Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why Bhutan’s “Gross National Happiness” is a joke

Posted by TMishra | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Category: |

September 18, 2010: Now, the government is trying to turn bliss into a development strategy: Gross National Happiness, the thrust of which is to weave development around people, not the people around development.

There are four pillars to this strategy: economic growth and development; preservation and promotion of culture and heritage; preservation and sustainable use of environment; and good governance.   

And while this all sounds well and good on the surface — the surface is deceptive. The reality in Bhutan and among exiled communities abroad flies in the face of any assertion that the Bhutanese in general are happy. 
Let’s take a quick look at the facts: By the 1980s, Bhutan's minority population of Nepali-speaking people, most of which live in the south, had grown to represent around 45 percent of Bhutan’s 600,000 people, causing then-King Jigme Singye Wangchuck to start a "one nation, one people" policy to evict, deport and strip many of their Bhutanese citizenship.

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