According to a recently published WHO (World Health Organization) Study (refer report titled “Cross-national Epidemiology of DSM-IV Major Depressive Episode (MDE)”, published in BMC Medicine Journal), Indians are the most depressed people in the world.
Nothing is more laughable in the current context. Many other countries come to the mind, but not India.
The Health Ministry of the Government of India has promptly and correctly rejected the report, citing the fact that the study respondents were from the tiny state of Puducherry (Pondicherry), which is not representative of India as a whole.
In my opinion, the young Indians are the most optimistic anywhere in the world. They are doing far better than their parents, they have more disposable income, they have better and more opportunities for career growth, they are more entrepreneurial, and generally they appear to be more happy.
How can a WHO Study derive conclusion based on such a small sample, which is taken from a very small state (actually a Union Territory, not even one of the big States) ? What is its credibility ? It seems that they want to hit out at a growing economy in any which way they can – what else to conclude. They should publish the Indian Government’s rebuttal and acknowledge the fact that the Study was based on a non-representative sample of Indian population. That is the right thing for them to do.
On the other hand, I am really surprised that Pondicherry people are more depressed than the other Indian people. It is a peaceful small state with good standard of living, and cheap goods (cars are cheaper due to lower taxes, and liquor is far cheaper than the neighbouring state !). This is something to be examined.
Well, as I look around, it appears to be a confident and booming society. No one would ever think that India is a depressing place or that Indians are the most depressed people, even if he or she takes a walk through the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai. On the contrary, people’s confidence is improving every day, and the economy is growing, despite inflationary pressures and high interest rates. If not in the entire world, at least in the Asia Pacific region, India is the most positive place today. Hope it will stay that way for the next few decades.
30th July 2011