Accepting other’s right to their view

As the dates for the election draw closer, political brawl between the two parties, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) and Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT), has also intensified.

While political candidates are busy preparing and attending common forums and fortifying their position in their constituencies, the two party presidents are also aggressively in a campaign mode, touring the different parts of the country and especially in places which the parties consider pivotal for the upcoming election.

Further, individual political party has also begun scrutinizing other party’s pledges and a myriad of cross-criticisms are ostensible these days.

For example, DNT’s pledges of doing way with the cut-off point for Class X, free internet and allowance for rural mothers to breastfeed and take care of their children for the first six months have received flak from DPT. DPT maintained that such pledges should be looked into through resources and sustainability point of view and urged people to think twice and understand whether such a pledge was good for the country.

Similarly, DPT’s pledges of generating 10,000MW of electricity by 2030 and the involvement of private sector in building the hydropower plants received flak from DNT. DNT asserts that such developments would have adverse effects on the economy from increasing debt and works going only to a few in the private sector.

The debates and discussion on certain party pledges as given above is therefore good if it helps the electorates to assess them and see its rationality and benefits. It is also making a few of them gauge the impacts and repercussion of these pledges. Such developments are therefore good to create an informed citizenry. It is also making people to think whether a few of the pledges are really the need of the time.

Additionally, with each party outlining its stand and criticism over another party’s pledges is also ensuring a sort of system of check and balance. Making pledges is easy. But opening pledges to discussion and debate only makes us see its rationality, do-ability and benefits. It’s simple as praise where praise’s due. It goes similar with criticism too.

A homogenous society in the world is almost non-existent. Every country is internally diverse – diverse ethnically, diverse in terms of language, diverse in terms of culture, diverse of class and diverse differences.  But democracy works when these different and diverse groups come together and talk about matters of shared interest.

So not just in elections, commitment to democracy means that acceptance in all interested parties that, in day-to-day political debate or any political discourse, one will not always get one’s way. Contrarily, democracy is actually a commitment to understanding that others have the right to their view too and often one may be the one who loses.