Women in our country are marginalised, humiliated, sidelined and kept away from all sources of power and freedom. They are denied the right to higher education as the parents themselves believe that they are destined to end up in the kitchen. In some cases, they are even compelled to marry in their childhood, are forced to maternity and thereby suffer poor health conditions. Women toil the whole day long still they aren’t paid well. Also, they’re not even given opportunities to work in top jobs!
In 1972, the King of Bhutan made the still novel decision to make “gross national happiness” rather than GDP the main objective of the country’s development. This isn’t just conjecture. It’s a fact. In recent years, a number of nations—from remote Bhutan to far less remote Britain, France, China, and Brazil—have begun incorporating measures of happiness into their benchmarks of national progress. What accelerated the change?
Are we really where we predicted? Or are we here because we overestimated? You, me or a few economists are not alone in thinking of GDP as a miscalculated benchmark for national economic well-being. Adjudged as one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, it has long been a closely-watched tool for politicians, economists and journalists alike. But for nearly as long as GDP has been revered, it has faced strong criticism, too. That’s because it captures what economic historians call “somewhat arbitrary slice of reality.”
In the 73rd Independence day’s address, the PM said that we need to work for “ease of living” along with “ease of doing business” by reducing interference of government in people’s lives, further adding one more angle to his earlier motive of “Minimum government and maximum governance”. Around the same time, Delhi Government kicked off a 15-day long “Happiness-Utsav” to celebrate the completion of 1 year of the launch of its happiness curriculum which was initiated in government schools for students of class nursery to 8th grade. Designed by 40 experts and launched in the presence of Dalai Lama, the curriculum includes 45 minutes of happiness period in the morning along with 5 minutes of meditation at the beginning of each period. Even more surprisingly, DU has launched a 6-month course on happiness this year. Why this happiness chase all of a sudden?