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Need to reinvent politics?

Bringing in development is increasingly becoming difficult. The many laws, instead of smoothing things over, seem to be leading us to some truly uncalled for mess in the system.

The prime minister made this clear at the recent conference for the local government leaders in Bumthang. The government’s frustration showed when he told the local leaders not to assume or call the government incompetent.

We may try our hands at different governance system, as and when there is a need for one, but without a fundamental change in the way we look at development, there is only very little that can be achieved.

In fact, such experiments threaten to sink us deeper into the quicksand of our built-in follies, leading to unnecessary resource waste. And so, more importantly, we cannot fight shy of recognising the fact that, now more than ever, we have come to the stage when development will prove to be by far more expensive.

The local governments are the more irate too because their development programmes have in some cases been quietly dropped. So the finger-pointing this way and that, understandably. But the government has the far more debilitating headache to handle because of political pledges.

The analogy of the heart and other lesser human organs is perhaps best kept in the realm it belongs to. What has to be urgently understood is that making unreasonable political and campaign promises will only invoke the need for many such meetings.

Did not the man say there is little to be had from crying over the spilt milk?

If the gups listened to the people and framed their campaign promises in the way that reflected the needs of individual village and community, execution of the development plans would not have presented themselves as a problem. If the governments and the political parties found it in their hearts to take note of the realities on the ground, which government made what plans would not have become an issue that it is today.

These are debates of young and rising Bhutan.  And we will have to deal with this reality the more in the coming days as we begin to mature as a democratic society.  But there is a need to iron things out as we trudge forward because there is nothing worthwhile to be had by sweeping the dirt under the carpet.

Politics, sadly, has come to mean something evil and darkly extortionate. Reinventing it on the lines of public service for the greater good of the society is vitally important.

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