Journal of Bhutan Studies Volume 17, Winter 2007

1. Political Scenario in Bhutan during 1774-1906: An Impact Analysis on Trade and Commerce by Ratna Sarkar and Indrajit Ray

This article seeks to bring out the causations between various political events and trade relation of Bhutan during the previous centuries. Section I of this article documents various political events that led to the evolution of Bhutanese trade during the eighteenth-nineteenth centuries. Section II, however, traces out various political events that were intended to obstruct the expansion of Russian and Chinese imperialism. Section III contains a brief conclusion.

2. Democracy from Above: Regime Transition in the Kingdom of Bhutan by Aim Sinpeng

The first part of the essay focusses on theoretical framework of structuralist and voluntarist approaches on political regime change. The second part addresses Bhutan’s underlying social and economic conditions prior to the regime transformation and then analyses are given as to why regime change was not called for by the mass, but rather instigated by the ultimate leader of the nation.

3. A Unique Parallel by Dr. Sonam B. Wangyal

In this article, the author draws the similarity between Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal of Bhutan and Ögödei Khan (The Great Khan) of Mongolia. Despite the obvious difference that the former was a man of religion and lived and ruled by the law of compassion and the latter was a conqueror who lived and ruled by the blade of his sword, the author argues that one can draw a unique parallel between the two, separated by great distance and time, in two historic events that had impacts in the corresponding nations’ history.

4. Khar: The Oral Tradition of Game of Riddles in Tshanglakha Speaking Community of Eastern Bhutan by Tshering Dorji

Khar, which literally means ‘house’, is an age old oral tradition of riddle games in Tshanglakha (Sharchopkha) speaking communities of eastern Bhutan. This paper attempts to explain the terminology khar for the game of riddles. The preliminary survey of its presence in other dialectic groups of eastern Bhutan, explanation of the terminology for the game, comparison amongst the riddles in different dialectic communities and the way of playing the riddles as well the occasions during which it is played are discussed.

5. Bhutanese Folktales: Common Man’s Media with Missions for Society by Chandra Shekhar Sharma

The paper attempts to analyse the folktales of Bhutan as common man’s media with some missions. In due course of research it proposes to trace the positioning of common man and his life in the folktales. The sources for this analysis are the available Bhutanese folktales translated into English.

6. A Pre-budget Exercise as a Pro-poor Development Tool by Phub W. Dorji

This paper attempts to underline some of the issues relevant to, specifically, the expenditure budgeting facet or, explicitly, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework process of the proposed framework. It presents some qualitative (and quantitative) evidence for the incorporation of such a pre-budget exercise in the national budgeting process. And it seeks to reason that the benefits of such a practice inevitably accrue to the poor in developing countries.