Mapping the right course


When it comes to accomplishing amplest forms of fundamental rights, freedom or democracy, courses of struggle by the victims are advanced accordingly toning change in time and situation. We, however, strived it through same fashion even though the situation at times had sought more stronger and reliable tactics to wrestle with Thimphu peacefully.

Our context
By now, this writer is convinced that our mode of struggle—as said to be a ‘struggle for democracy’ in Bhutan, however, has not advanced. Beginning early 1990s and until the posting of this piece, we have envisaged and upheld the same mantras—no matter whether they are already achieved, yet to be attained and or are completely unachievable.

If one weighs in the changes taking place in Bhutan diligently, you can ascertain that most among the 13-point demands placed before then government by the Bhutan Peoples’ Party (BPP) on August 2, 1990, nearly similar to that of the Communists Party of Bhutan (CPB-MLM) in 2004, are already met—some partially and some fully whereas some appear attainable inevitably with the course of time citing the positive changes taking place in Bhutan.  Other exiled political parties’ demands, not to an exception, are not much different. This stance, however, in no way was meant at backing-up those who had played crucial role in exiling tens of thousands of its own citizen. What it does, though, is to point out the need to consider changing the course of our struggle and work more effectively.

We must admit that some of our demands appear entirely unreasonable until people from within the country rise-up to seek them. This scrutiny in itself is abundant in pointing out the need of shifting the course of our struggle; if at all it is a must and that there exist one, for ‘the time is always right to do what is right.’ The political uproar in our neighboring Nepal & Afghanistan and the ongoing unrest in various regions of the Middle East clearly indicate that no major political transformation ensue in a country overnight. We should by now understand that Thimphu is not an exception to this.

During years’ struggle for bolstering our call for democracy and freedom in Bhutan, we placed ourselves against the backdrop of the imprecise courses—up to the point that we never realized what could be done next when one approach fails. And we kept on failing one after the other attempts. Our all-time key demand—dignified repatriation—never became feasible. Although not a single refugee has returned home, at least until the posting of this article, a good number of refugees camped in Nepal are likely to wait for the day. It is, therefore, time to let these folks know that the option of repatriation is getting thinner every other day and that it is time for them to think of securing a better future. In actuality, it appears that the beginning of the third country resettlement process also marked the end of repatriation.

We have always pointed out fingers at a handful of leaders for this big failure. Have we ever questioned if we (public) pondered our responsibilities? Answer: probably many NO(s) Vs. few YES(s)! Whether or not you accept it, the fact is we lacked, have been lacking & will continue to lack visionary leaders. We almost never upheld united voice and those who had the caliber to make it either advocated the issue singly or washed-off their hands completely.

Moving forward
Evidently speaking, yet not to be mentioned here in detail though, it is mirrored time & again that many of our forefront leaders slogged in without applicable & long-term strategies: thus the failure. Past is past. We should not always consider beholding retrospection. It’s time to look forward and keep moving. It’s time for healing. It’s time to build-up stronger, prosperous and united Diaspora first even before thinking of continuing to advocate our issue should the need still exists at all. Once a united voice and or a stronger Diaspora is established, we should then wisely map out course of our struggle and spend some good time to sketch out strategies. I see that we have only two options: (1) consider advocating national reconciliation and or (2) challenge Bhutan government more strongly before international arena with well-documented facts on its atrocities carried out in 1990s. The latter, however, might not yield expected results at the end of the day as its costlier and time consuming.

We should also be very clear that Thimphu is always efficacious to lure the world’s affirmative courtesy towards the perception of its concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which in return has candidly contributed in cloaking its atrocities carried out in early and late 1990s. We, thus, should have some prodigious strategies & plans, in future if not now, to overcome this situation.

Former Chief Editor and one of the current contributing editors of Bhutan News Service, Mishra is majoring in “International Studies” at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He blogs at Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.


  1. YES I AGREE WITH YOU IN SOME EXTENT.But please read the following carefully.

    Past is past,
    Present in full of confusions,
    And future is unknown.

    This is the ground reality we poor people are facing all odds for the past 20 years in refugee camps in Nepal.The cunning leaders(fox) are enjoying luxury life out side camps and abroad in the name of refugee.
    This media campaign against the Bhutan govt. is nothing more than their main tools to enjoy the refugee facilities.
    So future was unknown and will remain unknown for ever for the poor minority..

  2. Hey !!!! what do you want to convey to public? We know these all. You don’t need to explain now. This was there and is still there. you go to your school and do your business and earn good grades and degree. don’t politicize the matter. you still need to study and learn the reality. Most of are in the usa and more know about what you are talking about. we are not going to elect as a president for Bhutanese community. enjoy it and have a good future.

  3. The reasons for not being able to achieve our goal is because of narrow minded and cunning people like bed.We proudly talk about movement for democracy,human rights,freedom of expression and pass bad comments against the Bhutan Govt. and the present/past leadership.
    If some body tries to put forward the weakness in the process of our struggle.. so called refugee leaders and their handful of chamchas get frustrated and victimize the person saying that “YOU ARE JIGME’S PAID AGENT and so on and even threaten with dire consequences .We can not go ahead with taliban,saddam and Gaddfi leadership like we had adopted to our innocent people during 1990 movement,we killed,we kidnapped,we tortured our fellow citizens who refused to join our movement,we destroyed public facilities like schools/hospitals and bridges and even brunt down our national dress and national flags.
    So my dear friends,20 years in silent is enough to justify the facts and allow us to speak truth.
    We can not hide truth and tell lie in this fast developing world.So better not to waste time bullying each other.

  4. I am a regular viewer of I not just only read the news but also every single comment associated to it. Over the past several months there hasn’t been a single news or article gone by without the comment from Bed. Its not different Bed but the same stupid Bed. I can tell that because nature of comment he writes is always the same. I think he would be better off to remain shut because he is junk

  5. I really enjoyed going through this article of Mr. Mishra. This is not because I live in the same State the writer lives, but because the piece is a straight wake-up call for all of us. There will be, for sure, increment of “Beds” when somebody wants to reveal the truths and try to show some clear paths forward. This is the nature of our community– damn like “Beds”.

  6. Yes!!! one can praise or criticize others but should not harm anyone. I think the comments that i read seem something fishy. all commentators comments are with same logic and opinions and there seem no differences . yes, well you may say… our comments are constructive …. how do you justify? L. Grg g.. see around and judge yourself. enjoyment and realities are different aspect of life. Now, if i say, today i saw a “white” crow near Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal. Just let me know whether you trust me.

  7. TP Mishra has painted a very realistic picture and I liked his later suggestions which are really meaningful. I think it is time for national reconciliation and healing and that thinking has to emerge from all angles. I totally agree with Mishra that the Diaspora group has to come with some solid strategy to paint a unified stand. Thus far that looks like a remote possibility when we are working with some people whose intellectual levels seems to be of the lowest imaginable level.

    I am even ashamed to think of part of such low quality people. Our people need many generations to be educated and worthy of living in the West. One route to this unthinkable state is lack of proper education and I hope younger generation like Mishra begin to give priority to higher education of whatever form it may be.

  8. TP bhai, you have brought a very analytical write up. If we can spot our weaknesses there is always place for improvement.I cheerish to read such visionary articles from our younger generation.It is a very positive sign for a better Bhutan and Bhutanese tomorrow.Very thoughtful of you bhai. Keep up your good work.