Former education minister Thakur S Powdyel dedicates his latest book to Druk Gyal Zhipa 

Review: In a world where the teaching profession has lost its noble-ness, in a world that doesn’t cherish words of wisdom easily, in a world where values are dictated by Internet and smart phones, in a world where families are rapidly fragmenting, in a world where nations find it difficult to prescribe a common ideology, here comes a book that could provide a modicum of reason for us to be true to our roots, ideal, and vision.

Right of Vision & Occasional Views by Lop-poen Thakur S Powdyel, also a former sherig lyonpo, is probably the answer to many of our questions. The book is an introspection of the personal ideal visited in different garbs: as a child, as a teacher, as a parent, as a citizen, and as an individual. The many essays, poems, travelogues, memoirs, speeches, and reflections that make Right of Vision is a gift the author offers to his readers.

And yet, in the midst of this Powdyellian worldview lies a singular inspiration from a man who has not only inspired his people but also the world – Druk Gyal Zhipa. Therefore, this book is a fitting tribute to His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, a perfect epilogue to His Majesty’s long and wise reign. For example, the poignant piece the author wrote on hearing His Majesty’s wish to abdicate the Golden Throne is a reflection on the ultimate act of primal human gesture – that of ‘giving and receiving’.

Anywhere in the world, many a man are born to lead, many to guide, and many to guard. A nation is a sovereign entity that gives identity and purpose to its citizens, and the citizens shape the nation through their actions – by leading, guiding, and guarding. Lop-poen Thakur S Powdyel revisits these fundamental acts in his book and discusses what it means to lead, guide, and guard. In this sense, the book transcends its literary merit and moves into the realm of spiritual philosophy.

The book ends with a letter to the author by one of his students: “Today, 14 years after I walked out of the gate of Sherubtse, I can confidently say that inside that gate was a teacher whose words and actions follow me everywhere. Like a pair of kind un-judging eyes, they don’t reproach but remind; they don’t shout but stir; they don’t tell but inspire.”

But a true teacher continues to teach till the very end. And here, in this particular phase of Lop-poen Thakur S Powdyel’s life, the teacher has decided to scatter the seeds of wisdom again. If any book deserves to be read by each and every Bhutanese adult and child, this is that book. In a world driven by commercial interest where authors often pander to market demands, Right of Vision comes as a pure uncontaminated statement of author’s love for his Kings, Country, and People.

Contributed by

Gopilal Acharya