Published: 17th August 2019
Can happiness really be taught in a classroom?
The Happiness Curriculum launched by the Delhi government focuses on holistic education, including meditation, value education and mental exercises
There was a time and still is when people hankered after wealth and health. Now, there is a quest for happiness. Perhaps you can be happy even without wealth and health. Some countries, like Bhutan, measure the success of their nations by using the ‘index of happiness’ of their citizens. Some countries even have ministers for happiness — just as we have for health. The latest to fall for this idea is the Chief Justice of India (CJI)!
The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, on July 31, 2019 proposed the idea of introducing happiness classes across judicial academies in the country, similar to the ones started by the Delhi government in its schools. Speaking at an event which marked the first year of the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in Delhi government schools, Gogoi said, “As the CJI, I was thinking that if we all were to remain happy, my problem of litigation would be over — no one would file any cases”.
The CJI also lauded the Delhi government’s initiative, saying that other states could learn from this. He added that the curriculum had the potential to be introduced across the country at a time when India’s ranking has dropped to 140 on the World Happiness Index. The ‘Happiness Curriculum’ launched by the Delhi government focuses on holistic education, including meditation, value education and mental exercises. It has been introduced for students of nursery until Class 8 in government schools. Similar modules have been adopted in 12 other countries, said Gogoi. The CJI said though he was yet to consult his colleagues, he was considering starting happiness classes across judicial academies after hearing students from the audience share their experience. He also acknowledged the presence of education officials from other countries, especially Bhutan, and added that he felt everyone was happy when he visited the neighbouring country (Bhutan) two years ago.
At the event, Anil Baijal, the Governor of Delhi, elaborated on the basic pursuit of happiness, while CM Kejriwal expressed gratitude to Gogoi for attending a public function related to education in Delhi. On July 30, education officials from various states visited Delhi schools to be a part of the happiness classes and said that they will sign an MoU with the AAP government to explore a similar curriculum in their respective states. In a country where the happiness index is pretty low, this could end up being a rare ray of sunshine.