Monday, January 9, 2023

Nuns To The Rescue

Yesterday morning a Ministry of Health worker joked that his Ministry is hoping to enlist the help of the country’s substantial nun population of childbearing age to abandon their vows of celibacy, and start to get pregnant. He sees that as a real possibility for his Ministry to achieve its latest mandate - to restock the country’s plummeting population through increased childbirth.

It is not funny that we are driven to such outlandish thoughts. Beyond funny, we have to begin to worry: how did we allow ourselves to arrive here?

I can think of two reasons: (1) young couples now view the act of procreation as something of an economic burden that they are unwilling or incapable of shouldering; (2) the steady outflow of human capital - as high as 10%.

Demographic imbalance and plummeting population: Case of Japan
Japan’s trade ministry projects that by 2025, around 630,000 profitable businesses could close up shop, costing the economy $165 billion and as many as 6.5 million jobs. The cause: lack of people of right age to continue the business.

Hidekazu Yokoyama, 73, is a poignant example. He built his successful logistics business over three decades. Last year when he wanted to resign, his children were not interested in the business, nor others. Thus he decided to advertise the business and GAVE IT ALL AWAY, FREE, to a 26 years old dark-horse applicant!

Exodus of Bhutanese youth
This is a time bomb waiting to explode. The most galling problem associated with this situation is likely to come from the most unlikely sources.

What if Australia is hit by a natural calamity so horrendous that we need to evacuate our people from there, en masse? What do you think will be the fallout of such an eventuality? Trust me, it will not be as simple as that when we undertook the evacuation of some 17 odd dozen of our girls from the Middle East. The economic devastation that will be caused by a situation in Australia will be few thousand folds more severe. That is likely to be the final straw on the back of the camel.

It is for this reason that I suggested that someone respected, influential and charismatic in Bhutan should go to Australia to talk to our brood there.

I am under no illusion that the Bhutanese who may eventually return will come back with the same face and heart as that with which they departed the country. But it is my hope that there will still be some telltale remnants of Bhutaneseness in them, which is more than what can be expected, given the reality of the situation.

1 comment:

  1. "Although accused, do not respond with accusation.
    Although attacked, do not respond with aggression.
    Although beaten, do not strike back.
    Although exposed, do not respond by exposing others".
    So nuns are bound by the above spiritual commitments.