***This article was written for the Students' Digest Magazine

The advent of democracy in Bhutan caused a serious rift amongst people. The otherwise peace loving, god fearing and the romantic lot were enforced to wear business suits to evaluate which party would be more conductive than manipulative. But let’s admit it – democracy couldn’t have come at a more apt timing than it did. Let’s also admit it that our first democratic torch bearers are all snowed at the temple and almost bent at the knees. This too is only proper for we need wise elders to be the models so the young may know how to tread the road often not taken.

By young, I mean the ones young in age, not a 65 year old youth at heart. By young, I also mean the zealous lot drowned neck deep in passion and conviction and with a clear sense of right or wrong, not right or left. We need our youth gearing up to be politicians with a conscience!

The mere mention of politics plants apathy and disengagement in the mind for it has preconceived synonymity with muck and corruption. But it is never too late to set it straight. Our young lads and lasses must step down from the podium at morning assembly for we have heard enough about how youths are the future of our nation or that they believe the future of Bhutan lies in the palms of our youth. The future is knocking the door down....but our youths have yet to arrive.

Why opt for a career in politics? I say, why not? In schools, children play their own politics; they play hard to gain popularity so they can be appointed captains, they participate in discussions, debates, extempore speeches etc (and that is a hell lot of public speaking!), they learn to accept failure with grace, morning speeches are every student’s fair share of duty, and the charming ones already have a fanfare following them while the school gossip mills run and wag and run tirelessly. The political arena isn’t any different from a high school political territory except that this one is played at a national level and requires a mature and serious level of commitment.

We have seen young people join politics because the father/uncle/brother etc is a popular figure in a locality and could be manipulated to amass the villager’s votes. For all we care, you can be a joker’s offspring! Who needs a puppet for a leader anyway? That is to say that the young and the fertile minds must not be disillusioned into joining politics for the love of power and fame...but rather because they are fired up by a sense of justice and clarity and be the change they piously claim to be. Half of our population is comprised of youth and nothing is more right than having in the decision making forum, some of our smart young men and women.

Remember, politics isn’t at all that dirty; in fact it’s how politicians play it, that is and although good politicking sounds more like some lofty ideal than hardnosed reality, it isn’t entirely impossible. The coming of democracy has opened up a world of opportunities for our youth whose earlier ambitions were stereotypically limited to become a doctor, an engineer, a lawyer etc. Perhaps some few elections from now, it could a farmer’s son or a desolate mother’s sheepish daughter in the shoes of what would be only be befitting Lyonchen Jigme Y.Thinley today; that is to say anyone....and by that I mean ANYONE can become the prime minister of Bhutan. My question now is, my dear child– do you have it in you to wear them because I tell you, it weighs the nation!
3 Responses
  1. Langa Tenzin Says:

    I like your question at the end of the article and I too completely believe with it. It's not enough that anyone can become Prime Minister because it's not an easy task as one may happen to think. Other than the opportunity, the importance of the whole Nation and one's capability in serving the people loom large and are the most important things we have to think about! Keep posting.

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