Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Like everything else in my life, blogging for me was not a planned or premeditated effort – I got into it without being aware that I was doing it. I did not even know that I was blogging. Some friends suggested that I create a website to post my photos online so that they could see my pictures. Over time, instead of photos, I began to post articles and, as I went along, I began to understand that I was into blogging instead of merely posting photos.

As my blog began to gain popularity and my readership increased, realization hit me that my blog was no longer my own where I could say whatever I felt like. Because it was being read by a large audience all over the world, I had to be careful what I wrote and how I wrote them. A friend once cautioned me; “You are bigger than you think so make sure you remain responsible. You can no longer afford to be imprudent or flippant”.

That has been the worst part of my blogging experience - the need to be restrained, responsible, educated, objective, meaningful, fair and, above all, be persistent with my posts so that I am able to retain my readers’ attention. The downside of popularity is that it robs you of the one thing you started out to achieve - the liberty of free expression and thought.

A useful lesson I learnt as a Charter member of the Rotary Club of Thimphu is that being able to draw a crowd is only half the battle - the more challenging battle is to be able to keep it herded and retain its attention. I have understood that the best way to attract new readers is to keep the old ones happy and interested. Thus, in order to maintain my blog’s current level of popularity, I ensure that:

~   I blog on a variety of issues so that it appeals to a diverse audience base - and not to a specialist group;

~   I go to great lengths to ensure that I keep my posts short and petite - whenever possible

     - because only tall girls are appealing - anything else that are tall and long are tedious; and

~  That my posts are meaningful and progressive and that they are well researched and written

     in the simplest of language.

I write about issues that afflict the country. In particular, my concern for the environment and its destruction, hydro-power projects that are destined to shackle the country to eternal debt, poor governance, rural-urban migration and the tourism industry that is headed for doom.

I devote considerable amount of time and effort behind my blogging. I do not trivialize important issues - when I write I put my heart and soul into it. My passion about an issue will be evident in the manner I set out to write about it. If I chose to make a statement, I will present the facts as they really are - I will not pussyfoot around an issue - I will tell it like it is. This tendency has lead many of my Bhutanese readers to conclude that I am a courageous person. That is not true - I do not write because I want to prove that I am a courageous person - I have no need to do such a thing. I write on some issues because I believe that doing so might contribute to correcting some of the many problems that beset us.

I blog because I believe that there are some things that a private citizen can articulate better than the government. I blog because I believe that there are some things that need to be said and only a private citizen can say it openly and frankly, without fear of reprisal.

I have blogged on issues that have seldom been, if ever, discussed openly. The need for such dramatic departure from the usual Bhutanese timidity is necessary, I believe, because most Bhutanese have become so complacent that they are no longer capable of critical thinking. They have a mind but it behaves like an empty bucket - it will absorb all the information that are poured into it - without processing and without analysis. What is the point of having a mind if it is not applied to thinking? That is why, once in a while I blog on matters that are considered “inconvenient truths” - matters that people would rather push under the carpet, than discuss them openly. My blogs are intended to inform the people - to uncover the sycophancy, to unravel the misinformation, to lay bare the deceit and the sham. In doing so, I hope to be able to convert some of the Bhutanese people to think and thereby do things thoughtfully.

It is not daredevilry that prods me into writing critical blogs - it is my love for the country and my belief that we need to be more mindful than we are, that compels me to act, as many have told me, in a “courageous” fashion. Mine is not an act of courage - it is a cry and an appeal to consider matters with objectivity and reasoning. The less thinking we are, the more decadent we become.

The Internet technology that empowers blogging is a boon to modern society. Through blogging, ideas and opinions can be transmitted to millions of people around the glob, instantaneously. The blog’s potential is simply unfathomable. It offers citizens the opportunity at interactive governance. In other words, blogging is a powerful medium that strengthens democracy through empowerment.

The evolutionary process of the human society has not been entirely straight foreword. One case in point: that truth is no longer believable or useful. Most set store by PERCEPTION. What is perceived is more important than what is the truth. It is a commonly held belief that all truths have been doctored by the mighty and the powerful, to suite their own purposes. And yet, people tend to ingest truth without contest or scrutiny. Unfortunately, perception is not entirely immune to alteration either. A skillful blogger with popular following has the power to transform opinions and alter perceptions. This can be both good and bad - depending on which side of the fence you are sitting on. But one thing is certain - whether you like it or not, blogging is here to stay - all that we can do is pray that the blogger is a responsible person and has the best of intentions at heart - best of intentions for the collective whole - rather than the self.

1 comment:

  1. I love to read about Bhutan and you certainly shares many eye openers for me.