Let us take a look at the world around us. Who does not want to take a ride in a luxurious car? Who does not want to live in a peaceful bungalow? If provided, who will deny of employing servants and security officials? But there is a man who is denying all these today. He is the new ‘Humble’ Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay.
I am in my late twenties. Several Prime Ministers ascended the throne, showed their face and ruled the country. Denying the services had never been talked of. Newspapers never got to carry this weighty beat. I never heard them rejecting their so-called Thoblam. For now I doubt if they were, at all, entitled to such thoblams or they simply had no courage to utter “No”.
Whatever may be, I am taken aback by his grand gesture. It is a truth, yet hardly spoken, that we spend a lot for state protocol (which otherwise could be reduced). We never realize that the hard-earned money belonging to the poor people, buried in the shades of mountains, is used in an hour’s festive event of the state officials. We never realize how much help could that money be if given to the pauper of the far flung villages who are deprived of square meals?
We talk everyday the sufferings of people, their atrocities and the help the government of the day needs to render but the talks seldom materialize into action. In several cases, words are born never to be succeeded by their heir, actions. But I find the Prime Minister as the man of action. I find him as a man consciously concerned for his people. Knowing that Bhutanese, especially down-trodden people, cannot rise up to touch the ceiling, he chose to come down to pick them up by his hands. This is our Leader. Leaders of the soil will not feel embarrassed to stoop and touch the same.
I salute him for his simplicity. During his campaign, I was moved when he sat on a grubby chair while the decorated one remained empty at his side. And after the elections, he chose to deny state protocol and other luxury which he is entitled to. I see in him a great leader.
Because he has chosen to come down, even a common man like me can now imagine talking to his own PM and shaking hands. No more typical protocols to follow! No more fence of 36 police personnel! I will no more think that my PM is unreachable. May you lead us by example always.