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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lopen Senge


Who would not be gobbled up by the shock when one of our colleagues known by the name Lopen Senge was totally amazed by our King’s wit.
Lopen Senge is a volunteer teacher from England who joined our family this academic session. He remembers the time, almost five months ago when His Majesty the King granted an audience to their group.  He was excited to receive the King and the queen in our school.
He is by birth a foreigner but physically he is adorned with a gown of a Mahayana Buddhist monk. He would not let us ask his real name and he wouldn’t prefer to share as well. Children would be scared to respect him as Sir, because, they are already briefed that he is not qualified to be one. And neither do he demand us to regard him as sir. “In England, Sir would mean a title of honour used for the knights or to a highly qualified man, but am ineligible for such”, he would justify. So we call him Lopen Senge
Lopen Senge
Before the arrival of the royal couple, I personally told him to prepare to face the King. I assured him that our Majesty will spare few of his time with him. And my words did a magic.  
Lopen Senge has parked himself almost at the end of our line during the reception.I was behind one of our madam who happened to be Senge house captain along with our King in Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School. Approaching straight, His Majesty called, "Are you here Tshering? How is your family? How many kids do you have?" He smiled and scanned the long queue of 34 teachers along with10 supporting staff. 
His Majesty then suddenly spotted lopen Senge. He asked, "How are you Senge? How do you find Bhutan?"
After the visit, Senge shared us how His Majesty has touched his heart. "I didn't know that His Majesty knows me in person"
"As I returned home, I will tell my parents and friends that I met the Dragon King and Queen. I will never forget to share that Dragon King knows my name"
We were extremely happy when His Majesty got impressed with his visit to the school. He granted us a holiday and a sum of Nu.66,000 to let children enjoy picnic. 
For almost twenty minutes, His Majesty spoke to the children what school kids like and should be. He said that, meeting a King and the queen is very rare. So, it wouldn't matter in granting a holiday out of happiness. 
We were exultant. We could read how children were don with jubilant expression. 
However, after His Majesty's footprint disappeared, our principal refused to the entire school that His Majesty did not grant us holiday. "I must consult the ADEO and solve the matter"
Teachers were frustrated. Children lost their hope and trust in us.Senge went out of temper and exclaimed, "His Majesty's command, seeking permission from the ADEO?"
"I did not realize there was sixth King in Bhutan". Saying this, he left. The whole school was in the fuss. The children grumbled. Teachers debated while using cell phone, Principal was smiling talking with the ADEO, the sixth King of Bhutan, who could even impede the command of our King. 
Minutes before, lopen Senge told the floor how lucky we are to get a holiday from His Majesty the King. "In England, such things do not happen"
But as we saw Principal refusing to accept His Majesty's order, Lopen Senge and the teacher shot the bullets of offensive criticisms. The entire teacher joined the mass to create havoc. 
"His Majesty's visit was noble and rare. In other parts of the country, they celebrate with good memories because we get the chance to meet the Royal couple. Here, few rusted people have ignited havoc and fuss out of this noble visit", I added.
On asking why Principal is reluctant to give us the holiday granted by His Majesty the King, he said, "I was standing to the left side of His Majesty the King. The wind blew towards my direction and it hampered the clarity. So, I did not hear His Majesty granting holiday"
God must have witnessed such a violent lie for the first time. When the teachers who were parked at the backside of the children heard it succinctly, why can't he by standing almost five metres away from the King? The audio microphone arranged by the BBS team and the Dasho Zimpon wasn't ordinary. A slight vibration produced high frequency and crystal clear sound.
Whatever was there intention, the Principal and the ADEO gave us a picture that they are beyond the King. They had the reasons to manipulate and craft the talk into official reasons like child safety and exam preparation. It seemed like they did not hear what His Majesty told us in the gathering. "Your exam's near. I know, how much tensions and anxiety it inflicts in us. As a student, we like holiday. Meeting the King and the queen is rare. So, get yourself relaxed. I am going to grant holiday. Since, I am happy, I will also make you all enjoy the picnic".
No matter, what reasons we try to give, our words found no capacity to pass through the auditory canal of our Principal. 
"Bhutan has a far sighted, kind and humane King. Dragon country is beautiful and serene. Higher and the Lower segment of the society and civil servants are working hard. But, there are few middle level idiots fully corrupted and make the lower segments suffer. This is the biggest problem in Bhutan", said Lopen Senge. 
"Not many seems to question WHY to their boss even if they make truth fake. They do not gather their muscle to fight corruption, in fear of promotions, recommendations and power being in their hand. I could not resist this, because, in England, we are brought up in such a way that, if somebody your parents, teachers, mayor or the politicians say something wrong, we have to ask them WHY? No body can black list us for asking why or none is power hungry"
I was hesitant to hear this and left home frustrated. I did not mind getting no holiday, but I was terribly afraid why His Majesty the King's command being reported to ADEO for the permission? He was also there with us. We saw the same King. We heard the same voice. We heard the same message. We basked the same heat. But, he had some kind of official power to craft the order within his clutch.
I was very worried if people like this on higher rungs can bring change in education. And many say, educated people are the most corrupted people. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  
[Note: This article, in no way, reflects criticism and disrespects. It is a mirror mirroring the truth that prevailed. Readers discretion is absolutely mandatory] 

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