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Assam will follow Bhutan’s Happiness theory: Gogoi
Published on 29 Apr. 2011 11:07 PM IST
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Assam will replicate Bhutan’s goal of Gross National Happiness as the index to measure prosperity of the state if the Congress is voted back to power, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.
“We shall surely try and follow Bhutan’s happiness theory so that we are able to bring in holistic changes in the state and help develop amity, peace, social order, besides accelerating the economic growth if we form the government,” Gogoi told journalists.
Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness is a policy decreed by former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck to try and reflect the true quality of life in a more holistic manner.
According to the Bhutanese happiness theory, a buoyant economy means rising incomes and employment opportunities. However, GDP (gross domestic product) figures cannot measure the well-being of the country’s nationals, as it only accounts for goods and services that pass through the formal markets. For investors, forecasts of higher GDP growth signify higher corporate earnings and lead investors to bid up share prices. But Gogoi had an altogether different vision for Assam if voted for the third straight term.
“We would be more interested in sectors like education and see if all the kids were going to school and maintaining a good health, whether the forest cover was well protected, or if expectant mothers were getting adequate healthcare facilities,” Gogoi said.
Bhutan’s happiness policy seems to be reaping the desired results - 72 percent of the country is still forested, healthcare is free, and a study conducted by the University of Leicester in Britain ranks Bhutan as the planet’s eighth happiest place, ahead of the US and Canada.
The Chief Minister was more than confident of the Congress making a political hat-trick in Assam. “I am more than 100 percent sure we would form the next government in Assam,” Gogoi said. The Chief Minister said the main opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) suffered from a ‘defeat syndrome’ and was hence unsure about what combinations would work for them after the results on May 13.
“One day, you hear the AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary talking about aligning with the Left, in the afternoon he talks about forming the government with the BJP and at night he talks about help from the AUDF (Asom United Democratic Front). The AGP is confused,” Gogoi said.

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