Suicide among students is on an alarming rise in the past few decades. The reasons for this increasing frustration and despondency among the younger generation is a matter of serious concern as they are going to be the ones who are going to form the Future World. The growing evil is of particular importance to India as there has been a ‘spate of suicides’ in India in the last couple of decades. The last was that of Anitha, the bright but poor girl of Chennai who had worked hard to get admission to the Medical Course for doing Social Service but could not, due to the Medical Council policies, as a result of which she went into deep depression and committed suicide!
Some of the Reasons for this fatalistic tendency are well known, namely, (a) The Fast expanding Syllabus for all courses of Education, at School as well as College level, especially for Professional Courses, which makes it more difficult than before to cope with, alongwith the dearth of well- qualified, dedicated teachers in many of the upcoming schools and colleges as well as well- informed and scrupulous examiners on exam boards . (b) The Rising Population and with it, Tough Competition for admission to Profitable Professional Courses like Medicine, Internet Technology/ Computer Engineering. (c) The Reservation System and the Exorbitant Fees of Private Colleges, because of which several intelligent but economically middle-class or poor students of Upper Castes are unable to get entry to the Professional Courses that they had made their Life’s Ambition and worked hard for, While some mediocre students getting admission on the Backward Caste Reservation quota break down under the Strain of the High Level Curri-culum of the Professional Course chosen by them or their overambi- tious parents for them without thought of their aptitude or inclination, is one more factor for precipitation of Suicide among students.
The Ace Challenge is, things being as they are, How any improvement can be made in the conditions leading to depression among students. First of all, parents of young boys and girls should be made to realise that while education is important, they should not emphasise qualification in any particular sphere to such an extent that in case their child does not get admission to say, MBBS or Engineering, he or she is led to feel that he/she has failed to fulfil the parents’ ambitions, and is not worthy to face people or to live; or that there is nothing left in life to live for. He or she should be brought up with a positive attitude and more than one single option such as, “It would be good if you could get admission for Medicine or Engineering, or pass IAS etc., and you have to work hard for it; but even if you do not get selected, or fail to get through the course, you are still our beloved and Worthy child, and we will find out some other gratifying or paying opening for you. For hard work and self-confidence can make a person capable of doing well in any field!” So, ideally, a youngster should be allowed to select a stream in school and college career that befits his/her interests and aptitude, rather than the parents imposing their ambitions onto him/her for boosting their own image in society!
Secondly, Life is precious and should not be taken, even if it’s one’s own. For one doesn’t have to live only for oneself, but for our near and dear ones who need us, too. Only if one is so disabilitated or helpless, e.g. a quadriplegic, that one is a burden on others than a help, can one be pardoned for thinking of suicide!
This is so far as the students and their parents are concerned, that they should bring up their children to have positive outlook on life, that one should not give up too easily on it.
However,Our Society andGovernment too has to develop more concern and sensitivity towards the students, and provide opportunities for all classes, including the Upper classes whose members are not all rich to avail of paid seats in Private colleges. (a)There should be more Scholarships created as incentives for brilliant students who miss out in getting selection in the General list, (b)Alternatively, the Private colleges should be made to keep a certain quota of seats for highly ranking but poor Upper class students(rather than for Backward Castes who are well covered under the Govt. quota), who have not got entry in the Unreserved quota, and with subsidiary fees! After all, the nation too needs clever doctors,highly skilled engineers, scientists as also efficient admistrators and good teachers . Otherwise, those who can manage, seek employment abroad and India suffers brain-drain due to its faulty policies related to Education. Or they will commit Suicide like the recent case of Anitha of Chennai. Frankly, Anitha’s case did deserve sympathetic consideration(as she would have got if she had been a Minister’s daughter). Still, Anitha, too, highly disappointed and depressed though she was, should not have taken the ultimate step of committing suicide. She could have joined some other fairly good course like Bachelor of Patient Nursing/ Compounder’s Course or Bachelor of Pharmacy /Physiotherapy, or else, taken up a temporary job tentatively and attempted NEET again the next year. Was Suicide The Only Thing To Do?
I suggest that more subsidiary or short term but socially useful courses should be started, related to the Medical profession, which a student can graduate in (like Polytechnic Diploma courses for Engineering), as for example, First Aid Compounder’s Diploma Course, or GEMS(Graduate in Elementary Medicine and Surgery) , after which he/she can attempt again to get admission to MBBS Course. (If the Medical Council agrees, a Concession of a year or so can be given to those who pass the course, in filling the terms of the degree course). The knowledge gained from the subsidiary course may also help in studying for the Degree course, by making students acquainted with the Basics of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics-Gynaecology and Rural Public Health Services.
The Syllabus and Method of Teaching in Schools also needs some Curtailing and Change. So. many things are stuffed into the minds of children by making them mug details of subjects like History which have no relevance to their practical life, e.g. the dates of birth and death of all the historical characters and of battles fought. NOT that the History of India is an unimportant or dispensable subject. For everyone should know about the Cultural and environmental Grandeur of India in the ancient times, contrary to what the History books published by British writers taught us in English schools in pre-Independent days, that “India was a land of ignorant and uncivilised people who worshipped pagan gods, and who were lifted from that Savage state by the British!” It is now exposed that the foreign invaders (including the Mogul and later Muslim invaders did nof do much good work in India but looted and impoverished it! The point is that the method of teaching of History needs revision, with emphasis on the Independence struggle of many freedom fighters and the social and political leaders of pre Independence times so that the present generation Knows the Value of The Freedom They are Enjoying Today! Yet, the Primary Aim of School Education should be to make the Students conversant with the work or tasks related to daily life, like Bank work, doing small Repairs of House- hold objects, Elements of First Aid or Home Science for example, so as to turn them into ‘Smart, All Round’ Young Boys and Girls’, like ‘Smart Cities’, instead of mere impractical ‘Book Worms’ or ‘Nerds’, by the time they clear SSC, or graduate from High School at 18 years,viz.Age of Majority!
Coming back to the Main Topic, Suicide Is Not, and Should Not Be The Way out to resolve problems or depression. That is Escapism! Young boys and girls should not wear their heart on their sleeves so that Suicide presents as the only option in the face of acute disappointment or seeming hopelessness. The Upcoming Generation needs to develop a Fighting Spirit or Tenaciousness to stay on despite odds, as our parents had. Imagine how our life wluld have become if they too had sought refuge to escape from their hardships and failure to achieve their dreams by committing Suicide. THERE ARE MORE THAN ONE WAY FOR DOING PUBLIC SERVICE OR HELPING ONE’S FAMILY, If That is Honestly One’s Main Aim of Life and Reason for choosing a Vocation like Medicine, and SUICIDE certainly DOES NOT SERVE THAT AIM. PERIOD!
Of late one more unexpected and bizarre, as also morbid new cause of student suicides has come up in the recent years, thanks to the ‘advanced’ Internet Technology, viz. the ‘BLUE WHALE GAME’ that has crept into India from the US, which INDUCES and INSTRUCTS GULLIBLE STUDENTS TO PROGRESS TOWARDS THEIR OWN DEATH THROUGH 50 STAGES, SUICIDE BY ONE WAY OR THE OTHER BEING THE LAST, by a sort of Mesmerism whereby the partaker in the game is driven by the hope of some illusory award on reaching the end, like getting to see the RARE BLUE WHALE! Thankfully, our Supreme Court has taken serious note of the Dangerous Trap laid for vulnerable young minds by the Perverse Game, and has issued notice to the Central Government to take steps to Ban It In India, and Instruct parents and teachers to Monitor their children’s and students’ Online and Social Media Activities!
It is learnt that the Indian Judiciary has refused to declare the Social Evil of Marital Rape as a cognisable crime in the Indian Criminal Penal Code, simply because the Conjugal Relationship in Marriage is a Sacred Bond according to Indian Culture. The other unadmitted reason is that the wife is supposed to be a property and chattel of her husband and is obliged to serve him as a Sex Slave and Child bearing Machine, regardless of her own satisfaction – or suffering, whatever the conjugal relationship may bring to her! The Supreme Court’s Resolution, Not to regard Marital Rape as a Cognisable Crime Against Wives in the Indian setting, is therefore very unfair and callously unmindful of the Married Women’s Suffering. For, as a matter of fact, it is for this very ‘cultural’ reason that Indian Women, as it is, are already very hesitant to make legal complaint about this problem in their married life unless it is very grievous and unbearable, due to fear of Social Disapproval and Ostracism in this Patriarchal Society, just like in other cases of rape.
Yet, if the Indian Legislators are bent on taking a more lenient view of this form of ill-treatment of wives by their ‘Pati Parmeshwar’ or Shauhar, the minimum that they can do is to make Legal Provision for the Police and Courts to order Medical Examination of the plaintiff wife for any marks of violence or brutality on her person, including her Private parts, and if the same are found, declare the case as one of Marital Rape in that particular case at least (terming it as a case of Marital Violence like Wife- battering if they wish) , in the interest of Protection of Women’s Rights and Welfare.
If this much exemption is not made in the Laws relating to Forcible Sexual Imposition or Violence in marriage, it will breed general Dislike and Distrust instead of Love andTrust in the minds of Indian Women towards the Institution of Marriage and towards Men, as well as Lack of Concern, Love and Respect towards the wishes and Comfort of the Wife in the Attitude of the Men on the other hand, which will lead to practical legalisation of Sexual Slavery of Indian Wives in the name of Indian Culture ,thereby spoiling the Husband-Wife relationship in India, in the Long Run. For today’s women no longer need to be as dependent for their livelihood on their husbands as before.
Alternatively, the disillusion- ment in the minds of girls regarding the respect and concern of husbands towards their wives, and the well being of married women, will lead to their loss of respect and trust towards the Institution of Marriage, and give way to rise in the incidence of loose Live-in Relationships as in the Western Societies, for which Only our narrow-sighted, male chauvinist Indian Laws will be responsible!