Crescita di un’economia buddista

NEW YORK – Sono appena rientrato dal Bhutan, il regno sull’Himalaya dall’impareggiabile bellezza naturale, ricchezza culturale, e in grado di ispirare l’automeditazione. Dall’unicità di questo regno emergono ora una serie di questioni di natura economica e sociale che sono di pressante interesse per il mondo intero.

La geografia selvaggia del Bhutan ha favorito la crescita di un’impavida popolazione di agricoltori e pastori e ha contribuito a promuovere una forte cultura buddista, strettamente legata alla storia del Tibet. La popolazione è scarsa – circa 700.000 abitanti su un territorio grande quanto la Francia – con comunità agricole nascoste in valli profonde e un manipolo di pastori disseminato in alta montagna. Ogni valle è protetta da un dzong (fortezza), al cui interno si trovano monasteri e templi, che risalgono a secoli fa e che rappresentano magistralmente la commistione tra architettura sofisticata e belle arti.

L’economia del Bhutan, basata sull’agricoltura e sulla vita monastica, era autosufficiente, povera e isolata fino a pochi decenni fa, quando una serie di straordinari monarchi iniziò a guidare il paese verso la modernizzazione tecnologica (strade, energia, sistema sanitario moderno e istruzione), gli scambi commerciali (in particolare con la vicina India) e la democrazia politica. È incredibile la sollecitudine con cui il Bhutan sta affrontando questo processo di cambiamento, e come tutto questo sia guidato dal pensiero buddista. Il Bhutan si sta ponendo la domanda che dovrebbero farsi tutti: come può una modernizzazione economica fondersi con la solidità culturale e il benessere sociale?

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