Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The marijuana Factor

Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) on 12th November 2012 reported the arrest of six men possessing ten sacks of dried  Marijuana weighing more than three hundred kilograms in Jomotsangkha, Samdrup Jongkhar. Well, I am not really surprised by that very news, rather I am saddened and I feel pity that the six innocent  men had to become the culprit or rather a criminal. Most of the people will see this as a crime, but I don't and I have a different feeling, not because such act isn't a crime but because there are reasons, loads of reasons towards resorting to such crimes. Because I am from the same place! I pretty much know what it takes and what it feels to become such culprit? Why and how all these happens?

Who would ever think as to why and how this happened in such remote part of the country? Why from an innocent people? Seriously who would like to carry about sixty to seventy kilograms of load on our back at night and get apprehended or be kept under detention the next morning? Who would actually like to commit crime after all? Nobody!

However, what choices do people like six of them (or we) have? When the people of other part of the country is being waken up by the expensive modern alarm clocks (or who at all cares about waking up so early?), we have the early cocks that cracks the dawn that awaits with so much burden and hardships. When children of other parts of the country studies under the bright tube-lights, ours have that old, almost ruptured  and smoked Lamp that lights the room. When people of other parts have cars to travel and trucks to carry loads, we have our own feet and our backs which has become so hard and sense less owing to constant use and of course the horses. For us the thick and cozy tulip beds and blankets are replaced by thin skins of dead animals; as thin as the blade. When other parts have the black topped roads that connects and avails all the modern facilities, we too have a road that began its construction since 2004 but the difference is keep aside the black tops, the road hasn't spanned more than 10 km in about eight years now! Besides, what do we have as a source of income? Even if we have how do we reach to the sale points with such road?The only source of income is but porter and that too through rugged and steep cliffs, mountains and valleys.

But, yes people have survived throughout the centuries despite all these! And as a part of it I have only been proud. We have now doctors, engineers, Doctors and even Parliamentarians. What does this mean? It only means we aren't that backward, we have the capability to arise. Even with little developments, even from such harsh environments. It only means we can do.

I do know about the Tobacco and tobacco product prohibitions in our country. I also know that consuming Tobacco and its product is injurious to health. The section 11, chapter three of the Tobacco Control Act of Bhutan 2010 says;No person in the country shall:
  • Cultivate or harvest Tobacco
  •  manufacture, supply or distribute tobacco and tobacco products
  • Sell and buy tobacco and Tobacco products.
I also respect the fact that Bhutan is a religious country and that tobacco is a product of the evil, and that it does more harm than good not only during this life to our health but in the next as well. However I have never understood as to why knowingly people have to resort to such activities? And perhaps this is also a question that the ones who apprehended or largely the policy makers of the country, has to ask themselves. May be then both parties can have answers.

Of course we never cultivate or harvest Tobacco in our place. May be out of mercy, God has been kind enough to bless the Land with such plants in plentiful, that has been sole source of income so that every parents can send their children to Schools, so that every people will have new modern clothes and foods, so that everyone can have the taste of so called development as other parts of the country.

This doesn't mean the Royal government hasn't done anything to that community. Yes we have schools  for our children, we have NFEs spread throughout the villages and people have only been embracing with dedication and interest, but the question is if it has done enough? If the government has been fair enough? Or are we, the people are foolish enough to  have failed to embrace?

It is good that people are refrained from doing such crimes, that we are enforcing the laws of country, but as good as we try to implement such enforcement,  more important is to analyze the ground realities as why people, the innocents, resort into such crimes? How did the Engineers, Doctors, Drangpons, Teachers and Parliamentarians become? Ask any one of them, how was their journey towards becoming the one? As long as there are no modern facilities and modern developments  I fear there will only be more criminals like the recent case, because what choice do we have?