Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Declining Bhutanese Probity

This will be my 13th article on the reprehensible vehicle quota issue. Perhaps this will be my last – or there will be more, depending on how the issue pans out over time. But while doing the 12th article, there was a moment of awakening which made be feel so terribly sad.

I became eligible for a vehicle quota in 1979. But I had no money to be able to afford a car. Five years later, in 1984 I gathered up my courage and approached my late uncle to give me a loan so that I could buy a Toyota Corona Sedan, the price of which was then Nu.68,000.00 c.i.f Phuentsholing. I needed Nu.34,000.00 as down payment - the balance 50% of the cost would be financed by the Bank of Bhutan. My uncle did not believe that I was in any condition to repay the loan - so he did what a loving uncle does for his most favorite nephew - he said that I could have the money - FREE!

Four days later I went to the STCB to make my down payment, only to be told that the price of the car had gone up by Nu.4,000.00, which meant that my portion of the down payment would now work out to Nu.36,000.00. I was short of Nu.2,000.00, which money I did not have. Thus ended my dream to ever own a car bought on quota.

What struck me was that those days we never dreamed of selling our vehicle quota. Where the people of that era more principled? Where we more law-abiding than those of the present lot? Is the present generation poorer than those of us those days, that they need to supplement their income by selling vehicle quota illegally in the black market?

Has the quality of Bhutanese people been dropping with the passage of time? If this is true, then I would be right in saying that it is not the quality of education that has dropped – it is the quality of students that has dropped. The quality of students has dropped because of the drop in the quality of people (parents), resulting in poor quality of parenting.

What is with human race? Even as we say we are making progress, we suffer decline – in morality, discipline, integrity, value, sense of duty, patriotism, quality of life, spirit of volunteerism, and sense of charity.

That provably explains why, even as we make progress in medical sciences, we are overwhelmed with illnesses that boggle the mind.

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