The Kashmiri language does not have a word for suicide. Not a long ago, it was compared with places like Kuwait where the suicide rate is amongst the lowest in the world. Of late, things seem to be changing for the worse as there has been a substantial increase in such tendencies. In some cases, the hidden trauma of life comes to fore and what unfolds is nothing but heart-wrenching. In such an incident recently, a young man, a B.Tech., from Avial village of Manzgam in D H Pora area Kulgam gulped some poisonous substance before recording a video, citing alleged reasons to take such an extreme step. Even though he was immediately hospitalized, he died on Saturday last, a day after consuming the poison substance.
For him, it was not a suicide but a sacrifice made for all the families who have been subjected to trauma due to the denial of salary to bread earners by the government for years.
“My father has been denied salary for past over two years and we are living a miserable life. There are many more teachers like him. So, I am sacrificing myself for all those so that they get their due,” the young man is heard saying in a hushed tone in the video which later went viral.
The death of a child is the worst nightmare for the parents, one made even worse when it is self-inflicted. Such an incident should not have happened in the first place and when the inevitable has happened now, the government being a welfare-state must probe the reasons and take measures to avoid repetition in future.
The government has responsibility for “every” citizen and ensuring all people get their due must be its focus.
Also as society, everyone including parents, teachers, clinicians, officers and politicians should be asking why and what they can do to prevent it. Covid-19 has had a debilitating effect on livelihood. In such a situation, suicidal tendencies are growing among the people, especially those who have had a severe impact on their livelihoods or those who have lost dear ones. The future that is no longer certain. The economic condition of the people may get worse while inequality may increase as the vast majority of the people are tipped to get poorer, deeper in debt and unhappy. While no one can say with precision why suicide has become such a crisis among the people especially young, there are several factors elucidated by the various experts which the administration need to work out and address the issue with a reasonable haste.