Ada Rachu – any one?


Yeshey Dorji

Every one dozen year or so, Bhutan seems to unfailingly go through a phase when we see the assemblage of like minded men who come together to attempt and pass some strange and regressive rule.

Some two and a half decades back, one District Court Judge in Gaylephu actually summoned me to his court and required that I change the ink of our official letterhead. That time I was working in the Ministry of Trade, Industries and Forests. There was no rule that prohibited the use of certain color – in the printing of official stationary. The Thrimpon decided to enforce the requirement on his personal whim and fancy. It didn’t work.

Then few years later, a rule was passed which prohibited the use of yellow colored vehicles. All those who owned or had ordered yellow colored vehicles had to repaint their cars to something else. That too did not work.

Then came the rule that required every Bhutanese to be in national dress, every waking and walking hour of the day. I was personally fined a few times – for being caught in pants. Some zealous police officials actually went as far as to gather up youth who were caught in pants – to be driven and offloaded behind Dochu-La Pass, as a punishment – in an attempt to enforce the law. It never worked.

Some one dozen years later, the Thimphu City Corporation passed a ruling that required every business signboard in Thimphu to be uniform: paint, ink, lettering, format, and physical size. That didn’t work either.

Then another one dozen year or so later, the same City Corporation required that all building roofs in Thimphu City be painted uniformly in one single color – blue. That didn’t work either.

Now comes this Ada Rachu rule. Lets see how long this stricture will last.