Thursday 11 July 2019

Indian Happiness Index Down in Last 5 Years

Why Indian Happiness Index Down in Last 5 Years ? 


The state of being happy.Happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.


Happiness index is the measure of happiness of people residing in an area or country. It is a development philosophy used to measure the collective happiness of  nation.

This term is originated from country Bhutan where in an interview at Bombay Airport in 1969 the king of Bhutan Jisme Single Wangchuck said " We do not believe in Gross National Product. We believe in Gross National Happiness."
Happiness index is measured using parameters like Housing, Income, Work, Community, Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, Health, Life Satisfaction, Safety and Life-Work balance.

This index is measured on scale of 1 to 10.

The world happiness report for 2019 has put Finland on the top spot on the most happiest country for the second consecutive year. According to reports, Finland is the happiest country amongst 156 nations surveyed by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. India has dropped down seven spots in the happiness rankings as compared to its 2018 ranking. Times of India quoted the report saying with the increase in population, the overall happiness has dropped worldwide.


India has dropped down seven spots in thehappiness rankings as compared to its 2018 ranking. Times of India quoted the reportsaying with the increase in population, theoverall happiness has dropped worldwide. In2018, India was placed on 133 position, but this year its ranking went down to 140.

In a democracy like ours, if people are unhappy about something they have the right to protest against it. So if the number of bandhs, hartals and protests were considered to be an indication of the citizens’ dissatisfaction, ours would be off the charts.
According to the sources ("The Hindu Bussinessline")

How could we explain India’s awful performance among otherwise comparable countries? There is no single or simple explanation, but it is worth taking a critical look at the underpinning reasons through the prism of happiness variables. The following five points are not answers, but pointers to the making of the ‘Great Indian Happiness Tragedy’.

First, despite being one of the fastest growing economies, India remains a non-egalitarian country, with burgeoning levels of economic inequality. An Oxfam survey in 2017 has revealed that India’s richest 1 per cent has cornered almost 73 per cent of the total wealth created in the country.

Second, India’s public health spending is well below the global average (just 1.4 per cent of GDP), leaving the deprived millions to pitiable public healthcare facilities. Oddly enough, even the well-off Indian professional class, who can afford expensive private healthcare, are not guaranteed a long, healthy and happy life. The shocking case of the early fading physicians in Kerala, the so-called most socially advanced State in India, signifies how scary the emerging situation is.

A 2017 study conducted by the Indian Medical Association revealed that the average life expectancy of a Malayalee modern-medicine doctor is just 61.7 years, almost 13 years less than the State average.

Third, without doubt, India has failed in building a trustworthy social support system, helping people when they are in real trouble. An atrocious incident was recently reported from Uttar Pradesh, where a team of patrolling policemen lets two teenage victims of an accident bleed to death as they “didn’t want blood to stain their car seats”. A perfect example of how little people can trust the state machinery.

Fourth, it is proved over and over again that India’s political system and business establishments are unable to manage big cash flows in a sustainable, responsible and transparent way. Corrupt and fraudulent practices still hold the key as exemplified in the Nirav Modi episode and similar occurrences. No further explanations are necessary as to why India’s rank dropped in the latest global corruption perceptions index.

Fifth, the timid Indian response towards the Asia’s most vulnerable refugees, despite being a country that once welcomed Tibetans and Sri Lankans, illustrates that generosity and altruism are giving way to pseudo-nationalism and self-obsession. India’s do-nothing policy in the Rohingya crisis was utterly inhuman and — for an aspiring world leader — disappointing.

Notwithstanding certain conceptual and methodological lacunae, the Happiness Index clearly exposes the deep-seated flaws in our social foundations making any grand claim for an imminent ‘advanced’ India as nothing more than a wild fantasy narrative.

Somu Mahalaxmi

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