Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Different Facet of Gross National Happiness



From the beginning only I have to make it clear that I do not intend to mock anybody or try to insult the effort of so many people who are decorated with innumerable certificates, awards and recognitions and who tried to make the concept of GNH – Gross National Happiness easier to understand or make it acceptable to the people of foreign countries.



I have heard so many people saying, “Ah, this is what GNH is” when they were doing something that pleases them, so many times. A man was drinking beer with a plate of chicken chili and going by his appearance he must not be enjoying such treat every day; as he was sipping the beer and taking a bite from the chicken drumstick and he says, “GNH is this”. A man playing a game of khuru was heard saying the same and also from man playing archery and enjoying himself.


How can they use the Term GNH loosely? How can they be genuinely happy with just a bottle of beer occasionally? Are they wrong in understanding the concept of GNH? Don’t they know that GNH supposed to have 4 pillars, 9 domains, 151 variables, 38 sub indices and 72 (and increasing) indicators?


For those lay person, who are just happy with small things and do not fear to show the happiness through their doma stained red smiles has a different concept of GNH, without all those deadly pillars and indicators and others. For them they just think that their happiness add on to the happiness of the nation. Gross, for them means sum total of all the individual happiness. So thinking in that way they try to be happy and ooze some happiness out of the penury to add on to the GNH.


Contributing happiness to the GNH does not take much effort like that of contributing produce to the GDP. You can just be happy. Happy if it rains – because you do not have to go to the field to work and it helps the seeds germinate. You can be happy if it shines – because you can go to work and dry your cloths. If you get to ride behind the power tiller you can be happy because you do not have to walk. Happiness is everywhere.  


Rich or poor, powerful or week, healthy or sick, all the people of Bhutan are trying hard to contribute to the GNH, by at least being happy in whatever conditions they may be, but sadly the GNH seems to be not the sum total of all the happiness of the people. Until the time they do not understand the complexities of the GNH and its variables the people will be happy and they would keep saying, “Gelyong gaki pelzom say rung demchi embay tey” (This is what GNH is).


I am not going to tell them what GNH involves and how it can be achieved or to anyone who is happy. Let them be happy and expound their own theory of GNH. Mind you! their theory is far simpler than those expounded by the learned ones.


Their theory is in simple terms – if I am happy, my wife is happy. If both of us are happy our children are happy. If we are happy our neighbours are happy, that leads to village being happy and making the geog happy than the dzongkhag happy, thereby the region happy and the country happy. That is what GNH is to them and whatever simple things that make them happy, they think, leads to GNH. So be it. Aim is to make someone happy if not everyone.



Keep smiling and keep being happy and contribute to the gross domestic happiness.