Ac­cept­ing other’s right to their view

Business Bhutan - - Editoria -

As the dates for the elec­tion draw closer, po­lit­i­cal brawl be­tween the two par­ties, Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT), has also in­ten­si­fied.

While po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates are busy pre­par­ing and at­tend­ing com­mon fo­rums and for­ti­fy­ing their po­si­tion in their con­stituen­cies, the two party pres­i­dents are also ag­gres­sively in a cam­paign mode, tour­ing the dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try and es­pe­cially in places which the par­ties con­sider piv­otal for the up­com­ing elec­tion.

Fur­ther, in­di­vid­ual po­lit­i­cal party has also be­gun scru­ti­niz­ing other party’s pledges and a myr­iad of cross-crit­i­cisms are os­ten­si­ble th­ese days.

For ex­am­ple, DNT’s pledges of do­ing way with the cut-off point for Class X, free in­ter­net and al­lowance for ru­ral moth­ers to breast­feed and take care of their chil­dren for the first six months have re­ceived flak from DPT. DPT main­tained that such pledges should be looked into through re­sources and sus­tain­abil­ity point of view and urged peo­ple to think twice and un­der­stand whether such a pledge was good for the coun­try.

Sim­i­larly, DPT’s pledges of gen­er­at­ing 10,000MW of elec­tric­ity by 2030 and the in­volve­ment of pri­vate sec­tor in build­ing the hy­dropower plants re­ceived flak from DNT. DNT as­serts that such de­vel­op­ments would have ad­verse ef­fects on the econ­omy from in­creas­ing debt and works go­ing only to a few in the pri­vate sec­tor.

The de­bates and dis­cus­sion on cer­tain party pledges as given above is there­fore good if it helps the elec­torates to as­sess them and see its ra­tio­nal­ity and ben­e­fits. It is also mak­ing a few of them gauge the im­pacts and reper­cus­sion of th­ese pledges. Such de­vel­op­ments are there­fore good to cre­ate an in­formed cit­i­zenry. It is also mak­ing peo­ple to think whether a few of the pledges are re­ally the need of the time.

Ad­di­tion­ally, with each party out­lin­ing its stand and crit­i­cism over an­other party’s pledges is also en­sur­ing a sort of sys­tem of check and bal­ance. Mak­ing pledges is easy. But open­ing pledges to dis­cus­sion and de­bate only makes us see its ra­tio­nal­ity, do-abil­ity and ben­e­fits. It’s sim­ple as praise where praise’s due. It goes sim­i­lar with crit­i­cism too.

A ho­moge­nous so­ci­ety in the world is al­most nonex­is­tent. Ev­ery coun­try is in­ter­nally di­verse - di­verse eth­ni­cally, di­verse in terms of lan­guage, di­verse in terms of cul­ture, di­verse of class and di­verse dif­fer­ences. But democ­racy works when th­ese dif­fer­ent and di­verse groups come to­gether and talk about mat­ters of shared in­ter­est.

So not just in elec­tions, com­mit­ment to democ­racy means that ac­cep­tance in all in­ter­ested par­ties that, in day-to-day po­lit­i­cal de­bate or any po­lit­i­cal dis­course, one will not al­ways get one’s way. Con­trar­ily, democ­racy is ac­tu­ally a com­mit­ment to un­der­stand­ing that oth­ers have the right to their view too and of­ten one may be the one who loses.

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