero uno on corruption list.  


A year in college and when I returned back, Bhutan was a Constitutional Monarchy and suddenly everybody was into politics. Everybody had opinions on how to run government? Even illiterate ones. The ones who didn't know how to fix a simple bug in their computers, the ones who couldn't cook, the ones who couldn't even understand sarcasms, philosophies, psychology, society, dogmas, love etc etc. The one who didn't even know what the heck was wrong with Kardashians (oh, even I don't know what the hell is wrong with them), who didn't even hear about Socrates or didn't even have email ids were discussing on how to run a nation. 

I stayed at my uncle's house then. The difference in my uncle’s house was that my aunt, who never went to school and, never knew about the names of the parties, would talk about bird and a horse. It wasn’t the Cornicles of Narnia or some series of Harry Potter. They were discussing about parties which were having symbols as horse and bird. I wonder how those conversations would have gone while one party is represented with a broom, toilet paper, a human fecal matter, a hand, a lotus, a jug, a bucket, a running tap, spades, sickles, stars and x-box 360 controllers? Would they say, while the sickles were talking, it was majestic to see those stars wait for their talks, and x-box 360 controllers was so much tempting but I was horny while lotus promised so much but I landed up voting for a hand and later the human fecal matter was all over hand but dealt by toilet paper? And I have got no idea why parties like running tap, jug or bucket would ever serve the purpose? Oh, but we are not wipers but washers? But parties like sickles should have cleared the test and made room for spades to dig in so that human fecal matter was never seen again? Previously the talks were irritating and boring but never suffocating. Because gossips of relatives were norms.

Over the days, it has become slightly suffocating on our social media pages. People discussing too much on pay revision, electric cars and petrol hike. You see I don't want to get bothered, because I have moved on, a very long time ago I chose to move on. Pay Revision, legally they were right. Even if we want to change it, we can't. We are not the authorities in charge. They did their job. And anything that is to be gone for Charity should be shown with receipts. Electric Cars, perhaps it would be that paradigm shift, which we are not yet ready to embrace. How can we? Our roads are not even wider for transportation and we will have plug points? It is same as refraining people from tobacco but no nicotine gums or therapy over quitting tobacco products?

And lastly regarding the fuel hike. Well, even I was wondering how much it would hamper our economy. But let's firstly admit that our ethics haven't been straight for a while. Yes, Sirs and Madams. Mostly everybody is busy making money or saving some, that they forgot ethics. So, increase in 5%'s impact on our economy was weird. I heard that 250 from Bajo to Wangdue got increased to 350. That is an increase of 40% in taxi fares. You see, if we calculate the impact of 5% on hourly rate of equipment, the increase of price should have gone only 2%. Because fuel isn't everything in a vehicle. Yes, an Excavator that is supposed to cost you 1600 per hour should now cost you 1632. How do I know it? Well, let's keep it like this: My job involves in calculating hourly rate of equipment. This rate was worked out on keeping everything constant except fuel rates. 

So you see, I understand if truck drivers want to increase their fares on transportation of goods, but it is the sole responsibility of government to regulate the market. We get commodities sold at 'beyond MRP rates' and are given bubble gums over our changes, how can we expect our money not to inflate? But this as well, I had written long time back. 

I have refrained from thinking about politics because this consumes us. It takes away our peace of mind. Be very much apolitical, and just go to office and do our god damn job. Be happy in it. Market rates incline or decline, non of our concern. We were born a proletariat and know where we stand. Don't act as if we can make a difference. Don't complain. Just work. And I guarantee you that things will be normal. Don't lose your sleep over things you can't fix. Everything will be normal, just give yourselves time fellow people. Just give yourself time. 

And don't act hypocritical. Because I do remember those were the days, that all criticized the formal PM and now everybody misses him? Come on, show some loyalty to yourself and don't contradict on your own opinions. 

I never was a democratic chap. Too many documentaries during my college days had made me lose hope on any sort of governance in the world. Because how much ever you try to sell democracy to me: it has always been about the conglomerates who want their benefits. It is a bizarre world. I wish, I could go back to those years, while I was just a college student with my youthful days, where my folks weren't this much disturbed and were pretty much happier. We were applauded to be citizens of Happy Kingdom and everybody, mostly everybody appreciated the Kingship not failing in our nation while theirs' failed. We were from tiny Kingdom whereby people didn't go crazy about salary hikes or some social media page or fuel hikes. And don't you think that Democracy came to Bhutan way too early? We are not even one million. Out of current population, how many of us have heard about the Art of Rhetoric by Aristotle? How many of us can actually pass the Preliminary Exams which just happens to be a mere IQ test? We all are half baked and we were bestowed Kryptonite? It is as if giving a sixteen year old daughter her share of land in Thimphu? 

So, I have chosen to remain apolitical. I will not read the newspapers and lose my sleep over things I have no authority on. I will not bother who is what and what is happening. I will just do my best at my own work and try to put food in my plate. That's the only sole purpose of my life. I am just an ordinary man, who wishes to educate his siblings. Nothing more than that. Henceforth, no more politics. Ignorance is a bliss. And you can't intimidate me on that, because I am happier this way. Perhaps you too should try it. 

Ps: Didn't vote twice.

2 comments :

  1. Nice one, bro. It's true. Better to stay that way - unconcerned. By the way, I liked your P.S., bro. :D

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  2. I din vote too..bt was due to some contraints bt from this yr I realised its no use voting ne one..they all are like ne tom dick harry...

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