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Thursday, July 24th, 2014 - 11:43 PM
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Who’s entitled to wear what scarf?

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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

16 Comments to “Who’s entitled to wear what scarf?”
  1. bhutan2025 | August 1st, 2013 at 19:49:53

    Once Baltasar Gracian said “The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.” Whether Blue or red or any color no matter….but people of our country need good changes and good development in undeveloped place.
    The real Kabney are people of Bhutan and if any one wear it or granted to a person, then they will have to take care of them. Kabney is responsiblities and task given to complete the work. Kabney is not to pull the attraction or pull any respect but to help the government to serve the nation.
    Former rule of kabney would be the best and need little modification for MP. Rest every things are fine.

    Pelden Drukpa Gyalo!

  2. Welfare | August 1st, 2013 at 12:04:08

    Now they (opposition members) are on chair with the support of public and every body knows democracy means people government so I think wearing blue kabney will not make them down, after all they are here to serve public not to show their positions.

  3. eagle_eye | August 1st, 2013 at 09:18:39

    Its very simple, let them wear blue and it will remain as a rule tey wai.

  4. Solar | August 1st, 2013 at 08:36:36

    My Opinion is, all MP should wear blue kabney including opposition leader, NC chair and the speaker. IF NC chair is given orange, then the OL and speaker too should wear orange kabney. Once resigned, every one should wear white kabney. NO red, no orange or green once resigned.

  5. rocky | July 31st, 2013 at 22:12:26

    What I know about the SCARF is. If you are in serving in Government service in high level post like; Lynpo (Orange Scarf), Nyekem (Red Scarf), White without fings, Green, Blue should have to wear with Patang (Sward).

    After you resign, Retired, Superannuated from the post, you are allowed to wear the Scarf but not allowed to wear the PATANG . The color of Scarf symbol your rank but the Patang symbol yours responsibility. That what my father told me.

  6. a duty-bound denizen | July 31st, 2013 at 22:05:55

    before you decide anything for yourselves, make sure you get prior permission from Delhi, they might get hurt again. they have just reinstated the subsidies and they might again lift it.

  7. Son of Soil | July 31st, 2013 at 20:44:43

    When comes to the awarding of Orange Scarf to PDP’s puppet like NC Chairman, Never Minded and I guessed same to Speaker also. But why is that when comes to OL, things are neglecting and offending so much. Why PDP’s ardent supporters (Leaders) is still not satisfied and has not quench its thirst despite doing every evil things to DPT. If DPT had ever done heinous crime Almighty Lords may not spare but in spite of making awesome contribution it is sad that our Leader is still deaf and blind towards the DPT. If our Leader don’t look into the matter seriously and don’t be fair I am afraid of the impact and consequences we may come across…. Leader! Plz wake up Now, Some evil ones is confiscating your prerogatives!!!

  8. kuenselEYE | July 31st, 2013 at 20:34:38

    I’m really fade-up with all these…now it’s high time to begin with the NA session…….

  9. Tshewangneedup | July 31st, 2013 at 18:45:50

    is my opinion i feel we have constitution where by our His Majesty must resigned by the age of 66 years if i am mistaken correct me, so the very people who was entrusted by the king to be Dashos now opposing the very ethics which has been going on saying kabneys will be decided, i am afraid to hear those words which may affect the royal family too. hope every thing will go on by our tradition and custom and there are so many who are wearing same scarves those who have resigned and also the retired Je khenpos are there who are wearing same scarves so please please think about our parents who have given us every thing and after getting children well settle is we are going to chase away from our life? we must think before we act , hope to see actions are taken as per the tradition of our country

  10. Vigilent Dragon | July 31st, 2013 at 18:30:42

    Democracy started from 2008 onwards and once the tenure of five years is complete, the elected members should shed the colour of the kabney they wear, whether they are simply MPs or ministers. MPs who were former ministers before 2008 should wear their designated blue scarf if they are in the opposition since they are politically elected by the people. If they wear the same old kabney in the parliament looking at how their status in the community would be, then there is no need for democracy in Bhutan. The former ministers already resigned and whatever happened before 2008 is past…else we will be fed up seeing so many people wearing the orange scarf. anybody with a bachelor’s degree with no or very little work experience would wear it making it quite cheap. The common layman would surely get puzzled as to who is minister really is….There is no hard law written in the constitution whether the NC chairperson and NA speaker should be awarded the orange scarf…???

  11. so so | July 31st, 2013 at 18:04:25

    In 2008 the opposition leader was awarded a Lyonpos scarf, so I don’t see how this time it would be any different. I don’t buy the argument put forth that OL in 2008 was awarded a orange kabney so as to strengthen the two member opposition. Such arguments have no place in a democratic set up.

    With so much confusion about kabneys, I agree with ngoema, there is no place for them in a democracy where the premise is that everyone is equal and different colored kabneys does exactly the opposite. It would be a relief for us white colored kanbeys if draping of kabneys was done away with entirely, than we won’t have to bow down to so many people.

    As for the elected DPT MPs, all would have to wear blue kabneys, knowing fully well that somehow no one will have the guts to do away with kabneys citing a silly reason such as tradition.

  12. so so | July 31st, 2013 at 18:01:33

    In 2008 the opposition leader was awarded a Lyonpos scarf, so I don’t see how this time it would be any different. I don’t buy the argument put forth that OL in 2008 was awarded a orange kabney so as to strengthen the two member opposition. Such arguments have no place in a democratic set up.

    With so much confusion about kabneys, I agree with ngoema, there is no place for them in a democracy where the premise is that everyone is equal and different colored kabneys does exactly the opposite. It would be a relief for us white colored kanbeys if draping of kabneys was done entirely, that we won’t have to bow to so many people.

    As for the elected DPT MPs, all would have to wear blue kabneys, knowing fully well that somehow no one will have the guts to do away with kabneys citing a silly reason such as tradition.

  13. ispeak4nation | July 31st, 2013 at 17:43:25

    MPs, no matter where he or she had held ministerial positions previously should wear blue kabneys. This time, they are voted as MPs, not as ministers. Why should we wait for the decision whether they would be allowed to wear orange scarves. It is simple. Let them wear blue kabneys, otherwise, there will be lot of implications, including ambiguity as to whether they hold the ministerial or MPs portfolios, but even worse is that this will create power conflicts within the MPs. Let us not set the precedence, otherwise, in future, we will so many orange scarves MPs, thereby, reducing the significance of the cabinet ministers. MPs should be treated equally as MPs. This is how democracy works, lest, recognizing some MPs over others prove a great mistake and confusion over time.

  14. MIB | July 31st, 2013 at 16:06:32

    Who is waiting, they are already prepared for that, you need not have to be hurry..sorr..

  15. sorryla | July 31st, 2013 at 13:50:17

    no need to wait: tell the opposition and former minister to wear blue as much as any other MPs.

  16. ngoema | July 31st, 2013 at 13:40:34

    I think kabney has no place in democratic system of governance. It should be done away for good once and for all. As everyone is viewed equal in democracy, kabney which is a symbol of heirachy will only take us one step backward in our democratic journey. It is in the long term interest of the country to be without Kabney and patang.

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