Lal Singh Arya, 53, is the minister for happiness in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. He is also a suspect in a murder and is now believed to be on the lam as police search for him. The victim is an opposition politician who was killed in 2009.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government created the department of happiness in 2016 to ensure “the happiness and tolerance of its citizens” through an “ecosystem that would enable people to realize their own potential of inner wellbeing.” If the allegations are true, it is a promise that was lost on the victim.
By the way, the happiness department is tasked with developing “tools of happiness” and thousand of “happiness volunteers.” It is a good thing Washington has never created this particular agency. We would start with a bipartisan Happiness Commission that would work for ten years and spend millions of dollars to conclude that there is no conclusive evidence of the source of happiness. We would then create a department with a Secretary of Happiness that would generate hundreds of regulations requiring monthly filings on “workplace happiness quotients” and “unhappiness abatement measures.” As the regulations made everyone unhappier, the Department would seek to expand to address the worsening happiness gap . . . which would make people even unhappier . . . well you get the idea.