Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Some Thoughts on Media and Press freedom

Why do media exist? To inform, educate and entertain people.

What are the various media available to our people nowadays? Broadly: print, broadcast, online, mobile, and oral media.

What do these media produce? Contents like news, information, leisure pastimes, gossips.

How do they produce? By tracking people and agencies who create news and information.

Who are these newsmakers? People in public office, corporations, private agencies and individuals. Of course natural phenomena like disasters which I suppose are man-made.

What is the problem in producing news and information? Newsmakers hide information believed to be embarrassing and liability.

What do journalists do? Try and try to get the information despite challenges in access.

Why do journalists do such job? Passion and salary. Of course oxymoronic job but it is such a job.

How to media houses pay people working for them? Through money made from advertisements and commercial spaces.

Who pays for advertisements and commercial spaces? Newsmakers!

What is problem in getting advertisers money? If you write anything bad against the advertisers then you better stay away from them.

How is media companies affected? No money. No salary.

What happens if there is no money and no salary? No news and information. Media companies suffer from anorexia.

What will happen if there is no news or information? People will depend on many information and news which are freely available.

So isn’t it better? Might be but again chaotic information might lead to uncontrollable chaos.

So what do we need? Freedom of press!

What is freedom of press? Media makes money to sustain itself and carry out fair reporting free from political and legal controls.

Can this be achieved? No country in the world has achieved so far.

So what’s the future? Write news, face challenges, try surviving, and be ethical.

Be ethical? Yes! Don’t write bad when it is not bad and don’t write good when is not good. But if you want to get paid write in a balanced way that everybody is checked well.

Ummm? That’s all.

Wait, what about online, mobile and oral media? They are untouchables! I mean for our local media industry. Actually they are the most effective medium not fully exploited by our traditional media houses.

How? I read news and information online and on mobile. I don’t find any media houses getting to me through these mediums.

Isn’t your view subjective? For anything to be objective must depend on subjectivity.

So…? The end.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bhutanese Financial System Sucks!!!

Government gives money to banks. Banks gives money to only those who can produce mortgage. How are poor and young entrepreneurs going to produce that mortgage??? Why does our banks not lend based on business proposal and market feasibility??? I bet if any bank has conducted market feasibility studies or market research to help lend to good business proposals! Most of the borrowers who have taken money from banks have defaulted. Why? Because they had the luxury of mortgage for which the banks kissed their asses. 

Our financial system has become the business of assets and asses. The simple reasons is no matter however the money is used by the borrowers banks are safe with the mortgage?? And when the borrower defaults the banks simply confiscates the mortgage. The bank then sells that mortgage and makes money to be lent again to the borrowers who have mortgage. So the same money and assets are running in a cycle. Where is the new money made? NIL. 

That's why we have trade deficits. That's why we are importing more than we can export. That's why our young people are jobless and hopeless because they can't even become entrepreneurs since access to finance is controlled and beyond their reach. That's why we're witnessing the gap between the rich and poor is ever widening. That's why the middle class and the lower class are frustrated and creating all the social ills triggered by the greedy and discriminating behaviors of the rich. 

RMA thinks they are doing good job by controlling the banks but they are merely looking after the boring cattle. Banks are grazing comfortably on people's assets without doing any intelligent jobs of running the economy based on knowledge and innovation but simply on mortgage based lending. And to look after the cattle we don't need highly paid executives. A simple cattle herder can do. And we have plenty of cow herders. 

But ignorant Bhutanese people people are kept away through the veil of bourgeoisie tricks. The government along with the banks use lofty words of economic stimulus plan, growth rate, foreign exchange, interest rate, borrowings, which are nothing but useless archiac methods dragging our innocent people deep down to the financial doldrums. 

I can only see the war brewing between the agitated poor and greedy bourgeoisie in our society.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pangrizampa gave me the flu

My family planned a day before that we would go and attend the annual rimdo at Pangrizampa. We tried getting up early morning by disturbing the peaceful sleep our year old infant. We couldn’t even drink our tea properly thinking we might be pushed to trail the long queue. So I drove my family as fast I could to the venue.

Much to our surprise, people have already queued up making a long snaky way to get the blessings. We climbed uphill to trail the queue. I told my wife to keep our son in the shade and feed him enough to make it for his breakfast. I and my sister took our spots in the line. I knew it was a long line and will call for a good stamina.

Hours went by and the line was moving at a snail’s pace. After three hours we could hardly make it the halfway. We were left to bear the scorching sun. Helpless, we had to buy junks from the hawkers to keep ourselves fed and hydrated.

We witnessed a brief twister that blew over the people at the fag-end of the line. I thought it was heralding the afternoon wind. By then we were standing for four and half hours and past the noon. The line almost stopped to move.

Afternoon brought the usual winds. Coincidentally a huge earthmover was ploughing through the construction dust across the queue in RBG colony. People stood up against the thick blanket of dusts blown to them by the strong wind attacking their nostrils. I looked at the faces of devotees. Most of them were weary of the line and the time it was taking to move. Some they diverted from the line to find themselves a shed and rest their tired limbs.

Hunger was building up the frustration. And knowing that your children and their mother were also in the open facing the dusty storm was fuelling my impatience. Our infant has just recovered from the seasonal flu that almost weakened him to his bare bones. I was afraid if the current scenario would stifle his recovery and inflict him more.

It was then I made up my mind to give up queuing to that never ending journey towards the rimdo altar. For a moment I thought to myself ‘the whole merit of the purpose was lost’. But again I couldn’t face the reality. It would easily take another three to four hours to get to the altar.

It is just then I thought how poorly the devotees were managed. The lack of visiting information to the rimdo was main reason given the prevailing mindset that getting there early morning could save us time. But all seem to have turned up in the morning. So the mindset backfired.

But people could have been managed if the organizers could inform people about the visiting timings. Moreover, it was a weekend. Queuing problems at public functions is often an eyesore in our society. Our police can hardly do anything than just keep people in the queue.

Managing a queue of few hundred, for that matter even some thousands, should not be a problem if things are properly planned and executed. Organizers of the public functions must also consider people’s time and energy making to that event. Unless, if the only reason to this problem will be “if you suffer to get the blessing, you will earn more merit.” This is a mere cliché.

So we gave up and drove back home. Some of my friends followed suit. And I think I just got the flu.