What is the most compelling issue for today's leaders to react? The undeniable answer, I personally feel would be to ‘save the world’ and make it livable place for existing creatures. The so called ‘developed countries’ have acquired material luxuries beyond any developing or underdeveloped countries could ever imagine of possessing. But, their greed driven irrational way of thinking somehow failed to consider the sustainability of resources and consequences left for future generations to go through. Now, the world is facing urgent situation than ever before to make optimum use of its limited available resources for our needs; and to make an effort to save every creature that are on brink of extinction. The consequences of climate change and depleting resources are now very prominent and even skeptics got to believe it empirically if not from scientific findings.
It has caught the attention of all people around the globe. The world leaders are now adopting sustainable way of development and concern over future of our existence is highly questioned. These perils are not new to our visionary leaders; they were foreseen even before we started to move towards modernization. Though our leaders were less erudite than counterparts but their vigilance and farsightedness can never be overstated. The world now is pursing the development path which Bhutan has adopted since we started building our road to development. The indigenous philosophies originated from tiny spiritual country like ours took scores of years to gain consent of international leaders and experts alike. For instance, the critics were very skeptical about our idea of Gross National Happiness until recently. Underdeveloped country Bhutan has no scientific findings and state to art technologies to share with rest of the world but the simple idea, which can change the perception of entire world; the solutions to all present woes and which is unanimously accepted as future solution.
Our country had been deeply focused on values which are only seen now as necessary by others as tool for development. This gives all fellow Bhutanese a food for thought to introspect how much Bhutan and her leaders walked ahead. Bhutanese development had been revolving around fulfilling four pillars of GNH which is in line with our existing way of life; our values like community vitality, compassion, loyalty, peace-loving, living in harmony with nature, etc. all find their place in it. The GNH philosophy did not force us to change our way of life. In this context, it is irrefutable to believe that GNH is inborn in every Bhutanese.
Bhutan, blessed by Guru Rinpoche (in eighth century) with bountiful invaluable treasures, which makes our people to consider our land to be more sacred, more peaceful and the best place to live. Our precious treasures/minerals were never over-extracted before which still makes our land more valuable place. The elderly people believe that, as sanctified treasures are taken out, the earth itself becomes worthless and consequently natural calamities from four element, fire, water, earth and air will arise and are inevitable. One elderly people whom I know well asserted, all these natural calamities are generated when people disrespect the nature’s existence through activities like, mining, logging, cracking sacred stones, burning forests, etc. It is here, at this point, how much respect our forefathers had towards nature and the environment. They blame calamities elsewhere for their own deeds.
The Bhutanese without modern education was unaware about climate change. I strongly respect them in this regard. It’s like a child, who never indulged in mischievous activities will not know its pros and cons. Ignorance for them was bliss. But, it doesn’t mean that our generation can afford to relax.
The last Saturday’s climate change summit brought different leaders to think and act together to fight against common enemy of all creatures. I was waiting to watch it on television whole day. I was in Paro with my brother. All eager viewers had to cool their heels, this too due to unfavorable climatic conditions. I finally, was happy to see it happening in the afternoon. Unfortunately, no sooner did the Lyonchen Jigme Y Thinley start his keynote speech the light went off. We informed our supply company BPCL and we were informed that some minor maintenance is going on. What minor maintenance? The supply was restored only at 8pm. I was there for few days. The next few days were also of no difference. I just pondered, is there load shedding? Or why, the country that is survived by selling electricity has such type of irregular supply. At individual end, they are forgiven as we are considerate with other’s mistake but consider its implication on government’s revenue. It gave me one more food for thought.