Unhappy country in South Asia
The first line of Leo Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina makes every unhappy family think they are unhappy in his own way while all happy families must resemble each other. The power of literary flourishing has made the idea of singularity so compelling that few dare to question its universality. The community of unhappy countries, however, is as clearly recognizable as that of happy countries.
According to the Global Happiness Index, Afghanistan was the most unhappy country in the world even before the unceremonious Departure of the occupying forces and subsequently Taliban takeover. The sanctity of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Afghanistan has once again been restored.
A distinct homeland for the Muslims of undivided India was the reasons to be from Pakistan. The barbarity and brutality on both sides have seriously damaged the promise of partition. Security forces inevitably come to dominate the government when blood feud and violence become the defining characteristic of a nation.
Among the triumvirate (“Allah, the army and America”) who controls Pakistan since its foundation, Allah is the “Forgiving and Most Merciful”. America struts around the world as its “unmissable country”. But the headquarters of Rawalpindi being self-proclaimed tutorsPakistan remained attached to the ideology of national security.
After the independence of Bangladesh, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the first civilian to serve as Martial Law Administrator (1971-73) of truncated Pakistan. Defeated and debased due to his excesses during the fight for bengali rightsthe headquarters was on the back foot. Bhutto could have brought the army under civilian control with some effort. rage and revenge instead turned it into an instrument of the defense establishment.
Pakistan’s military is in the eye of the storm for the first time as supporters of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan chant the slogan of “Chowkidar chor hai” implying that the electoral mandate of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has been stolen. Accusations against the military will certainly be meaningless as long as Pakistanis remain obsessed with their collective insecurity. It seems that ordinary Pakistanis will be content to be in front of India in something as innocuous as the Happiness Index.
Economic crisis in sri lanka competes with the diet change in Pakistan for international media headlines which continue to be fully occupied by Russia invasion from Ukraine. During this time, the excess of the military junta in Myanmar were repelled context. The degeneration of what was once the world’s largest democracy into a ethnocracy needs the attention of the world.
The Sinhalese have been identified as the “majority with a minority complex” in the 1980s. This was also more or less the case with Bamar ethnonationals of Myanmar and the Khas-Arya supremacists of Nepal. Dormant on the Indian continent since the murder of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, the proto-fascist disease with political chauvinism, cultural chauvinism, ethno-national xenophobia and religious extremism whose symptoms have begun to invade the second most populous country in the world. If it’s Sinhalese Theravada in Sri Lanka, Bamar Theravada in Burma, talibanism in Afghanistan and Islamism in Pakistan, ethnonational fanaticism is called Hindutva in India where the old fringe is its new main stream.
On almost every index of well-being, India has consistently slipped into a pit of misery. On the global hunger index, it fell from 55 in 2015 to 94 in 2020, which has since fallen to 101 in one year with only 15 countries ranking lower in the list. With a score of 142, India is ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists.
From “partially free democracy” to “imperfect democracy”, India has gone grave to the point of being described as “electoral autocracy”. Of the 58 global indices, India has fallen out of 54 points. No wonder, the Homeland of Hindutva turned out to be the most unhappy country in South Asia.
Establishing correlation, causation and coincidence between different sets of data is a complicated business. However, it is amazing to see that the countries of South Asia, with 33% of its population living in extreme povertycontinue to feed collective narcissism of one poisonous variety within their societies.
The prevalence of fatalism in Southeast Asia has long been disputed. It may be the absurd resignation which causes most people to accept manipulative interpretations of their trials and tribulations. When people crave simple explanations for their complex problems, populists offer seemingly easy solutions with the confidence of the ignorant.
Coming from a wealthy family and educated at Christ College, Oxford, the founder of the Sinhalese nationalist party SWRD Bandaranaike may have proposed the “Sinhalese onlypolicy aimed at alleviating the frustrations of a budding middle class. Politicians rarely think about the consequences of their decisions beyond the next election.
Academics could have thought of the next generation. Philosophers should have worried about its impact on the human condition. They did no such thing, and the result is visible to all. With the help of radical monks, an ambitious military and global mercantilists, the ruling families of Sri Lanka have transformed the once flourishing island in one banana republic.
Given its history, claims about the role of the United States in regime change in Pakistan cannot be dismissed out of hand. But it appears almost certain that in addition to the disapproval of the military leader, General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and the opposition of the intransigent Mullah Fazl-ur-Rehman, substantial resources of Prime Minister-designate Shehbaz Sharif were mobilized to oust what had become a “pro-Russia” diet.
Bangladesh gets surprisingly good press, largely thanks to its economic performance. But like most of the unfortunate countries of South Asia, Dhaka continues to be in the grip of the descendants of democratic dynastiessome long-distance nationalists, several Naughty NGOs and some offshore entrepreneurs. Myanmar’s military junta, ethnic militants and radical monks have managed to keep the country rich in resources bogged down late.
Self-taught gurus of many hues, a high-pitched, elongated cry media in cahoots with monopolist merchants and one regressive intelligentsia succeeded in destroying idea of india and turn it into a big tamasha. the ethnonational consensus between the Nepalese Congress and different shades of red in the Brahmin Communist parties succeeded in emasculating federalism, undermine inclusion and hindering the adoption of all progressive laws such as citizenship.
An easily noticeable symptom of the epidemic of doom throughout South Asia seems to be a mistaken belief in the inflated grandeur of its ruling majority – the “collective narcissism”. It’s a problem of Culture, which manifests itself in politics, flows into the economy and then strengthens the value system again. Cultural correction, as Europe discovered through various wars over the centuries, is the work of generations.
Nepal has been recognized as the happiest country of South Asia, which says more about the misery of the region than about the happiness of its second poorest nation after war-torn Afghanistan. May we frolic in the bliss of ignorance, for to know is to suffer. On that positive note, Happy New Year BS 2079!