Is Suicide Really The Only Way Out?

Posted on November 15, 2012 in Society

By Bhaskar H. Narula:

The advent of miseries is unexpected. No one waits for it and no one cherishes it. Miseries are never desired and the lack of preparedness for facing these troubles lands us in trap of unending thoughts. Life moves from a temporal happy phase to a periodical unruly state. When there seems to be nothing left in life, humans opt for putting an end to it. Suicide comes as a threat in disguise. Is it really worth it?

Suicide is an act of killing oneself, it is a self-planned murder. Suicide is illegal in India. If you are a survivor of suicide, you will find yourself punished under Sections 309 and 306 of the Indian Penal Code. The punishment for the survivor goes up to ten years of imprisonment. India condemns suicides by penalizing the survivors. We as a country constitute 20% of suicides, attempted all over the world. The age group which is most prone to suicides is 25-40 years. However, recent studies show an increase in number of cases of child suicides.

As one may have heard, people attempt suicides generally due to economic, emotional and social burdens. Each one of it has an impact on the person and compels him to opt for the last resort (as termed by wise people). The economic condition of a person committing suicide is found to be one of the major factors. India is an agricultural and developing nation. We are a land of economic reforms right from the 1992 crisis to the 2012 economic doom. We have tonnes of people living below the poverty line. Such people seem to be incapable of earning one square meal for their family. The boom of economic reforms and debt pressures along with inflation are increasing the cost of essentials day by day thus forcing people to sleep on an empty stomach. Such people, who are economically weak, tend to beg, borrow and steal in order to earn the bread and butter for their family. The deteriorating conditions of economy of the country further pressurize them to cut their life short.

Humans are led by emotions. Our life is driven by emotions — both positive and negative. Sometimes emotions help us perceive things, while sometimes the way we perceive things shape our emotions. Emotional harmony is necessary in the society in order to ensure social harmony. Emotional stress varies from stress from the family front, relationships or depression. Depressions and mental disorders lead to a considerable number of suicide cases. Counsellors have been proven to be most helpful in assisting people with emotional imbalance. They counteract the negative thoughts of a person and help them burst the cloud of pessimism.

Another prompting factor of suicides is social disturbance. In India, our actions are governed by our society, which are not always acceptable by our conscience. They may result in inner conflicts, this making it unacceptable to those with different beliefs. Such differences make a person unfit for the society. A feeling of being ostracized by one’s own society takes a considerable toll and compels a person to take a step towards his/her end.

During the past few years, the number of students committing suicides seems to have increased. Counsellors feel that it is the pressure of studies which leads to the same. Recent newspapers are filled with instances of suicides by students of all ages, primary classes included. Such actions are nothing but shocking. It is learned from the surveys that there is a lag in proper education, moral support and awareness among the people. People are found to have committed suicide before even trying to figure out their problems. We tend to be pessimists. Westernization and the advancement of technology has left people with no time to communicate and meet people they love. We don’t have the time for socializing in person. We tend to have masked faces and hide our realities and problems even from our close ones. The vacuum created leaves no hope for comforting the person who is suffering. Suicide comes as the only resort.

Social Networking sites like Facebook have been catering millions of people. An average adult is estimated to be spending at least 2-3 hours online. Socializing online is a common trend. People tend to socialize more on the visual front and avoid meeting others in person. This has again created a gap which leads to emotional and social stress. Another form of stress which is generated by socializing is of social acceptability, online. Changing profile pictures, statues and updates, demand likes and comments of friends. In case a person lags behind in the number of likes he gets on his pictures, he seems to be stressed owing to the same. There have been cases of suicides owing to vulgar content posted on people’s profiles and a fear of being banished from the web and the society.

Life is always presumed to be a bed of roses. Reality does not necessarily match our beliefs. We as citizens of an emotionally and economically disturbed country need to understand that ups and downs are a part of life. The wheel of happiness and sadness rotates at the same pace and both pass away eventually. All we need to do is to strive constantly to improve our actions and fate would then be our slave. Don’t waste your life as it is a divine gift.

There has been a social stigma attached with the survivors of suicide. Society disowns such people. The will to live is far more powerful than the desire to die. There is a need to understand people who attempt suicide. The IPC Sections 306 and 309 condemn the act. Now, the question that arises is, are such people criminals who need to be jailed for 10 years or are they patients who need proper counselling, help and support? The question needs an answer from us who make this society. Acceptance is something victims demand.

It is quite easy to question the decision made. However, there are many perspectives of a decision that is taken. Apart from those who are mentally weak, nobody commits suicide happily. Circumstances and the lack of adequate support are usually the reasons for a person to take this extreme step. What is lacking then? Is it the strong will to drive suicidal victims from the insanity of such a decision or being a helping hand acting in order to help them gain acceptance in the society? We need to think about it.

The article is also featured on the author’s personal blog