The people and the country have moved on from the divisive politics that spewed distrust and hate during the campaign days.
The on going spat between the government and the opposition tells us that our elected leaders have not.
Where the issues and the disagreements should have been on the pay revision and tourism flagship programme for Zhemgang, concerns that matter to the people, the debate has whipped up politics and personal attacks. Where the people expect changes and decisions to be based on reason, they are today subjected to witness the theatrics of impulses and arguments of the lowest order.
Insinuating political discrimination based on how and who the people voted for to explain the change in policies is despicable, especially when it comes from the opposition, whose members have been representing the people since the country’s transition to democracy.
For the government that espoused change and spoke about healing the wounds left behind by the campaigns, retorting with personal attacks and questioning the choice of the people of Zhemgang is both deplorable and vicious.
We are not proud of the discourse the people’s representatives are indulging in. A passive opposition insinuates political discrimination and the government, which remained silent on the GLOF threat from Thorthomi when the whole country was abuzz with it, calls an adhoc press conference to rebut the opposition’s accusations. It is becoming clear that the claims of reconciliation and the two working together are mere political gimmicks.
The venting has resulted in diluting the issues at hand and the reasoning behind the decisions made. The opposition will continue to question the decisions but it will be the government of the day who is answerable to the people of its decisions. The check on the leaders is that, if they make the wrong decisions, and the gaps are too large, they will not last. For the government, the mandate of the people to govern should be good enough to prioritise its choices. Its responses should provide clarity, not confusions seething with personal attacks. It should respect, not ridicule the choice of the people. Our politicians should stop dividing the country and pitching the east with the west or the central with the south and aligning parts of the country with one or the other political party.
What has become critical for our political leadership is to see the bigger picture as a nation, not as political parties that come in for only five years. Comparing itself to the past governments is akin to the comparisons being made between those who are getting a higher raise and those professions that aren’t.
It would be naïve to assume that politics is not inherent in the decisions that politicians make. What this calls for is for the society to ask bigger questions. It is time we question the purpose of pay revision, its politicisation and thereof the civil service, and debate the rationale for higher raise to clinical health personnel and teachers. It is time to question how and why Zhemgang remained on the blind spot of policy makers for decades and not just its inclusion or exclusion from a tourism programme. It is time elected leaders understand that the people deserve better.