A rapper shows up in full Bhutanese regalia. All out of place, to talk about things so pertinent – democracy of the day. “Dear Prime Minister…” he rattles on. The message is deep in a way although at time it is way out of place.

But this is International Democracy Day in Thimphu. The rapper isn’t physically present. The image is from a video produced by Bhutan Centre for Media and Democracy.

The launch of music video ‘Dear Prime Minister’ reminded the audience of the common unethical behaviour of the public, the importance of the role of the political candidates and the citizens during the elections.

The song is about division created unfortunately by individual’s choice of political parties among the family members and the community.

“Once you are eligible, it is not only your right to vote, but it is also your responsibility,” says the song.

BCMD also launched a television series Jurwa (changing times) highlighting the challenges of young Sangay Penjor who wishes to join politics. “Much of his experience can be related to issues political and social that we face everyday,” the press release issued by BCMD stated.

Students and members of political parties discussed the current state of democracy in the country.

Representatives of Bhutan Democracy Dialogue (BDD) said that with the development of democracy, issues such as the voter turnout, corruption, unethical behaviour of the politicians and the public were common.

Druk Chirwong Thsogpa’s Lily Wangchuk said that corruption, delay of decision making and divided community define democracy in Bhutan. She said that for the democracy in Bhutan to succeed, political parties should look beyond political interest, provide independence to organisations such as media, parliament, and highlight the importance of voters and the public.

Themed “Democracy and conflict prevention” the day focused on the critical needs to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability.

Phurpa Lhamo