Bhutan has never believed in the idea that financial satisfaction can only bring happiness to the individuals. The concept adhered by the Bhutanese is that human beings can only stay happy if their both material and spiritual needs are met. This is the reason why the government takes efforts and measures to increase Gross National Happiness rather than only focusing on Gross Domestic Product. His Majesty, the third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck also agreed that development could only be had by making “the people prosperous and happy.”
In 1971 when the Bhutan was made part of United Nations, the King emphasized the importance of “prosperity and happiness,” in his address. The fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck was also quoted saying “our country’s policy is to consolidate our sovereignty to achieve economic self-reliance, prosperity and happiness for our country and people.” In Bhutan a lot of stress is given to both happiness and prosperity while happiness is still considered more important. This has always been emphasized by the fourth Druk Gyalpo from time again and again.
The four main pillars of Gross National Happiness are:
- Fair and equal socio-economic development
- Preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage
- Conservation of environment
- Good governance