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Crime, bad and good News

Is Bhutan increasingly becoming violent? Or is our media coverage broadening? These are rational questions. Why because when the media is flooded with news of crimes, it gives observers an impression that the place we live in is unsafe. An outsider has reasons to doubt.

Just the other day, BBS boldly broadcast news about a man who committed suicide in Pemagatshel. In fact this is not the first time we had to listen to such news. And somewhere someone dies after a snake bites her; somewhere a girl is being gang-raped, somewhere a teenager dumps her baby in a dustbin and somewhere a chorten is vandalized. And somewhere a man kills his brother-in-law.

Wow! That’s too much for a small country like ours. I understand as the society grows more complex, bad people are bound to come by. And when such information is thrown at us at an increasing frequency, it gives us an impression of living atop a disturbed sea. If what media feed us is of any significance, then we have reasons to be alarmed, reasons to doubt our safety because we never know if we could be the next victim.

Our forefathers lived longer and healthier lives than we do today although we live in much more advanced society with recent medicines and better methods of treating the ailed. But if we ask ourselves again, how do we know that our forefathers actually lived longer and healthier? Who knows, maybe they were never better, but there were no means of communicating the information. History is written much later for that matter.

So I question, has Bhutan grown any violent? Or are our media people keen on feeding us such news? Because if we observe closely, usually accidents, murder, rape, chorten desecration, etc. always compete for headlines on our national television channel.

P.S: Written with no intention of criticizing any person or institution, but I owe my apologies if my personal reflection is in direct disharmony with anyone's sentiments.


  1. Well, but if crime happens, we would like to get informed that it is happening, right?
    Are our media people keen on feeding us such news?
    It is a valid question, I know. There are people who think crime sells, and sordid as it may sound, it is true, and is why things like the 'crime and detective'magazine and TV channels along the same lines exist. I would like to believe that the Bhutanese media is not that far gone. I would like to believe that while we feel it is necessary to report on incidences of crime, we do not glorify them, or sensationalise them. But again, it is necessary to report incidences that have taken place, even if we do not like to hear such news from our country, we like to think we are exceptional. Maybe we always had crime and it was not reported so frequently, or maybe we are having more of such incidences because of globalisation/exposure. I feel it is the former, but even so, our police force need support and our security system needs to be more secure...we need to make people realise that it is not easy to get away with crime, or maybe make sure that it is not easy to commit crime, in the first place. In the end, a criminals mind is different, and we can't control them, much as we would like to, so we have to also understand that beyond a certain point we are helpless.
    I think increasing crime stories mean something bad, and it is a very important issue you have raised.

  2. A timely reminder for who ever cares... These two years brought in lots of natural calamities, crime and death. Don't know whom to blame.

    But one thing I don't appreciate in the news is the suicidal cases. Why should anybody care about a person who killed themselves. We should ignore them, the attention we give to this issues encourages it.
    Two thing I don't care about in life are drug overdose death and suicidal death. Such issues if ever shown on media should be done in such away that those watching should not feel a bit of pity for the victims....
    They killed themselves....


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