Bhutan’s theme of national debate has been waste—waste of resources, waste of efforts, waste of time…

One can hear all these issues being argued and analysed at different levels. To get the pulse of the nation, the last places would be in the corridors of power.

Good governance is at the heart of our development philosophy, by whatever name you choose to call it. But, more importantly, we hear about these issues only among the common people—in the bars, in the small gatherings of professionals and friends, in secluded corners.

For a country that is small, considering all aspects of development that are happening at a dizzying pace, theee are powerful messages around that the people in the power could be missing.

Bhutan’s rise since it wilfully opened to the rest of the world has been remarkable. That’s what we tell ourselves. We say we have always had the advantage of being able to learn from the mistakes that others have made.

But waste on all fronts has been rising over the years. It is the biggest disease eating into the very fabric of our society. And that’s what the common Bhutanese at not able to understand. And so the talk about waste of resources, waste of efforts, waste of time…

For a real change, a cultural shift is vitally important. It is difficult to invoke this, but sincere and visible change must be made.

The cases of corruption, the picture of resource waste, is rising, perhaps because of better reporting systems now than we had in the past. The fact that these realities continue to unfold, the more every day, points to the waste of our effort to tackle this vice that could be the ruin of us very soon.

And the show we give to the world beyond and ourselves, what a waste of time, and effort!

The national waste inventory should not only be about how much solid waste we are producing every day (the problem of waste has been growing  and we have not been successful in addressing it in these many year); it should go beyond and look at the how much we have not given that we could as citizens each individually.

The obvious question is “why”. Why are our people, in all sectors, increasingly becoming more individualistic? There must be forces at play. Still, why?

Looking at the malady inside is so more important than keeping up the show because we are talking about the life of our nation.