“What GNH is will never change but how we achieve it will change” The Fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
The idea of People’s Happiness
existed since the 17th century, during the time of Zhabdrung Ngawang
Namgyal who was the political and spiritual leader of the country then. Then
the policies were framed out in accordance with spirituality, compassioning all
the sentient being.
The fourth King of Bhutan, King Jigme
Singye Wangchuck said, “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross
Domestic Product” at an interview with British journalist at Bombay Airport,
India in 1972. The GNH philosophy was started by youth to youth since 1972 when
the fourth King of Bhutan was just 17 years old.
In the era of the Fifth King,
GNH is the main key to development and policy making process of the country. Hence
the development of the country is mainly based on four GNH pillars;
Sustainable and equitable socio-economic development
Preservation and conservation of natural environment
Conservation and promotion of cultural heritage
These four pillars are put into account based on nine domains, each with indicators:
Psychological well-being – life satisfaction, positive emotion, negative emotion, spirituality
Health – self-reported health status, number of healthy days, disability, mental health
Time use – work, sleep
Cultural diversity & resilience – literacy, schooling, knowledge, value
Education – Zorig chusum skills (Artisan skills), cultural participation, speak native language, driglam Namzha (code of conduct)
Good Governance – political participation, services, governance performance, fundamental rights
Community vitality – donation (time and money), safety, community relationship, family
These 33 indicators of nine domains are equally weighted to
achieve 100% deeply happy, extensively happy and narrowly happy. As per the
National GNH survey conducted in 2015 by Center for Bhutan Studies and GNH
Research, 91.2% of people were happy.