October 15th, 2008 22:12 EST
The Happy Fool
Prime Minister Jigme Thinley (of Bhutan) is at the top the list of advocators of Gross National Happiness that counts happiness over material or monetary prosperity. In fact it was since his induction into the Wangchuk cabinet that debates for Gross National Happiness began across lands. The financial crisis that deflated American and European market has added impetus to GNH campaigners.
It is farce that GNH campaigners really addict themselves to its motto. The leaders for years have lobbied and asked people that they must strive to remain happy than accumulating money, which might bring conflict, violence and troubles rather than happiness, peace. Indirectly, leaders asked people to shun desire for money, material wealth.
Thinley who says GDP is not any more an incredible measure of human development yet continues to use this tool every year, also played another trick. Very recently, his cabinet decided to increase his salary by over 140 percent and allowance by over 40 percent. This made me amaze why a leaders who asks other to depart from material prosperity and desire for wealth wishes to have additional luxury.
His GNH also emphasizes on bridging gap between haves and haves-not, thus eliminating the differences in society to build harmony and friendless. Does this mission is well fulfilled when he increase is salary by 140 percent and allowances by 40 percent while those government officials at the lower level get only as little as 40 percent increment?
JYT is not pulling the wool over people`s eyes but making fool of himself, perfectly to match with Kalidas in Sanskrit literature.
The elected government` of Bhutan was thought to take on the path to national harmony, share prosperity with country people and bring development projects to remote parts have turned otherwise. This has been possible only due to emerging media industry in the country, who have developed themselves as the watchdog to all illicit tact that rulers abide for personal well-being.
Some months back, when I was talking about GNH with Bhutanese political leaders in exile (Nepal), one mentioned, GNH is for a limited number of people because gross conveys meaning " only 12 dozen.
Certainly, the political developments in Bhutan are likely to reflect the same meaning.