Social media: A recent comment on social media by a National Council member against dzongkhag cultural officers has left some of them disappointed.

Trongsa’s councilor Tharchen in his comment on a Facebook post by a user stated, “It is good that you engaged dzongkhag lopens, worst would have been, if you engaged dzongkhag cultural officer.”

He also said that all “young rock graduate dzongkhag cultural officers would have nothing to offer to children. A blunder made by Ministry of Home and Culture Affairs.”

The comment was posted on March 30 on a post on driglam namsha (etiquette) orientation for staff and students by dzongkhag lopens.

Cultural officers condemned the statement saying the councilor should have thought about his status before posting it online. “As a people’s representative, it is not wise to give such comments on social media instead of proper guidance and feedback,” a cultural officer said.

Chukha’s cultural officer, Ugyen Chada said they are not against him or the National Council but that such a comment from a councilor was demotivating.

Some are also planning to approach the National Council chairperson. If the member feels that appointment of cultural officers under the home ministry was a blunder, they said as a lawmaker, Tharchen should have better solutions.

“Cultural officers have designated roles and responsibilities including taking care of dzongkhag protocol, works related to dratshang and religious ceremonies,” a cultural officer said, further emphasising that cultural officers are not young graduates, but those who have served for more than seven years.

Another cultural officer said he was shocked to see the post coming from a lawmaker. “Before making such comments, he should be aware of the roles and responsibilities of cultural officers.”

Gasa’s cultural officer, Ngawang Tshering wondered why the councilor called the appointment of cultural officers a blunder. “We are trying to do the best we can without failure,” he said.

Trongsa councilor Tharchen, however, said it was just a simple comment that was not posted in his capacity as a council member, but a concerned individual.

He said recruiting cultural officers was an important decision and that the ministry should have recruited senior dzongkhag lopens instead as they were more knowledgeable in upholding cultural values and driglam namsha.

“During my last 10 years as a school principal, I’ve noticed cultural officers visiting schools inappropriately although they should be the ones upholding the values,” he said. “Even at the local level, most people can’t even wear a kabney appropriately, which indicates their failure.”

He added that it was a cultural officer’s responsibility to go spread driglamnamsha instead of officials from the culture department going around 20 dzongkhags to teach driglam namsha.

Dawa Gyelmo