The advent of social media has significantly revolutionized the way we relate to others. It has become easier than ever to find people with common interests and connect with those whom we love and care. The entire world is growing up online. Due to the absolute convenience and easy access the social networking sites offer, social media is becoming one of the most widely used tools for marketing or information-sharing. Today, many people are using social media like Facebook and Twitter even to organize informal gatherings and to share the event with the public. However with so many young people growing up online using social media, their personal safety is becoming a concern for parents and teachers. The recent rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in Gomtu is a gruesome reminder that social media can be dangerous if you don’t know how to use it responsibly.
On 27th June 2016, a 16-year-old student was reportedly stabbed to death below Changangkha Lhakhang in Thimphu while trying to stop a gang fight. Three days later on 30th June 2016, another 19-year-old student of a private school in Thimphu was pursued and stabbed twice at his back by five masked boys below Druk School. While the victim is currently recovering at JDW National Referral Hospital, such incidents are a gruesome reminder that Thimphu, or for that matter, any urban center in Bhutan is not at all safe for us to roam abount casually. These two latest incidents are, however, not the first cases reported this year. On 15th January, a 23-year-old taxi driver was brought to Phuntsholing hospital after being stabbed several times by some thugs. He soon succumbed to his wounds. Then on 10th February, a 15-year-old Bhutanese student studying at North Point in Darjeeling, India stabbed one of his Indian friends to death during an adventure camp. So what lessons can we learn from such tragedies?
We the Bhutanese people generally believe in our Karmic actions. We have been taught right from early childhood that what goes around usually comes around. That’s why we have been taught never to harm or hurt anybody, because the consequence of our action is believed to fall back on ourselves someday. I think this could be the main reason why the criminals are usually caught easily. We have a popular saying “Le gi ra mi tub” meaning “nobody can escape his/her fate”. Probably because of this principle, Bhutan has seen some of the dumbest criminals over the years as demonstrated in the stories below.
The nation which firmly believes in the philosophy of Gross National Happiness is devastated by what happened in Yebilaptsa Middle Secondary School on 16th October 2015. The entire population of Bhutan react with shock to the senseless murder of a 13-year-old student of Grade 7 for no personal fault of her own. What is most shocking about this particular incident is that the crime was committed by her own teacher, the Assistant Principal and this is something Bhutan had never seen in our schools before. Schools are supposed to provide a safe environment for students to learn, play and have fun with friends, but tragedies like this one is really unthinkable. It’s a shame to the entire education sector.