GNH and Bhutan

Here’s an insightful cartoon from Bhutan Observer. The message is loud and clear. There’s no need to elaborate.

But one dangerous element is missing in the murky background: the rupee crunch and the growing economic crisis, about which the prime minister has not yet uttered a word.



Facebook Comments:


  1. Lovely Image

  2. Ap Drukpa says

    come on guys! give our PM some credit also, he has promoted our country through GNH and BHUTAN ever since has been on everyones map. BUT on what expenses on the government? The question is whether all this expenses is worth it?

  3. It is a wonderful news. I admire our PM for all the efforts. Are the others (OL and MPs) doing their part? Most important, is the media playing its role in educating our public on GNH? It is a reality and the world will want to know more for which we need to be prepared. My humble appeal to the media in Bhutan is to help educate the Bhutanese masses.

  4. northstar says

    I believe rupee crunch is a result of excessive GNH and ignoring GDP at the cost of GNH. And at the end it had to all balance out. Our decision makers somehow thought we could achieve GNH without GDP. Just a thought, at least this is what I feel.

  5. Bhutan Observer is making a mockery of HM IVth’s vision for the world. To subscribe to such expressions is shooting our own feet. Sad!

    GNH alone cannot address vandalism, substance abuse, youth violence, poverty, employment, garbage etc. Nor is it enough for us to have a government that fiercely pursues GNH or policies that have GNH elements. For these issues to be addressed, each of us will have to have GNH as part of us.

    That was a totally mindless piece. Bhutan Observer today is a paper based on emotion than reason.

  6. This may irrelevant but I really feel Opposition Leader should write about himself in his personal blog more than propogandas and political matters. He must also write something based on intellectual and his ideology. He must understand that this blog visited not only by PDP fan but also by future leaders and intellectuals. The leader of his calibre and position must really inspire us rather giving opportunity to grumble against government.

    As a nobody, i have observed that he makes statement with a bang but there is no justification and solution to validate his statement.

  7. Come on people, you are missing out on something very critical. The OL has an orange scarf from His Majesty the King to OPPOSE. It is his professional duty to oppose. Please also remember that his mandate does not require him to be meaningful or intelligent about his oppositions.

    His job, his sole responsibility, the very purpose why he is in the Parliament, the very reason for which he is paid by the government is to oppose everything the government does.

    He is perfectly within his rights to oppose on everything and as and when he pleases.

  8. the PDP website has remained dormant/ defunct from the day the party lost elections in 2008…. we respect the blog and it is one of the best things that a leader had initiated but honble OL should post his views on PDP website and revive the party/website as PDP is much greater than an individual.. infact PDP will be there till Bhutanese democracy is there and leaders should nurture the party othwerwise it will be a moral failure… hope this opinion is taken in a positive manner. becauuse simply state funding/ no funding will not make a party.. it is the people of bhutan who make a party… and leaders should inspire and make the party stronger.. wether one wins or looses is a secondary question…

  9. 2011 – an earthquake over 6 RS hits bhutan..
    2012 – even after bhutan sells over usd 200m to manage it’s rupee needs, the country still struggles with rupee issue..
    and where is pm jigmi thinley on both these occasions?? in nyc, globetrotting, of course..if the 2011 quake shook our ground, the rupee is shaking our economy..and, typical of him, he has nothing to say..nothing to say because the man has no answers..this from a man who would jump at any opportunity to brag or promote himself..
    both these events were or are significant..and the pm’s sojourns abroad are conspicuos in the wake is such crises..
    his sheer lack of ability to explain and tackle such issues shows us how overrated this character is..and it doesn’t help him surmount such problems when he feeds on sycophancy from stooges like wangdi norbu
    or minjur dorji who are directly responsible through their portfolios in these 2 incidents..together, they are all clueless..together they are allowing the rot to set in..


  11. Only the PDP supporters will like this blog, because it is all about complains to the government. Even the neutrals like me do not find OL doing justice in his blog. I have never heard him saying anything good about this government. Forget of becoming PM, he does not even fit for OL.

  12. Dear all,

    Q. Who a SINCERE politician is loyal to?
    A. Its Party.

    Q. What a SINCERE Politician works for?
    A. Its Party’s manifesto/promises.

    Q. What a manifesto aims for?
    A. To win elections; that’s why it is called Election manifesto.

    Q. How does a politician thinks that he can SERVE the nation?
    A. By winning next election and remain in power.

    Q. What does he do to win his next election?
    A. Aim for short term goals so that the immediate result is seen by people and he markets his party for next round on the base of these short term achievements.

    Q. What is the impact on society?
    A. In democracy where there is a balanced house some of these decisions are discussed well for their Pros and Cons and then implemented and hence some benefits to the society.
    In absence of balancing force the ruling politicians will try to make people believe that the country’s growth is related to economic mad race and its International presence.
    Impact: INR deficit till 2007= 3 billion; INR deficit in 2011: 11 billion.

    Just a thought…

  13. And what about corruption? Why is PM trying so hard to preach GNH? Is he exporting GNH? It’s quite shameful to talk about GNH when only handful of powerful elites are happy and thriving.

  14. Straight drive says

    Honourable OL,
    I feel that your party also played a major role in this rupee episode as your party dragged the government to court for the inappropriately introduced tax revision. I m sure our country would be in better position if the tax was raised at that time. So I sincerely hope that just as you defeated the government in court, you know need to lend your support for the gov to come out of this crisis. I feel we need to stand united when dealing with this kind of matters of national importance for a long time.

  15. why oppose GNH,
    Why we Bhutanese always oppose GNH. If GNH is meaningless, why it has become global agenda.Do you think when you have everything, you will be happy.GNH only helps us to be contented with what we have.And our PM clearly states Bhutan is in pursue of happiness.Therefore, people like you and me should do more research on happiness and promote these philosophy.Now,many countries around the world are after this philosophy to be incorporated in developmental activities.Leaders of tomorrow, think twice and don’t blindly oppose GNH Philosophy when you didn’t understand exact meaning.When your mining gold, you will come across many dirt, but your objective is to reach gold and not dirts. And in the process, if you look for dirt, you will never find the gold.Therefore, be positive in thinking. Negative thinking will generate negative energy which is very harmful for yourself, family,society,people,country and world at large.

  16. @Citizen

    It is not the Bhutan Observer which is making a mockery of HM IVth’s vision for the world, it is our own leaders who travel around the world preaching GNH but at home seem more intent on grabbing land, privileges, fine houses and cars for themselves and their relatives than they are in equitably serving the people who are ones turning HM’s vision of Gross National Happiness into Gross National Hypocrisy.

  17. The view of Bhutan Observer and the OL is sad. I feel ashamed to to know we have such citizens in our country.
    OL as a leader and Bhutan Observer as a media house should first understand what GNH is. Bhutan has never stated to being a 100 % happy country. We are in pursuit for happiness and thus the reason for making it our goal and implementing it in our policies.

    I am very proud of our PM and even prouder today than before to being a citizen of Bhutan.

    The world is welcoming Bhutan’s proposal for a new development paradigm. People from all over the world are keen to hear what Bhutan has to say. Our GNH philosophy is not only going to help Bhutan but the rest of the world.

    It is easy to criticize, even a fool can do that. I would appreciate it if our OL could give solutions rather than only criticizing even when it is for the good of the country. I was shocked to lean that Ol draws the same pay as PM for all OL does is nothing but criticize.

    Bhutan Observer is making a mockery of no one but themselves.
    We should be Bhutanese first.

  18. Bhutan has this international brand of GNH and its great our PM is speaking at the world platform. I congratulate him and his delegate for such a wonderful conference on GNH.
    Bhutan Observer is not making mockery as pointed out by @citizen and @Lord, it has in fact have shown only one pillar of whole GNH- Economy and Social condition.
    As a educated citizen(have basic skils of writing and reading) provided by this GNH country Bhutan, I am just worried that some people never like Bhutan to be known to the outside world.
    GNH is like a religion to Bhutan and the world because its applicable to every nation, both poor and rich. Its above all ideologies and concepts. we must learn and preach.

  19. Firstly, be realistic, rupee crunch is not only doing of government. The 10th Five year plan was already there. Government is just fulfilling that plan.

    We are all responsible for rupee crunch in our own small way. Even Sangay Ngedup and ministers who supported PDP were there when 10th Five Year old plan was endorsed.

    OL and Bhutan Observer can only see distance of 10 meters. Therefore, they don’t see tomorrow.
    What is the wrong if PM promote GNH which can be long term good for world. He is better than some Harvard educated men who are all noises without solutions.

    You will blame PM if he followed GNH philosophy and you will blame him if he doesn’t follow that philosophy….

    Anyway, PM ought to get hit as long as his head is raised higher than normal politicians.

  20. @Straight drive, you hit the nail on its head. You are right. I still dont understand why our OL took the govt to the court for raising the vehicle tax? What was the motive? Whae did he gain? How did the country benefited? What is the end result?
    I think he was disliked by many after that episode. He won the battle but lost the war. For the interest of the nation i think we must all work together – even if it means the re-interpretation of the counstitution.

  21. PM on GNH in New York. He is trying to solve others’ problem, he expects his colleagues in our country to solve the crisis, the rupee crunch. Hello PM, you have gone too far on GNH. The people within the country are laughing at you. defoz appears to be his chamcha / sycophant. Beware of defoz. All the best PM.

  22. Dear OL and all,
    Well, our PM visiting New york for GNH high level conference should be seen as a pride for all of us. The UN and the world appreciate his knowledge and wisdom. How can his own subjects fail to recognize him. Can the rupee shortage be solved by him staying here. It is every Bhutanese’s responsibility for this problem because we all import things from India. Many people understand GNH from a very narrow angle.

  23. Dear Anhony,
    I didn’t even vote for DPT in 2008. I wish i were his Chamcha because i would be recommended for red scarf because in where i worked GM’s and MD’s Chamcha can jump from P1L4 to P2L4. That should take at least 20 years for those who can’t be chamcha..

    Unfortunately i am not chamcha lol

  24. As our Dzongkha proverb goes ”Dra ra drabachin aiee om ya dhug”…. I think our PM is politicizing too much on GNH. Yeah it is true from one side that through GNH he is promoting our country but without a real existence of GNH in our country this is not the right way to promote.. Its better to promote happiness within own country first and then preach or promote the phillosophy to others. Just now people within the country are laughing at PM and one day people of other country will laugh at the the country of GNH origin BHUTAN

  25. Gangkar,
    PM Promotes GNH as well as GDP.And Bhutan is one the fastest developing country in southeast Asia.Bhutanese people are not receptive to the GNH.There are a lot of resource material on GNH for Bhutanese people.Even it is introduced in the school curriculum.What you need more?.GNH only says how to be contented with what you have..Just ask yourself when you will be happy?

  26. I am not talking about happiness at individual level, I know govt can’t feed each and every individual to make him/her happy, but atleast govt should be able to solve the problem that a nation is facing..I think i don’t have to mention the list of problems that our people are facing as its clearly mentioned in that little art with great meaning plus Rupee crunch. Preaching GNH and adding GNH in school curriculum won’t help in solving problems that is being faced at present. And the worst thing is PM is not even uttering a word regarding the present Rupee crisis… and going around the world preachin GNH GNH GNH..

  27. gachibewmo says

    If you really want to taste crisis situations, go to Nepal (political and economic), to Greece (financial and economic), to Libya and Syria (political and civil war), to Afghanistan (social, economic and political), or to Haiti, Somalia (hunger, genocide etc.). Choose any one of those and stop blowing things out of proportion. You have food on your tables, clean water, fuel for your car and peace and liberty to do what you want. Learn to appreciate what you have rather than compalin about things that you don’t need.

  28. guardian says


    It is only you, the OL and Bhutan Observer who seem to be laughing at the PM. As for the Bhutan Observer caption, I think it is in very poor taste, as a newspaper, they need to be more responsible.

  29. In fact rupee crisis is lesson for Bhutanese people in right time when things didn’t become worst.Otherwise we people will go on depending other countries and never realise the importance of self reliance and production.More than a problem, i find it as solution for future Bhutanese economy.

  30. My concept to GNH is Government Need Help. GNH can only be attained only after attainment of GDP. How can you gift a beggar if you do not have sufficient money in you purse?

  31. RTC Kinga says

    This is in response to Abi.
    It is the job of Political Executive to look into the immediate urgent issues (like for now it is the rupee crunch)not the OL and the MPs. Ofcourse they do formulate policies and will look into this matters but only during the NA, but to resume NA we still have few more months. If we are to wait for NA to resume then it will take forever to resolve this problem. So this is why only the PM followed by the cabinet ministers are working on this issue.

  32. Gross National Hypocrisy

  33. Norbu,
    Yes definitely, we need GDP.But the question is what is guarantee that GDP can bring happiness..GNH is learning to be contented with what you have.You don’t have to gift a beggar if you don’t have.

  34. My father expired when I was still young. My late mother who expired about three years ago owned less than an acre of land only. My mother,sister and myself used to live in a small hut. Being poor my mother could not educate my sister, however she admitted me in the school and I could complete primary level.During my school days, I have seen my mother toiling in others field almost every day for survival. I was working in one of the ministry, now I am out of job I do not have a roof to call my house. From the savings and loan taken from financial institute, I bought less than 20 decimals of land which costs me little over hundred thousand. In the East, usually the youngest daughter inherit the parents property so whatever decimal of land available is now owned by my sister for which I am happy and have no say whatsoever on the property.

    There are many more civil servants like me and people in remote villages. One will only know after visiting the remote places and ask about their land holdings, safe drinking water supply, their health and hygiene, in some places we will find houses with banana leaves as roofing material, four walls of the house and flooring made of flattened bamboos. Ask about the stock of cereals, how much they have, how lonh it will last, what they had for the breakfast, what they are going to have for lunch and dinner and where are they going to get it. Therefore, am I or many of the people like me are in the state happiness?

    Coming back to Opposition Leader, the word opposition itself is clear. He will oppose when ruling party does not function within the consitutional framework. He will appreciate the governing body wherever it is required to be appreciated. Beacuse of the minority, the opposition party is always over ruled through majority of the Yes or No vote or through raise of hands. They are bulldozed and laws are passed like in Tax Revision and CDG fund. Looking at how Indian parliament function, our opposition is mild in attacking, the opposition party of India verbally attack and criticize the government at every given opportunity when there are differences in opinion and government failing in their mandate, thus Bhutan is not far from this type of scene as more parties are coming up. At least in Bhutan the serving ministers involved in corruption are not forced to step down and put them behind bar by the investigating agency. Opposition Leader and your colleague, please keep up the spirit.

  35. Kelpazangla says

    Only a view from the PDP/OL and Bhutan Observer’s twisted lenses. Otherwise, the capability of the PM of a tiny nation to halt the UN agenda for one full day for NH discussion.

  36. PM was preparing for the GNH Conference for last half a year and so he has no idea (frankly speaking) on internal affairs such as rupee crunch, economic crisis, gang fights, health problems, etc. For example the PM was still awaiting for a report on drugs shortage problems in hospital from the health ministry. We thought he is well versed and always informed. Or he is just pretending and trying to overshadow the bigger issues after all members of DPT or for that matter all parties are like one internally and act little bit different to outside. For example in NA discussions, some DPT MPs speak against the government in few occasions. But we all know it is a part of political game.

    We all appreciate the PM for the successful part of the GNH Conference but worst part was he has not uttered a single word on issues highlighted in above cartoon and neither the journalists/reporters asked him. It seems that they are aware only the good part or never informed of bad ones as indicated in the conference.

  37. The first agenda of GNH is to keep the citizens of Bhutan happy meaning that we all should have enough to eat, a house to live and sleep and proper cloth to wear.

    However, GNH is not limited to Bhutan but to preach to other we must first be happy ourselves genuinely. Today when the country is going through difficult times such serious health issues in the hospitals, economic crisis, drugs, youth and unemployment issues, etc., GNH conference was wrong time schedule.

  38. antiriver says

    @river- Saying such things to the honorable PM only shows your shallowness.
    Bhutan observer and OL : good at character assasination with no real substance.

  39. I skipped a lot of posts here on this page because everyone is saying the same thing in a different way. Let me suggest that instead of claiming credits and shifting blames, we should try and voice against garbage, against inconsistent policies, against unemployment, against increasing crime and violence, against drugs and alcohol, against the very expensive way of operationalising democracy, against fire accidents due to negeligence and against extravagant chadis. GNH will then be practiced without preaching!

  40. Where can you have GNH in this country when all that you know is to complain all the time even of things that are positive you all are so blind with greed, you shamelessly complain. Ask you to do something and you are incapable of doing anything right. In fact you don’t want to do anything. All you want is enjoy the fruits of others’ labor.

    You even forgot that you are able to write these complaints here because the same government that you are complaining about gave you free education so you are where you are today.

    Please have some shame.

  41. Dear OL,
    Thanks for removing my post/comment. That speaks volumes about the intention of having your blog

  42. ProOl and Crunched,

    Do not think the readers here is fool like you, just to accept every rides the DPT Gov.t is taking. You must be one among them or either the party workers of DPT, you chamchas.

    Solve these in Bhutan then go international, you may call on as many conference as possible.

    1) Disparity among Thimphu Lives and Rural Folks
    2) Substance abuse by young generations and wild behaviour among our kids
    3) Indian across the border looting our timber
    4) Bhutanese living in Jaigoan without security, while they are one of us.
    5) Corruption in every ministry
    6) Garbage issue, despite so many coverage in Newspaper
    7) Unemployment
    8) DOG Problem (Might sound funny but walk in Kala Bazar and other areas at nite, and you will know, make sure to walk and not in your four wheeler). I have seen so many old people in Bhutan bitten by the dogs. (Respect the needy one)

    What have you, Crunched and ProOL done, when you know tat such problem existed in Bhutan. These are some of the small things that need Govt. attention.

    Getting all these done, you may head any conference as you want then.

    Some failures of DPT Govt. if i have to write from my observation for last four years:
    1) IT Park, (It was assured by some of the Ministers that IT park shall create employment for more then 10000 Bhutanese and now we see this as a fail project.

    2) Labor Minister talking to make Panbang a sports city, (A big lie by some one who learning politics now)

    3) DPT do not respect constitution and the freedom of Press, by accusing Tenzin lamsang as Pro DPT

    4) No concrete solution for Lottery Scam

    5) Domestic Airport (Costing Govt. so much and affecting the GDP)

    6) Tobacco Ban, (Victim 72 people)

    7) Education City (Which will be a real big flop, we need to focus on our primary education and remote schools)

    8) Ruppee Crunch and so on, it might take more then an hour to list down their false promises and failures.

    Its not a criticism i am making but some areas where our Govt. should learn..

    And these few chamchas who are here for nothing then to always support Govt. are no good for our society. Because of such chamchas and idiot that our Govt. is taking us for ride. Please watch before you make the nation a prey.

    Thanks guys

  43. Some more failures to submit:

    9) Drug Shortage and health minister itself is a big problem.

    10) Land scam involving the heads of the govt.

    11) Hydro power corruption, but every bhutanese knows that there is scam in even hydro plants.

    12) GNH Centre, which will cost govt. more then USD 20 Million.

    13) So many procurements corruption.

    14) Bhutanese been deprived to so many big projects on Qualification and experienced ground.

    15) RTI Act

    16) Selling USD 200 Million from the Reservce

  44. And i still hope that our Honorable PM could work out some problems that are mentioned. PM should start listening to our country people and accept the suggestions they have.

    And i also hope that our Honorable OL plays his role. Giving check to all the moves that shall be made by DPT. It should be constructive and for the nation building. Ol should accuse/abuse them when they are wrong and appreciate them when they do good.


  45. Zamtsho,

    You make a lousy statistician. All statistics are made up of negatives as well as positives, it is impossible to be negative 100% Come on now show some professionalism.

  46. ProOl,
    Its not lousy, but it an make people like you “numb”.
    What else do you want to know, if i write more, i can shower you with the list of failures.

    Watch out dudes.

  47. Well, we all know the coin has two sides!

  48. Constitution says

    we all need to be aware that our PM is not globe trotting that he wants to politicize this GNH concept, but this vision is being liked by world and he is being invited to these countries… in turn, we, our Country is recognized and develops better relation with the outside world.
    Just recently, I happen to visit my PHAYUL (native) and there I couldn’t appreciate more than I had imagined about 5-10 years back.keeping aside all others, gettting access to my place in 1 hour 30 mins which took more than 12 hours long before. People seem to be happy and content with what this govt. is doing.

    With respect to rupee crunch, I hope OL have understood more than we citizens with the 2 minister’s explanation. I don’t give all credit for their appearance on BBS to our OL, but partially.

    And now, if our OL really thinks and care of our country more than his personal agenda, he need to think of the Tax revision though he defeated the govt. but its consequences are being felt by we people. All like minded citizen would have welcomed the revision of taxes…. of course there will be problems but we need to think beyond oneself and surely it would have curved the current crisis to some extent, if not all.

    Again, if our OL cares for the better country with better political parties rather than making mockery of PM and his cabinet members and DPT as a whole by showing his personal grudge in this blog by showing snaps of these personnel, himself and NC need to think beyond their duty about the STATE FUNDING. I as a poor citizen, I’m very much concerned abt the future if such measures are not taken now to keep the Check and Balance of Political Parties. Also I’m made aware by people who have better know how of the nation our OL’s financial backing is strong, but he need to realize he is looking to win the election by hook or by crook but not serving the nation in totallity Rather we are selling our nation to one, two, three last. So EC do have greater role to play for the better future rather than saying it is in line with constitution and that is unconstitutional.

    Last appreciation for OL, wish he goes to BBS and render this appreciation to govt. so that he can win some votes for next election if at all PDP is in existent which is in hibernation now…so OL has responsibility to take his party not his own personal agenda…

  49. Constitution says

    Mr. Ap Penjo, so you want our opposition party to act those Indian politician do in the parliament?….Firstly, with your words you do not really seem to be a primary graduate, so i consider you as very knowledgeable person.

    Word coming from literate people that role of opposition is to oppose and act like what we see on daily basis in our neighboring countries is utter nonsense, like it or not, i call this people inhuman.. so i only wish such money minded politics do not come to Bhutan, let there be place for humble people to serve the nation rather than being controlled by few individuals who have all the wealth..

  50. Zamtsho,
    First take some basic grammer lessons before writing about national issues. 🙂

  51. Needless,
    its a voice of an illiterate man, i wasn’t schooled like you might have.

  52. Pro democracy says

    I love GNH. Its not that it sounds good or not that the whole world is praising.
    For a simple fact that, this is the need of the situation, for Bhutan and for the world. I really love it. Again it is conceived by a noble king.
    But i want to raise the issue here when i walk the street of Thimphu. I fear being stabbed by a unknown drunk/addict youth. I also fear being robbed of my mobile phone and wallet when i walk the dark street after my work.
    There is another problem with me now a days, i have some shopping to be done at the border town. But i heard some disturbing news that, I will be charged extra 20bucks for every 100Bhutanese currency i spend in border town.
    Above mentioned two nightmares torture me. And to be very frank i am not very happy. Since i heard that Our Hon PM is out stationed preaching the world about GNH. I wish some fairy would come and sort out this problem that is prevailing in our country. I really can’t speak out with full energy that my country is a GNH country. I am scared that what if some outsiders will find out that Bhutan is not really happy except with green vegetation around.

  53. PM on his speech said we Bhutanese are buying so much of cars and consuming lots of car gas. I found it so contradicting with the transportation facility that our country has. This was one reason that caused RUPEE CRISES. Had anyone thought about the number of vehicles he has at his home? I can see not less than 15 vehicles in line when he goes for some visit in country. Can’t those at least 4 officer sit in on Land Cruiser??? Why the blame of crises is now slowly shifting to people who are innocent? What do you think Dasho OL???

  54. GNH is just in black and white. It will ruin everything in future. Bhutan is such a big liar

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