At a time when Nepal that has failed to convince Bhutan to accept its citizens back home or internationalise the refugee imbroglio even after two decades, is trying to depopulate exiled Bhutanese from the UN-monitored camps, a few dedicated exiled Bhutanese including the camp secretaries and septuagenarian medical doctor Bhampa Rai are struggling to install a Bhutanese museum in Nepal.
Being planned to set up in either Sanischare or one of the Beldangi camps, the museum aims to preserve culture, identity and history of the Bhutanese citizens in exile. Like Adhikari political analyst R.P.Subba, who is based in Virginia (USA), comments that museum, as a concept, is extraordinary. "If this idea would materialize, it will keep our eroding history alive. It will definitely give a space, a space to think and internalise our tragedy in days to come - to us, younger generation and to the world as whole." [...]
Suddenly, I started loving the songs. ‘Priyeshi Timro Yad Le Satau Chha Malai’ is a unique song. It soon became my favorite. Perhaps, I listened to it more than 40 times. Other songs like ‘Akashaima Chil Ho Ki Besara’ immediately reminds us of popular Nepali singer Sambhu Rai, whose songs used to absorb most of the radio frequency during the 80s and 90s. Mahesh Bhai is our Sambhu Rai. ‘Kina Nisthuri Banyou Timi’ is another beautiful song, I enjoyed listening. There are seven songs in the CD – most of them are good to listen to. In ‘Priyeshi Timro’ and ‘Kina Nisthuri’ the singer breaks away from traditional way of tuning but in ‘Akashaima’ he proves that he can also be as traditional as it can be. Versatility is a great strength.
Following the offer of third country resettlement program, even BNS team members had to agree to a dispersed living across the world, within the parameters set by resettling countries. It is perhaps, what we like to call, a ‘choice from a choice-less choice’. As you all do, we are also struggling for both personal and family’s existence in the new setting. Nonetheless, we are truly committed towards devoting our time to safeguarding your right to information through the steady existence of BNS. Of late, we started to fear that we might have to lose emerging writers due to our inability to remunerate their efforts.
Manoj devotes an entire song paying tribute to the fallen heroes of our movement beginning from Mahasur Chhetri to RK Budathoki. At the end of the song, he also mentions about martyr Man Bahadur Chhetri and a passionate activist of the Sarchhop community, Cheku Dukpa. Manoj dissects southern Bhutanese history and narrates the events in chronological timeline; with such simplicity and placidity that an entire history is revealed into your ears as music. No wonder, this is his ‘core’ song. The song offers glimpses of our society in historical perspective and is an example of the glaring pitfalls of a dysfunctional system that played pranks with the lives of its own citizens. Above all, his songs are a real tribute to the fighters of democracy and human rights in Bhutan; they are also a clarion call to the others to wake up in the struggle against injustice. I would recommend his CD to everyone.
Recently, Prime Minister Jigme Y. Thinley, who traveled to the United States this week to speak at Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum, told Al Jazeera that, “In Bhutan even the street dogs seem to be smiling.” Article 9 of Bhutan’s constitution puts it simply: “The State shall strive to promote those conditions that will enable the pursuit of Gross National Happiness.” To a lay person, being happy means having clothes to keep warm during the freezing Himalayan winter and having money to buy medication when a family member is sick. To this person, Gross National Happiness might mean living in a house with family and working the farm, instead of living in slum by the side of the road doing unpaid, compulsory labor for the government.