BHUTAN AHEAD OF THE REST
Written by Mohan Mukherjee, avid fan of Bhutanese people and culture
Bhutan is one of those countries on the periphery of our knowledge; known enough to understand its location but still relatively unknown that it harbours a sense of mystery and interest. For those that don't know, Bhutan is a landlocked Kingdom between China and India on the tip of the Himalayan mountains.
In 2011 Bhutan stated publicly that they wanted to become a completely organic nation by 2020. That seems like a high precedent for most countries in the world, but Bhutan has an interesting alchemy that makes it very conducive for this nation to achieve an agricultural system that is 100% organic; namely the pillars of their culture, their size, and their rejection of GDP being a measure of progress. Indeed, the Bhutanese see GDH (Gross Domestic Happiness) as a way to quantify the health and happiness of their nation (humans, plants, animals...everything) - an enviable trait for most 'stable' countries.
This sort of shift takes time and effort and the more complicated the economical system of a nation, the longer the transition will be. It could be said that the hardest thing to change will be a person's mind-state, which in mass will reflect a nation's mind-state. Other countries looking to make similar overhauls like Bhutan will need to delve deep into the inner cogs of their machine, look at how it runs and then see if they can rework the mechanics. Not an easy feat.
I think I can speak for us all when I say that I will be watching closely how Bhutan tackles this humble goal in the next few years. I will also be taking a trip, starting in Paro later this year to see 'The Thunder Dragon Kingdom' myself.