Thursday, June 30, 2022

The End Is Also An Essential Part Of The Journey

The discussion on Tourism Levy Bill of Bhutan 2022 has been more than vigorous. Even the clueless interjected on the issue – not because he or she is any wiser, but because the resounding discussions provoked involuntary participation. And participation is good because multiplicity of views and vigorous discussions contribute to consensus building that is important to resolving contentious issues. No views are negative views – they are, at worst, contrarian views.

Most of us contributed to the discourse because we believe that we can contribute to arriving at sound decisions that will ease our own lives. If God has seen it fit to empower an idiot with a mouth, no one has the right to stifle his voice – his voice too must find resonance among the cacophony.

But there must come an end to the discourse – we cannot go on forever. And I believe that we have arrived at the end of the journey. Both the Upper House (National Council) and the Lower House (National Assembly) have debated the issue over many days. And they - the people whom we have empowered to do so - have arrived at their decision. Even more important, we understand that in all provability His Majesty the King - the third and the most important element of Bhutan's Parliament – would accord His Royal Assent to the decision. This is all we need – to halt further discussions on the matter.

The Bill is now law and as law-abiding citizens, we will have to accept the Tourism Levy Bill of Bhutan 2022 as law, and abide by it. Whether this law is the right one or the wrong one – time will tell. But for those of us who hold contrarian views – we have to know, and accept, that we are not privy to the real issues that compel the government to embark on something that we believe is not right. I have said this before in this blog – not all truths are convenient truths and if they are not, we have to admit that it is not necessary for the government to take the citizens into confidence. We just have to believe that they do what they do - for a good reason.

As of this post, I am halting all further discussions on the issue of the Tourism Levy Bill of Bhutan 2022. If it helps, I depart with a prayer:

May God help Bhutan’s tourism industry stakeholders survive the short term – so that they live long enough to be able to reap the benefits that the government promises - over the long term.

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