11 May, 2021

Drukonian Moves

Bhutan is swearing by happiness. But is it such a good thing?

AP
Drukonian Moves
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
  • Gross national happiness is about balancing material growth with social, ecological, community and individual welfare
  • GNH lists 72 conditions to be happy holistically. These include psychological well-being, balanced time use, community vitality, living standard, health, education
  • Surveys indicate quality of life in cities poorer than in villages

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The pensioner couple from Arkansas, US, on the Drukair flight from Delhi to Thimphu are excited about their first trip to Bhutan. “It’s the last Shangri-La on earth; we wanted to see it before it disappears.” But nothing annoys Bhutanese intellectuals in Thimphu more than hearing their country being called a Shangri-La. Unless it’s to hear their prime minister Jigmi Thinley claim that they are a happy nation. At the opening of Bhutan’s first-ever literary festival—Mountain Echoes—last fortnight in Thimphu, Thinley told a sceptical audience of Indian and Bhutanese...

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