The news of Jamia student, Bharat Nagpal’s suicide a couple of months ago, was so unexpected and so hard to believe that people thought it was false in the beginning; it was only later it turned out to be true. The news had left everyone shocked, for something like this was unheard of in the Jamia community. He was too young to die and had a lot yet to see in this world facing all the challenges of routine life that everyone has to face at any possible extent. We don’t know his reasons for ending his life. But even if we did, we could neither never truly understand the burden he carried, nor the pain he must have felt.
Suicide remains the most serious of all the troubles found in our society. It has eaten up millions of lives. Extinguishing one’s life is considered a solution to all the miseries and problems of material life, though nobody knows its fecundity.
It will be appropriate to quote here a couplet of Shaikh Mohammad Ibrahim Zauq, the poet of Mughal Court and the mentor of Shah Zafar (the last Mughal Emperor) in poetry, while elucidating the tragedy of this unfortunate act taken as a solution in our society to escape from the miseries of life. In this couplet he states his desire to end his life, later refuting his own idea because of its bewildering outcomes. He writes:
Ab to ghabra ke ye kahte hain ke mar jaenge
Mar ke bhi chain na paya to kidher jaenge
Suicide is one of the major unresolved problems of our society. It has plagued us along with all the worldly problems that act as the force pushing us into the cold grip of death.
Psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists are constantly working to find concrete solutions and establishing assistive preventive measures to prevent people from committing suicide. Several human welfare organizations like SAVE, WHO and other NGOs having a similar agenda and are working globally and locally to eliminate this malady out of the society by spreading awareness among the masses.
According to the data provided by Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), nearly 40,000 thousand Americans commit suicide every year. For the age group of 15-24, this is the second major cause of death (www.save.org/facts). Another report published in 2014 by WHO tells that about 800,000 thousand people end their lives by committing suicide on the globe every year. Out of these cases about 75% are recorded in the countries facing economical problems. Hence, poverty is one of the major reasons for people committing suicide. The report also states a comparatively higher rate of suicidal deaths in the age group of 15-29 years. This is more than horrible. This means, every 40 seconds a person on the globe cuts off the chord of his life with his own hands. Apart from the statistics this report is also provides with some preventive measures to be applied to subside possible suicide cases globally. (www.who.int/mental_health/suicide-prevention/en/)
Suicide holds equal importance with other national problems in India. Seventeen percent of total cases of suicides registered globally come from India. Statistical inferences help us to state that a majority of the people committing suicide are either students or farmers. Major problems in both the cases are more material than indigenous. The problem of unemployment is one of the main reasons for suicide among the youths. Other reasons are social relationships, family problems, failure in love, and pressure evoked by school examinations; while all other problems hold a secondary place.
In addition to these facts, the emotional aspect of this issue is much more disheartening. We can understand how hard it is to cut through the whole system of the living world, society, family and other social relations. Psychological studies say that about 80 percent of the persons who commit suicide or attempt to commit had some kind of psychological problems, mainly depression. At times life brings some moments that force us to lose our will to live, the eternal power working behind that constant struggle to keep the pace up. On losing this intense will to live, we start heading towards self destruction.
Talking about preventive measures of suicide, psychologists suggest that it is possible to stop someone who is thinking of self harm if certain behavioural changes in his routine are observed at the right time of its occurrence. This is the most crucial time to monitor the behaviour of that person. Parents have a major responsibility of observing their children in this manner. They must have proper awareness and should be trained to deal with such kind of situation following all the preventive manners.
It can be prevented if preliminary observations are made about the people considering suicide. There is a need for effective educational programs to spread awareness about this social malaise. We must realize that this is not the solution to any problem. Problems cannot be solved by ending our lives. We have to live with them. We must have the courage to face them. We should know – suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
[Abu Turab Naqvi (2015) is a student of French language in the Centre for Spanish and Latin American Studies, JMI. He can be reached via email at: abuturabamrohvi[@]gmail.com]