Perhaps, a day will come when my name would figure in bold letters in a powerful media garden like KOL ( kuenselonline ) and make me shun the site like the plague. Until then I will be this big fan of the site, that I am now, for a long time. I would guess some of you abide a decent amount of time to it and maybe even contribute some crucial concerns. I never did get the heart to do so, love as I might to, especially because I felt parting with one’s email account is not a very safe thing to do.
But kudos to those who dare and pour there heart out. It is actually intriguing and equally fascinating to look into it and get to wonder that we are all indeed swimming in a deluge of problems, perhaps not personally affected, but very much wrought into them as a Bhutanese. Back then we would call the forum the ‘GNH Trash Can’ because whatever is dumped there is something GNH can do without. All I can say now is that the trash can is brimming with the never ending woes of the citizens and we could be simultaneously facing the same problems we are facing now with the Memelakha garbage disposal site, with the exception of the physical stench perfuming the atmosphere in one case.
Many might detest the forum since people can anonymously make allegations about others, although we ought not to take them seriously, as viewers. After all, any man is innocent until proven guilty. Yet, there are many other issues and concerns which do seem and sound genuine and makes us reflect holistically. The MPs and the new government, among many, seem to be a favourite topic to discuss on nowadays with many writers taking interest on them. Ministries of Health and Education do not seem far behind. RCSC seems to be doing well among Commissions. Dzongdags are a common target too, with writers making appeals to them.
However, it is not just the topics that tickles my interest further but the subtlety of the writers too. They can outsmart you any time. Some would deliberately write in broken English, probably to waylay potential candidates mentioned from doubting the real writer. Well you could guess he (forgive my generalising the gender to a specific male) is being deliberate when he writes ‘tocharing’ for ‘torturing’ and ‘relivant’ for ‘relevant’ and yet builds up a strong content.
Some come up with weird topics, “Truck Drivers in Wangduephodrang needs blessings of RSTA” and goes about telling how RSTA should intervene in the recent vehicle problems experienced due to the new Punatsangchu project. Some seem to put up a wise topic, “Vote for the candidate, not the party”. An eye opener I suppose. One more that did touch me was when someone came up with, “Zhemgang- The Forbidden Dzongkhag”. As the topic says, the author goes about appealing the Zhemgang elected candidates to do something about their district. Were I in Bhutan now I would have viewed this differently and shrugged it off as a problem of our Khengpas. But now I view it as a Bhutanese and feel about the dire need of a fellow citizen’s appeal to be heard.
Some authors are not without sarcasm, and I actually had a good laugh reading a post that was made towards the end of last year. It speaks out not only of his frustration, but also hits back with an air of cynicism, which I would very much hate to be directed at. To quote him directly;
“Topic: Accounts Personnel to smoke, chew & Drink
Any of the Accounts personnel those who have not got any chance to go abroad even after having served for more than 5years in the remote Dzongkhag can now have the option to go to Vellore and Kolkata for the unidentified term. viz. now we can start drinking alcohol, chew doma and smoke until we get infected with the diseases that needs to be referred to outside Bhutan...”
I actually visit KOL forum to excite a few gigs of laughter but I do have my takeaway points from there too. Maybe if you want to know how your own company is faring, you could write a short scandalous note and about it and await the fair comments of the viewers. I am sure you will learn a lot more in two days than you would from your employees in two years. And maybe if you think you are a well known personality, then you could post something about yourself and see how people react to it to find how you fare in the society. Of course be warned that I am just kidding and that you might actually be better off simply jumping off a cliff than trying it.
Still, as much as I enjoy reading KOL it is not something I look forward to. As long as forums like KOL keep filling up, GNH will keep evading us.