At a time of fraught democracy in South Asia, Editor of The Bhutanese Tenzing Lamsang takes stock of Bhutan’s unique experience of participatory democracy and elections since 2006, on this episode of Spotlight South Asia.
Lamsang, with host Sushant Singh, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, discuss how democracy has fared in Bhutan, institutionally and otherwise.
Lamsang takes a view of democracy in the neighbourhood and what Bhutan’s trajectory has been like, with three new governments elected and the country’s Parliament coming into its own. They discuss the importance of hydropower projects as the basis of ties between the two countries as well as how India looks from Bhutan.
Lamsang also talks of the reforms being undertaken in Bhutan, the changes in how the country views mass tourism and intends to focus on quality and sustainable tourism. The Himalayan country recently ended the exception for Indian tourists from the heft daily visitors fee. Lamsang also elaborates on the challenges of cultural and societal changes in Bhutan as well as economic concerns.