Minister says discos are spoiling youth

August 3, 2012

Education Minister Thakur S Powdyel, during Meet the Press session last week, said entertainment places like discotheques are distracting and spoiling the youth.

“I don’t find any importance of having such entertainment places in the country,” said Sherig Lyonpo.

Like him, many people think that discotheques do more harm than good to the youth. 

Tashi, a private employee, said youth going to parties take intoxicants, which leads them to fights and other problems. “It’s a waste of time and resources and invites a host of other problems,” he said.

Ugyen Tshering, a 19-year-old student of Rinchen Higher Secondary School in Thimphu, said he doesn’t like going to discotheques but ends up visiting some with his friends. “I guess a lot of young people like us succumb to peer pressure,” he said.

However, the minister for information and communications, Lyonpo Nandalal Rai, said the government cannot ban discotheques and other entertainment houses because of its adverse impact on the young.

They, he said, are businesses, and so long as they follow rules and regulations of the country, there is nothing the government can do.

A local club manager said increase in entry fee and cost of drinks have been introduced to keep away youth from clubs. He said his club does not allow children below 18 years. However, not all night clubs have such rules and measures to discourage children from entering them.

Tshering Pem, a 24-year-old private employee, said she goes clubbing on the weekends to relieve herself from stress. She says there should be stringent rules to keep away young people from such entertainment places where they pick up ugly habits.

Tenzin, a civil servant, said such entertainment places will come as the country develops, but there is a need to think whether Bhutan needs them in its cultural context.

“The discotheque owners should think what good their business is doing to our children,” he said.

Sangay Dorji, the spokesperson of Youth Development Fund’s education media, said the youth who go to parties are mostly those who abuse drugs and alcohol.

However, Lama Shenpen Zangpo, the resident lama of Deer Park Thimphu, said discotheques can be fun places for the youth if used correctly.

“I am certainly not opposed to discos. I believe that youth need places to relax and have fun together, and if used properly, discos can serve this purpose,” he added.

By Khandu Tobgyel and Pema Dema

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