Royal nuptial in October
Being one of the loyal citizens of Bhutan, having served my country for the last 26 years, and currently in the quest for a real democracy, I am rejoiced reading the news about the “Royal Wedding” published by “Kuensel” May 20, 2011 and the update published by the Katmandu Post Sept. 9, 2011 under the heading, “Royal wedding fever grips Bhutan”. I can imagine how busy the government machinery, royal elites, district and village heads and other private and autonomous bodies would be busying for the preparation of the royal wedding.
The fifth King, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk’s exciting, yet romantic proclamation at the end of the inaugural ceremony of the parliament session May 20, 2011 has been the historic news to the people for his nuptial ceremony that would take place in the splendid old capital Punakha in October this year. For which “weaver Kelzang Choden and her mother are hurriedly working on an outfit for the future queen”. Entire machinery of the state including royal gold/silver smiths would be keeping busy not only preparing to produce best of the ornaments but also manufacturing best of the wedding gift items, normally required to present in the form of eight auspicious signs of different varieties. And the list would be quite endless keeping in mind the importance the nation would give under the traditionally required demands.
As one of the loyal citizens of my country, it is my privilege to express my whole hearted congratulations and Trashi Delek to my King for having come down to the common family. To the would be queen, Jetsun Pema for being the fortunate daughter in the family of a commoner, who is soon going to shoulder the great responsibility of the nation, hopefully with non-avaricious quality and unbiased wisdom to help build up peace and happiness to the people of Bhutan.
Going by the past experiences of the Buddhist teachings in the era of Guru Padma Sambhava in the 7th century, the legacy left behind by our great teacher, Guru Padma Sambhava, has taught us a lot about women bearing the qualities of dakini signs like – (Khandro) Yeshe Tshogyal, (Lhacham) Mendarawa, (Lhacham) Pema Sel and (Jomo) Tashi Kheudron and so on. In the service to the humanity, they sacrificed their luxurious life. They abandoned their materialistic world and entered into the practice of teachings of their great master. They guided the future generations in the practice of dharma through severe penances spending their lives in the caves, which are renowned by its names of sacred hidden places of visits called, khandro sangphu. Those women of special qualities had left their legacies of spiritual perceptions that the human needs should be limited to sustaining their lives for the brief moment of worldly life. They have showed people to understand that life after death is not empty, but filled with suffering and to pave way into salvation was through practicing dharma and training oneself into the life of satisfaction by giving happiness to others.
However, in this degenerating eon, the beings of this human life, by nature and tradition have progressively been creating such an environment that the space bestowed by the nature and the great creator of this universe are being shrunk into a limited space, thereby making it difficult for the coming generations to live a normal life. In terms of opportunities with regard to socio-economic development, agricultural land distributions, urban settlement and other opportunities that provide wider perspectives of entrepreneurial prospects, prevalence of rampant corruption seem to deprive common people’s right to own landed properties thereby making a mockery of the present so-called change of government – the chant of – ‘the dawn of democracy’.
The ever growing lust for the luxurious life in contrary to Buddha’s teachings, particularly in Bhutan, has made it difficult for the people to adjust even in one’s own birth place owing to ever expanding desire of those in the upper hands driven by their unlimited greed. Their strong desire of human nature seem to be pushing everybody into joining the race of popularity and comfort through acquisition of positions and status in the elites circle both in terms of social, economic and luxuriously balanced life of ease. Practice of dharma seems to be limited to a few in the circle of aged society or those in red robes, who too land up competing in the race to outdo each other both individually and institutionally for the common interest of gaining popularity, name and fame in the name of practicing dharma.
In the context of Bhutan, both kings and dharma gurus are traditionally revered to the esteemed honour and the ignorant commoners anticipate receiving spiritual showers of blessings of love and compassion for peace and tranquility to the cause of those dwelling in all the six realms. However, the trend of modern elites give negative impression to the common people as their lust of materialistic gains show the absence of the essence of selflessness. While shouldering responsibilities of serving the people as a whole and the country in particular, political discomforts emerging from within the elites often pushed the country in to unfortunate jeopardy giving the people long periods of political and humanitarian unrest. The living example is the silent sufferers inside the country and the large chunk of its population living outside the country facing uncertain life for aspiring establishment of people’s aspired democracy in the country.
World community witnessed the royal wedding of the grandson of the British monarchy, who is the example of being the real monarch that has gained world popularity and the queen continues to reign in her late 80s. In the same way, the 21st century royal wedding of Bhutan’s 5th monarch that is scheduled for this October is anticipated to set an example to the world community by solving the following political crisis that has been dragging for the last two decades:
• Give full and real inclusive democracy that could be vibrant, free of discrimination, having right to freedom of speech, expression and justice with independent law functioning under rule of law;
• Consider to recognize political parties in exile and make the democracy more inclusive by bringing all political diversity under one umbrella;
• Resolve refugee crisis, which is one of the means to garner confidence and sympathy of the international community, who supports justice and humanity;
The would-be queen with modern education, much talked about of belonging to a common family, is anticipated to help look into the welfare of the people through the eyes of those in the grassroots. Giving benefits of democracy to every Bhutanese citizen without any discrimination could help to give the real message of Happiness, which is our country’s popular slogan, much talked about in the international arena. People will look forward to benefiting substantially through the process of modern development, however, with the establishment of a vibrant, inclusive and workable democracy only.
May Jetsun Pema’s solemnization to the 5th King bring about a just rule and happiness to the people!
Penjore is President of the Druk National Congress (Democratic)