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As a Bhutanese, we were in a democratic institution as early as 1953. His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck introduced us to the concept of National Assembly, - the democratic way of governance. The process gained momentum when His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, further strengthened the system by establishing Gewog Yargye Tsogchung (GYT) and Dzongkhag Yargye Tsogkhung (DYT) respectively. The noble intention from the throne was to promote people's participation at all levels of decision making including the law making.
However with the 2008 general election of both National Assembly and National Council Members, there was a widespread notion among the folks that democracy was new in its entirety. For this we also had the tendency of considering ours as an infant democratic set up.Those who contested the election argued that everyone was equally inexperienced at it.
This may not be the right thing because we were in a democratic society for more than five decades already. The idea of being in experienced should not have arisen.
In, what is being considered as an "unprecedented election of the Democratic Bhutan" we not only saw few of the groomed leaders, including the Prime Minister himself, win the election but we also saw many young and energetic aspiring youths equally sharing the center stage.
Even though some are too young for the title, they are lavishly referred to as Dashos and Aums. From an ordinary common man, they are now in a most respectable position. Luxurious display; such as customized number plates with 'National Emblem' and 'MP' displayed prominently are the living example. Personally, I find this very undemocratic. It is confusing too. Because on one hand we are claiming to promote democracy, while on the other hand we have this different colours, swords and number plates that is creating a distinction between the commoners. For most, this sends message of power and ego which is not enshrined in the principles of democracy.
By watching live session of the parliament, our law making looks more like talkers show. Some esteemed law makers just attend the session for the sake of attendance! Some were even found sleeping !. And the out come we have are the laws enacted that brought more confusion than clarity.
Recent Tobacco Control Act enacted by our parliament is the living testimony. While we have some wise who says, “Law making a collective process” there are also some who howls like a dog that howls without even knowing the apparent reason. Interestingly there are some, who are of the strong opinion that Law should be something which should not only scare people but should also instill fear. What makes matter more interesting is that there are some who howls after that too! (And others can do nothing but smile)
If the intention of law making is to only punish the guilty all the time then, the process of law making in it self requires a serious rethinking. Besides upholding justice and equity, we make laws to not only punish those guilty all the time, but we also make laws to promote social harmony, correct the wrongs and instill realization,
A study worldwide revealed that the most people who commit crime, big or small are the ones with distorted mental state. If true, these mentally distorted people do not deserved to be dealt with “iron fist” but rather they deserved to be treated with care and dignity. Their needs deserves addressing.
We are all a humble citizen of unique country, who have high regards for peace and dharma. But strangely, we seem to have reached a stage where we are fast losing faith in some of our representatives who are making laws for us on trial and error basis. The Experimentation is costly; people have been jailed. Laws can neither be enacted based on assumptions and hypothesis, because we are not in an Orwellian animal farm. And had it not been for our beloved Third King, the Capital punishment may very well have been introduced looking at the recent law making trends.