In an address on January 10, 2017, the honourable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, had a virtual meet with the students and faculty of the Central Institutions of Higher Learning. The welcome address given by Prof. Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor of The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad provided an apt foundation for the topic of the day- ‘building a humane and happy society.’
A deeply concerned President pointed out that India stood at a ranking of 117 out of a total 158 countries as per the World Happiness Report, 2015. This is in a stark contrast to what India’s position has been in fields such as, economy, science, technology, and military power where we are in the top ten.
With a civilisation that believed in universal progress and happiness, encapsulated in the messages, Bahujana sukhaya, bahujana hitaya and Sarve jana sukhino bhavantu” he said that “happiness is a state of mind”, but at the societal level, “happiness is a complex phenomenon as it is intrinsically linked to the harmony amongst the fulfilment of goals of the society.”
He further said that the quest for happiness is closely linked to sustainable development which is a combination of human well-being, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. He said that usually unhappiness is associated with anger, sadness, and depression. Road rage, suicides are all the results of accumulation of negative feelings. He urged the faculty of all the participant institutes that they along with the students, have to come up and create an ecosystem, where learning can become a joyous experience.