Tuesday, September 25,2007
Regarding David Howell's "Happiness can't be legislated": Happiness is not measurable by economic and material prosperity, yet the Bhutanese regime makes every effort to force people to comply with the principles of happiness that a dictator propagated. Media has been suppressed and censored. Speaking against the wrongdoings of the rulers results in severe punishment. Several people still face life imprisonment for doing so. People have no hand in prioritizing their agendas. What the king says becomes law. The demand for human rights and democracy is generally termed "antinationalist," and proponents are expelled from the country.Bhutan's efforts to practice a happiness philosophy were attempts to divert the international community from Bhutan's mistakes of expelling citizens. I agree with Howell that Bhutan brought in the concept of happiness at the wrong time, motivated by other interests; however, I disagree that Bhutan has confined foreigners to camps. Certainly, the people living as refugees in UNHCR camps in Nepal are not foreigners; they are the sons of the land of Bhutan.The "happiness formula" is not relevant at a time when one-sixth of the country's population remains evicted. It is foolish of some to state that only southern Bhutanese are migrants. Historically, Bhutan is a land of migrants.In short, the happiness formula renders comfort to rulers and their nears-and-dears. People in the rural areas still remain outside the benefits provided by national developments. So, in Bhutan's case, happiness is a forced philosophy.