A real quest

Published on Oct 20 2010 // Opinion
By I. P. Adhikari

I am delighted to read your book Quest for Democracy – against all odds, the first book on Bhutan I read after migrating to Australia early last month. It helped me a lot to revive my passion for democracy and rather worked as a refresher in an alien land where I am feeling lonely.

To my understanding, this is another testimony of leaders fighting against a tyranny – a passionate and consistent fight against all odds. Bhutan has so far been in mission to bamboozle the world community to tag us terrorists and anti nationals. It’s in mission to tell the world that all those demanding democracy and human rights in Bhutan are working against national interest and that Bhutan has not committed any human rights violations or tortured any activists. To my knowledge, yours is the second book (first was by Tek Nath Rizal) to let the world know about hidden cruelty existing in Bhutan, where foreigners’ travel is controlled.

I left my country at a tender age and all I learnt about Bhutanese’s tryst with democracy is from oral tales of village elders and leaders. All stories I heard and articles I read had hardly made me conscious about the torture perpetrated to eastern Bhutan and their yarn for democracy and human rights. Your book proved to be a fruitful source for me on efforts from the east for equality and justice. In many literatures, I realized now that I wrongly read the stories of royal cruelty in Bhutan to be an issue of ethnic cleansing. It’s not the issue of ethnic cleansing rather the individualistic effort from the monarch to promote himself as the supreme human being in Bhutan and make others follow his footpaths. Your struggle in government service, BCCI and while running independent business helped me realized that I was in wide of the mark to perceive torture and inhuman treatment in Bhutan were meant only for Nepali speaking population. However, had you been able to elaborate more on the democracy tryst from east, taste of reading this book would have been more realistic, interesting.

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