India’s New Ministry of Happiness
The new ministry is to bring positivity into people’s livesJuly 21st, 2016
Measuring a country’s growth by using the concept of gross national happiness has lately become a practice adopted by more and more states. India represents the most recent example of a country that will establish its own ministry of happiness and will therefore use the gross national happiness as an indicator for its economic wealth.
It was in 1972 when Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan kingdom, came up with the idea of using happiness as a measure of good governance. By projecting a system that promotes harmony and respect for nature and each other, while respecting the ancient wisdom and traditions and protecting the most vulnerable people, the Gross National Happiness Movement has ever since attracted more and more countries.
The idea took root in India as well, which recently came to acknowledge the fact that only by infusing positivity in the lives of its people, will they become happy. More exactly, it is Madhya Pradesh, one of India’s states, which announced the fact that it will create its own Ministry of Happiness.
The new ministry will oversee almost 70 social programs, including meditation, spirituality and yoga and will also assure free religious pilgrimages for senior citizens. Nonetheless, the new ministry will incorporate the existing schemes such as the state’s flagship ‘’Girl Child’’ program, which sees female students and their families financially rewarded for remaining in education for longer periods of time.
The Indian Ministry of Happiness is not the first of its kind to be put in place. As a matter of fact, the new ministry will emulate dedicated happiness bureaus that exist in Venezuela and in the United Arab Emirates. In the attempt to look beyond material fulfillment, countries have slowly determined a shift in values, coming up with new ways to measure progress and human development.
The creation of a ministry of happiness is an excellent demonstration of how important the value-based development and spiritual progress are for the well-being of societies. Ensuring that the people are leading happy and satisfied lives therefore represents an important objective for a growing number of states, among which India is a clear example.