Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Fallacy Of Gargantuan Proportions

One time a friend introduced me to his young son. 

He said; “Yeshey, this is my son."

In response, I asked him; “Are you sure?"

He looked flustered and asked; “What do you mean?"

I laughed and told him that I was joking. But ofcourse I wasn’t joking. I mean how far is he certain that he really is the progenitor of the boy?

Centuries of societal indoctrination has numbed our mind into believing that a child born to a wedded mother is, without contest, fathered by the husband of the woman bearing the child. This belief is so deep rooted in our consciousness that to suggest otherwise is anathema. But if you were to contemplate this matter a little deeper, you will realize that this is a fallacy of gargantuan proportions. The truth is that no one, but a mother alone may testify to the veracity of the fact. For all you know, the child could have been secretly fathered by someone from Timbuktu.

This brings us to the realization that where the Bhutaneseness of a child is needed to be established, nothing can be as authoritative and genuine and genetically pure as that of the Bhutanese mother who bore the child. Since there is room for duplicity, I think it is erroneous to set the criteria that the father of the child ought to be a Bhutanese for the child to qualify as a Bhutanese. This does not seem like a foolproof authentication means to validate the Bhutaneseness of a child because of the possibility that the Bhutanese father may not be the real progenitor of the child. On the contrary, there is no question of any doubt about the mother being not the mother of the child.

The continuing census problems faced by the fatherless children born to Bhutanese mothers not being recognized as bona fide Bhutanese on the grounds that their fathers are unidentifiable or have gone missing is something of a misnomer. As long as the mothers are Bhutanese that should be more than enough justification to warrant the recognition of these children as Bhutanese.

A benevolent law should not encourage gender bias and unequal treatment. We have always been a matriarchal society and thus, it is not in our character to treat our women as if they were second class citizens. Our laws should give them the same dignity, right and freedom as those that are accorded our men.

I hope our Parliamentarians will work towards amending the existing laws that allow such disparity in the recognition of the rights of our women.


  1. Haah this reminds me of a case….
    A couple couldn’t produce kids even after years of their wedlock. So the wife finally suggested she should go spend a night at Chimi Lhakang and get blessed by Drukpa Kuenley’s phallus and spirit. She left and year later she gave birth to a son. She repeated the act again after few years and she gave birth to a daughter this time. The son and daughter were named ….Chimi Dorji and Chimi Dem.
    The reality behind the story is unpleasant. She diverted her route towards Phuntsholing and met Drukpa Kuenley there in a hotel (whole magic behind the story)


  2. Hi E,


    By the way, that was a wonderful analogy :)

  3. In a light way, you have hit upon a very relevant, important and sensitive issue. Children of Bhutanese men are considered first class citizens while children of Bhutanese women are considered second class, by Bhutanese law. We claim to have some of the best laws in the world, but in reality we have barely crawled out of our male dominated, chauvinistic and egoistic, selfish forms. Let us first observe the basic fundamentals of democracy (equlity, fraternity & liberty) before we claim to be all-knowing and compassionate country.

  4. I don't get it: if the child was born out of wedlock, how can possibly the husband of the mother be the father of that child? Aren't we talking about an unmarried woman having a baby? When and how does a husband appear in the picture?

  5. My apologies that was wrongly put :)- I meant even if a child in born to a wedded couple ... not out of wedlock...