Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Terminal Lure of Oz

Twice before on this blog I wrote of the need for monitoring and regulating the overwhelming outflow of Bhutanese, in particular, to Australia. I even suggested that someone should visit Australia and speak to the Bhutanese diaspora there. The Bhutanese exodus to that country is an abnormal phenomenon, implication of which few Bhutanese have stopped to ponder about.

When I was told that even people who own buildings in Thimphu have chosen to migrate to Australia, it dawned on me that the pursuit of livelihood cannot be the sole reason why people chose to abandon homes and families, to travel across the seven seas - in search of whatever they hunger for.

Dreams are lived when you are asleep.

You do not need to risk the perils of the unknown and the untested to make a living - for the willing, opportunity and livelihood are staring at your faces at every corner you turn.

We are a society numbed by a century of Kidu dole out - I am not sure that we are prepared to take on the unknown and the unfamiliar. We are willing to blame the whole world for our own shortcomings - we believe that the world owes us a living and that it will wait for us forever. Such a mental disposition will not find acceptance among other societies. We need to change - but the reality is that that change will not come soon enough, even if it does, eventually.

For a while I was under the impression that the exodus was a systematized affair conducted with planning and foresight. The recent reports of woe emerging from Australia tells me that it is not so - that it is a case of the deaf shadowing the blind. I think people have been victims of the dream merchants and the carpetbaggers.

For those who are due to make the journey in the coming weeks and months, it is not too late to reassess the situation and correct course before it is too late. It appears that the greenery down there is rather prickly - not the stuff of your dreams.

But my bigger worry is something else though. What if Australia suffers a devastating natural calamity brought on by global warming? What if Australia is overwhelmed by a deadly pandemic, the likes of COVID-19 or some other deadly brand new virus?

It is my belief that outside of Bhutan, Australia has the largest population of Bhutanese. Trust me, a catastrophe in Australia will cause shock waves in Bhutan - the likes of which will dwarf that of the COVID-19. The financial and human tragedy will be simply immeasurable!

Think of the financial investment that has gone behind the exodus. You get the picture.

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