Finland May Be Happy But Vivek Agnihotri Is Definitely Not. Says Survey Questions Are “So Western”

by Tooba Shaikh
Finland May Be Happy But Vivek Agnihotri Is Definitely Not. Says Survey Questions Are “So Western”

Lately, the recent report about the happiest countries in the world has been all the rage on the Internet. This UN report declared that the Nordic country of Finland is the happiest country in the world. India, however, performed very poorly on the report and ranked 126. This didn’t sit well with a lot of Indians. Vivek Agnihotri is definitely one of the people who weren’t happy with the report and he made sure to speak his mind on Twitter.

Vivek Agnihotri Not Happy With UN Report

United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network or UNSDSN recently released a report which revealed that the happiest country on earth is Finland. What is more, the report also revealed that India hasn’t performed very well on the report.

India ranked as low as 126 on the report. To add salt to the wound, what stung, even more, was that Sri Lanka and Pakistan seemingly did better than India. This, of course, did not sit well with many of our fellow countrymen.

Vivek Agnihotri, the famous Indian director, recently took to Twitter and launched a critique of the report. He wrote on the micro-blogging website that the report shouldn’t be taken too seriously  since the questions asked in the survey which determine the happiness rank, are “so western.”

Also Read: Finland Is Offering An Online Class On Happiness And You Must Take It

India Would’ve Performed Better If The Questions Were More Family-Oriented

Vivek Agnihotri is of the opinion that the major reason for India’s poor performance on the report is not owing to any infrastructural deficiencies, as one might be led to think. The reason that India did poorly is because of the questions.

According to him, the questions weren’t an accurate yardstick for happiness in the family-oriented Indian culture. He wrote “Ask westerners ‘How many days in a week you eat meal with your family?’ or ‘Can you depend on your family for lifetime?’”

He claimed that if this happens, then most western countries will score low while India will definitely be at the top. Because as we all know, spending time with one’s family is a direct determiner of happiness.

While Agnihotri’s critique about the importance of cultural nuances in generalised surveys is important and of weight, one has to wonder if the same criticisms would have been levied had India ranked better.

Also Read: You Can Visit Finland For Free & Learn The Secret To Finnish Happiness; Here’s How

What do you think of the survey? Do you agree with Vivek Agnihotri’s criticisms? Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Image Credits: Canva & Wikimedia Commons