Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Mr. Vemula's Death Bed


Now few days ago, a guy, Rohith Vemula, a Ph.D. scholar of Hyderabad university committed suicide, now politicians don't want to miss this chance of playing politics, indeed, it is an art to politicize every issue under the sun.
We have many reactions to this suicide, some are shocked & demand justice, some are happy, may be because a violent supporter of Owasi died, some are not affected & feels it should not be highlighted much, unnecessarily and some don't know.
However, I am not concerned about Rohith Vemula's caste or, what opinion he used to hold regarding Yakub's death penalty or, he was a pacifist or belligerent or a warmonger. A person, as I believe, in my country, the country which I have known since my birth, India, has every right to hold his' or her's opinion, even if that opinion is about supporting a convicted person, reasonably & rationally, without mala fide and/or against public policy. I am not even concerned about his likings, his character, his aim (as some said: he wanted a grand protest to shake up India).
I am concerned about the fact that a Ph.D. scholar, a future of India killed himself, the problem I am concerned is not about who killed him ? Because, it is stupid to say "No one killed Rohith" when we know it is a clear suicide, with a nice thought process (reflected in his suicide note). The problem is 'suicide', yes 'suicide'. This problem needs to be addressed.
About 80,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, of these 1,35,00(17%) are residents of India [Suicide prevention (SUPRE) World Health Organization (2012)], a nation with 17.5% of world population.
Between 1987 to 2007 the suicide rates increased with higher suicide rate in southern and eastern states of India, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had the highest suicide rate. Interestingly, the male to female suicide ratio has been about 2:1.
Let's focus on the causes, in 2014, the highest number of people committed suicide due to family problems. In India, about 46,000 suicides occurred each in 15-29 and 30-44 age groups in 2012 - or about 34% each of all suicides
It's completely up to us, what we want to do? Politicize the issue? or address the most important issue in the story? It is easy to say that the person is himself responsible for his death and no one on this earth should be blamed and so we should not bother ourselves much with such personal issues. Every suicide has some cause, and every cause is in some way or the other related to the society, we as a civilized society need to think that what went wrong in our system that such educated, qualified future of our country are killing themselves (80% of the suicide victims were literate, higher than the national average literacy rate of 74%). It is our failure, and I wish to take the responsibility of the failure instead of trying to justify the act of suicide.
Sources of Statistical Data: Suicide prevention (SUPRE) World Health Organization (2012), Suicides in India The Registrar General of India, Government of India (2012), ADSI 2012 Annual Report Glossary, Government of India
By Arghya Samaddar