Recently, the NCRB published a report with shocking statistics on suicide cases. According to this report, in India, farmer and labourer suicide cases are on the rise. In 2019, around 42,480 farmers and labourers committed suicide. In comparison to 2018, the numbers are 6% higher.
As per the report, in 2019, farmer’s suicide cases dropped, but labourer’s suicide cases saw a rise of 8%. As per the data, in 2019 around 10,221 farmers and 32,559 labourers committed suicide, whereas in 2018 10,357 farmers and 30,132 labourers committed suicide. If filtered gender-wise, the data suggest that a high number of male farmers committed suicide.
The states that are most affected are Bihar, Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh. While mainstream news is not doing a prime time story on this issue, even our Prime Minister is silent on the plight of farmers and migrant workers.
Anti-CAA-NRC activist Sarim Ali Khan said, “This is indeed shocking and this trend is on the rise from the last few years.” He said that many activists had used the Shaheen Bagh protest site to highlight the plight of farmers and the rising cases of suicide among them. Still, unfortunately, the mainstream, sold-out media have deliberately showcased it as a communal movement. Indeed, the Shaheen Bagh protest site was mainly about the CAA and NRC, but it was also about the destructive policies of the Modi government towards farmers and the slowdown in the economy.
He said that communal debates by TV channels could no longer work as a tool to shift the attention of viewers from mainstream issues of the falling economy and farmer suicides. Many farmers from Punjab came to join the Shaheen Bagh protest and distributed langar for many days. They gave solidarity to the anti-CAA-NRC protesters. The women of Shaheen Bagh allowed them to use the stage to highlight the plight of farmers suicide.
To have a better understanding of the report, around 116 farmers and approximately 38 unemployed youth are giving up their lives every day. The data suggest that in 2019 around 14,019 unemployed youth committed suicide. Experts are suggesting that the cases could be higher in 2020 as the economy is on the verge of collapsing.