How Unhappy is India? On International Day of Happiness, let’s know why is India unhappy?
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”― Mahatma Gandhi.
Well, Gandhi’s statement sounds simple, right? When what you think, say, and do are in harmony. Looks simple! Achievable, right? But then, why are we ‘Very’ unhappy? The World Happiness Report 2019 that surveyed 156 countries on the happiness index, finds India to rank at 140. It states that Indians seem to be quite dissatisfied with their lives and identifies India to be ‘Very Unhappy’.
The six variables that this study was based on were GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make choices, generosity, and perception of corruption. And while we are celebrating the International Week of Happiness, culminating with International Day of Happiness on 20th March, where of course, it is a day to be happy, it is a good enough day to think why are we so unhappy.
While the data above was of the pre-pandemic world, the 2020’s report drops India to 144th position on the happiness index. And with a lot that has happened in the previous year, it seems like this number is not going to improve.
Since 2013, The United Nations started recognizing the importance of happiness in our lives, and from there, 20th March came to be noticed as the International Day of Happiness. Even in 2015, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, that seek to end poverty, protect the planet, and reduce inequality are seen as the primary measures under well-being and happiness. Happiness is one of the key factors for what we can call a ‘Quality Life’. And since we are unhappy, we wonder the reasons behind it.
Why is India Unhappy?
Expectations and feeling of Disappointment
The more a person gets to stand out on the expectations, the more disappointed they will become. Indians are certainly expected t do a lot of things, starting from children to be good in studies, men to be the bread earner, and women to be the best housewife ever. And where these are the basic, there are other responsibilities that vary from person to person. Any time when people end up not lifting up to the expectations, the feeling of disappointment becomes a valid reason for unhappiness.
The last few years have been a heated time for the socio-political structure of the country. There hardly have been any moment where some or the other group did not protest. In the last year, there were protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, this year, the farmers of the country have been sitting on borders demanding to scrap new farm bills. All of this, irrespective of what is right or wrong, becomes extremely traumatic for the person or the group.
The economy is a big concern for everyone. And with the pandemic, one of the most hit areas has been the economy of the county. The GDP dropped by many folds and India is presently, officially seeing its recession. This fact is worthy enough to give stress and is a reason for unhappiness.
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Poverty, hunger, unemployment
In India, there is quite a big population that falls below the poverty line. For them, happiness is hardly a concern as they have bigger things to think about. This year, unemployment has remained to be a big issue. Many, who even cleared all the examinations for government jobs are struggling for jobs, a good enough population is struggling to fill their stomachs. And this becomes a good enough reason for their unhappiness.
In 2019’s report, freedom was a reason for Indians’ happiness, but will it still remain to be?
In the recently released V-Dem Institutes’ report, India is declared as not a democratic country. Instead, it is being called an electoral autocracy. India stands on 111th out of 162 countries in the Human Freedom Index 2020. Hence, in the upcoming Happiness reports, we are likely to not see freedom as a reason of happiness.
Well, Indians are unhappy, but they truly don’t deserve to be. This Internation Day of Happiness, we pray that hope to see each and every member of the world to have a better quality of life and to have their issues resolved, and lead a life filled with happiness.
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