Sobering thoughts on some recent suicides in Bangladesh


In the last 10 months the women’s and human rights organisations have enumerated the violence inflicted on the women and girls in Bangladesh that is as follows: 489 women were raped, 53 women and 23 girls were killed, after being raped, 4 girls committed suicide after being raped, 71 had acid thrown on them, 342 were subjected to dowry-related violence, 210 women and 7 girls were killed, 102 women were tortured, 21 women committed suicide, after being tortured. It was the worst in three years the organisations said. Due to such slide in law and order and other forms of injustices in Bangladesh people of all walks of life tend to take life. A few of them and the root causes behind them are examined here.

 Ten to one it is social insecurity that leads up to despair, prompting one to take one’s life. Injustice in either form also frustrates one, particularly girls creating suicidal propensity in them. But in the case of boys frustration in either form may make them masochist — the enjoyment of something that most people would find unpleasant or painful. Or they may be encouraged to be absolutists if recruited by any revolutionary or extremist groups, be it leftist or rightist. As change and diversity are probably inbuilt in human psyche, so they shift often from old ideas to newer ones. If the old and inherited belief and thought can adapt to changes, can only sustain and survive in the world.
Revolutionists cash the failures of those old and established theories and recruit people both conscious and the inexperienced sections of a society. Particularly the disadvantaged and the poor respond to the call of the revolutionists, sending a new message to the advantaged section. And to materialize the dream of change these despaired-turned-absolutists mobilize opinion of their following initially and the mass people ultimately. Moreover if the voices of the downtrodden and the oppressed aren’t allowed to be heard, their grievances aren’t vented and their media gagged, no wonder such restriction and ban may give rise to suicide bombing. As is the case with suicide bombing on an Awami League MP’s residence in Kushtia-1, killing three persons on the spot on November 13.
Afazuddin Ahmad, the lawmaker himself was injured in the suicide attack. It implies a vested group cashed in on the despair and personal grievances of human bomber, who blew himself to kill the MP and his men. Usually suicide bombers are found in those countries where foreign aggressions take place. But it sounds almost improbable for a secular political activist to turn into suicide bomber for an internal feud or conflict only for taking revenge on fellow activists of the same political camp. Lawmen can take the matter seriously as the intra-party clash coupled with hatred might have reached such a point that some activists like the self-sacrificing freedom fighters are ready to lay down their lives. Or if the lawmen claim that it happened normally then it can be assumed that for extreme hopelessness life to this generation has no value. So they can throw away it anytime for a trifle cause and even for nothing.
So law enforcer have chance to give a second thought to the suicide bombing certainly if they are allowed by. Lax law enforcement by the executive, one of the important elements of a democratic state, accounts for many unnatural deaths and delay in justice dispensation by the judiciary might be equally responsible for suicides of the affected. Initially it happens in small scale but if the situation worsens and persists for years, suicide en masse is not impossible and its possibility can’t be ruled out. Rita, Paban and Payel’s suicide might be an example of family suicide or suicide en masse.

Nutritionists say malnutrition for years posses no less danger than frustration for mental imbalance. Low calorie intake may also affect psycho-physical health by debilitating the person. Nervous breakdown is likely to goad one to take life.

Some social scientists believe the media of the opposition may be partly responsible a few suicides though not directly. If media both print and electronic continue to run and air negative reports particularly on those which are related to social, industrial, sexual, financial, religio-political crimes may create chaos and pandemonium in the mind and sense of the readers, viewers and listeners of different societies. Subscription for long to such a media which most of the time run stories on govt misrule as well as seamy sides of a society may fall sick, resulting in great despair as well as risking suicide.

And as anyone doing job under a bad boss may come under unbearable stress and has no way to switch to another job or quit that might indulge in drug addiction as a result of stress and duress. If anyone is forced to do anything that he disagrees with and dislikes vehemently is most likely to commit a crime with the possibility of compulsive disorder and even suicide as is the case with DCC official’s suicide. Even a high official languishing in establishment ministry as OSD (officer on special duty) for years may feel dishonored, preferring death. Out of such frustration DCC official Shahidur Rahman, who was made OSD in July 2009, allegedly committed suicide with his licensed pistol on Aug 16, 2010. In a state depression he suffered humiliation that resulted in numbness of limb followed by
stroke. In the same way if an official are deprived of their rights including promotions and others, may be prompted to take life during the culmination of deprivation.

The suicidal propensity of the US soldiers forcefully sent to Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields to fight unethical wars is phenomenal. Many of the western soldiers forced to do unethical wars in different parts of the world either take life or harm their mental health. Extreme poverty coupled with burden of loan may frustrate a man, eventually killing himself. As is the case with suicides of several lakh marginal landless farmers in India, which aspires to dominate the whole Asia.
Sometimes some believers may be highly despaired if they come in contact with the fellows who claim to be faithful and practising atheism but their works don’t match their words. Disbelief and loss of trust in people also severely tell upon the fabric of society and generations at large. Last but not the least disbelief in Allah may be held responsible for killing oneself. That Allah is a great dispenser of justice, friend of the oppressed who feel having none to help in great danger and wallow in despair, turns to be a great relief. This very sense might act as walloping source of life in a sea of troubles.

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