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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A curse for humanity - Daily Excelsior

Posted on 7/08/2016 by Dailyexcelsior

Prof. K.G. Gupta

Literal meaning of suicide is intentional slaughtering or murder of ones’ own self.

Reason for suicide could be an impulse caused due to a short tempered altercation in the family or it could be the result of a long drawn, phase of depression. In former case there is usually no planning and decision to commit suicide is abrupt. In the later case the decision to take this extreme step is arrived at after considerable negative thinking. In case of an impulsive attempted suicide, the tragedy could be averted if some well-wisher intervenes and consoles the person to desist from taking such a drastic step. Once the impulse induced due to any reason is pacified, the person will start behaving like a normal person. But in most of such cases, the friends and family members do not get a clue as to what is going on in the mind of the person.

But in case of a person suffering from depression, the process of thinking dips to such a low level that for him, there could be no reversal of his negativity. The person arrives at a decision to kill ones’ own self. For him the world is not a good place to live in. The person develops a feeling of suffering, hopelessness and helplessness. One feels that there is no escape from ones’ sufferings. He thinks that the world shall be a better place for others to live without him. Those who are left behind would lead a better life, once he is gone. The person does not necessarily want to die, rather he does not want to live because for him, life is a burden.

Whatever may be the cause for killing one’s own self, suicide is a devastating step which gives a jolt to the family members, parents, spouse, siblings, children, friends, neighbours and every person known to the deceased. The shock is intense with a sense of guilt, anger and regret, as to why they could not visualize the coming shock event. Why they could not for forsee the forthcoming tragedy and try to avert it.

Suicides are taking a huge toll of human life. The trend is increasing with a rapid rate world over. In United States approximately 35000 lives are lost per annum. In India the number is much higher due to a large population and diverse socio economic problems.

There could be numerous reasons in the life of a person which may be responsible for creating a sudden impulse reaction or depression which may lead one to commit suicide. Some of the reasons could be analysed here under.

Family Disputes:  Some times a minor cause becomes the reason for altercation between members of a family which explodes into a hysterical situation. The person who is cornered does not find any escape route and finally decides to end one’s own life.

Matrimonial Problems:  When parents do not allow their children to marry a partner of their choice, one are both the children involved may take the drastic step. Also when one of the loving partners feels ditched or cheated by the other he/she may take the extreme step.  Though better counselling by friends or family members could prevent it.

Women working in hostile environment, when harassed beyond all limit get compelled to end their lives. Women have to become bold and strong to face such situations.

Kissan Suicide:  Farmers have always suffered the tyranny of land lords and the tyrannies of nature. They work hard in the field but when they do not get enough reward, even to eke out a living, they get frustrated and decide to end their lives. Today there are no land lords but the farmer is lured towards easily available bank loans. But they are unable to repay these loans and pressure from bankers  as also the failure of crops due to drought and floods drives these poor hapless farmers towards ending their lives. Recent steps taken by the present Government like crop insurance, Jan Dhan Yojna and minimum crop value may help the farmers to ease out this terrible situation.

Students Suicide: This is comparatively a recent phenomenon. There is tremendous pressure on the young boys and girls from parents, from educational institutions and coaching centers to score higher and higher grades/ranks. An unhealthy competition develops among the admission aspirants of Engineering and Medical colleges to work hard to such an extent that it shatters their normal thinking process. When they are unable to achieve the goals set for them, they get depressed  and resort to suicide  due to fear of ridicule  from parents.

Kota Suicides: Kota, a famous town in Rajasthan got prominence as a city of coaching centers. About 1,50,000 students from different parts of India are  presently studying in Kota, preparing for various engineering and medical institutions of repute. These students are sent to live outside family environment at a very tender age after matriculation where they are subjected to rigorous coaching and intensive studies. 

They are compelled to work continuously for 18 to 20 hours in a day. Some of them definitely shine out but others become drug addicts and unable to cope with their studies, are compelled to commit suicide.  Kota is fast growing famous as city of suicides.
The collector of Kota in an open letter to students studying in various coaching institutions advised them to spare at least one day in a week for recreational activities and to enjoy the beauties of nature.  He further advised them to become ready for the Universe and not for University. 

Just, less than two months ago a girl student studying in a coaching center in Kota committed suicide because she could not bear the burden of coaching for IIT/JEE examination. In her suicide note she appealed to the Government to close down all those coaching centers. She even appealed to her parents not to treat her younger brother, the same way, she had been treated.

Parents ought to learn that lives of their sons and daughters are more precious than the degrees from IITs and IIMs.

Another disturbing case of suicide is in the armed forces. The people in uniform have to spend a tough life in extremely difficult situation on borders and in terror infested areas. They are kept away from their homes for very long durations. The Officers in these forces remain insensitive and indifferent and soldiers are not allowed to visit their homes for years together. 

This leads to home sickness and depression.  Soldiers either shoot their officers or their own self. Suicide by people in uniform can be easily avoided if the officers develop a sympathetic and sensitive attitude towards their subordinate.

Some times a person may have some genetic disorder due to which one is tempted to commit suicide time and again.  Robert Clive the British Governor General in India attempted suicide a number of times but survived. He used to say “perhaps God is keeping me alive to do great jobs” 

But ultimately he committed suicide on 2nd November 1774, after a long period of trial against him by British Government.
Last year, this time around a polytechnic student from Srinagar, committed suicide  by jumping into river Jehlum  because he got a Reappear  in Physics paper of 2nd Semester diploma examination  conducted by J&K Board of Technical  Education.  

He was a brilliant student but could not withstand the pressure of failure, perhaps due to severe reprimand from his parents. He had the option to go in for revaluation and he did apply for that but did not wait for the result. Instead he took the unfortunate step. Perhaps a little bit of counseling by parents and friends could have saved the life of this young man. Parents and teachers owe a special responsibility in such cases.
Another typical suicide was committed by a student Mohit Aggarwal of Manipal Institute of Technology on 15th of March 2016. He took a poisonous substance, a rope, a blade, a bottle of kerosene oil and a match box, entered a bathroom in hostel and bolted from inside. After some time he sprinkled kerosene oil and set himself afire. There was huge uproar in the institution but later the situation was pacified when a suicide note was found in which the student had written that he was trying to find the least painful method for committing suicide. This is purely a case of deranged personality.
A suicide is always a tragedy, a matter of shock, gloom and devastation. It is a curse for the person involved, a curse for those who are left behind, a curse for the family and friends and a curse for society. As such a suicide cannot be a matter for glorification. It cannot be reason for tragedy tourism. Society and nation should take steps in which a person does not drift towards ending his precious life. No religion or society permits self killing because it is a sin and a crime against society, against humanity and also against the will of Almighty.

(The author is presently working as Principal IECS Polytechnic, Purkhoo Camp, Jammu)