Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Honourable Chief Justice of Bhutan address to Desuup 24

It is, as we know, hard to explain about the law of the Kingdom within sixty minutes. The Chief Justice packed the one-hour lecture with histories and anecdotes that he experienced during his lifetime in the various posts that he held in the process of serving the nation.

The wisdom he had can be best appreciated if one concentrated and clung to every word he uttered in the appreciation of the founder of Bhutan from the time of the Shabdrung Rimpoche till the democratization of the kingdom of Bhutan. There was no set pattern for his lecture which demanded more attention to piece it together to view and to form a ‘larger picture’.

Dessups were appreciated for having volunteered to join the training. He reminded that desuup were not meant to be trained as an armed force. They were trained to guard against the disaster as volunteers during the times of natural calamities. The appreciation for the service provided by the Desuups during the times of crisis as well as during huge public gathering was mouthed by various high officials.

He reminded the present batch to live up to the high standard set by the previous batches. The orange uniform requires to be honoured and worn with pride and the Desuups should not do anything stupid in uniform, like drinking in the bar… one rotten apple is enough to spoil the whole basket…’

The immense contribution and sacrifice made by the monarchs, and their visionary undertakings which led to the strengthening of the security and sovereignty of the nation were elucidated in details, with numerous examples. The security, sovereignty of the nation must always come first before anything else. It must be the responsibility of every citizen to protect the same. ‘The greatest humiliation for a person is, when he has no country to call his own’. We must stop bashing our own country in front of others. We are unique with unique identity and with unique behaviours.

We have a unique way of rushing. It was noticed by some great lamas and Bhutanese were given chance to get the blessing first, even there, they rushed through the door to get inside humouring the lama. Whether the people abide by the law can be best seen from the traffic. In our neighbouring countries there is chaos on the road. If one tries to follow the traffic rule one would get nowhere. We must not let such things set in, in our country, though, the import rate of the cars is quite alarming. With rushing character coupled with increasing numbers of cars on the road might lead to congestion.     

The democracy in Bhutan is a gift from the Golden Throne and it was not like in other countries – ‘A reward for revolution’. The constitution was drafted and approved in consultation with every citizen of Bhutan. The fundamental rights like freedom of speech, right to information and liberty must not be taken for granted at the cost of the security and sovereignty of the nation. We must remember that with rights come the responsibilities. Each one of us must try to fulfil the aspiration of the His Majesty the King.

‘The right to information is one frequently disputed topic; it must be noted that though everyone must have access to information, some information can be denied if it threatened the sovereignty. It is nothing new and such things were practiced in oldest democracies of the world too. The information were classified and later, declassified.’

We should not shake the faith in the system and the institution of the nation. There were cases of acquiring marriage certificates from the court to proceed abroad. They were found to be fake marriages. The court has no means to find out about the marriage in the absence of databases. The personal interview of the couple may have to be resorted to, to ascertain the truth. Such cases may tarnish the validity of the documents issued from the esteem institution of our nation.

In the times of connectivity, 4G and social media, one should be mindful about how we use and understand it. The institutions were attacked. It is easier to indoctrinate and move the younger generations with false allegations and accusations. This may lead us to lose the whole lot of generations. If we lose a generation, it would take immense amount of time to recover. Having himself gone through the trauma of attack, he prays that nothing of this sort happens to anyone. He reminded that there are systems in place to sort out the corruption, or there are institutes to report to, with the evidence, if it is true.

It was moving to note that how the allegation in the social media had affected him, when the honourable Chief Justice got carried away while answering a question. It was okay for himself to be dragged into the mudslinging, but it was not acceptable for the institution of the Chief Justice, to be dragged there. The people should not lose trust and faith in the Judicial system of the country - a Bhutanese saying, which loosely translates into ‘King depends on citizens, citizens require happiness, happiness depends on law, law hangs on judicial system.’

After one question from the floor the marvellous talk ended abruptly, keeping in mind the time constraint. It marked the punctuality and the time consciousness of the Honourable Chief Justice to the military precision, upholding the mark of having undergone militia training and serving in armed force. Perhaps old habits die hard.