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Sex scandals in Bhutan

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As a Buddhist nation sequestered by time and tradition for centuries, Bhutan has long been considered the Adobe of Gods mainly because of the spectacular beauty of its natural landscape interwoven with our unique socio-cultural identity. Tucked in the bosom of Himalayas, Bhutan has been blest with everlasting peace, harmony and stability. Having been groomed as a peace-loving nation in self-imposed isolation for ages, we take special pride in our rich and unique cultural and social values. But with the advent of cheaper mobile phones and cameras over the recent years, some Bhutanese today have begun to venture out on a new journey that can potentially ruin those values in the longrun.

Until over a decade ago, the only pornographic materials people talked about and accessed came from other countries. The people of Bhutan felt proud that such adult materials did not come from within. Bhutan is a small nation with just over 700,000 people. In such a close-knit society, most of us know each other and any strange news spreads like a wild fire. Although we have quite liberal attitude towards sex, we all believe that it’s absolutely a private affair and any attempt to take it to the public is a sin and illegal.

I first heard about Bhutanese home-made pornographies only in 2008 or 2009. Today, I am aware of at least eight different clips being circulated secretly, and I am sure the number must be higher. It’s a shame that such private clips have made their way to the public bringing disgrace to such a respectable society. I feel pity to those involved in the clips especially the women who have become the ultimate victims of the scandals. Measuring by the cultural and social standpoints, I believe that it should be men who would have initiated the idea of making video clips. It just makes me wonder why they in the first place take interest in taping their private sessions. Is it for their own future reference? Or is it to show to others and boost their ego. In either case, women become the ultimate victims. In all the clips I have heard about so far, I have never heard people talking against the male partner featured in the clips. Even women mostly blame the female partners involved in the scandals. So, my genuine advice to girls is that you must always have the guts to say ‘no’ to sex on camera. I believe it’s quite acceptable to engage in consensual sex with your partners as long as you are of legal age but when you decide to videotape your other-wise secret affair, you must know that you have already created cracks for leaking out your private life to the public.

With the advent of different forms of social media and sharing platforms, the circulation of such private clips is already getting far from the grip of law enforcement and policy makers. The Bhutan Filming Regulations (2007) has a section that prohibits the production and distribution of pornography in any form and any film-maker found guilty of breaching this rule is punishable by law. Section 381 of the penal code of Bhutan (2004) also states that if the defendant performs a sexual act in a public place under circumstances where the defendant knows it may be observed by the public and causes the public affront or alarm, sells, manufactures, issues, distributes, displays or deals in obscene material, the defendant shall be guilty of offence of lewd and lascivious conduct. Section 476 states that a defendant shall be guilty of computer pornography, if he publishes, distributes an obscene photograph or picture on the computer or over the internet, or is an internet service provider, who knowingly acts as a host for pornographic material or acts as a channel for the image to be transmitted to an individual user.

Despite all the strong laws we have in place, we haven’t heard of any particular couple being charged so far. With the help of social media like WeChat, I have heard that it has become easier for people to share such materials with their friends. So if the concerned authorities don’t act appropriately on time, the reputation of our country and our national pride can be at stake. Those who have already lived through the experience of being involved in such scandals must have learned a big lesson but for others, kindly watch out before you venture on such a dangerous business. I am so sorry for those innocent girls who have been victimized by their partners with sick and crazy mind. It was reported in the media sometime ago that some of the girls had not even known that they were taped. So, no matter with what kind of partner you hang out, always remain fully aware of what you are being dragged into and the possible consequences you might have to face as a result of your current decisions. I hope all the girls would take care of themselves and all boys would respect their privacy. It’s good that at least no Bhutanese sex clips have gone online so far. I tried to Google out but I found no single clip uploaded anywhere although it shows some related search terms and tags. I hope it would remain the same in all the times to come. As a GNH citizen, let us all try to contribute towards making our society more peaceful and safe for all the members to live in. Let us all keep our cultural and social values alive and intact forever. May the Guardian Deity of Bhutan continue to bless us with eternal peace and prosperity!

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