Income is linked to happiness, but economic growth alone does not guarantee happiness, which is in enjoying small pleasures of life. Gratitude is the key to happiness, and we, the Indians, should be grateful for what we have (‘Happiness Finn-tuned’, April 23). I am surprised why India is ranked 126th in the United Nations’ Happiness Index. Is it because we are a fusion of different cultures, and the seventh largest country in the world? India’s rankings are consistently improving over the past few years, and I am sure there will come a day when India will be among the top 10 happiest countries in the world. But a country as big and diverse as India can never become the happiest country in the world.
After reading your cover story one fairly gets an idea on how to remain happy and contribute to the country’s happiness index. The right mindset matters.
In India, I feel Mizoram is, in the true sense, the happiest state. They are fun loving, and follow a cool lifestyle. Also, they are less aggressive, and accept societal changes. Like the Finns, the Mizos like tourists. But they don’t like immigrants. There are many common attributes between the Finns and the Mizos.
After reading the cover story, I realised the importance of remaining close to Mother Nature. Lopsided development at the cost of destroying natural resources would only lead to regret, frustration and anxiety. Sustainable development, in sync with environment and ecological systems, would pave the path for holistic progress of mankind.
In India, where the common man is hard-pressed financially, with very less social security protection, higher happiness index seems far fetched and a wild cry.
I feel the apparent cause of India’s unhappiness (ranked 126th in the world) is the rise of her unemployed and idle youth. They contribute to crimes, propelled by frustration. The next cause of unhappiness is our constant habit of cribbing, always wanting more, and not enjoying what we already have.
Happiness comes from a happy family, and being contended with God’s blessings. We need to focus on social security, law and order, minimum corruption, and narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. Also, ensure speedy justice system, more power to women, and a healthy environment.
Let us learn to help one another, and respect our diversity. Unless there is harmony, love and brotherhood in the nation, happiness will not come to us. Let us slow down and connect with nature.
While most of us notice corruption-free public services, nobody looks at the contributions made by people towards happiness ranking. Great nations are made collectively. Both the government and the people come together to make great nations.
How many people pay taxes honestly? Aren’t Nordic countries xenophobic? They don’t encourage immigration. Look at the population of a country like Finland. Can it match countries with huge population? When we talk of population control, it is looked down upon as conspiracy. Obviously, if a large population is fighting for limited resources, conflicts are inevitable.
Don’t breach territory
Milk production by states on the lines of Anand Milk Union Ltd (Amul) of Gujarat got a fillip in 1970 after Indira Gandhi presented the Union budget (‘Powerdrive’, April 23). It came a few days after banks were nationalised, and was accompanied by a document titled ‘growth with social justice’. It contained plans (funded by the Central government) to start special schemes for rural development, including assistance for small and medium farmers to take up subsidiary occupations like dairy, poultry and animal husbandry. The government banks were directed to adopt districts and survey their economic potential and extend credit for districts development. Serving as the information officer of the [Union] finance ministry, I prepared user friendly pamphlets and other publicity material based on the remarkable document.
Karnataka was one of the first states to start its own Small Farmers Development Agency (SFDA) and Dry Land Development Agency (DRDA), and other schemes including dairy development. I was associated with the implementation of such schemes. There was never any instance of a brand poaching into another’s territory and harming the interests of local farmers.
Tribhuvan Das Patel and Verghese Kurien provided inspiration and technical assistance to states to emulate Amul and improve the condition of small dairy farming communities. Nandini has emerged as a successful brand with multiple milk products of very good quality. It is sad to see a brand from another state trying to harm Nandini.
One expects the Union government to ensure that states’ dairy businesses confine themselves to their respective territories.
Former principal information officer, government of India.
Bring back NRIs
Today, India commands the pride of having the youngest population in the world (‘Stairway to heaven’, April 23). But brain drain is a cause for concern in India. I am surprised that no Indian government has taken any effort towards luring talented people back home. Not just in Punjab, even in Gujarat the situation is not different.
I am a strong believer that the government should promote repatriation of NRIs, and have a robust policy in place for bringing talented people home.