The Nordic nations have the happiest people in the world, according to the findings of a Gallup poll reported in the Hindustan Times, demolishing a long-held view of the countries as a gloomy Wallender-esque landscape.
The ranking was based on how satisfied people considered their lives to be, how they felt the previous day and so on. India is a moody 115, sharing the same rank as Afghanistan, but happier than China, which is positively surly at 125. A theory emerges—the rate of economic expansion is inversely proportional to happiness. Everybody’s so busy working hard and doing their bit to ensure GDP growth of 9%—where’s the time to be happy?
This is something— growth, not unhappiness— that the finance minister is most keen on ensuring. Still, there may be something in neighbouring Bhutan’s concept of Gross National Happiness, which suggests that the material and the spiritual should go hand in hand.