Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Bhutanese Way

The signboard planted at the place reads “PLEASE DO NOT DUMP GARBAGES”. But you can see that the place is strewn with all sorts of garbage. The signboard also warns “Defaulters will be penalized”. Who is impressed? Obviously, no one has yet been penalized or there wouldn’t be so much garbage thrown around.

That is the classic Bhutanese way. There are rules but no one follows them. Even worst, there is no one to enforce them.

After I took the photograph this morning, I went to the Memorial Chorten. There I see a spanking new model Land Cruiser - a green colored one with a government number plate - fully laden with monks. Obviously, the vehicle is being used to cart monks to and from the Chorten. Time was about 7.30AM.

The last I heard, there was a rule against using government vehicle for none-official purposes? I did not hear of the rule being rescinded.

That again is another classic Bhutanese way - mindful of spending Nu.100.00 of his private money to ferry monks back and forth from the Chorten - but shameless about sullying his reputation in the public place.

Literacy rate in Bhutan has gone up dramatically and yet, we have very few educated people in this country. The mindset of the Bhutanese people is that it is the duty of every one else to do the right thing - but you are exempt from that requirement. The decay in our morality is not superficial - it is structural. We need to seriously ponder where this behavior and attitude is going to lead us to, finally.


  1. Throwing takes seconds. Picking up the same takes minutes and sometimes hours. So, we take the easier way of throwing, because we lack civic sense. I, generally call it 'common sense'. A lot of 'common sense' is called intelliegnce as per Shiv Khera in his book 'You Can Win'; and we lack much of it.

    If we can manage 'garbages'; we can manage anything. Let us give a try. DO YOUR PART and you will see wonders around you; there will be 'no garbage' the next time. All the best!

  2. The literacy rate in Bhutan may have increased, but our civic sense has gone down the drain...this makes a very good picture story that will convey a number of social messages...you should have it blown up and printed in the newspapers....Sonam

  3. "Literacy rate in Bhutan has gone up dramatically and yet, we have very few educated people in this country". Very correctly said and the picture says a thousand words about our current state of civic sense.