The kabney protocol, vis a vis colour, in the new dispensation is yet to be determined
Culture: Irrespective of whether the elected members were former ministers or not, the present lot of National Assembly members, besides the executives, might have to settle for blue kabney (scarf).
Former advisor to the culture department, Dasho Sangay Wangchuk said, while there was no specific rule in place about kabney entitlement, personally, he said it was only logical, since they are politically elected members. Blue was also symbolic of legislative body.
He also said it was unclear about whether the opposition leader this time would be awarded an orange scarf like in the first Parliament.
Sources said opposition leader was awarded orange as a special consideration then, to strengthen the two-member opposition.
While he didn’t comment about the National Assembly speaker’s scarf, the National Council chairperson has been awarded orange, while the rest of the members wore blue.
This was being said amid some saying that some of the former ministers, who wore orange before the democratic system was established, might continue to wear the same colour, despite being in opposition this time.
To this, Dasho Sangay Wangchuk said, prior to 2008, there were different procedures to award scarves and position.
However, after 2008, scarves were “post-based” and limited to certain tenure.
He said, since they are politically elected, they have to wear scarves as MPs, and shed the colours, as and when their tenure ends.
“Even people should think different from how it worked before 2008,” he said, adding it was important to understand that, in democratic system, people coming from different fields were elected as ministers.
In earlier times, people worked their way up to become a minister.
Some former ministers, who had come to offer felicitations to newly-appointed prime minister and ministers, were spotted wearing orange on July 27. This drew more curiosity from people.
But there were also those former ministers, who had worn white scarves.
With former ministers now having to serve in opposition, some of whom have been wearing orange before 2008, people have remarked that it would cause “discomfiture” to adorn blue this time.
Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s president, Jigmi Y Thinley, in an earlier interview with Kuensel, said it was not the colour of kabney that made the difference, but the person.
“There’s nothing to feel embarrassed about this switch in the colour of the scarf,” he had said.
South Thimphu’s elected representative, former works and human settlement minister, Yeshey Zimba, said he would “obviously” and “happily” wear blue scarf.
“Because it’s to do with the position and, as an opposition member, we’ll be wearing blue,” he said. “Since it’s politics and having been elected by people with trust, colour doesn’t matter, as every elected member is a Parliament member.”
Dasho Sangay Wangchuk said earlier, whatever position the high officials held, post resignation they shed wearing of swords, but opted to continue with kabney.
Kabney was seen as a sign of an honour, while the sword was a sign of authority.
“They dropped the authority once leaving office, while continuing with the ‘honour’,” he said.
Dasho Sangay Wangchuk said there was no rule saying one should remove scarves upon completion of tenure, but people should think of consequences and act accordingly, rather than just wait for rules and commands.
“If people continue wearing the same scarf even after resignation, there’ll be many people wearing orange, blue, green and others types of scarves in future,” he said.
The director general for culture department of home ministry, Dorji Tshering, said that, in a week or so, with the formal appointment, it would be sorted out what colour opposition leader and former ministers would wear.
By Dawa Gyelmo