Suicide – a cowardly act
Parents need to care for the children with tenderness and flexibility. When our children go for exams I generally say to them like this: “Do your level best. If you are unable to write well or fail, do not worry. Your life is not dependent on this single exam. Your life is more important than marks.” In the contemporary India, parents are paranoid about exams. They give impression to their children that their whole life and future hangs on a single thread called exams. This has led to many teenage suicides in the country.
Suicides have increased among teenagers, youngsters and couples. There is also increase in the number of suicides by farmers who are unable to pay off their debts. This is a matter of concern as young potential lives are snuffed out for stupid reasons.
Parents are interested in knowledge development for the sake of gaining marks that would guarantee a good college education, good job and stable life. However, they do not focus on character development for life. Success mania is imprinted in the minds of children and they understand their life depends just on marks they score in the exams. Children expect to score high and succeed and there is no room for failure. The failure in exam is considered as failure of life or failure as a person. This misconceived idea does not prepare children to face failure. And management of private schools perceives that children who fail are black mark in their reputation as successful institution. So, they also impart ‘killer instinct’ to succeed in exams. This very ‘killer instinct’ leads to suicide of many students who fail to score satisfying marks.
Parents invest their sweat and blood to give best education for their children. It is natural for them to expect children to fare well and thrive in life. Many parents provide education as the only investment and do not want their stock to collapse. Some desire that their children should come up in life so that the children do not suffer economically as they have. All these good intentions of parents need not be good motivation for children to excel in their studies. In fact, parents exaggerated expectations drives children to depression.
The failure in exam is considered by children as failure to fulfill the expectations of their parents. Also it is perceived as failure to secure stable future for own lives. When this failure is focused into future, it leads to depression and hopelessness. Children interpret their failure as dead end of the road and wish to die. They do not have an understanding that in life journey, failure is just a bend and not an end.
There are more suicide attempts than actual suicides. Each suicide attempt is a call or demand for attention from loved ones around them. The teenagers and youngsters bleed in their hearts that nobody understands them, especially those whom they love and trust. They are not allowed or permitted to communicate their agony. The simple reason is that no one has time to listen to their woes and emotional agony they go through.
Another reason for suicide among youngsters is rejection of their love for someone. Recently a successful IT professional committed suicide as a girl with whom he used to speak and chat (not met her personally) was getting married to someone. He imagined that the girl was his object of love and wanted to marry her. However, he neither proposed this to her nor she reciprocated his suggestion. The young man was not able to express his love to her, but expected her to understand his mind and respond. This unwarranted expectation led him to believe in something that was not true. He killed himself on the basis of assumptions and not facts.
Some other young people commit suicide as their decision to marry was not honoured by their parents or objected by their parents. Even well educated, economically self-supporting youngsters are driven to suicides because of parental pressure. Parents value caste, social opinion or traditions or culture more than the value of youngsters. So, these youngsters unable to fight against such rigid structures kill themselves. They also see hopelessness as their future and extinguish their lives.
Suicides are great loss to nation and humanity. The homes have to nurture the children in character building. They should be taught that life is more valuable than exams, marks, results. There is a need for change in the attitude of teachers and school management. They cannot sacrifice the lives of young people to retain the reputation of their institutions – which are geese that lays golden eggs. Society has to change the attitudes. Caste identity, traditions and family honour that are invisible and are mere perceptions should not be valued more than lives. It is unfortunate the culture values them more than human lives. Media instead of liberating people from such regressive ideas, celebrates such ideas. Media should campaign for values and denounce suicide as cowardly act.