Saturday, March 21, 2020

World Happiness Report 2020: Pakistan is the Happiest Nation in South Asia

The World Happiness Report continues to rank Pakistan as the happiest nation in South Asia for several years now. The country ranks 66th among 153 nations surveyed for the World Happiness Report 2020. India ranks 144, Bangladesh 107, Nepal 92, Sri Lanka 130, Maldives 87 and Afghanistan 153. China ranks 94th.  Finland tops the list followed by Denmark second and Switzerland 3rd in the world.  The report warns that the COVID-19 global pandemic poses "great risks for some of the main supports for well-being, most especially health and income".

Pakistan has moved up in happiness ranking to 66th in 2020, up from  67th last year and 75th in 2018.  Meanwhile, India's ranking has fallen to 144 this year, down from 140 last year and 133 in 2018. It appears that Prime Minister Modi's divisive policies are contributing to declining happiness in India.

Pakistan Ranks 66. Source: WHR2020
WHR Ranking Criteria. Source: WHR2020

The rankings are based on data collected in the years 2018 and 2019. Researchers asked people to evaluate their own levels of happiness, and considered six other factors: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and freedom from corruption, according to the report released Friday.

Each of the bars is divided into seven segments, showing WHR research efforts. The first six sub-bars show how much each of the six key variables is calculated to contribute to that country’s score, relative to that in a hypothetical country called “Dystopia”, so named because it has values equal to the world’s lowest national averages for 2017-2019 for each of the six key variables.

Unhappy India. Source: Times of India

People in major Pakistani cities are not particularly happy. For example, Karachi ranks 117th and Lahore 122nd among 186 cities in the world. However, Pakistani cities still report greater happiness than Indian capital of New Delhi at 180 and Sri Lankan Colombo 170. Kathmandu ranks higher at 105.

The World Happiness Report 2020 has been produced by John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and Jan-Emmanuel De Neve.  Commenting on the report, lead author John Helliwell said, "The happiest countries are those 'where people feel a sense of belonging', where they trust and enjoy each other and their shared institutions. There is also more resilience, because shared trust reduces the burden of hardships, and thereby lessens the inequality of well-being."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

South Asia Investor Review

Pakistanis Happier Than Neighbors

Karachi Safety Ranking Rising

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25

CPEC Myths and Facts


Enver said...

Looks like Pak’s enemies now have to do more....

Pak’s and India’s happiness variables are inversely proportional!!! The more Pak is happy the less India gets happy....

Riaz Haq said...

#Hate going up, #happiness down in #Modi's #India; India way behind #Pakistan, #Nepal in happiness index. Ranked 144, India is way behind Pakistan, Nepal, #Bangladesh. #WorldHappinessReport

India has dropped down four spots in the happiness rankings as compared to its 2019 ranking. In 2019, India was placed on 140 position while in in 2018, India was placed on 133 position. The position went up to 122 in 2017 but again it saw a steep fall.

Canada is ranked 11, Australia at 12 and the United Kingom at 13. The US is at the 18th spot.

“The happiest countries are those where people feel a sense of belonging, where they trust and enjoy each other and their shared institutions,” John Helliwell, one of the authors of the report, said in a statement.

“There is also more resilience, because shared trust reduces the burden of hardships, and thereby lessens the inequality of well-being,” he added.

Riaz Haq said...

#India: Doctor Assaulted On Her Way To Hospital. She’s Not The Only Medic Being Attacked. #healthcare professionals in India being evicted from homes because of #coronavirus. #COVID #Modi #BJP via @NishSwish

When H. received an urgent message from the hospital on Monday night asking her to come in to work, she knew it would be bad. The world was in the grips of a pandemic, and her home state in south India had discovered 22 positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. For weeks, the hospital where she worked had been all hands on deck — even doctors not treating coronavirus patients were required to take throat and nose swabs, check symptoms, and decide who needed medical assistance. What she never imagined was that she — a doctor — would be stopped by police on her way to work, abused, assaulted, hauled into a police station, and then work a 12-hour-shift with bruises all over her body.

Just days ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked citizens to come out on their balconies and literally applaud the courage and sacrifice of health care professionals, but across the country doctors, nurses and ambulance drivers are under attack. H. is one among many examples of medics being assaulted or driven out of their homes. Medical professionals are being stigmatized as suspected carriers of the novel coronavirus, or accused of flouting a national lockdown. BuzzFeed News has seen a copy of H.’s complaint to the police about the events of Monday night but has agreed not to publish her full name because she fears retaliation from the officers involved.

H., who is in her thirties, lives and works in the state of Telangana, where on March 23 the state’s chief minister requested all citizens stay indoors for 24 hours.

Health care professionals were exempt, but the state also placed into effect a colonial-era law from 1897, known as the Epidemic Disease Act. Introduced by the British in India to combat the bubonic plague, the law allows state governments to take extraordinary measures to curb the spread of disease, while giving full protection to authorities from any legal action. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the law has been brought into effect in multiple Indian states, even as the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics has warned that it can be misused to trample on the rights of citizens.

At 8:45 p.m. on Monday, H. finally found a ride to work, there being no public transport that day. She and a fellow doctor were making their way to the hospital on a scooter, both women exhilarated and unsettled by the empty streets. That’s when they were stopped by the police.

“The officer on duty asked me why I was out during curfew, so I showed him my ID and explained that I was a doctor on my way to work,” H. said. “He snatched my ID, looked at it and said, ‘But how do I know whether you’re a doctor or just going to meet some man at this time of the night?’”

H. said she asked the officer to return her ID. Simultaneously, she took out her phone and began trying to call the hospital for help. At this point, she said, the officer snatched her phone, slapped her across the face, and called her a “bloody bitch.”

“I was so shocked when he hit me that I hit him back, almost as a defensive reflex,” she said. “At that point, he lost it. He grabbed my hair and dragged me into the Jeep, his fellow officers began hitting me across the thighs and legs with their batons. They groped me all over, including my private parts.”

Riaz Haq said...

#Coronavirus Fans #Islamophobia in #India after health ministry repeatedly blamed #Tablighis for spreading #COVID19 — and ruling #BJP officials spoke of “human bombs” and “corona jihad” — a spree of anti-#Muslim attacks has broken out across the country.

Here in India, no other group has been demonized more than the country’s 200 million Muslims, minorities in a Hindu-dominated land of 1.3 billion people.

From the crackdown on Kashmir, a Muslim majority area, to a new citizenship law that blatantly discriminates against Muslims, this past year has been one low point after another for Indian Muslims living under an increasingly bold Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and propelled by majoritarian policies.

In this case, what’s making things worse is that there’s an element of truth behind the government’s claims. A single Muslim religious movement has been identified as being responsible for a large share of India’s 8,000-plus coronavirus cases. Indian officials estimated last week that more than a third of the country’s cases were connected to the group, Tablighi Jamaat, which held a huge gathering of preachers in India in March. Similar meetings in Malaysia and Pakistan also led to outbreaks.

“The government was compelled to call out this congregation,” said Vikas Swarup, a senior official at India’s foreign ministry.


The virus and the new wave of hatred have changed everything. Mohammed Haider, who runs a milk stall, one of the few businesses allowed to stay open under India’s coronavirus lockdown, said, “Fear is staring at us, from everywhere.’’

“People need only a small reason to beat us or to lynch us,’’ he said. “Because of corona.’’

Muslim leaders are afraid. They see the intensifying attacks against Muslims and remember what happened in February, when Hindu mobs rampaged in a working-class neighborhood in Delhi, killing dozens, and the police mostly stood aside — or sometimes even helped the Hindu mobs. In many villages now, Muslim traders are barred from entering simply because of their faith.

“The government should not have played the blame game,” said Khalid Rasheed, the chairman of Islamic Center of India. “If you present the cases based on somebody’s religion in your media briefings,’’ he said, “it creates a big divide.”

“Coronavirus may die,” he added, “but the virus of communal disharmony will be hard to kill when this is over.”

Tahir Iqbal, a recent university graduate from Kashmir, was among the 4,000 or so gathered at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in early March for missionary training. He said people slept, ate and prayed in close quarters, with little fear of the coronavirus. “We didn’t take it seriously at the time,” he said.

On March 16, the Delhi government banned gatherings of more than 50 people. Several days later, Mr. Modi announced a nationwide lockdown.

But instead of dispersing, more than 1,000 people stayed put at the center. During a March 19 sermon, Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, a Tablighi Jamaat leader, told followers that coronavirus was “God’s punishment’’ and not to fear it.

About a week later, health inspectors found around 1,300 people still sheltering at the center without masks or other protective gear. Many Muslim leaders criticized the group’s center for not closing down.

But by that point, hundreds of congregants had already left. They wended their way across India by car, bus, train and plane, spreading the coronavirus to more than half of India’s states, from beach towns in the Andaman Islands to the hot, farming cities in the country’s northern plains.

On March 31, the Delhi authorities filed a criminal case against Maulana Kandhalvi for “deliberately, willfully, negligently and malignantly” putting the public’s health at risk. Tablighi Jamaat’s center was sealed. The maulana, a title for a Muslim scholar, disappeared.

Riaz Haq said...

#India ranks among the world’s worst in terms of #coronavirus, religious bigotry, #humanrights, #hunger, #happiness, #water quality, #AirQuality, #media #freedom, #environment etc. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva

Kailash Anerao

94 out of 107-Global Hunger Index
147 out of 157-Oxfam Inequality Index
120 out of 122-Water Quality Index
179 out of 180-Air Quality Index
144 out of 156-UN World Happiness Index
140 out of 180-World Press Freedom Index
167 out of 180-Environmental Performance Index

Riaz Haq said...

OXFAM #Inequality Index: #India's #Health Budget Is 4th Lowest In The World; Worse Than #Pakistan, #Nepal Amidst #COVID19 #Pandemic. @trakintech

According to the latest ‘Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020’, report published by the international charity confederation Oxfam on
7 October 2020 , India ranked 155th in a survey consisting of 158 countries, showing that the country spends less than 4% of its budget on health.

The health spending index of India is so poor that even its neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh spend slightly more than 4% of their budget on health.

As per Oxfam’s latest 2020 Index report, of the 158 countries surveyed for checking whether they allocate 15% of their respective budgets on health as recommended, it was found that Nigeria, Bahrain and India were among the lowest rankers, in terms of health spending index.

India secured the 155th spot, sharing its position with Afghanistan, both of which allocated less than 4% of their budget on health.

Speaking of health spending indices, Oxham found that only 28 of these 158 surveyed countries were spending the recommended fraction of 15% of their budgets on health.

The report said, “India’s health budget is the fourth lowest in the world. Just half of its population have access to even the most essential health services”.

The report also mentioned that while the trend of allocating a very small percentage of budget towards health is persistent across South Asian countries,

Pakistan spent a little over 4% of its budget on health, while
Nepal and Bangladesh spent 5%.
The report reads,

“This is particularly damaging when just half of India’s population (55%) has access to even the most essential services, and more than 70% of health spending is being met from household budgets.”

Also, as per the database from the World Bank, in 2017 India dedicated only 3.4% of its expenditure towards health.

Just to get an understanding of comparison, in the same year Japan spent 23.6% of the government budget on health.