The world has rightly applauded Bhutan’s bold philosophy of Gross National Happiness. According to the philosophy, the happiness of the people precedes even the Gross National Product.
GNH is the gift of Bhutan to the world. The term Gross National Happiness (GNH) was coined by the fourth King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck. Concerned about the problems afflicting countries that focused only on economic growth, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck decided to make the nation’s priority not it’s Gross Domestic Product but Gross National Happiness. For this he suggested that the progress of the nation be measured by “Gross National Happiness.” He said that the rich are not always happy while the happy generally considered themselves rich.
While conventional development models stressed on economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of Gross National Happiness claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other.
The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are:
- Equitable and equal socio-economic development,
- Preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage,
- Conservation of environment and,
- Good governance which are interwoven, complementary, and consistent.