|Even in rural Dzongkha literate areas, |
Sign boards are meant for only English literates..!
Dzongkha as a national language of Bhutan has been a topic of discussion concerning its development. But remained suppressed under English and was not able to rise to the level of English.
We saw arguments and discussions from many angles but for me the reason why Dzongkha cannot pick up its use, as a national language was not as convincing as expressed by one of a village elderly (Memey) from a remote part of Bhutan.
He says, the authority rest with high officials and the government, but to promote Dzongkha in reality would mean opportunity loss to the children of those high officials. “You assess it an you will find almost all the children of high officials are equipped with only one language to be employed and it is English,” he said.How true I thought, if Dzongkha were promoted equally as English use in official correspondence and working system, educated rural youths would have lots of opportunity. “Because most of our rural youths who were educated are well equipped with Dzongkha as well as English, so do you think those high officials will favour such a policy,” the Memey questioned me.
Unless we encourage and do something that all those fancy English educated children of high ranking officials have equal dzongkha knowledge as the rural educated youths, I believe Dzongkha will come out from current stagnancy as a path to opportunity and so will it become a true national language in action.
Dzongkha is developing, no doubt, the Memey also believes so, but the government policy is not favouring dzongkha, which is risky as the Memy say. “If being equipped with Dzongkha gets no job there will be no youth taking interest to learn Dzongkha, I am sure accounts and even science can be learned, taught and practiced in Dzongkha.”
He says, accountants in Dratsangs knew no English and they are as good as any accountants to keep the records. “I meant our high officials should now start encouraging their kids with bilingual education,” the Memy said. “One day it will have to be Dzongkha if Bhutan had to call it an independent and sovereign country,” the Memey said.
As memey left for me to analyse his thought for myself, I think it is also left for rest of us to think on ‘Why Dzongkha is inferior to English in Bhutan.’
For Memey the reason is all about ‘opportunity and employability,’ and I tend to believe in his view, you may or may not agree but it is true Dzongkha is still suppressed under English when it has to be at least equal for Bhutan.