Autonomy for national media

A Reuters report on a recent IFAD announcement regarding the rural poor in the developing countries once again rakes up the question of what to believe and what not to believe about our own Druk Yul. Even though eye-witness accounts say that the Bhutanese peasants (those that still remain behind, that is) are doing well enough thank you, (and Thimphu's unilateral reduction of the home population down to 700,000 has raised the per capita GNP the country to from US 190 to U$ 425 per annum), international agencies continue to chum out horrendous statistics for Bhutan. There is a good PhD thesis here for someone who wants to study the creation of economic myths and realities. IFAD, the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development, says that according to an index relating food production, consumption, income distribution, access to education and health services, the worst off rural poor are in Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Somalia, Mauritania and the Sudan. Or does IFAD know something we don't?

Former Indian Prime Minister, Chandra Shekhar, came out of oblivion to speak up for Poorvanchal, a region encompassing Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh which, he maintained, has suffered from backwardness due to the Centre's neglect. Speaking before an audience in Delhi on 24 November, reports The 'Times of India, Shekhar called for restoring the self-respect of the people of the region, adding that the Biharis and Uttar Pradeshis were also being cheated of adequate wages in the capital. He regretted that the word Poorbia was used to ridicule the people of the region. It should not he lost on Kathmandu's leaders of men that Nepal borders on what Shekhar defines as Poorvanchal. Any increase in self respect among the Poorvarschalis should without doubt help the economy of the region which, in turn, should help the Nepali economy. Maybe even some of the newfound self-respect will rub off northwards,

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian