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“Gross National Happiness: A gift from Bhutan to the world”

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“Gross National Happiness: A gift from Bhutan to the world”, is a chapter written by George W. Burns in the book titled “Positive Psychology as Social Change”. The author has profusely accredited the principle of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) as initiated by fourth king of Bhutan in 1972. Burns has put lot of efforts to highlight the policy (concept) of gross national happiness as presented by government of Bhutan to the outside world. The author has also laid emphasis to describe the natural environment of Bhutan contributing to GNH policy but significantly omitted the social and political environment which actually plays the major role in GNH (Burns). The goal of the author is based on explaining the meaning and possibilities of GNH in Bhutan’s perspective. The author also introduces the Bhutanese history, culture, religion, people and government with reference to the statistics developed by absolute monarchy of Bhutan.  “The nation-state of Bhutan, which is often mentioned by certain authors for its effort to maximize Gross National Happiness rather than gross national product, is not a relevant example, because that country is not a developed democracy” (Frey). This clarifies that GNH is wonderful idea but its implication is yet to bear fruit in the kingdom of Bhutan. The book is wonderfully written but it is very far away from the reality of happiness in Bhutan.  The author’s positive view towards GNH as introduced in the chapter is very inspiring subject to the readers. However, the content represents certain elite class of people who are closely related to the monarch.  The selection of the subject and opening of the Bhutan’s view towards GNH can be rewarded to the writer as it provides the readers the road to research about the true GNH in Bhutan.

Front cover of the reviewed book

Every individual in this world are struggling for happiness and healthy life. There is no evidence presented by the author as a foolproof that countries like Bhutan ranked at 170 in terms of development should have highest GNH (CIA, 2012). The author has also acknowledged the major changes in Bhutan becoming the newest democratic country in the world.

Human rights and democracy were the two key institutional frameworks for governance demanded by the people of Bhutan in 1990. But the government turned deaf ear to this and embarked on mass eviction of people particularly in Southern Bhutan and expelled more than one hundred thousand people from the country (CIA, 2012). The author also mentions that king of Bhutan forced democracy to its people who have little or no education. This is absolutely true because the leaders and people with more democratic mind-set have spent two decades in the refugee camp in Nepal.

Still the king is supreme power of the country and therefore question arises about the true meaning of democracy in Bhutan.

In 1640, the religious ruler of Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal established a treaty with Ram Shah, the King of Gorkha (Nepal) and took 41 skillful Nepalese families to Bhutan for construction of monasteries, roads and introduced agriculture in Bhutan. Nepali origin Bhutanese lived in Bhutan for more than two centuries before the present ruler established the hereditary monarchy in 1907. The real sense of gross national happiness comes from Southern Bhutanese who actually developed that country, the way it is today (History).

The fourth king candidly mentioned the happiness as his philosophical goal for development, later to be carried  to outside world in a chimerical attempt to bring mono-ethnic and mono-culture in that country. “The 1958 Citizenship Act was followed by the enactment of the new Citizenship Act in 1985 that was implemented in 1988. The national census was held in 1985, particularly to identify the southern Bhutanese. According to the census, out of Bhutan’s total population of 1,370,000, nearly 45 per cent were of Nepali origin by their ethnicity (Ikram).  It can be said thus, the GNH has become propaganda and a grand design to purify the perpetrators of their ethnic cleansing ego, lest it bring happiness to the very common citizens of Bhutan. The author has not touched down to this complexity of helm of affairs which the advocates of GNH are manipulating and trumpeting the happiness mantra. The reality is something different if we immerse in the Bhutanese folks living in hamlets.

It is mentioned in the good governance section of the book, that king has advocated the democracy for the people in 1998, but this is simply a theory and there are no evidences that chapter of democracy was included in curriculum of Bhutanese Education. United Nation Education and Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fortunately one of the few UN programs which operate in Bhutan also does not mention that the country had pre-democratic education in the schools and points out the need of reframing Bhutanese school curriculum (World).  Bhutan is an isolated country from rest of the world and seek advice from India in its foreign policy due to 1949 Indo-Bhutan treaty. However, it is mentioned that Bhutan can make some decision by itself since 1998 after discussing with its Indian counterpart. It is another surprising fact that Bhutan did not have TV and internet until 1999 (BBC, UK). Gross National Happiness cannot be obtained by any country over night; it is achieved through the period of time when the country become successful in addressing needs of its individual citizen.

Happiness cannot be gifted by any government, organization or entrepreneurs. It is an abstract feeling of self-motivation which is generated in the mind of an individual. Thus, happiness is feeling like love which originates from heart of an individual and passes through family, society, country and the global human kind.

In this book, the author has used golden words in highlighting the happiness expressed by individual rulers of the monarchy and it is true because they are successful in taking away its citizens’ happiness. In my perception, Gross National Happiness is the sum of happiness achieved by all the citizens of the country, irrespective of ethnicity, color, religion, sex, disability, rich and poor and promotes the global happiness. Internationally, if a country claims happiness, it should have crystal clear reputation in regards to democratic values, civil liberties, life free of fear and hatred with fundamental tenets of human rights.

There is profound praise for the nature and natural environment of Bhutan described by the author. The author has clearly mentioned that Bhutan is a tiny Himalayan country whose health, happiness and wealth are nature. The snow clad mountains and swift flowing rivers are the centers for tourist attraction and income. Landlocked country Bhutan is far away from pollution emitting factories, industries and machineries which are adversely affecting rest of the world.  Bhutan can take its pride in contribution of natural environment to reduce global warming. Natural environment has greatly contributed to its GNH rather than good governance.

The author has selected the magnificent topic of gross national happiness; however, Bhutan is the wrong country to give credit on happiness as United Nation is taking care of thousands of Bhutanese refugees evicted from the same happy-savvy country, for twenty years. In my point of view, it is a great fortune that Bhutan is seeking gross national happiness and to complement this, the country must welcome its expelled citizens with justice delivered back to their homes. Otherwise, the type of happiness the author has mentioned generates various questions: is it a gross national happiness when the absolute rulers are enjoying and a section of people are starving in refugee camps in another country? Or is it an excellent philosophy to follow by world rulers to establish mono-ethnic society and promote GNH? Or correct the manipulation of GNH and establish the real principle of happiness?  Thus, Gross National Happiness is a great challenge to Bhutan and it is not a gift to rest of the world.

Works cited

Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on 44 171 413 5566 http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/bhutan?page=1. 21 Dec., 1999.Web. 18 Oct. 2012.

BBC, London, UK http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12641778 .  July 11, 2012. Web.  Sep. 30, 2012.

Burns George W. Gross national happiness: a gift of Bhutan to the world. Positive Psychology as  a social Change.  http://www.springerlink.com/content/j72w78434r1n45h0/.2011. Web. Sep. 30, 2012.

Frey Bruno S. Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.4.0483.  2010. Web. Oct. 18, 2012.

History of Bhutan. http://www.reocities.com/CapitolHill/Parliament/9728/history.html  n.d. web. Nov. 18, 2012.

Ikram Zubia. Bhutanese Refugee in Nepal: An Analysis Author(s). Pakistan Horizon, Vol. 58, and No.3 (July 2005), pp. 101-116Published by: Pakistan Institute of International Affairs   http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/41394105?uid=3739696&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21101913677381. July, 2005.web. Oct. 18, 2012.

World Data on Education. United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).   http://www.ibe.unesco.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/WDE/2010/pdf-versions/Bhutan.pdf. 11 July, 2011. web. Oct. 10, 2012.

[Born in Burichhu, Chirang, Bhutan, the author graduated from North Bengal University in B.S degree in 2008 and moved to US. He is working as Case Manager/ Coordinator in post- resettlement agency as an advocate and non-licensed clinician for Bhutanese community since Dec. 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts, and is studying Chemistry measure in final year to obtain second B.S degree in US. He can be reached at gacharya@bccrd.org]

37 COMMENTS

  1. If Bhutan deserve to be a country of Happiness, why not North Korea, Libya, Syria …?

    Theory of “Gross National Happiness” is becoming a reliable umbrella for Bhutanese government to shade those heinous and unforgettable crime and terror initiated by Fourth King(Jigme Singye Wangchuck).

    Gross national happiness holds no meaning unless “ethnic cleansing of 1990s is realized and corrected. Many of our fellow Bhutanese are still struggling for hands to mouth, children are still dominated by malnutrition, Corruption is in the climax ever since, sexual abuse is still prevailing, and cultural, social, and religious discrimination is inclining to the peak.

    Neither GNH makes any sense in Bhutan, nor it hold any credibility for Bhutanese Monarch. It is nothing other than to shade the “ethnic cleansing” of this beautiful nation.

  2. I second the writer on many his many arguments. Bhutan is slowly adopting democratic values. It will take long time to be a full fledged democracy even if the king and political parties mean it for real. I think no one will listen JYT and his lies anymore about the refugee issue as every one inside and outside Bhutan knows what exactly happened in 90`s and in what ways the govt. is trying to push the issue forever unsolved.
    It must be understood that young generation (both exiled and from inside Bhutan) is keenly watching the developments every single day. One fine morning, they will say ” this is not the right way to do “. Those who are infringing the rights of public to speak, the right of a journalist to inform and express, and the right of the refugees to return home will be brought to book.
    I do not see lot of charm for GNH in US. When there ethnic hatred, no one can imagine happiness. It is just as simple as I put. I know elites are not only happy, but very happy in Bhutan. But the majority of Bhutan`s population is living with so much of uncertainty, unemployment and insecurity. How well one can imagine happiness in those circumstances?. But having said that, Bhutan should always try to achieve the goal of GNH by addressing all issues including the problem of the south. GNH should be used as a tool in promoting happiness but not for sidelining the refugee issue. Bhutan must respect the right of its citizens to return home.

  3. Mr. Gopal Acharya,being the victim of the 1990 Movement i dont find it surprising on your part to criticize the article. I’m on the same page as you but i look at it a different way. so you are saying Bhutan should be balanced between a good economic standard and a good Human development Index to be consider a Happy country. I also saw other stuffs on your article such as human happiness is gained from personal achievement and not forced on by Government. You are absolutely right: But lets not forget thats the western Philosophy. In east especially Bhutan/Tibet/India/Nepal who have a very strong spiritual and very old socio-economic background the case is different. Eastern Philosophy from Gautam Buddha to the rishis and spritual Hindu leaders we give a damn about rest of the stuffs except inner happiness which comes from a spiritual mind(doesnt have to be religious). In every wisdom books of ours we are always encuraged to follow a path not based on wealth and materialistic items. Our ancestors grew up with nature and strong linkage to that old heritage. people in the Himalayas are still considered as one of the happy people in the world. Offcourse UN wont tell you that because they have to find some way to suck the US dollar telling them how terrible the life is there. If you link Happiness with wealth than you are god damn wrong. it doesn’t. Bhutan is atleast trying to keep that old tradition of ours. It has done a remarable job protecting nature. Chomolari peak is the only peak in the world which is still not captured. Yes it is not necessarily a government job to implement all this but you cannot say its a wrong idea. Yes we all are hurt by the 1990 incident but part of it is our fault too. Look at what mess TN Rizal and other leaders created burning schools and creating racial tensions in our peaceful society. I blame both our leaders and the king for creating that mess. But its 20 yrs now; we all have our home here in the US. We have a country. Now instead of writing anti-sentiment articles we must focus on positive sides. Lets Hail the king for this good work.

  4. Don’t you think you’re confounding the concept of GNH with your personal happiness, and looking at it from your rose-tinted glasses. I think we should all take pride in the fact that Bhutan has taken the courage to successfully push the happiness agenda despite its numerous shortcomings. As refugees, any hope for us to go back whether as citizens or otherwise will hinge on how well Bhutan fares as a GNH society, not just in spirit but in practice. therefore, I fail to see what your point is when even academics with no political agenda see it as worthy of a place in a positive psychology book on “social change”.

  5. Very well researched and analyzed article on the so called Gross National Happiness (GNH). Mr. Acharya has thoroughly but thoughtfully reviewed the chapter by George W. Burns. Bhutan is smart enough to brainwash the scholars about its heinous acts done in the past. If someone questions about the mass eviction of 1990, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) simply says that those were the economic migrants who left Bhutan at their own will. The visitors quickly believe their systematic lies after they are hypnotized with the hospitality. In the next step, the puppets of the Wangchuck palace start bragging about the pristine nature and Mahayana culture. If someone asks to visit Southern Bhutan, the government does not hesitate to say that it is not safe to visit. The visitors are then forced to believe that the evicted people from Bhutan are really economic migrants as claimed by the RGoB. What a paradox!
    Once again, very good article to read if someone has interest and curiosity in the so called GNH. Keep up your good work Gopal Acharya.

    Bhagirath Khatiwada
    New Hampshire, USA

  6. Every time ” Bhagirath Khatiwada” writes very well researched article for most of the articles in this column. What does he mean by well researched? Also, if Khatiwada would proof the denying of people visiting southern Bhutan then that would support his claim to rgob. Just writing will not add any evidence to the claim.

  7. GNH is nothing other than a catchy phrase for our monarch to stay in power creating an illusion to be the savior of- we the Buddhist.

    Spirituality, should be out from politics, it is how people believe, act, and react. The irony of enforcing public to practice spirituality would back fire the reality.

    Can you tell me who possess a luxurious car, couples
    of five stars Hotels and restaurants, huge and beautiful housing complex in couples of towns, big flat screen TV ,…. ….. ? Ordinary poor Bhutanese or those leaders who preach us to practice Spirituality? The answer is those in politics and power.

    Ordering poor and ordinary Bhutanese to practice the life of Spirituality, but personally enjoying the economical and physical privileges is ridiculous.

    Come on people be real!

  8. It seems the World is starving for happiness despite the explosion of scientific developments taking place globally in the atmosphere of social and cultural freedom. A curious, sadistic caveman takes chance to mock/rail against the positive fruits of development that serves mankind providing for his comforts knowingly that he would never achieve even part of them for himself. Sanctimonious GNH that can be availed enjoying satisfaction in elementary things like food, clothing and shelter in the social environment of practical justice, equity and righteousness under the observation of good governance is not sought in its own precincts!

    The senses of many are numbed by the powerful pill/tablet of caveman prepared out of his filth (desires to subject the voice of consciences) and crime (political/administrative actions to achieve the desires against conscious citizens) when taken as substitute for the healthy diet of sincerity at home. Another wonder still bewitches the author himself despite suffering as victim of ONOP and GNH is manifest in the mention of the fugitive sage from the north. The statement of whether Bhutan was a state that provided him shelter on his fleeing for safety or he descended into the realm of uncertainty bringing certainty and identification to the host would fit in this story.

    We are in danger of being merged to the MAINLAND as part of Southern Tibet due to wrong precedence of history unless we cease to vainly glorify sage Ngawang Namgyal accounting his contributions above the worth of Bhutanese state with its inhabitants. Likening him as its founder and protector that seemed to take all for himself is equal to acknowledging that we were conquered by Tibetan sage for Tibet, since 1640! Is it counting the usefulness of the friendly sage for this nation or subjecting the very nation state to the individual fleeing sage? Bhutanese lack logical reasoning to deal with the gross error and settle the pains and problems to this day due to acceptance of the error!

    Should Bhutanese consider themselves inferior beings without society, law or culture of our own, in need of receiving trainings in the unique way of slavery called Driglam Namzha to this day? The state is now taken over by the persecutor of CONSCIOUSNESS among the Bhutanese mass who fears the loss of easy booty from the dead fugitive to the legitimate Builders and Natural Citizens of this land. The pills/tablets of GNH are prepared to dumb the persecuted Bhutanese of their statements of consciousness since just 1985 (under Indian tutorship) and to numb the World’s feeling in the glamour of seductive propaganda. But the World now takes them exposing weakness of possessing wandering mind that strays out in search of happiness beyond normal means in their reach to receive from the gross violator of Human Rights at the end of the earth!

  9. Gopal Acharya (GA) courageously picked on a heavy weight task of critiquing an academician as well as putting forward an analysis of philosophical canon of happiness. In his write up, on one hand I see the courage of appraising a well written text which of course misses out the known facts of Southern Bhutan exodus in early 1990s to suit the subjective gratification of the author and a selective audience, and on the other hand he uses the mantra of bashing the K4 and boasting the action of leaders outside the boundary, and of course, we have heard this hundreds of times that is why I call it a mantra.
    Challenging writers who knowingly twist facts to suit their needs and selective audience is a good deed, however mixing up of apples and oranges on GA’s part has weakened his own argument. There is hardly any country around the world that has developed a curriculum on democracy for future democrats, waited for thirty years and established a democratic government. Your argument doesn’t hold any water. It is a great ideology but can you name a few countries which followed your idea. GA’s stress that the democratic mind set leaders and people are outside and not inside Bhutan boggles my mind. You totally don’t know, or you forgot or you are hiding the facts like the writer who you took up to critique. The movement was violent; there was no sign of human rights. People lost their heads, there were robberies and there were constant demand of money or life. Make no mistake, I am not supporting the actions of the Bhutan Government that followed. That is a different story.
    I have trouble with people referring to the history that they don’t even know. What is this business 41 or 42 nepali families coming to Bhutan two hundred years ago. Who cares???? My life now is my life. I should not be punished for the reason that I did not come to Bhutan 5000 or 200 or 100 years ago. You don’t have to land 200 years ago in Bhutan to become a Bhutanese. If you argue on this illogical foundation then you will be an American or British or Canadian or Australian after 200 years. A country has to have a law that satisfies the country’s as well as the international standards of citizenship and not 5000 years. I have seen quite a few write ups illustrating this historical matra to justify Bhutanese citizenship. Stay away from this BS (pardon my language).

    “The real sense of gross national happiness comes from Southern Bhutanese who actually developed that country, the way it is today (History).”

    Common, give me a break. This is so untrue. All people across Bhutan worked hard for their own living. I travelled across Bhutan, and all common citizens worked equally hard to support their families. The bravado we place on the Leaders is unwarranted. Many others and I have tried to give reasons why the initial enterprise was not planned, thought of, consulted, was not courageous-(leaders + others should have stood the ground rather than absconding).

    So called leaders should apologize for their misdeed instead of hiding away in some cases. We have to educate the world of what happened in Bhutan TRUTHFULLY. If we are truthful then our voice will be one voice, powerful and reliable. Bhutan now has quite a big population educated. They will encounter the world population in every corner and will have to answer many questions regarding the exodus. We do not have that burden. Our burden is to tell the truthful stories.

    Talking about the topic of happiness, people have different perspective. Happiness is one important element of well-being. Well- being is a greater requisite for life than happiness. Happiness is not of a gift of Bhutan to the world. This topic used to be vigorously discussed by Socrates a couple of thousand years ago, Epicurus a few hundred years ago and of course the British philosophers have been talking about for couple of centuries. To be called a gift of K4/Bhutan to the world is misleading. Happiness has to have conditions by which it needs to be defined, like Epicurus. He said for an individual to be happy, he/she has to have a lot of friends, be self sufficient (freedom) and has to have analysed life, meaning one reflects on one’s experiences and problems.

    For K4 that time when outsiders asked him about GDP, there wasn’t much of it so the best thing was GNH. He was not totally wrong then. For a desert traveller arriving at a water hole can be an experience of happiness. People of Bhutan were like desert travellers finding a big water hole in the 1970s. They were happy. They saw schools for their children, health centres for their health, malaria eradication program, jobs for all educated, roads getting built, children sent to best Indian boarding schools, King’s visits to towns and villages, bridges built, agricultural improvement, flourishing small businesses, loans for small projects, improving transportation and so on. King was happy to see the growth. People were happy too. People saw each other happy. The K4 made that happiness statement and I feel that it was intuitive. But the way it was plundered during the last 10 years begs an enormous question: do you really know what you are talking about? It is a serious question for JYT, Khandu W. Ace, Thakur Singh, Jangley and many other proponents. Happiness is a vague concept. It always depends on time and place. If one had asked the question, ‘Are you happy? on the day the T.V viewing was allowed in Bhutan, most probably 90% of population would have said I am happy.

    An Elusive subject was dragged too far by Bhutan and to make it worse the academicians who should be more objective stand and justify one perspective.

    I could be wrong, but here is my advice to the young budding writers, pick a topic and totally focus on it. Discuss your ideas, especially relating to Bhutan with your elders or contemporaries who know the subject and discuss it objectively. Let your text carry weight and make it to the point.
    By the way people write now and then, ‘the schools were burnt.’ What schools and how many schools were burnt. Can you categorically give details rather than vague statement? Thanks!
    All the best!

  10. It seems the World is starving for happiness despite the explosion of scientific developments taking place globally in the atmosphere of social and cultural freedom. A curious, sadistic caveman takes chance to mock/rail against the positive fruits of development that serves mankind providing for his comforts knowingly that he would never achieve even part of them for himself. Sanctimonious GNH that can be availed enjoying satisfaction in elementary things like food, clothing and shelter in the social environment of practical justice, equity and righteousness under the observation of good governance is not sought in its own precincts!

    The senses of many are numbed by the powerful pill/tablet of caveman prepared out of his filth (desires to subject the voice of consciences) and crime (political/administrative actions to achieve the desires against conscious citizens) when taken as substitute for the healthy diet of sincerity at home. Another wonder still bewitches the author himself despite suffering as victim of ONOP and GNH is manifest in the mention of the fugitive sage from the north. The statement of whether Bhutan was a state that provided him shelter on his fleeing for safety or he descended into the realm of uncertainty bringing certainty and identification to the host would fit in this story.

    We are in danger of being merged to the MAINLAND as part of Southern Tibet due to wrong precedence of history unless we cease to vainly glorify sage Ngawang Namgyal accounting his contributions above the worth of Bhutanese state with its inhabitants. Likening him as its founder and protector that seemed to take all for himself is equal to acknowledging that we were conquered by Tibetan sage for Tibet, since 1640! Is it counting the usefulness of the friendly sage for this nation or subjecting the very nation state to the individual fleeing sage? Bhutanese lack logical reasoning to deal with the gross error and settle the pains and problems to this day due to acceptance of the error!

    Should Bhutanese consider themselves inferior beings without society, law or culture of our own, in need of receiving trainings in the unique way of slavery called Driglam Namzha to this day? The state is now taken over by the persecutor of CONSCIOUSNESS among the Bhutanese mass who fears the loss of easy booty from the dead fugitive to the legitimate Builders and Natural Citizens of this land. The pills/tablets of GNH are prepared to dumb the persecuted Bhutanese of their statements of consciousness since just 1985 (under Indian tutorship) and to numb the World’s feeling in the glamour of seductive propaganda. But the World now takes them exposing weakness of possessing wandering mind that strays out in search of happiness beyond normal means in their reach to receive from the gross violator of Human Rights!

    The weakness of the world powers that would otherwise judge has come with great advantage, thrilling the perpetrator but further killing its victims!!

  11. Hello the so called bed,
    I don’t like to appear being disguised. If I am afraid of my own thought, I better don’t open my mouth. I am glad that you read my comment. What do you call an article which is supported by plethora of facts and figures? If it is not called well researched, do you have better term to replace it? If so, can you offer to the public so we learn from you? In regard to restriction on visiting southern Bhutan for visitors,if you feel that is untrue, I would suggest you to read literatures available and try to manage your time to be updated with the regular news.
    Bhagirath khatiwada
    New Hampshire, USA

  12. Thousands of Bhutanese refugees living in miserable conditions in Nepal, India and elsewhere had their hopes of being able to return to their homeland dashed on Saturday as Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley said they would have to prove again that they were bona fide Bhutan citizens.

    Thinley, who had arrived in Kathmandu Friday on a three-day visit, headed back for Thimphu on Saturday after talks with Nepal’s Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal on regional as well as bilateral issues. Over 105,000 Bhutanese refugees languishing in closed camps in Nepal since their eviction in the 1990s and almost 30,000 more living in India as well as members of the diaspora now scattered all over the world, had been heartened for a brief period after Thinley had agreed, on Nepal’s prodding, to resume talks to enable them to return home.

    But the refugee euphoria vanished on Saturday when the Bhutanese premier refused to acknowledge them as citizens, instead alluding to them as “people in the refugee camps”. He also said his government is asking Nepal to undertake a fresh “examination” of the camp residents to see how many were bona fide nationals. “… Whether or not they are Bhutanese refugees is a subject of discussion,” he said.

    This is the same ploy the Buddhist kingdom used in 2000 to stall the homecoming of the refugees, who comprise nearly one-fifth of the Bhutanese population. Despite an international outcry, Bhutan sought to categorise the camp residents into genuine citizens, those who had surrendered their citizenship voluntarily, non-Bhutanese and criminals. Bhutan insisted only the first category had the full right to return to Bhutan and understandably, the verification gave the certification to only a small percentage.

    Fifteen rounds of bilateral talks between Nepal and Bhutan broke down after what Thinley said were “unfortunate developments”: attacks by enraged refugees on visiting Bhutanese officials in 2003. Since then, the Druk kingdom has refused to resume talks despite a change in guard with its fourth king, Jigme Singye abdicating in 2006 in favour of his son Jigme Khesar Namgyel.

    Thinley said while Bhutan appreciated eight western governments offering a second home to the people in the camps, there was no need for international intervention and no need to involve India in the repatriation talks.

    Bhutanese refugee leaders have been petitioning Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh repeatedly, seeking his help. With India being Bhutan’s largest trade partner, it can pressure Bhutan, the refugees say. They also point out that India allowed them in the 1990s to traverse across Indian territory and go up to Nepal.

    However, the bridge connecting India and Nepal was blocked by Indian security forces in the late 2000s, when the refugees tried to stage a return march.

    Dismissing the call, Thinley said by virtue of its special relationship with Bhutan and Nepal, India allowed the nationals of both countries to travel on its territory. That, he said, was no cause to seek India’s involvement in the repatriation talks.

    In 2006, the US and other western governments, seeing no progress in the repatriation talks and fearing violence in the seven refugee camps, persuaded Nepal to allow the refugees to resettle abroad — in the US, UK, Norway, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Denmark. Almost 40 percent of the over 105,000 refugees living in Nepal have already left for eastern shores and the UN refugee agency, that runs the camps, hopes to help more resettle in third countries in the days to come.

  13. Achamva has made some very good points. However, I think he missed the point in the later part on Happiness and Bhutan. Nobody is making any claims (nor can they make any) of gifting happiness. Bhutan’s contribution as i understand is in the bold move it has made in shifting the focus from GDP as an indicator of progress to that of GNH which is a broader and better measure of development. It has been talked about and initiated in other developed countries, France & UK being notable ones in recent times, but they have not been successful in turning it into a national policy. Obviously, as a long-held policy that has served quite well thus far & also perhaps the strong corporate interests that prevail, it is a little complicated in these countries even though the evidence is mounting that it is an unsustainable paradigm. Despite so many financial meltdowns and environmental disasters, governments are not ready to take what is a paradigm shift that puts wellbeing in front over one that focuses on only making and spending more money. This is where Bhutan has dared to lead – how successfully is yet to be determined; and the world, at least those who are sensible, are willing to support Bhutan to help it succeed so that they can have a workable model too.
    So, GNH is about national policies that put people’s wellbeing before economic growth (we know from the existing paradigm that a few wealthy individuals or companies can do it at the expense of the masses). It’s about making it a government priority to create the “right conditions” for every citizen to prosper and experience happiness. I think this also goes beyond national boundaries given that we now live in a global village and everything’s inter-connected more than ever before. Bhutan’s green forests could be offsetting the carbons that US industries emit.

  14. Thank you for your write up on GNH. It is vague topic, and focusing on it would be critical.

    Author had completely forgotten to research on the cause of Bhutanese movement in South is to ask our seniors, elder citizen, and those who served in “Jharlangi”(Road and Monasteries construction) from South.

    I do agree, just a statements -” burning down of school and houses “, would not qualified as solid evidence. Please ask our seniors and our literate elders what was exactly happened before “the conspiracy of ethnic cleansing was launched?

    Keep on writing and keep on bringing the hidden and untold story of Bhutan.

    As a saying goes-“You don’t need to tell- dark is white, to make your other part of reader to agree on your statements, you need to keep on stating it is white until they realized it.”

    Peace!

  15. This is a daunting challenge for Nepal. They are assigned new task “to undertake fresh examination” for finding who are Bhutanese and who are not. The process can sometimes lead them to Bhutanese forts to verify the records to authenticate claims of the people being Bhutanese or otherwise finding who are Bhutanese and who are not to answer with facts and figures. There should be either mutual agreement for sharing the records or they are invited for direct interference in the internal affairs of Bhutan.

    PM JY Thinley may have committed gross error in this case acting as agent of Nepal against Bhutan inviting them to interfere in our internal matters despite knowing well who are Bhutanese and who are not by the records in our custody. If we do not show responsibility to our problems, we are authorizing others to solve them! Will such solution work to our advantage? Perhaps times are calling for integration of Nepal with Bhutan to have common leadership for all people sharing the common features and aspirations….

  16. He (PM of Bhutan) also said his government is asking Nepal to undertake a fresh “examination” of the camp residents to see how many were bona fide nationals“. mentioned Goktey kazi

    This is a daunting challenge for Nepal. They are assigned new task “to undertake fresh examination” for finding who are Bhutanese and who are not. The process can sometimes lead them to Bhutanese forts to verify the records to authenticate claims of the people being Bhutanese or otherwise finding who are Bhutanese and who are not to answer with facts and figures. There should be either mutual agreement for sharing the records or they are invited for direct interference in the internal affairs of Bhutan.

    PM JY Thinley may have committed gross error in this case acting as agent of Nepal against Bhutan inviting them to interfere in our internal matters despite knowing well who are Bhutanese and who are not by the records in our custody. If we do not show responsibility to our problems, we are authorizing others to solve them! Will such solution work to our advantage? Perhaps times are calling for integration of Nepal with Bhutan to have common leadership for all people sharing the common features and aspirations….

  17. Gross National Happiness is a tricky subject to touch. It is an evolving concept, carefully nurtured by some yet fiercely contested by others. No writer can hope to write on it without sparking some interest, insightful comments and even rebelling contradictions. The topic itself is of that nature. “Happiness” when treated within the limits of a policy domain by one interested party becomes just another ideology and not ‘happiness’ per se.

    The writer’s attempt must be appreciated for what he tried doing. That is a very good beginning – a learning step for a young person who I guess had only a limited access to GNH literature. Nevertheless, I say, his attempt was praiseworthy; that meets the expectations now – but for the next time – raise your bar. It is a good thing to see our young minds taking interest on Bhutan and the issues related to it. Congratulations!

  18. @ Resettler
    Thanks for the acknowledgement. Let us go to the point you defer on Happiness. What specific point you think I missed out. “Gross National Happiness: A gift from Bhutan to the world”, is a chapter written by George W. Burns in the book titled “Positive Psychology as Social Change”. If somebody titles a chapter the way it is done, we can almost say that someone is making a claim. Can’t we? Many Bhutanese do. I have talked to some Bhutanese and they believe it and say that the Fourth King’s idea for Bhutan and now for the world. It is not only their thinking but it is Mr. G.W. Burns’ Chapter Title citation. I am not saying! Others are saying, “A Gift from Bhutan to the World.”

    I am just saying that the subject of Happiness has been thoroughly discussed around the world for many centuries by many philosophers and politicians but they could not make a national policy for many reasons. We can wish for, but tangible enough to make a national policy, I am not sure.

    You have stated: “I understand is in the bold move it has made in shifting the focus from GDP as an indicator of progress to that of GNH which is a broader and better measure of development.”

    Do you really believe that it is a better measure? I don’t, for the reason that it doesn’t have any tangible meter stick or indicators to measure except for broad smiles you see on people’s faces when they talk socially. “Better measure,” you say. Really? I beg to differ. There are few reasons why Bhutan is on the wrong footing in advocating the GNH to the world at the present time for the reasons that:
    Bhutan has heartlessly managed to keep out one seventh of the population outside the boundary for 20 years, with the knowledge that most of them are Bhutanese, if not all. Where is the ethical/moral standing in the country or internationally?

    Too many people became too rich too fast, not possible if the wealth was distributed across the country more evenly.

    The connected, the ashis, the lenpos, the dashos became rich almost overnight. A dasho family’s gohs and kiras will value more than the entire property of a family living in remote village. Bhutan is not a business oriented country it is a farming country. People might say jealousy but it is not, rather it is sympathy for the poor.

    Visiting places in Bhutan, you can see people’s lives so miserable even after billions come into the country from hydro and from foreign donations. I really don’t like so much begging and money not reaching to the poor. In Bhutan you could get a subsidized/tax free SUV vehicle if you were a particular level and above. A rule perfectly made for the dashos and the powerful.

    The Laws of Bhutan are not debated well in the parliament to be justifiable within Bhutan or internationally. Take the case of an individual carrying few packets of cigarettes, to sell may be, could go to jail for more years than a minister convicted on national corruption. There are many unjust laws which need to be well discussed and debated.
    It is not so easy to preach a theory that is morally so elusive and so difficult to fulfil the innate intention. Bhutan is wonderful in many, many ways. But moral standing in the world I do not know how strong Bhutan is at present time. Like many I always wish happiness for Bhutan and Bhutanese People. Resettler, thank you for bring up the matter for discussion.

  19. Mr Achamva,
    Wealth distribution as you said is a communist idea. Nobody is entitled to anything. If i make 1 Billion and you make none, thats your fault. There is nothing as such as wealth distribution.On behalf of how Happiness is measured: yes there is no scale/indicator to measure it. But the western idea that Happiness is measured precisely on the wealth is bunch of baloney. Yes you have a purchasing power, but it necessarily doesn’t convert to Happiness. GNH is a new idea, I dont know if it will succeed or fail but atleast Bhutan showed the world that there is another way to define Happiness and preety much every country has appreciated it. But yes Bhutan’s Government might not be successful to implement it because it encroaches individual rights: For instance Donald Trump’s Happiness lies on money, He loves money and hes one of the Happiest Billionaire. On the other hand Warren Buffett earns lots of money but his happiness lies on living in his old Omaha house and not a fancy car. Buddha on the other hand got happiness from spirituality. So we get Happiness in lot of different ways. Thats where Bhutan is drawing line. Lets include the materialitic society of today and mold it with spirituality. It can be an amazing blend. If Government of Bhutan can succeed on that; I will salute that.

  20. Anil Thapa says:
    “Lets include the materialistic society of today and mold it with spirituality. It can be an amazing blend. If Government of Bhutan can succeed on that; I will salute that.”
    Spiritual happiness in the place of material world is sought by the deluded through hallucination of mind altering substances. The blend rather than being amazing will be adulterating and deluding! We must seek the SPIRITUAL spiritually in its own precinct and the MATERIAL should be sought in the material realm for pragmatism and consistency.
    Seeking the advantage of combination is expression to evade responsibility, to accuse the beneficiary for not taking what the philosophy granted sumptuously to be happy! This is a RACE INTO NOTHING for escape from consequences of failure in manageable obligations in the material realm. I do not believe any state will achieves happiness any time going by such impracticable means. Attempt to Gross National Justice (GNJ) could be more practicable with field results. This will restrain the evil minded from seeking to acquire more from the weaker sections of the society for personal happiness. Every one that is sane and responsible will be happy to be protected by the Law in his habitation.

  21. Mr Jigme
    Bhutan’s Government isn’t that stupid. Most f their Ministers have a high qualification and good education. Accept the fact that Bhutan isn’t as corrupt and as messed up like rest of the South Asia. Why do you think materialistic and spiritual society should go different way? Dont you think thats the problems for centuries. The hardcore spiritual people become unproductive because for them materials is nothing. For materialisic people spirituality is a joke. It can be blend and many people live like that and they are the most successful people.
    I dont necesarily support every moves from Bhutan but ”GNH” is one of the amazing thing Bhutan contributed to the world. Being an evicted citizen you will not like a single thing they do but you must try to appreciate the good works they do. Bhutan is Opening up. My relatives in Bhutan are very different than they were 20 yrs ago. Most of the Engineering/Doctors position is held by Nepali speaking people. Now Bhutan cannot do what they did in 90s coz there are political parties who will rally behind them ( may be for their success), but that ensures their safety. Let me not go behind politics but try to change the angle for hatred to a positive and kindness. we all have suffered but that doesn’t mean we have to hate everything Bhutan does.

  22. GNH is pre- designed program to shadow one of the worst crime of Bhutanese 4th Monarch, i.e. ethnic cleansing!

    If GNH was there with pure heart and spirit Bhutan should not goes on preaching its mantra, every one could appreciate it. But, they know the conspiracy behind GNH. So, international community would take Bhutan GNH mantra with grain of salt.

  23. On one hand I like to thank and salute the writers and commentators for making time to write articles and make comments on a variety of subjects or present individual expressions, however on the other hand I feel awful to make comments on this website because I feel people rob you of your ideas/expressions and never even acknowledge with references and yet be critical about a statement without understanding the text or any appropriate justifications. They basically pick other people’s written material and change few words here and there by going to the synonyms, I suppose, and try to own it. I have also made observations, in quite a few cases, that if an individual from European descent writes there is a great praise. Funny!!
    The other issue is that when commentators ask questions to writers or other specific commentators then may be, they should answer it. I am also observing that writers and commentators miss out on evidence or specific justifications or logic in their writings because they do not have evidence for various reasons or knowledge of the subject. However, they can ask questions to the readers. When readers correct them with evidence or justification or logic then they should acknowledge and thank them. Nothing wrong in it! It will boost their knowledge and the content for the other readers.
    About BNS:
    I did not like this News Web one time; because it worshipped the so called leaders just like Kuensel praised the other side. For Kuensel all of us became Ngolops, the other side became the heroes. Similarly, long time ago BNS would not publish anything written in contradiction to the so called leaders. Some of us became ngolops too for the BNS then. However, currently, the BNS has become liberal. It has helped everyone to express. Freedom of expression is alive! Like it or not this website has survived many hardships and many people have worked hard to keep it alive. The team members from beginning to current should be congratulated for their hard work. We should make this space ethical and authentic as it matures. We writers and commentators have to make sure that we are ethical and sincere when writing. I think we should not write, as far as possible, to gratify our egos or to release our day to day frustrations. Name of the game should be authentic! We should try to be honest amateur journalists so that the respect for the website’s efforts will grow. We should also ask friends and family members to read the writings. I think we should also salute the donors who are supporting financially. I have not done that myself but hope to do so if this news website grows to be respectful. This website is also historical, we got to remember that even if for some of us the past might not have been rosy, may be, but historical for sure!
    The Editorial Board should also design, sorry not my field, the pages well. Example: Today’s News page, Political page, Historical page, Life story page, Opinion page, Interviews, Development in resettlement and so on. I am sure there are a few computer geniuses in our Diaspora who might like to help.
    @ Anil Thapa ji,
    I do not know what you are trying to convey. Further, I don’t know how others find your comments. What I think about your comment is like picking up little bits of everything and putting them in a drum and shaking it up and spreading the by-product on the webpage. I have few questions for you. Have you read Karl Max’s Das Kapital? If you haven’t then you should. It will enlighten you before you want to educate someone. I have. Did you read Ayn Rand? She is pretty modern guru on capitalism. Have you read my comments carefully for you to counter them? The reason I say that is not because you can’t comment on my remarks but you need to understand what I am trying to say. I am saying that the central national budget was sometimes used to subsidize high level individuals in Bhutan to acquire/buy cars and land or construct big buildings which is not possible in reality with their meagre salary. Government money should have been distributed across the country for development. I am not saying much about Tashi Commercial. They did business for fifty years and became rich. That is fine! But individual Dashos getting rich on their salaries over night, I have a problem with. If you are or were a govt. servant and you became rich overnight then you are corrupt. You have no choice but wear the title of Corruption. Capitalism is theory based on reasoning and justice and if we do not see that on millionaires then there is a question to be asked. I did, and your feelings were hurt. But I still congratulate you for becoming a Billionaire!!! I am alright with what I have. But I don’t think it is my fault not being corrupt!!!
    Don’t ever tell me it is western idea. Baloney!!!! (your word not mine.) Most lamas, ashis, dashos and dasho amas are always craving to collect wealth in Bhutan. I personally knew many of them. If you really know Bhutan then you should know these facts. Talking about happiness, you said, “Bhutan showed the world that there is another way to define Happiness and preety much every country has appreciated it.” What a divine B.S (pardon my language) is that. There are over 200 countries. What are the names of “preety” (you mean pretty) “much every country?”
    I have already written briefly about happiness where and how long ago philosophers have been debating about happiness. Again, please try to read about the true nature of the creature- ‘HAPPINESS’ before you put forward you discourse. For your education, Bhutan is not on spiritual course. Bhutan is on materialistic course amalgamated with ritualistic course. If you do not understand what I am saying then ask me and I will be happy to explain it with the permission of the editors next time.
    Commenting at Jigme, you said, “The hardcore spiritual people become unproductive.” I don’t understand what you are saying. Who are these hardcore spiritual people? How many are there? 10, 20, 100 or 1000?? So what? These are few Sadhus and hermits. We are talking about a nation and national population. Don’ mix apples and oranges. Doesn’t make sense!
    Nobody should say the people working in Bhutan Government are stupid. They are intelligent and many of them are good people but the circumstances have made them behave the way they behave.
    @RBLG Ji,
    You are another one who doesn’t get it. I will tell you what your writing is. Your statements are exactly a copy of the materials written by a few senior officers who wrote a few booklets in the early 90s. The days for those propaganda materials are gone. On the basis of these types of material they got promotions too and so on. People of both groups (inside and outside) know in general what the truth is. Let us come clean. These continuous barrages of B.S (pardon my language) from any side don’t work any more in this century. It is called the unintelligent rhetoric. If you want to write give us some superior juicy, fruity material so that we can enjoy reading your piece.

  24. RBLG Ji
    “wisdom is not wisdom,if there is no humbleness.” I agree with you on this. A nice one to refer to.

    Sorry I couldn’t agree with your comments under the movie write up.

  25. It seems GNH is so powerful that it is able to kill its victims twice: first by calling names (illegal economic immigrants, labourers that overstayed the work permits, people whose presence is a threat to nation’s security, anti-nationals, ngolops etc. …) and evicting them from their homes and secondly robbing the same victims of the very ability of the sense to differentiate between the light and darkness. The world body not facing the brunt of deceit may take this holy shit thinking to aid their health. This can instead cause severe blood dysentery, turning strength of the body into bloody shit. But why should the victims be lured to praise it knowingly that it is void of facts?
    Anil Thapa would not err if he understood what Tamu Bhutanese said. I request Tamu Bhutanese not to change the perception (not about GNH but about the purpose the term is coined. GNH is not resisted against but its author that exposes its immorality…) subjecting it to external conditions of the enemy. The situation will be such that the criminal tyrant will rejoice with double victory over the body and mind of its silly victims.

  26. Mr Achamva
    Thank you for correcting my spellings and grammar. You are implying this: Hey fellas i have read Karl Marx(Communist BS) and also Ayn Rand(Capitalist queen). Oh heck i have read some Karl Marx Crap and its complete chaos. As soon as he start talking about wealth distribution it just turns me off. Sorry I cannot finish reading his book and don’t force me to. Ayn Rand is a descent writer. what she predicted in her Atlas shrugged is happening right now. The collective society is ruining the individualism and agree with me or not you are one of those( I understand from your writings). And you think i don’t understand your writings it made me laugh man. This is such a funny trend in Bhutanese society that whenever some one gets a degree he/she thinks rest of the people should blindly support them. I ain’t gonna do that( Texas style).
    Apart from that GNH is being discussed widely no matter how much you hate it. PM Thinley has given speech about it in lot of prestigious institutions. I can’t guarantee it will succeed( Not all good ideas succeed) but for now it is doing pretty well. If Bhutan can sustain a descent economic growth and keeps its unemployment down GNH will be a Model and communists like you can laugh at it. You are complaining so much about Bhutan without looking at the overall context. Yes it is screwed up in many ways, but that country is improving day after day. It has just transitioned. Why would you keep questioning 1 million questions even without looking at the positive outcomes. Corruption is everywhere. Politics=corruption.
    Secondly do you want me to name those countries one by one. Let me surprise you. US hasn’t embraced it but they have already started debating about it. The prolonged economic prosperity in the US hasn’t brought ultimate Happiness to Americans. Those countries who attended the UN conference( The one Thinley gave a speech about GNH) nobody is against it. But since the implications of GNH is tough they cannot implement it right away. The good thing is they have opened a discussion about it and it is debated widely all around the world. Thats the positive part. It takes time but yes this will be the future of the world.
    Dont try to generalize Lama’s and sadhus. There is always a bad person in any society and they are not exception either. Majority of those people have dedicated their life to peace and at-least appreciate that. And why do you think those people don’t need money?
    And I’m not saying the whole society needs to be Lama’s and Sadhus. That will be a disaster. The fact is if people are taught GNH, spirituality and consciousness that would create a peaceful and a happy society free of collectivism. In free market society new/good ideas are always absorbed. Why do you think every school in America are teaching Yoga? Thats the result of it. It used to be a laughing subject back in the days.
    Btw don’t underestimate people about how much they know. You are basically saying i know everything(Karl Marx-Ayn Rand) and most of you people are copy pasting it. Thats is funny man. We are not educating anyone. This is a discussion. And i respect what your opinions are( even the communists one).

  27. It seems GNH is so powerful that it is able of killing its victims twice: first by calling names (illegal economic immigrants, labourers that overstayed the work permits, people whose presence is a threat to nation’s security, anti-nationals, ngolops etc. …) and evicting them from their homes and secondly robbing the same victims of the very ability of the sense to differentiate between the light and darkness. The world body not facing the brunt of oppositions and deceits may take this holy shit thinking to aid their own health. This can instead cause severe blood dysentery, turning strength of the body into bloody flux. But why should the victims knowing the pain of its sting be lured to praise it knowingly that it is void of facts?

    Anil Thapa would not err if he went the way of Tamu Bhutanese, retaining the memory of pain. I request Tamu Bhutanese not to change the perception (not about GNH but about the purpose the term is coined. GNH is not resisted against but its author that exposes its immorality…) subjecting it to manipulative conditions of the enemy. The situation will be such that the criminal tyrant will rejoice with double victory over the body and mind of its silly victims. This project exposes the strength of intent on the part of the perpetrator of GROSS VIOLATION of HUMAN RIGHTS on one hand and championing the causes of democracy as gift to people on the other, but consciously denying those that asked for it…

  28. Anil Ji,
    Firstly, if you feel that I am correcting your grammar and spelling then you are assuming it. I really don’t do that. Look at my earlier texts, there are tens of mistakes. How could I say to you knowing that my texts have gone through with those errors? If really I have hurt your feelings on this point then sincerely I beg your pardon. Many people in their writings use many words that are alien to me. I have no time going through a dictionary. I was quoting your words and I was making sure that it is the case.
    I support or critique people’s ideas. I do this because I want to straighten out your beliefs because I believe that there is an empirical or philosophical error on your part. Or I have miss read your thinking or I want to let you know that you have miss read my thinking. EG: You believe that I am a communist or I run after communist philosophy and that is totally a falls accusation, because I am a liberal person and belief in capitalistic entrepreneurship and I am one. You are the one to call me communist first, and in the following comment I am explaining to you that swindling national budget is not capitalism, it is corruption. I also explained to you that Tashi Commercial became rich after doing business for fifty years or so, that is perfectly fine for me. Being filthy rich with Bhutan Govt. Salary over night, I still question that. By having a discourse I want to refine my own knowledge. Best knowledge is the refined knowledge and that comes from a lot of discourse and debate. In your recent comment you said this not a place for education. If that is the case I would not waste my time on this site.
    You talked about PM. How do you know him? I really don’t think you know him as much as I do. Of course I am assuming it. Not because I read about him or listened to him because of other reasons. I know him extremely well. Just because he presented papers at those places doesn’t mean he is right all the time. I know so much about him that he truly knows that his statement: The Bhutanese refugees in reality are illegal immigrants (paraphrased)is a false statement but he has to go with national policy. He will always carry that moral guilt until one day he stands in the public and apologizes to the 1990 exodus and their families and relatives.
    Whether you read Karl Marx or not that is not the question. If you want to paint someone with an ideology then it is only ethical that you read the gurus of those philosophies. You cannot just ride your horse Texas’ Style. Communism cannot be painted with one brush. Think what China is doing in terms of economy with that humongous population – human rights vs North Korea going nuts. Both capitalistic and communist ideologies can be evil depending who is talking about. But most of us we choose capitalism because it is the better of the two evils. In Bhutan too the Thimphu millionaires may be happy but go to Shemgang or Easter corners things are different.
    Just because you have the brush, don’t jump to paint on someone without some thought. Who told you that I have a degree? Why Bhutanese with degrees targeted? Don’t Nepalese do it? Don’t Indians or Pakistanis do it or many others do it? You are the one who talked so big about Bhutanese qualification and now contradicting the same. Sorry I don’t get it. Can I say, I don’t get it here? That is a little narrow mindedness!!
    Why do you say every school in the USA is teaching yoga unless you have included in the curriculum across America? This statement is numerically incorrect. It might be popular but not every school. Or is it? Again here you go – who said I hate GNH. Why do you generalize it? Is it because you are so upset and venting your frustration? I wonder what others have to say. You said, ‘Let me surprise you.’ What are you going to surprise me with? You don’ have the number. Every country means quite a thing in terms of number. And other writers and commentators are not saying that they/we hate GNH. We are saying that it is a difficult ideology and of course it is relative too. With others I am also trying to say that on moral and ethical grounds for Bhutan to propagate this ideology becomes difficult in the International community. You said that you read all my writings. I don’t know if you read them thoughtfully.
    Talking about ultimate happiness, you said that the Americans could not achieve it. But weren’t you the one who was debating on that your (I thought mine to but you pushed me out) capitalistic ideology can give happiness. You said that Bhutanese people would be free from COLLECTIVISM if GNH ….. were being taught. Here again you are mixing up. The policy of Bhutan is Collectivism. Whether it is happening in individual basis or not but in general most is. ONE NATION ONE PEOPLE, ONE DRESS FOR EVERYBODY, ONE LANGUAGE (may be may not be), LIMITED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, USE THE CENTRAL BUDGET FOR EQUAL DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE COUNTRY (whether it happens or not), MOST OF THE POWERFUL CIVIL SERVICE JOBS SHOULD BE GIVEN TO ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE (DON’T tell me that ‘there are two Southern Bhutanese ministers,’ we know all about that), WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PLACE NAME CHANGES IN THE SOUTH, ( do you think the Southern Bhutanese are happy about it, were they asked? I cried when they did that to my village/town, where is the happiness here? That was my place; it feels that it is no more existing. If it was for random reasons here and there, maybe it’s OK but this was planned to eradicate the dignity of a community, revenge is the name of the game here as I see it.) We can keep on going to say that Bhutan is not a capitalistic or individualistic society yet. Bhutan might one day be.
    You said there are more Engineers and Doctors from southern Bhutan now. That is another numerical problem. There are loads of engineers and doctors from Northern, Central and Eastern Bhutan. For me it really does not matter whose # is greater as long as they are not placed strategically. Powerful place holdings are strategic even in Engineering and Medicine. That is called collective attitude in terms of the high level Government placements.
    I feel, I am fair in my judgement, may not be hundred present. If I were wrong on my statements/views there would be many comments made to correct my views and thinking. When commenting on someone’s questions or views, as far as possible I remain focussed on the items that need to be discussed and I would prefer the other commentators to do the same if commenting on my questions or statements.

  29. I would suggest friends to also read Jaffrey Sach (The Price of Civilization, 2011) and Professor Amartya Sen (Development As Freedom, 2000); if you have not already done so.
    Jaffrey Sach is Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and is Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on the Millennium Development Goals.

    Prof. Amartya Sen is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, and a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University.

    Wish you all good reading.

  30. Achamva,
    It was a good discussion. If I’m agressive I’m sorry. But the fact that you corrected me on numbers shows you are making argument just to show that you know more than any one else.Do i have to write 200 countries name in here to prove that im right. None of the UN members have completely disgreed with the GNH idea. The have put it aside but it is discussed widley everyewhere. If you participate in School organizations you will have better idea about that. To give you the fact i dont have to present you the picture. For instance i dont have to derive you E=MC^2 to prove that it is right. Certain facts you have to know frm your guts and observations. If you really want numerical datas you can go inside Bhutan . But i challenge you Nepal professionals(Doctors/Engineers) are way more than Drukpas. You can question me 1000 times but i have family root in Bhutan and i know whats going on there. The fact that you said you know Thinley more than me is another false fact you put it in here. My dad worked with Thinley for years when we were in Bhutan.
    I have never argued Bhutans Government has lots of weak points. Corruption, lack of transparency and many( I hope you dont ask me the numbers here). You compared China VS North Korea. Let me tell you why China’s economy is growing. China is a communist country with a capitalist economy. Thats the reason its growing. Look back before 1990 Ronald reagan used to laugh when people said China might catch up. But despite that since it has communism it is going no where. Its economy is solely driven by outside companies. It doesnt have a single company that can come outside of China and compete wth out Goverment subsidies. People have no freedom whatsoever. Basically China is another North Korea with money. So China and North Korea arent very different. But the fact that China is implying more capitalist economic policies is giving it a boost.
    And about the illegal immigration. Thinley might not be right 100% but i bet you 1990s movement was inspired by those. TN Rizal and most of our leaders were illegal immigrants. They are the ones who created chaos. We werent ready for democracy in 1990s. we were still living in stone age. Time was coming but all these illegals immigrants started nonsense demands and then the threatened regime threw us all out.
    Yes Bhutan made a mistake by throwing us all out. Lot of us have valid documentations that we were legal immigrants but trust me man there are thousands who doesnt. Even in 80’s and 90s lots of people used to go bhutan to work from nepal. And sorry Achamva i dont have the proof to show you, but yes they used to work on our farms.
    I accept the fact that 1990s movement was mistake. Our leaders have done crime against humanity so did the Bhutan Government. But there are rarely any people who would accept that.
    Lastly you identified yourself as a liberal: That itself says you prefer collective society. Look at Mr Obama for example. I hope you are not mad Achamva. I agree with lots of your sayings but fundamentally i agree to disagree. Sorry i called you communist. I know you aren’t. If you were you would’t have argued.

  31. About Yoga i dont have to give you all the Schools names. Go to every University and check how many girls wear yoga pants and then you dont have to look elsewhere. Check every clothing stores in America you will find them. Lot of stuffs needs to be observed rather than merely checking people on numbers.

  32. To seek happiness by YOGA WAY is to numb/kill organs of body sensing pain (or any feeling but pain being opposed as undesirable) accusing as source of pain. It is the way of self destruction by cutting off divine warning signals that call for the attention of soul to deeper things of life as communicated to the organs expressing needs. The happiness sought by the soul is not found by the STOIC or the EPICUREAN way but by way of repentance from dead works to God’s way of life. It is here the mighty philosophers and statesmen commanding it for the mass heeding them reject divine call and become lost forever.

    Therefore the happiness way of the sinners and unsaved criminals is CURSE and way to hell earned for the soul through SELF DECEPTION. There is nothing to rejoice in this and appreciate as being SENSIBLE and DESIRABLE just because the needy wanted HAPPINESS, sought for it without but not heeding the CALL OF GOD TO BE SAVED FIRST. In consciousness of it, the seekers express possessing none of it and desperately in need of it as No.1 item in life that cannot be obtained from any substance but could be attained in the soul spiritually that Christ rejecting criminals for-ever miss and get damned!!!

  33. GNH holds real success of a nation and yes it is better than the model of GNH, but how could Bhutan be able to take the credit when half of its population leaving under poverty and Basic human needs like – good health care, dynamic education system, cultural diversity, and accountable and democratic government?

    It is very easy to state some great principle, but to implement and practice it is daunting challenge, and this is what Bhutanese government failed too.

    Furthermore, to state GNH is a gift of Bhutan to international community is ridiculous. The Vedic- wisdom message stated-
    “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah,
    Sarve Santu Niraamayah,
    Sarve Bhadraani Pashyantu,
    Maa Kaschid Dukha Mapnuyat.
    Om Shanthi Shanthi Shanthi.”

    Translated.
    May all be happy;
    May all be without disease;
    May all look for well-being of others;
    May none have misery of any sort.

    In addition, United States Declaration of Independence has a well know phrase “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. So, are we arguing that GNH is the only supreme model which has been coined by Bhutanese Monarch ?

    If so, let us face the reality. Let us return back our fellow Bhutanese back to Bhutan, let us treat all Bhutanese with equal rights and dignity, let us keep tolerance over religion, dialects, tradition.

    let us promote and preserve cultural and ethnic diversity, let us give our people the basic human needs, let us have real democracy, let us make all- from monarch to ordinary fellow Bhutanese accountable for their wrong deeds.

    From then only, the reality of GNH would be reflected, otherwise, it is no other than beautiful curtain to hide the dark side of my nation, i.e, “ethnic cleansing”.

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