Society: After a majority of members voted no to the proposal, Bumthang’s dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) recently turned down the dzongkhag’s proposal to suspend the issuance of license for drayangs in the dzongkhag.

DT chairperson, Sangla, said the decision could not be endorsed, as a majority of the members were against the proposal.

“Moreover, such decisions, which can have a larger impact on the population, can’t be taken as some members are also missing,” Sangla said.

Tang gup, Thinley Namgay, and Ura gup, Dorji Wangchuk, both voted no to the proposal for economic reasons.

Tang gup, Thinlay Namgay, said that drayang is like any business entity and suspending the issuance of licenses would deprive those interested in taking up the business.

“Rather than suspending the issuance of licenses, it must be left for the market forces to decide its numbers,” Thinley Namgay said.

The dzongkhag human resource officer, Ugyen Dorji, had put up the agenda to suspend the issuance of drayang licenses.

He said Bumthang, which has a small population, already has five drayangs and two discotheques, besides a karaoke. “The licenses must be controlled for the larger interest of peace and harmony in the communities,” Ugyen Dorji said.

Chumey mangmi, Kelzang, said the issuance of new licenses must be assessed properly. “Such business entities must be assessed for the damage they cause to society at large, than the benefit it heralds to one person,” he said.

He said that drayangs also contradict the country’s image of being deeply rooted in religion and rich culture. “Drayangs are also becoming source of social problems affecting families,” Kelzang said.

Dzongkhag chief education officer (DEO), Karma Chophel, added that such hangouts in town are also affecting students.

According to the DEO, schools are increasingly finding it difficult to keep students as day scholars because of easy access to such hangouts. “It’s also possible that at least 30 percent of people frequenting the drayangs must be students,” he said urging the drayangs to at least stop entertaining students.

The DT, however, decided that the issuance of such licenses would now have to be routed through a rigorous process. “Those applying for such licenses, hereafter, must be routed through DT, besides getting a social clearance from the neighbourhood,” Sangla said.

By Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang