The Diplomatic Society

 
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Wellbeing of South Asia and the Importance of Gross National Happiness


By Sudesh Pokhrel and Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society

The developing countries can barely be an influence over the weight of the powerful states in the world of superpowers. It is an unquestionable phenomena to even demand our existence in comparison to the latter. However great they may be Bhutan being a small dot in the world is a great source of international influence to the world through its “Gross National Happiness” policy.

 “The essence of the  philosophy  of  Gross National  Happiness is the  peace  and happiness of our people and the security and sovereignty of the nation” His Majesty The fifth King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. (Image source: grossnationalhappiness.com)

 

 

Countries are mostly associated with rapid development and measure progress in terms of the Gross Domestic indicators; not from the sustainable prospective. There has been much development at work done in the regional level but most of the development being carried out are done in a materialistic arena, there is not a spiritual level of attachment towards these causes. Gross National Happiness (GNH) is one imperative and core principles that is being neglected in the area of development.

Questions of happiness are not addressed as a part of these fundamental issues that have been raised in the South Asian Region. Gross National Happiness, while still evolving in a dynamic world, is a more holistic and balanced development model that recognizes the importance of physical as well as psychological wellbeing.

Gross National Happiness paradigm was introduced by His Majesty The fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuk in the 1970’s. His Majesty educated the people with all levels of the peaceful strategies. Peace is primarily related to the state of being happy without excessive materialistic relationship to the world, as nothing is permanent.

This focus mainly intended to offer people the reality of life as well as what actually serves as the perseverance of life. Through this awareness the key to serve the purpose of life was accepted as “Happiness”.

After being recognized “Happiness” was being considered to be the most important agenda of the Bhutanese society. The Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) in collaboration with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) launched a report titled “An Extensive Analysis of GNH Index” a single digit GNH Index that was constructed based on results from the GNH 2010 survey.  The new index provides summary statistics of wellbeing of individuals in nine domains which are gauged by 33 indicators and 124 variables. Equitable socio economic development, conservation of environment, preservation of culture, traditions and good governance are the four pillars of Gross National Happiness.

GNH policy can be advantageous in South Asia as well as to the rest of the world in many fundamental ways. It may be difficult to evaluate “Gross National Happiness index” in other countries owing to their relatively high population density. However, the development density can be segregated within standards in urban and rural settlements to indicate the total well-being of the nation. However reliable or flexible it may be, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) does not determine complete well-being or happiness of the nation. This develops nations into an unhappy state when their economy sinks. The countries which focus on capitalism do what globalism asks but GNH on the other hand does what the country needs. Bhutan focuses on “Development with Values” focusing on values that promote collective happiness as the strategy for development.

Non-traditional concepts of sustainable development only exists as a part of the culture which is not read as a part of development. This is problematic since it imbalances the growth. Developing corruption free relations are one aspect where India can uplift its psychological well-being in South Asia. A validity test also has to be done in order to maintain the long term progress in the Indian subcontinent.

Within South Asia, to be sustainable, a multi-dimensional domain of Psychological well-being has to be developed due to its massive population consisting of more than hundreds of ethnicities. Indicators of gross national happiness are difficult to translate in South Asia due the presence of multiple languages. Largely in a way it also depends upon the socio-cultural history of the natives. A deadlock with overdevelopment has to be avoided. Respondents have failed to address such questions and these issues are poorly reported and hidden from the public dimension.
 
The GNH Index incorporates relevant aspects from the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI), the European social survey and various other sources. On 19th July 2011 the United Nations also adopted the resolution 65/309n en route for “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development”. Gross National Happiness can be a way forward to look towards a more sustainable development in the future. With a combination of spiritualistic with materialistic needs we can shoulder how much is actually needed and how much should be used and also determine what is the right amount of the combination required to make a living.    
                    
*Sudesh Pokhrel is a Research Scholar from Bhutan following a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme in International Relations  at  the South Asian University.

 

 

More News

 



49th National Day of Mauritius24/03/2017
article thumbnail

49th National Day of Mauritius 15 March 2017 H.E. Mr. P.V. Lutchmun, High Commissioner of Mauritius in South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate the 49th national day of Mauritius. Taking guests  [ ... ]


Goût de France24/03/2017
article thumbnail

Goût de France 23 March 2017 Ambassador of France to South Africa HE Christophe Farnaud hosted the third annual Goût de France - Good France dinner at the Residence de France in Pretoria in celeb [ ... ]


Coschem Creativity Award presented to Surinamese diplomat 24/03/2017
article thumbnail

Coschem Creativity Award presented to Surinamese diplomat                         [ ... ]


Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden22/03/2017
article thumbnail

Freedom Park pays tribute to Sweden 21 March 2017 Human Rights Day is a significant day to South Africans for remembering not only the 69 people, who were killed during the Sharpeville Massacre, but [ ... ]


 

 

 


 
 
 
 

_________________________________________________

February 2017 Edition

 border = 0
_________________________________________________

Translater


 
 
Slide-0
Slide-1
Slide-2
Slide-3
Slide-4
Slide-5
Slide-6
Slide-7
Slide-8
Slide-9
Slide-10
Slide-12
Slide-13
Slide-14
01/14 
start stop bwd fwd
 
 

Police Action for IDSA members 15 February 2017 Commander Chris Opperman, of the Tshwane Metro Police, and his team attended IDSA's January coffee meeting hosted by Champa Weerasekara, of Sri... <|> Kazakhstan is shifting to a new model of power distribution The President of Kazakhstan, Mr Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the nation on 25 January 2017 regarding the issue of redistribution of... <|> Algeria to get a taste of SA culture 14 February 2017 Algerians will get an opportunity to sample South Africa’s artistic talent when the cultural seasons is launched in that country on 24... <|> Children’s hospital designed by children 15 February 2017 The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) in Johannesburg South Africa has taken every care to make sure that sick children have... <|> Najm us Saqib’s novel 'BAOO' launched in South Africa 12 February 2017 Mr Najm us Saqib, High Commissioner of Pakistan in South Africa has launched his book 'BAOO' in Pretoria. This is the first... <|> Easing travel regulations between South Africa and Kenya 3 May 2016 South Africa and Kenya have announced measures that will make travelling between the two countries easier. South African Home... <|> Shaping the global order – foreign policy beyond crisis management 17 February 2017 South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane concluded a successful... <|> South Africa-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership 19 February 2017 International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has concluded a successful working visit to Beijing... <|> Redistribution of Powers: New Stage of Kazakhstan’s Democracy Development 23 February 2017 By the end of February 2017 the project on constitutional reform in Kazakhstan will be presented for... <|> Red Cross Humanitarian Diplomacy:  Providing  Humanitarian Relief for 150 years By Srimal Fernando Global EditorThe Diplomatic Society  Looking back at the past  hundred... <|>
© copyright 2011-2017| The Diplomatic Society| All Rights Reserved.