“Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product”– His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King of Bhutan
The phrase Gross National Happiness, as the guiding philosophy of Bhutan’s development process, is coined by His Majesty the
Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, soon after his enthronement in 1972. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. It represents a commitment to build an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture based on Buddhist spiritual values and principles instead of material development gauged by gross domestic product (GDP). The GNH policy now serves as a unifying vision for Bhutan's five-year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and other development plans of the country.
Bhutan considers GNH as offering a more rational and human approach to development :
The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are :
Lately the four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values. The nine domains are:
The domains represents each of the components of wellbeing of the Bhutanese people, and the term ‘wellbeing’ here refers to fulfilling conditions of a ‘good life’ as per the values and principles laid down by the concept of Gross National Happiness.