International Day of Happiness: How Unhappy is India?

How unhappy is India? On the International Day of Happiness, let’s know why India is 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, you are happy. Looks simple and achievable, right? But then, why are we unhappy? The World Happiness Report 2022 which surveyed 156 countries on the happiness index found India to rank at 136. Challenging careers, cutthroat competition, familial issues, health complications, inflation, and many other factors cost us our happiness.

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 the 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 about why we are so unhappy.

While the data above was of the pre-pandemic world, 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.

In 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, which seek to end poverty, protect the planet, and reduce inequality, are seen as the primary measures of 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 about the reasons behind it.

Why is India Unhappy?

Expectations and feelings of Disappointment

The more a person gets to stand out on the expectations, the more disappointed they will become. Indians are certainly expected to do a lot of things, starting from having children to be good in their studies, men to be the bread earner, and women to be the best housewife ever. And where these are the basic ones, other responsibilities vary from person to person. Any time when people end up not living up to their expectations, the feeling of disappointment becomes a valid reason for unhappiness.

Social-Political crisis

The last few years have been a heated time for the socio-political structure of the country. There hardly has been any moment where some or the other group did not protest. In the last year, there were protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and 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.

Economic stresses

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.

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 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 big enough reason for their unhappiness.

Well, Indians are unhappy, but they truly don’t deserve to be. This International Day of Happiness, we pray that we hope to see every member of the world has a better quality of life and has their issues resolved, and lead a life filled with happiness.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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