Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Respite For A While From The Haze Of The Hazelnut

This is the 8th in my series of articles on Bhutan’s hazelnut project. I have time and again accepted that the project is meaningful, impactful and transformative. It is the biggest thing that has happened in Bhutan. If I have been consumed by an irrepressible urge to write so much about this project, it has been because I am convinced that the project needs to be saved, if something is going wrong, as it is perceived to be.

In a world and at a time when truth is regularly distorted to construct perceptions to suite one’s own purposes - with the intention to either mislead or to deliberately misinform, it is important to be vigilant about what one believes. Because truth is not always what it is put out to be.

It is the pursuit of truth that has got me thus far - but what I have heard is based on the truth that is in the public perception. But is it really the truth? The authorities must now step in to find out. An investigation to set things right is now in order.

And, in the name of fair play, it is only correct that the project authorities have the opportunity to tell me their side of the truth. I am waiting. I will begin to write once again once the project people tell me their side of the story.

This project impacts at a national level. If there is something going wrong, the government must step in and rectify the wrong. If the project people have been found to be negligent in their responsibilities to the thousands of farmers who placed their faith in them, it should be pointed out and ascertained as to how they are going to remedy the wrongs.

But the first step would be to remove that veil of secrecy. The perception is that anything done in secrecy - there can be nothing good about it.

Prime example of things done in total secrecy and going horribly wrong: our recent hydropower projects.

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