Zhidu: Ugyen Tenzin, 60, former drangpon (judge), surrendered his kabney (scarf) and patang (sword) to the Royal Privy Council yesterday as he formally retired from service to the nation.

Zhidu is a traditional system, whereby individuals, who received positional paraphernalia, should hand over the symbols of power and position to the one who bestowed the same upon them.

Ugyen Tenzin walked away from the office of the Royal Privy Council with white kabney with fringes without patang.  He is the second person from the judiciary to follow the old tradition of Zhidu.

Dasho Sangay Wangchug, a member of the Royal Privy Council, said that only individuals, who received decorations from His Majesty for outstanding contributions to the nation, can keep and make use of them.

“If everybody continues to wear position-based scarves after retirement, the value of recognition will be lost,’” said Dasho Sangay Wangchug.

The former Thimphu dzongda, Lhab Dorji, surrendered his kabney and patang after he was appointed as the president of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital.

Lhendup Wangchuk, former Wangdue dzongdag, also surrendered his kabney and patang the moment he was appointed as a commissioner of the Royal Civil Service Commission.

After Thimphu Dzongda Lhab Dorji and Wangdue Dzongda Lhendup Wangchuk handed over thier kabney and patang, the Royal Civil Service Commission issued a notification saying that “it is a timely reminder of the common knowledge that position based kabney and patting must be relinquished when the person relinquishes that position.”

According to zhidu tradition and system, dzongdas, dzongrabs, drungpas, drangpons, drangrabs, parliamentarians and constitutional post holders have to surrender their kabney and patang after they change professional position.

By Tenzin Namgyel