Po­lit­i­cal rhetoric ver­sus truth?

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

The ovens are heat­ing up.

With elec­tions only about a week away and po­lit­i­cal cam­paigns in full swing, so­cial me­dia has re­cently be­come a cru­cible for heated dis­cus­sions, mud­sling­ing, fake news and defam­a­tory com­ments.

How­ever, what re­cently made the head­lines and added fuel to the al­ready roar­ing fires was the re­cent so­cial me­dia post by Dasho Dr Sonam Kinga on Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT). DPT claimed that he had openly “de­mo­nized” the party.

The gist of the com­pre­hen­sive post was that he was re­leas­ing a book on Bhutan’s demo­cratic tran­si­tion ti­tled `Po­lit­i­cal Con­tests as Moral Bat­tles’ and wanted to re­veal an ex­cerpt. He has ba­si­cally pointed out that DPT is a po­lit­i­cal party that has un­der­mined the monar­chy. For in­stance, he gives ex­am­ples of the in­fa­mous July 19, 2013 video which was termed sedi­tious and DPT’s opposition of the na­tional land cadas­tral sur­vey, Royal Ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil and Druk Hold­ing and In­vest­ments.

He states in no un­cer­tain terms that DPT tried to ma­lign and at­tack the monar­chy while try­ing to win pub­lic sym­pa­thy. This has been like a bomb in the face of the elec­tions. And we are left won­der­ing whose side we should take: DPT or the two-term Na­tional Coun­cil chair­per­son who is known as a scholar and in­tel­lec­tual? And in a sit­u­a­tion which most Bhutanese would find them­selves ex­cru­ci­at­ingly torn, the in­sti­tu­tion of monar­chy is also dragged in the whole chaos.

There has been a back­lash too on Face­book against Dasho Dr Sonam Kinga but di­verse views have been ex­pressed by com­men­ta­tors and ob­servers.

First comes the ques­tion of truth: what is the truth? We are sure that a man who has al­ways been known for his pow­ers of in­tel­lect would not spin a fable out of a mat­ter so se­ri­ous. And his ar­gu­ments stand con­vinc­ing.

How­ever, what a lot of peo­ple have been un­able to di­gest is the fact that he has dropped this whole earth shak­ing nar­ra­tive at a time when peo­ple’s po­lit­i­cal sen­si­tiv­ity is height­ened due to the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

And the mo­tive seems clear: to at least pro­ject DPT and its rem­nants in a cer­tain light. The party has been on a drive to re-es­tab­lish it­self as a game changer in the po­lit­i­cal sce­nario but this comes as a ma­jor damp­ener and is ex­pected to have reper­cus­sions on its im­age, pop­u­lar­ity and the num­ber of peo­ple who vote for it this time around.

More­over, he has clar­i­fied that he posted the ex­cerpt be­fore the ECB is­sued the no­ti­fi­ca­tion against post­ing on po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

How­ever, should we then believe it is naivete on his part? Or as he jus­ti­fies he wants the elec­toral to make an in­formed de­ci­sion?

No doubt it is a bold move from Dasho but when such come from a per­son who is looked up to and re­spected, we ques­tion the mo­tives and the prece­dent it might set.

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