SIR, The article, “Thoughts of suicide are a medical emergency” by Dr. Vijay Kumar Harbishetter is a timely caveat both medically and socially. Compliments to The Statesman for having published the piece.
In India the number of suicide cases has increased at an alarming rate from 1,13,914 in 2005 to 1,39,123 in 2019 though the actual rate may be higher.
The suicide rate in West Bengal is also high. The reasons that drive people to suicide are varied. Inability to cope with academic pressure, failure in examinations or in life, unsuccessful love affairs, dire poverty, unemployment, family breakdown, chronic diseases , psychological and physical torture, mental and sexual abuse, depression and loneliness are some of the factors.
In recent times, the lockdowns due to the pandemic have added to woes. Farmers’ suicide and those by migrant workers have added to the numbers.
Each of these reasons causes a person to feel helpless. Many believe that taking one’s own life is an act of cowardice or even a sin.
This shows that few understand the desperation that leads a person to take such a step.
Instead of facing contempt, such persons need humanitarian responses. considerations. They need mental support and medical counselling.
Attempted suicide has been decriminalized. Now it is society’s turn to change. For instance, the way the survivor of a suicide attempt is treated can go a long way in deciding whether the person finds the will to live and start life anew. A little bit of humanity and empathy can work wonders. One setback in life is not the end of the world.
Those close to suicide victims also deserve consideration for they too are scarred by the event. Medical counselling and treatment on an emergency basis should be provided to all those in need to prevent the untimely end of a precious life. It is never too late to ask for help and offer a helping hand.
SIR, If the allegations of the Rajya Sabha MP Sukhendu Sekhar Ray against the growing misuse of Central agencies by the ruling party at the Centre come true, legal steps are absolutely imperative to stop such highhandedness.
The courts while taking cognizance of chargesheets may also look into the illegality of the Central agencies in suppressing names of the tainted leaders of the saffron party.