Why A Developing Country Like India Is Still Devoid Of Happiness
Happiness is primarily concerned with the satisfaction of heart, body and mind. If we define happiness, then it can be termed as a feeling which arises only when everything goes according to our will and we are content with our life.
It is often said that happiness is not confined to resources, instead it is a state of mind. Availability of resources and financial stability can buy us comfort, but that is not always a synonym for happiness.
A person living in a slum might be more happy than a resident of a fully-furnished house. Though these aspects seem to be convincing to some extent, it is a bitter truth that they are merely philosophical ideas and have no relevance in the real world.
Human beings have certain requirements and aspirations which need to be fulfilled and that ultimately decides their level of happiness. Studying happiness does not have any serious purpose or value, but there are several statistics and reports which reveal people’s emotional well-being, and that is determined by their income, expenditure, health and housing.
According to a UN Report, India was ranked 133rd in the global list of happiest countries. Even countries like Pakistan (75) and Nepal(101) are ahead of India. For a growing economy like India, this is really a disturbing trend and requires immediate attention.
The present situation gives rise to several questions, the very first being the reason behind this huge decline. India is a developing nation and has a plethora of problems to deal with. The factors which the World Happiness Ranking takes into account include GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, perceptions of corruption and many more.
According to a report by The Hindu, India is one of the “worst offenders” in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of corruption and press freedom. Cases related to brutal murder of journalists showcase shrinking space for liberty. The World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders has placed India at 136th position in terms of press freedom.
According to the latest report prepared by the National Crime Records Bureau, as many as 8,007 farmers and 4,595 agricultural labourers committed suicide, due to agricultural distress or their inability to pay debt.
From corrupt politicians to business tycoons fleeing away without repaying debt, increasing rate of farmer suicides, gender disparity, expensive healthcare and social disparities are some of the factors that are snatching away the happiness of Indians.
There are several such statistics which should concern us. According to a 2012 Lancet report, India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29 years, and over 58 million Indians suffer from depression. The current situation prevailing in the country leave very little for Indians to cheer about.
The unwanted conditions like female infanticide, dowry related deaths and many more such social problems have left us depressed and dejected. For a country to be termed as ‘successful’ or ‘developed’, it is very necessary for its citizens to be satisfied and the situations here don’t allow them to feel happy. So, it is high time that the ruling government shifts its priorities from construction of big statues and concentrate on improving the conditions for making people happy, otherwise that day is not very far when such deteriorating conditions will jolt an already weak state.
(Bhavna Jha is a student and an independent social worker from Ranchi, Jharkhand.)
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