Celebration mood is still on as we lazily pull ourselves to work from a long weekend that was full of activity.
Bhutanese welcomed the great news of the birth of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey on the eve of Losar. We celebrated the Losar and then we got the first official Kupar of The Gyalsey with His Majesty The King, His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen.
There could not be a more colourful week of celebration for the Bhutanese. We will talk about these historic events for a long time.
But now the celebrations are over; it is time to get back to wok and move on. The datho (Buddhist astrological calendar) reminds us of the need to brace for the many challenges that we might meet in the days ahead. As predictions go, we will experience major fire incidents and untimely rainfall. We cannot help but take these forecasts seriously. We are already experiencing erratic rainfall and unseasonable weather due to climate change.
At a time when we are talking about achieving food self-sufficiency and import substitution, these predictions come with foreboding tone. We are told that crop yields and livestock production will be poor. These are indeed serious prognostications.
We have local government elections to be held. Going by our experience from the first round, there are lots to be done. We need candidates and, more importantly, voters to come out and choose their representatives. There are also issues to be ironed out before we head to the polls in some dzongkhags.
The government is entering the third year of its executive role, which means there is not much time left. The claim is that the government has fulfilled most of its pledges, but that is not enough. Some say that short-term pledges besides, what is conspicuously missing is a long-term vision for the country. They are talking projects like the irrigation master plan to bring under cultivation, thousands of acres of land with specific targets and timeline. They want to know what are our economic policies beyond the hydropower projects, and they want to know about the solutions, long-term solutions, to the growing unemployment problems.
If we are not spurred on by the predications, we have a good year to start, to feel rejuvenated and refreshed. The Fire Male Monkey year is extraordinarily auspicious. The timing is perfect to begin on an auspicious note.
With the comfort of having ensured continuity with the birth of Gyalsey, the wishes of the people are fulfilled. But it is not the time to feel relaxed and rest assured. It is time to reflect on the simple expectations of His Majesty The King. His Majesty The King has said that it is not the question of whether we are capable or not; it is a question of whether we rise to the occasion and shoulder responsibilities.
The past week had been a week of celebrations. As we embrace the New Year, it is a good time to reflect on our commitments and to move on boldly as a nation.