Sunday, September 6, 2009

SUFFERING FROM IDENTITY CARD MAKING

Sometimes in 2006, when the whole country was rushing to pose for new identity card, a class teacher of one of the schools in southern Bhutan received a leave application from one of his students. The first line of the application read, “… since I am suffering from identity card making, I am not able to attend the class today....” The teacher had been used to hearing that his pupils were suffering from diarrhoea, scabies and other diseases but surely not from identity card making.
It sounds funny when we hear it for the first time but when we ponder over his suffering, people are not just suffering from identity card making alone but from many things, especially from the burden of inefficiencies.
Sometimes I wonder how farmers get their job done in the offices. It feels like the offices are there to do people a favour. It works perfectly though if you have connections. This may be the reason why sharchokpas have huge extension of their family lines like banyan trees. Mind you but, many relations are based on who is worth being connected.
So talking about connections, many people get jobs through connection and not selection. Selection interviews are just a drama created to get some nice working lunch which people don’t get to eat at home much. The candidates are selected weeks before interview. The interview would been already done twice before the results are published for the winning candidate. One is done by the father or anyone who is got influential polarity on the phone long before. Of course you need Qualification. But more so, you need Thekalification. Thekal in Lhotsham would mean a push factor. It sounds like motivation theory from some management lessons, doesn’t it?
However, some years ago, a young boy, aspiring to join NRTI was attending an interview. He had a good score. While entering the interview room, he left the doors opens. One of the committee members asked him to close the door. He did. He gave a little harder than a gentle back kick to the door and it closed. He was out.
Then the first democratic election showered upon the people. The result was impressive. Wasn’t it? More than the elections, we are impressed by the kingmakers. There are office politicians, dangerous ones, doing office politics everyday. Its impressive how they can play around people and bosses. I do not feel that our politicians would do us more harm than those lurking behind office cubicles and chambers. It makes me shake like jelly. Bhutan has surely become a breeding ground for cronies. Sadly we have them a lot.
So, like the opening line from the movie Madagascar, we may be lucky to be landing somewhere as a new deomocratic country but we may be crash landing unfortunately.Till then we will able be suffering from not just identity card making but everything....