August 3, 2009

Meeting the ban

In a rare show of the MPs caliber I had a nice sermon on the television about how religiousness was affected by our consumption of meat. The change of notions and subsequent support before and during the drawing of final decision was amusing as well. We saw a landslide victory yet again.

I read an interesting point raised by the Home Minister in Kuensel. “Religion and politics shouldn’t be mixed as it’ll lead to conflict. The root cause of conflicts and problems in many countries is religion,” said the minister, who is also the chairman of the Chhoedey Lhentshog, (commission for religious organisations). Yet banning of meat sale on the particular months was all a mix of religion and politics.

As long as consumption does not stop and as long as the total killing does not stop momentary breaks do not make much sense. I think the choice of banning will be subject re-discussion again at a later date when MPs with different views take up the seat. After all, it’s not a universal consensus, like agreeing that tobaccos are a danger and prone to health hazards- one area where religion and politicians would undeniably agree.

Ironically religious rituals in Bhutanese homes are stalled or postponed because of the unavailability of meat products. We have people dashing out to the shops on the eve prior to the closing day or month to stock up. We offer it in our altars to appease our gods. Meat seems to go symbolically with our religious practices.

The meat ban was neither on any of the parties’ manifestos nor has it any inkling with GNH because while it makes half smile about the ban, one fourth would be not very happy while the rest should have no comments about it (a dim projection of the fraction which need not necessarily be accurate). The public cannot gain much from this decision. Those who want to eat will find a way to get hold of it, no matter on what days or months.

Yet enough time has been lost on it.

Perhaps we ought to worry about other serious issues, and disaster management comes to my mind of all, especially when we are rankled by the unfortunate Tsimalakha incidence where innocent lives could have been saved. We have issues where each and every Bhutanese soul are united for a cause and each and every Bhutanese can be made to smile because we know the responsible bodies are headed in the right direction.

Besides, discussing saving lives at any instance of time could be far more important than deciding when and when not to eat.


  1. You are right Tongyal..the disaster management must do something now. First, they waited for the thothormi lake to break knowing it was on the verge of it. They need to prepare and plan beforehand.

    This year seems to be an unfortunate year that is somehow associated with water...first it was the flood and then the incident in Tsimalakha.

    I am already dismantling my home and rebuilding it in the mountains :P

  2. Nobody is happy about the ban, sure everybody is guilty though. We are afraid of god but deep down we love meat...You keep watching; you will see those MP rushing for meat to dry and stock up for those two months: National assembly is a Drama!