Ours is an information age, a time when any information travels from one corner of the world to the other with lightening speed. Something which happens in one part of the world is known to the people in all the other parts of the world within no time. So far so good, however, when it is an age of information, it is also an age of misinformation, where information is moulded in such a way to render it in a state of misinformation. This is done to fulfill some personal, group, organizational, or national interests. The facts are wrapped in the containers of a different color thereby hiding the real colors inside. The simplicity is sensationalized and the sensational true stories are kept hidden or when brought to the fore the authentic portion gets lost somewhere in the maze of lies. The sole profit motive has commercialized and commoditized even those things which in the past times were outside such considerations. There is no sphere of life-social, political, cultural or any other area, which is left outside the realm of sensationalism. This phenomenon has become much pronounced in our part of the word, especially since the time when corporate sector took over the reins of media and media organizations. Coming to the actual topic of suicides, this grave social issue is also affected by the sensationalism, commoditization and profit motive. There are two sides to this issue, as every issue has, and in this case also one side is entirely mutilated, kept hidden, deformed or moulded in such a way that the truth somehow gets sidelined. This is where profit motive and personal interests lead to misinformation and false information about the suicides. Suicide is not an end, rather, it is the end to a long process. The right approach therefore is to deal with the entire process not only the end result which could well be avoided. The news reports and every discussion that we see taking place around us is but a selective approach where only that portion and that bit of information is picked and highlighted which gives high dividends or satisfies personal desires and inclinations. The other side of it is forgotten and thrown to the dust!
Suicide is the voluntary or deliberate way of taking ones life. It is the toughest and the most painful decision that one can make. It is the step where there is no other step in site. When nothing is working and all the doors towards life seem in a state of eternal closure, then only a man can think about suicide. Suicide, therefore, was a rare phenomenon in the past but now the circumstances have changed, it is becoming alarmingly frequent. More and more people are committing suicides. The harsh realities that modern life has presented before us can be cited as the main reason for this increasing incidence of suicides. This is the situation world over, no country or nation is devoid of this trend of increase in suicides but in India the story is grave. There are suicides everywhere in this country. People from each region, sub-region and geographical area are committing suicides. There are suicides of farmers and there are the suicides of the rape victims. There are the suicides of the students, who fail in examinations, and the suicides of the sufferers of domestic violence. There are suicides of professionals and those of other categories of people where the reasons are hard to find. In nut shell no group or sub- group of people is entirely free from this menace, although the incidence is high in some groups and low in others. Having said that, the incidence of suicides has not abruptly increased in the last few years, it is a gradual process which is going on since long time back. Besides, if we say that nothing has been done to stop suicides from taking place, it will be a sheer fallacy. A great deal of work has been done and is being done, at government level down to the individual levels to reverse the trend but all the efforts are proving insufficient and ineffective. So when we are making efforts then what is the reason that these efforts are not fulfilling the intended objectives? Where lies the problem? The problem lies in the approach, dealing the problem from the wrong end and viewing it from a misplaced angle. The OTHER side is forgotten, the truth is perverted or putrefied.
What is this other side of suicides and how is it misrepresented? The other side of the suicide is the hidden part of it, the truth which lies behind the deceased body. We never try to get to that truth because our interests never allow us to do so. All hue and cry that we create is to get cheap publicity than to deal with the grave sin of suicides. We blame the easiest available people, punish them, persecute them and ostracize them. We are hardly able to find the real culprits and when found no action is initiated against them. The person who has committed the suicide is an active participant in making the execution possible, we never try to find out the role of the deceased. We present the person who has committed the suicide as a victim and give the deceased body a heros send off, as if the persons was a heroic act and as if it is an act that served humanity. To say the least our treatment is such that people, especially the vulnerable ones, get enticed why it were not they who committed the suicide! The person who has committed the suicide is a criminal by law and by religion. His/ her role should be established and it should be brought to fore that whether the conditions were so unbearable that suicide was the only option or it was a way of taking revenge or just an attempt to threaten the family. There are many cases where the failure of a women to adjust after marriage becomes the reason for her suicide than domestic violence but to sensationalize it we never are ready to highlight it. There might be the cases of farmer suicides where drinking habits of the head of the family could be root causes of his suicide but we always keep blaming the government. There could be the cases where the people, especially the women, who commit suicide might have already faced such conditions in her premarital life which make her prone to commit suicide and once she does the blame rests soley on the husband and the in laws. Therefore, in many cases a suicide results in the punishment and prosecution of wrong and innocent person. The root cause is never unearthed and the approach remains the same.
Here the intention is never to undermine the role of domestic violence in causing suicides; neither it is the acquittal of government in case of suicides of farmers. The intention rather is to put the naked truth out, without mutilating it, without moulding it, without misrepresenting it and without sensationalizing it when it is not sensational. Domestic violence is a serious cause, role of government in case of farmer suicides is a real cause, the rapes of women is a cause and malpractices in administration and justice providing systems are causes but these are not the all the causes. When the rape victim and the person who committed rape is given the same treatment-the latter is prosecuted and the former ostracized, that means something is terribly wrong with the social, legal and justice system. Hence, the real culprits must be given exemplary punishment but all other causes that result in suicides must also be dealt with utmost serious. Thus ours is not a valid approach to deal with the sensitive issue of suicides. We have to take care of each and every aspect related to it. We have to analyze every minute detail. We have to investigate, and investigate fully, each person and every incident which has even the remotest of connection with the suicides. We have to involve all the stake holders and when human life is in question every person is a stake holder. We have to give due importance to the other side of it than just to give over-importance to the only one side, the side which pays us and pays in bundles and heaps.
By way of conclusion we can say that human life is the most precious thing and so is the human existence. The incidence of suicides is increasing with such a great pace that it could pose serious challenges both to human life and the existence of human race. If the trend continues there seems a stage reaching where the easiest thing to do for a person would be to commit suicide. Our wrong approach in dealing with the issue could be the main contributor in bringing about that stage. The approach should change and the stage is now for that change to happen, there is no scope for complacence. The other side has to be there in every discussion, in every news report, in every legislation and in every administrative action. Then only can we reach to the bottom of it, to the root of it. Once we are there the problem is half solved and the solution to the other half is just a matter of time. Our present approach is leading us to nowhere and if it is taking us anywhere, that is the stage where dead of a person by way of suicide would only be a matter of trade, serving all the interests which some people in the present have begun to get served with. Let that stage never come, let human life realize its worth and let men and women learn how to be courageous even under the harshest of conditions. Death is not an option, it never was.
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