United States: “Dankido Bhutan,” a book banned in Bhutan for the past five decades, was officially launched in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Authored by Devi Bhakt Lamitare, a Bhutanese leader who lived in exile in India since the 1950s, the book initially saw publication in 1970. However, its distribution has been restricted by the Bhutanese government ever since.
The fourth and revised edition of the book, edited by Binod Dhungel, was published by the Bhutan Media Society, headquartered in the United States. Lamitare, a prominent figure in the Bhutan State Congress known for his activism, passed away in 2022 at the age of 87 in India.
In “Dankido Bhutan,” Lamichhane reveals, “I wrote hundreds of letters against the Bhutanese king and the monarchy. Dozens of leaflets were published. When this process gained momentum and discussions about these letters took place even within Bhutan, I felt the need for a comprehensive book, and I prepared ‘Dankido Bhutan.'”
Editor Dhungel shed light on the extensive research behind the book, stating, “We have studied this historical work over an extended period. The author has undergone in-depth interviews multiple times. This comprehensive endeavor has been made possible through interactions with family sources, relevant individuals, and organizations in Bhutan.”
The release of this banned book marks a significant event, offering readers an opportunity to delve into the historical and political perspectives that led to its suppression for half a century.
According to Vidhyapati Mishra of the Bhutan Media Society, this book highlights the efforts of Bhutanese refugees and their struggle to raise their voices in the movement.