Similarly, the United Nations publishes a Word Happiness Report every year. Each report is organized by chapters that delve deeper into issues relating to happiness, including mental illness, the objective benefits of happiness, the importance of ethics, policy implications etc.
The list of the top countries looks impressive and inspiring but one thing I noticed that my country, India, isn’t on the top list—ever. In fact, it’s on 80 in The Good Country Index and on 133 on The Happiness Index. This has given me a jolt and my heart is shattered into million pieces. But, this has also given me an opportunity for deep introspection and find out the reason; in spite of being a spiritual hub of the word, in spite of having millions of places of worship, in spite of thousands of spiritual leaders, in spite of a deep-rooted charity culture and in spite of rich ancient wisdom in hundreds of scriptures.
I don’t say that these reports 100% accurate or I have lived or worked with people of other foreign countries but there are some logic and years of research in these reports. I really don’t know how people are outside but I, almost, know how people are in my country. I know the culture and belief system of India.
We have given the mantra of the world is one family in our ancient scripture Maha Upanishad and were the one who believes that the guest is God since time immemorial. But, in the 21st century, most of these values are no longer practiced religiously, they have diminished to a great extent.
Every country has its own strengths and weaknesses; has its good and bad side. I have spent my entire life here observing the good and bad side, strengths and weaknesses. threats and opportunities. I have visited few foreign countries and observed some radical differences; especially moral and civic ones. I can list out a few dirty little things that happen every day; that be changed easily. These are things that keep happening daily in spite of all the awareness and social campaigns; by private and public organizations:
- Vehicle drivers disobey traffic rules recklessly; this includes jumping red light, parking on bus stops, standing on the zebra crossing and perpetual honking.
- Pedestrians cross the road without following the traffic lights and not using the foot-over bridge.
- Vegetable sellers and buyers abuse plastic usage.
- People litter and spit wherever they wish; especially on roads in and in water bodies.
- Deforestation is on the all-time high in name of urbanization.
- Societies and municipal are never in sync for waste garbage segregation.
- Footpaths are full of illegal vendors.
- People push each other like animals in local trains; there is no queue ethics
- Reaching out to a politician or public servant is almost impossible.
- Some cities have become rape capital.
- Women, young children, third gender, queer and senior citizen are mistreated.
- Millions are still deprived of basic sanitation facilitates; in fact, even for food and shelter.
The list of such civil and moral crimes is never-ending. Not that other countries don’t have this but we’re a million years old civilization, the hub of spirituality, trade, and moral values. Millions of people come here to learn the art of getting connected with the almighty and seek their truth. So, where do we go wrong?
We’re the country that worships women as Goddess and at the same time one woman reportedly raped every 15 minutes or We’re the country where money is worshiped and at the same time, thousands of currency notes are thrown on girl dancers in name of entertainment. We’re the country rich in ancient wisdom, talent, moral values, language, science, art but we are always in the race of becoming someone else; rather American. It’s high time to introspect and change our hypocritically selfish mindset for the betterment of ourselves and contribute to the world.
Who is to be blamed—population, government, corruption, colonial rule, authorities, companies, culture, false beliefs, hypocrisy, technology, social media or people? When you blame you surrender your power to change and I am sure together we can bring India to the number one position of such reports. Nothing is impossible, but till then, maybe, this is the hard truth.