|Think Tanks thinks but often without thinking.|
With the global publication of Fund for Peace’s report, “the failed state index 2011”, Bhutan as a nation has been asked a serious question. The report has literally tarnished the image of our beautiful country. As a responsible citizen I know my country more than any Tom Dick Harry who gathers unrelated information from online and from other biased sources. It is humiliating for our country to be declared as 50th failed state when we know the reality of our country’s stability are far more better than those stable ones. The pain of this humiliation is too much.
If the fund for peace as an organization claims to be a “think Tank”, well, then that leaves me with one thing on my mind. Even the think tanks find pleasure in plagiarism. I personally find it nothing more than a naïve piece of a regrettable report.
Irrespective of the truth it contains, the report is already being read worldwide. With this, every single citizen of Bhutan needs to ask a serious question to ourselves. Firstly, how did “millions of information” about our country got leaked to an organization whose existence we did not even know?
The fund for peace could have done a reasonable level of justice to their job by assessing most of the countries on the basis of parameters and indicators that are more appropriate and common. Countries could have been very well assessed on the basis a common and significant parameters like Leadership competence.
The reasons why I cite ‘leadership competence’ as a key indicator for our country are very obvious and straightforward. Countries elsewhere in the world never had leaders like we do. With the guidance of our farsighted and visionary leaders (past and present), our country has done following major things that marveled the international community:
i. Given its size (both in terms of land and population) and the strategic location, Bhutan has come a very long way in history as independent, free and sovereign country. Bhutan not only withstood all the forces of invasion and colonialism, but have also come out clean and good in times of worst depression (of 1930s) and world wars (first world war and second world war)
ii. With deep understanding and careful calculation of all the pros and cons that it might bring to a small country like ours, Bhutan opened its door to the forces of modernization and development (in 1960s) Today, the modernization and development process is well blended with our traditional values and ethics that it is doing more good to our country than the bad things we have anticipated. To make it even more Bhutanese, our precious leader (the fourth king) called that development process a Gross National Happiness (GNH). Literally speaking, we are only the country that stresses more on human happiness than material well being.
iii. With successful modernization and development process, we then embarked on the road for democracy. We set out for democracy in a very unique fashion that shocked the entire world. “In a country that has enjoyed continuous justice, stability and progress, democracy came not by the traditional way of struggle and violence. Nor did it come by the will of people. Bhutan became democracy by the persuasion and personal effort of a king who worked consistently over thirty years to establish the prerequisites of a democratic culture and institutional arrangements”. In doing so, our king not only achieved his noble democratization process, but he has also showed that “if leaders themselves are committed to democracy, transition can be smooth and peaceful”
iv. To mark his final confidence in democracy, our king retired at a prime age of 53 which is rare by any definition. He abdicated the throne in favor of our present king. For the deep rooted love and affection he has for his citizens, he is rightly referred to as the People’s king. He is the ultimate guardian of our country; -the symbol of Bhutanese unity.
v. Buddhism is the predominate religion in our country, but as such, our constitution doesn’t make it a state religion. Buddhism as a spiritual heritage in our country is supposed to promote principles and values of peace, non-violence, compassion and tolerance. This freedom to practice any religion of people’s choice leaves no room for any sectarian violence to crop up in our community. Moreover, as lucidly spelt out in our constitution, people strongly believe that religion is above politics and act and behave accordingly. Headed by Je Khenpo, Today, our religious institutions play a very vital role in propagating the principles of Buddhism.
vi. Today we have a fully functional democratic system in place led by some of the finest groomed leaders. Our first democratically elected Prime Minister is a living example. He is the man who not only inspired his nation about Happiness philosophy, but also inspired the leaders worldwide. His proposal to include happiness as the ninth millennium development goal (MDG) during 65th United Nations General Assembly was by far the display of genius leadership caliber that received enthusiastic response and ovation. Perhaps many countries, in the world including the UN are working to include happiness as the development theme in their respective jurisdictions.
vii. Apart from dynamic bureaucratic system that runs the executive show and judiciary system that dispenses the rule of law, we have also an elected legislative body that runs the legislature show. If I am not mistaken, ours is the most disciplined parliament in the world with most qualified law makers at work.
With these major information, any person should now have a fair idea as to whether our country is a failed state or thriving country. I think the Fund for Peace will now have a fair idea as to whether they have done a credible job by indexing our country as 50th failed state of the world.