Asian Review of Social Sciences (ARSS)
Gross SAARC Happiness: A Perspective on Ethical GovernanceAuthor : Nirbhay Kumar Mishra
Volume 8 No.2 April-June 2019 pp 86-92
Since its inception in 1985 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC, hereafter), in the last three decades, has been making painstaking efforts, as a collective forum, to achieve its three basic goals: Economic Development, Good Governance through integrated Regional Cooperation by establishing a platform for the social, environmental and economic development. Despite giving impetus to their regional cooperative mechanism, SAARC has been struggling to achieve the objectives laid down in GNH (Gross National Happiness) a globally followed model developed by the Fourth King of Bhutan, in the 1970s. This paper tries to develop a view point to understand the proposed vision of Gross SAARC Happiness (GSH, hereafter) by putting emphasis on the very idea of development through critical ethical investigation into the various governance ideas adopted by the cooperative nations. One of the aims of this paper is to offer an explanation of the basics of happiness & development in that the social, environmental, and economic realms of life cannot be subjugated to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or GNI (Gross National Income). Hence, the index of GSH is entrenched in the sustainable collective development on the one hand and the collective & individual happiness on the other. What will be crucial in achieving the model of GSH is that the cooperative countries have to practice enhanced political cooperation in maintaining collective peace, and they should refrain from the unsustainable models to achieve GDP. Rather, it is the inclusive growth which should produce individual happiness, collective wellbeing, and Sustainable development. The paper develops the method of ethical governance, by taking recourse to the idea of Sustainable Development Goals structured by the United Nations (UN), for the cooperative nations to adopt as an alternative governance mechanism in achieving the Happiness and Governance at SAARC in the replica of GSH.
SAARC, Ethical Governance, Governance Mechanism, Sustainable Development, Gross Happiness
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