Satish Shrestha (सतिश श्रेष्ठ )

In The Quest Of…

Plagiarism or *Telepathy* ?

Posted by Satish Shrestha on June 23, 2010

Gross National Happiness (GNH), which I think is a neater concept that Gross Domestic Product (GDP), supposedly attempts to measure quality of life in a more holistic fashion than GDP. I was first introduced to this concept through a book titled “Soch” written by Karna Shakya, a renowned entrepreneur in Nepal. GNH is one of the few things from that book which actually provoked some thought. One can find the mentioning of GNH in page 22/23 in a digital version of the book. He iterates he came up with the concept of GNH and presented it for discussion during an international conference on “Conservation of Cultural Heritage” organized by East West Center in Hawaii in 1982. He gloriously mentions that the concept of GNH was well acknowledged in the conference and widely discussed. Then he goes further and says that he later heard that the former Bhutanese monarch Jigme Sigme Wangchuk used the concet of GNH. In a rather humours tone he asks if that could’ve been *telepathy*.

I took Third World Development class last semester thinking that it might better acquaint me with global issues. One of the books we used in the class was “Comparative Politics of the Third World”, written by December Green and Laura Luehrmann. I came across GNH once again through that book and I found it rather dazzling that the concept on GNH was in fact quite well acknowledged. However, as I did a web research on it, I was not dazzled anymore. Articles on the Internet, even wikipedia, mention that the concept of GNH was coined by the former Bhutanese Monarch Jigme Sigme Wangchuk in 1972. And tonight I was watching a TED video on “Measuring What Makes Life Worthwhile” presented by Chip Conley in which he discussed about GNH crediting former Bhutanese monarch for the concept. Is it an example of plagiarism, or could it be *telepathy* as Shakya mentions in the book ?


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