Public policies of governments in any nation should aim at the happiness of its citizen. Though many governments tell, their every policy is meant for creating happy nation, most of the times it fails. Our policies aimed at development of the nation in terms of GDP fails to keep the citizens happy, fails to meet sustainable development and protecting culture and environment. But in Bhutan "gross national happiness"(GNH) is important than Gross National Product.
I came across Bhutan's GNH and National Happiness Commission very recently when I was reading some piece of article on development. I was ashamed to be ignorant of such a beautiful system of governance, present at the neighbouring and most friendly country to India.
I was also surprised to read there is no National Planning Commission like one in India. Instead Bhutan has Gross National Happiness Commission. Every government policy has to pass through NHC so that the policy is in accordance with the four pillars of GNH viz promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.
Bhutan has the policies that least 60% of the country's land must remain under forest cover at all times. It imposes the tariff of $200 a day for each foreign visitor to control the tourist and protect the environment and culture. Sale of tobacco products is completely banned. All Bhutanese are required to wear the national dress, and all buildings must conform to the national architecture to preserve the country's distinctive culture. Can we even expect such policies from our governments? Or ever our government will be think of implementing such policies against the hypocrisy?
It is not surprising fact that Bhutan is better in terms of life expectancy, GDP, GNI and Per Capita Income than other neighbouring Asean countries. One can google the data.