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November 12, 2006
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November 12, 2006

Page: 4/39

Home > 2006 Issues > November 12, 2006


Happiness quotient and attitudinal disconnect

What is it that makes a happy nation? A nine per cent growth rate that economists are boasting of and a 13 thousand plus sensex that the market is upbeat about? It may not mean anything to the common man. But there are things robust happening to further pep up our confidence level.

India?s human development index, which UNESCO often highlights is not really flattering. A UK-based think tank, New Economic Foundation, that compiles the happy planet index (HPI) in a recent survey said India is much ahead of USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Russia and even Canada in happiness index. In fact, India fares a lot better than most other countries whose economic growth and human development indicators are at the top.

What is the secret of this phenomenon? Baba Ramdev, renowned Yoga guru, who was invited by the UN, on his return predicted that India will emerge as a super power in the next five years. He based his assessment on the respect and response he evoked in the West. Swami Ramdev?s practice of Yoga and Ayurveda, Sri Sri Ravishankar?s Art of Living technique and Vipasana meditation of S.N. Goenka have become a rage with the western audience. They are equally popular, and are heralding a spiritual revolution in India too.

Swami Ramdev declares that the Hindu culture is unique and the entire world will accept its greatness. The world will start acclaiming the greatness of Hindu culture, he says.

Consider this in the context of what the Conservative Party leader David Cameron told a large gathering of Hindu community in Leicester last week. ?It is no surprise that the Hindus have become such a successful part of the British society. Hindus make up one per cent of the population of England and Wales but only 0.025 per cent of the prison population. You live independently of the government but never shirk from contributing to society. Hindus have the lowest level of unemployment of any minority community. And you help to strengthen those things that have been in decline here such as commitment to the family.? (Organiser, November 5). The Tory leader was participating in a Ramkatha function of spiritual leader Morari Bapu.

Cameron, who recently visited India said he was impressed by the ?clear sense that here is an emerging super power.?

The Hindu example in Britain or in any other part of the world, which Cameron emphasised should make any community proud. Especially, it has a very special relevance in a milieu, where a new paradigm has become fashionable quoting the ill-conceived and divisive Sachar Committee Report, which wails that except in the share of prisoners, in all other statistical data, Muslims are missing. This breast beating is going to be louder in the coming weeks. They never look within. Always blame others for their regression and crime. This is the story of a community that likes to clamour for governmental intervention, even as a religious group they refuse to join the national mainstream. This situation, the community has presented itself in all countries, where they are in a minority. But this is beside the point. What we are at is the growing passion for Hindu way of life.

The Hindus as a nation believe in conquering the heart, not the world. The Muslim religious establishment, with its expansionist overdrive, has created an existential problem which is encouraging more bloodshed and strife world over. The Indian thought on the other hand is proving a whiff of fresh air, a balm of universal values of tolerance, honesty, enterprise and respect for the law.

A large part of the Muslim community encourages and indulges in terrorism and smuggling. Muslims had been the ruling class in India for nearly a thousand years. Then the Christians, the so-called white Mughals, ruled us for another 150 years. Hindus were the deprived, subjugated and enslaved community in India, thus for over a thousand years. Yet we survived, reasserted and restored our confidence. Not by official patronage, but by forbearance and hard work. We blame ourselves for our weakness. Atrocities of history have not stopped the Hindu revival.

The latest issue of Business Week said Corporate America is embracing Indian philosophy in a big way. The magazine calls it ?Karma Capitalism??a gentler, more empathetic ethos that resonates in hep management circles. Replacing the sixth century BC Chinese classic The Art of War, the trendy eastern text in Management Schools today is the more introspective Bhagawat Gita, the philosophy that preaches, according to them, ?concentration, consistency and cooperation?. They call it the theory of ?inclusive capitalism?. The point is, in the long run, only that idea can survive that creates value and social justice simultaneously. The language of conquest, exploitation, terror, and obscurantism has no market.

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