Why The Concept Of Self-Immolation Makes No Sense To Me

Posted on October 12, 2012 in Specials

By Ram Kumar Gupta:

I believe that self-immolation will not do any good to the person who performs it and also to the person against whom it was performed. I strongly believe if you have no love for your life then why don’t you act like a revolutionary and try to take some other actions against that person who has caused so much pain to you?

On the 11th of June, 1963, a 67-year-old Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức self-immolated himself to death. It is to be noted that American journalist and photographer Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for the photograph of the monk’s death.

The world was shocked after this act and protests against the South Vietnamese government’s first president, Ngô Đình Diệm increased. Even the then President of America, John F. Kennedy said that “no news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.” Finally on November 2nd 1963, with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Diệm was assassinated. This act of self-immolation resulted in the end of Diệm’s reign.

In India, Rajiv Goswami, a former student of Delhi University had attempted self-immolation to protest against the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations. His action led to a movement against job reservations for backward castes, as recommended by the Mandal Commission. His act of self-immolation also led to larger protests throughout India. But nothing has happened till date.He died on February 24, 2004 at the age of thirty-three. His death was due to complications that arose owing to his self-immolation fourteen years earlier.

These are few of the many examples that have a special place in the hearts and minds of people, but I still believe that there is no point in committing an act like this. Instead of harming oneself, one should try to find other solutions as anything can be achieved without having to sacrifice such a beautiful gift of life given to us by God.

Youth Ki Awaaz

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