Very desperately, we have to say that mainly India and the western world persuaded king Jigme assuming his steps as sacrifice to the people of Bhutan. The western world might have taken king Abdullah of Saudi Arabia as a role model. But, king Jigme and Bhutan can’t be compared with such a Middle East power block in politico-economic terms. Bhutan remained aloof for dozen of decades from the outer world and so was the political structure, economic activities, civic life and issues of government-citizen relations. For decades, the kingdom home to only six hundred thousand people, has been the adobe of interest by social scientists, independent journalists and even the natural scientists.
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.