Tamey sukhi cho? For all that talk about its superb infrastructure and its work ethic, about the virtues of vegetarianism and of abstinence, and, of course, the sheer presence of Narendra Modi and Mallika Sarabhai, the denizens of Ahmedabad are India’s unhappiest city-dwellers, an opinion poll conducted by Outlook-Club Mahindra has found. Asked ‘Are you happy?’ only 8.8 per cent of (Ahmedabad-based) respondents said they were ‘very happy’; 42.1 per cent said they were ‘happy’. The 51 per cent total is the lowest among the 16 cities polled. To put this into context, the national average for happy urban people was 85.5 per cent. For the record, Jaipur tots up the maximum happiness, with a staggering 97 per cent of respondents saying they are happy.
On another front, respondents from Ahmedabad are the most concerned about corruption: 92.1 per cent of respondents from there feel that corruption is ruining their happiness; they want the government to take major steps to reduce corruption. Interestingly—and not surprisingly, given the stellar role played by the state in the 2G scam—Chennai’s citizens are least concerned about reducing corruption. Such happy insights abound in this exhaustive poll, which includes a happiness and unhappiness index.
The Outlook-Club Mahindra poll was conducted by MDRA in 16 cities (four from each zone): Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna and Pune. A total of 2,014 respondents (men and women aged 25-50+ years) were polled using a structured questionnaire from October 15-22. As always, happy reading.
It qualifies as lousy journalism to run a cover story on the happiness levels in a clutch of Indian cities (Over The Rainbow). Clearly, the absurdity of such a poll is evident in the questions that were popped at the citizenry—‘Are you happy or very happy?’ being my favourite—but what tops it all is your sample size: 2014! Quite a fine sample of people to assess happiness in a country of 1.2 billion.
V.S. Chauhan, Jabalpur
Though sample surveys are of doubtful efficacy as indicators of trends in a nation as vast and varied as India, it still will leave a person from Bihar with a smile on his face—if the figures in the column “% of people feeling happy” are anything to go by. At last, the jungle created by Laloo Prasad is modernising.
Rohan Harsh, Patna
According to the survey, success at work and a healthy bank balance are the primary cause of happiness for Hyderabadis while academic success and marriage are what make Bangaloreans happy. For Delhiites, it is falling in love, followed by academic success. Academic success has a very low score for Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, as also Calcutta. Good health, marriage and sex score high for Patna’s residents, while good sex apparently does nothing for Keralites and Gujaratis. Kochi in fact scores zero on the question of sexual pleasures. Must say: broad-sweep generalisations reflect nothing of life in metropolitan cities.
B.V. Gopal Rao, Warangal
Whatever the methodology you used to define “happiness”, one thing is obvious from the Outlook exercise: its obsession with the Narendra Modi government and Gujarat. Not sure whose “corruption” is killing the happiness of Ahmedabadis. As long as it’s made Outlook “happy or very happy”, it was not an entirely futile exercise.
What is the purpose of this survey? Are you running out of ideas to thrash Modi now?
Maha, New Jersey
In the ‘Unhappy’ and ‘Very Unhappy’ categories, Ahmedabad comes near the lower end of the scale. If you know the Gujarati psyche, they normally tend to stick to the middle ground: they will not boast about their good fortunes. This is clearly reflected in the stats.
Vikk Pandit, New Delhi
It is obvious that Ahmedabad would be the most miserable city. With no spirits, how can the spirits be high?
A.K. Varma, on e-mail
Do I look surprised? No,not at all.You were also the one who pulled out of your ass another survey a few years back similar in nature finding the fraud nun Teresa as the most popular figure in India which is still being quoted nationally and internationally. I forgot whether she was the most popular in Ahmedabad or a close second there.That's some credible survey you do to inform your readers.
>> "Moreover, if you know the Gujarati psyche, they normally tend to stick to MIDDLE ground, i.e. they normally would not tend to boast about their GOOD FORTUNES. "
That is definitely true and one part of the reason. Another reaaon is the aspirational hunger in Gujarat. They continually try to pursue further improvements - so, the phrases like "perfect", "very happy" do not mean much to them. They want to keep moving. Modi personifies that mindset.
In contrast, look at data for Calcutta and Patna. It takes an extraordinary sense of detachment from good life to be happy with what they have. But, then, who am I to comment on that. It's their life.
<< the denizens of Ahmedabad are India’s unhappiest city-dwellers>>
Once again shamelessly OUTLOOK displays its typical anti-Modi/Gujarat attitude in the interpretation of the data. Because in the UNHAPPY and VERY UNHAPPY category Ahmedabad comes near to the LOWER end of the scale. Moreover, if you know the Gujarati psyche, they normally tend to stick to MIDDLE ground, i.e. they normally would not tend to boast about their GOOD FORTUNES. This is clearly seen in the statistics too.
What Jaipur means to me and why it makes me happy to belong to this beautiful city.
yeh mera hai, mera hai Jaipur
maa ke aanchal ki garmi sa ,
dadi ki god ki narmi sa,
chaandi se chamakte baalon mein,
nani ki pyaari thapki mein,
aashish mein uthte haathon mein,
dulaarta, sanwaarta Jaipur,
yeh mera hai mera hai Jaipur.
`woh kaata' ke shor mein,
Holi ki mast bahaaron mein,
dhap o' chang ki thaap mein,
gothon mein, pangat, jeeman mein,
har koochon o' galiaron mein,
harshaaya sa, itraaya sa,
yeh mera hai ,mera hai Jaipur.
Saawan ki bheegi bayaar mein,
rangeeli teej ke lehriye mein,
lajaati hathelion ki mehndi mein,
gungunati choorion ki khanak mein,
melon ke mast hindolon mein,
madmaata sa, mastaana sa,
yeh mera hai mera hai Jaipur.
deepawali ki ladion mein,
anaar mein, phuljharion mein,
feeni, gazak aur ghevron ki,
khushboo mein mehka, mehka jaipur,
yeh mera hai mera hai Jaipur.
lehnge ke gher mein,
ghoomar ke ghoomer mein,
Shila mata ke mandir se,
Johari bazaar ki masjid se,
ghanton se ,azaan se,
mujhe bulaata Jaipur,
yeh mera hai, mera hai Jaipur.
teej mein, tyohaar mein,
prarthna mein, ibaadat mein
aadar mein, dulaar mein,
maan aur manuhar mein,
tehzeeb mein,izhaar mein,
rishton ki garmaas mein,
prem ke ehsaas mein,
yeh mera hai mera hai Jaipur.
- Dr. Vinita A. Jain
>> No wonder Ahmedabad is the saddest. It is being ruled by Modi. How can it be happy?
If you look at the statistics , Ahmedabad is among the least Unhappy (0.8%) much less than Bangalore , Bhubaneswar , Guwahati etc - with 9% .. Ahmedabad is next only to Pune and Indore (0%) with the least unhappy people . The article identifies Ahmedabad as the saddest as that would confirm to the popular opinion .
If the author takes the people who are neither happy nor unhappy as all unhappy ( as they are not happy) then it will be equally true to tag them all as happy ( as they are not unhappy either ) - which would rank Ahmedabad among the happiest cities - with 98.3% happy people.
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