Throughout the period of history from their first entry into Bhutan, the Lhotshampas have contributed a lot for the socio-economic development of the kingdom. Bhutan had remained in isolation from the rest of the world till the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk opened the closed-door policy of the kingdom to the outsider. Bhutan made a rapid pace of economic development under the able leadership of the third king, indeed. The fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuk accelerated the development further, until the coterie of the royal family members and the bureaucrats started to poison his mind.
The combined team of subversive elements within the royal family and the treacherous high ranking government officials acted in a similar way as Lady Macbeth had acted with her husband Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The venom of Lady Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo and the effects of these serpents finally got the better of the king Jigme Singye and hence, like Macbeth, he was obliged to their demand aimed at ethnic cleansing.
The king ceded the happiness of the Lhotshampa community for the interest of the Ngalung in Bhutan. The Ngalung elites sacrificed the freedom of expression and liberty of the people to the despotic forces under mysterious circumstances and to an abrupt conclusion. The innocent Lhotshampas, under pressure from the Bhutanese bureaucrats, compelled themselves to succumb to their dictation. The Bhutanese refugees are now drawn to a stupid political game between Nepal and Bhutan, the answer of which lies with the Bhutanese people and principally Lhotshampas who are always seeking their identity, and to identify themselves with the Bhutanese community.
The Lhotshampas (Gorkhas) by nature are down to the earth people who would part with their heads readily at your slight provocation. Field Marshal William Slim- the veteran of the Burma Campaign in the World War II had hailed the Gorkhas as the most loyal soldiers and we feel proud to be associated with them, as our forefathers had earned Slim’s respect. The Lhotshampas have their own identity and a distinct culture with a specified code of conduct. The hefty, sturdy, fair looking, kind and the decent Lhotshampas have always maintained their place in the Bhutanese soil. The loyalty of the Lhotshampas had remained unchallenged throughout the periods of history and the question of loyalty of this race remains unanswered. The most scientifically and economically advanced countries of the world entertain the Gorkhas as the most trusted people and hence, the question of our disloyalty to the Bhutanese government is totally unqualified.
The hard working people of Bhutan, irrespective of their ethnicity, are the angels of peace with their respective culture marked by serenity and sanctity. Bhutan – the treasure of the Bhutanese, the infatuation of the outside world and the wealth of the Bhutanese is a land of awe and exotic beauty to everyone. Bhutan- the dreamland of the tourists, the fantasy and ecstasy of the nature lovers, and the poetic land of William Wordsworth may perhaps be aptly called ‘the land of serene Shangri-La’. Even, thousands of tourists the country receive each year portray the memory of Bhutan in their hearts and the hospitality of the Bhutanese people in their souls to convey the message to their countrymen about the magic kingdom. The indelible impression of Bhutan is therefore, an appetizer to a seeker of nature’s mystery. On contrary to this fact, Bhutan of today has become the focus of world attention due to unprecedented abuses of human rights by the repressive elements within the government.
Since 1990 a war zone scenario prevailed in Bhutan for more than a decade with well equipped security man, punctuated bunkers road blocks, cordon and search with constant harassment to the innocent Bhutanese by the security forces. During this period the bureaucrats acted like tempo drivers or conductors or traffic wardens instead of attending to their duties. They were often seen at liquor bars with suppressed and frightened females to satisfy their lust.
The crackdown had become synonymous with the people of Bhutan and the humble faithful villagers have enriched their vocabulary power by use of military terminologies like cordon and search, ambush, patrolling, catch and kill, hit and run, repression, raid, detention and interrogation. Rape was a common nightmare with the people and its implications has left a deep impact on the society with uncountable fatherless children, their shunned raped mothers and a number of suicide cases.
The beautiful Bhutanese days, dotted by the hustle and bustle of her loyal citizens, the congenial Bhutanese nights, air-conditioned by the Himalayan breeze lighted by the moonlit night with music rendered occasionally by the mewing cats and squeaking mice with the cock-a-doodle-doo call of the cock signaling the approach of another day has now become a part of the past legend. Even in the present Bhutanese democracy, the day scenario is marked by tongue-tied frightened people who work in fear under the menace of the regime’s bureaucrats. The Bhutanese nights are characterized by security patrols with shoot-at-sight manifesto. The security forces execute the manifesto ruthlessly against the innocent civilians and prove themselves to be the only real sons of the soil. The cry of the heart rending pain from the fallen victims of royal wraths, get reflected from the four walls of the nature in the wee hours of morning which announces the approach of another woeful day.
Since last two decades, Bhutan has been shedding tears to perpetuate the memory of those gallant Bhutanese who had laid down their lives while advocating for human rights and democracy. She is equally concerned about others who are still falling prey to the Bhutanese victimization and suppression by the undisciplined security watchdogs. The serene lakes of Bhutan no longer reflect the beautiful mountains, with their peaks covered with misty vapors and the lofty blue pine trees. The lakes are overflowing with blood and tears of the people and the same blood and tears are being carried by the rivers to the international community and the United Nations Organizations to convey the plights of the Bhutanese people and to seek justice.