By Yug Dabadi, Seattle, WA
Movie Desh Khojdai Janda literally “In Search of a Nation” is based on chronology of historical facts about the ethnic Nepalese in early history of southern “Bhu-utan” now known as Bhutan. Historical evidence lavishly suggests that the theocratic ruler of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal consolidated Bhutan. His visit to southern part of Bhutan influenced him to send the request to the king of Gorkha, Ram Shah (present Nepal) for 41 Nepali families to settle in the southern Bhutan. The “Tamrapatra”(copper plate treaty) signed by both the kings in 1624 stated that the Nepalese settlers shall be given Bhutanese citizenship and shall be treated equally in every respect.
The story is true, the people are real and the ill-fate is shared in common. However, the movie has become an artistic piece of fiction representing the story that goes as:
The Lhotshampas (ethnic Nepalese in Bhutan) continued to live in Bhutan in close harmony with other ethnic groups. Abruptly, the xenophobic royal government started enforcing policies targeting the Lhotshampas. The citizenship act of 1958, 1977 and 1985 were enacted and implemented only in Southern Bhutan. The census of 1988, which required Lhotshampas to provide “Certificate of Origin” consequently resulted denial of citizenship for many in southern Bhutan. Meanwhile, the government intensely enforced the “Green Belt” & “One Nation One People” policy since 1988 in a deliberate mood to afflict Lhotshampas, interfere in practice their religion, culture, forbade wearing ethnic dress and speak Nepali, their language. Continue reading