Although two of the ministers in the first elected democratic government of Bhutan are of Nepali origin, many people of Nepali origin who still live in Bhutan whisper about the injustices. The stringent rule for jobs, where a no-objection certificate (NOC) is mandatory is one such example. If any member of the family was ever involved in any anti-government (read anti-monarchy) activity, you will not get the NOC. The vague definitions of such activities, left for the interpretation of local authorities at their own discretion, further makes things difficult for people like Shyam Bahadur Darnal.
A taxi driver dressed in the traditional ‘national dress’ – Gho or Bakkhu – welcomes me to Bhutan. He introduces himself as Shakti Gurung. A mixed stream of emotions churns inside me with the soothing breeze and altered landscape. Had I not visited the ‘refugee camp’ in Jhapa district of Nepal just a few days ago, I would also have taken the beauty at face value like many tourists in Bhutan.