Whether it is 65,000 suicides by married men or more than 12,000 farmer committing suicide every year. Majority is men, it is as high as twice the number of suicides by women in India. On an average, every 9 minutes, a married man commits suicide. But why are so many men committing suicide in spite of living in an otherwise patriarchal world? These statistics haunt me and any person who still has some humanity left in them, would be hating these statistics.
So, what is being done to stop this?
Answer is NOTHING!
A bitter truth is that nothing is being done for years by government and the society to reduce these. In fact the way men are doing it, this year it may cross more than 1 man committing suicide every 5 minutes. It’s not like government or society doesn’t know about it — that was the story a few years back. Now they do know, and willingly ignore it. Men have been a disposable entity in society. They are born and brought up to die for others. For that matter, it could be common for a man spending 15 hours daily to earn bread for their family ignoring his health and dying early, or an army man/fire-fighter to save others, or F1 racer to entertain others (a risky game where they drive to entertain crowd irrespective of each race having a more than 25% chance of an accident). They get misled by people in the name of families, country, saving women and children, being strong or sometime to boost – the famous termed used is “MARD”.
So, what do they get in return after making themselves vulnerable to death? They get tagged as rapists, wife beaters, irresponsible, Kamine (scoundrels), heartless etc. Assume an army man who comes to city to meet his family, and he has incident of a girl alleging him for molestation or an argument with wife, people will start abusing him ,“He is taking out his frustration on innocent people” and all the respect he think he has gained at border while risking his life for others will vanish. Yes! it is true, and god forbid if you die at a young age of 30-35 years, the first thought your family and friends will have is “Who will take care of people behind?”, “Poor son needs to take up his father’s role now” (another man needs to be prepared to die), “He didn’t leave anything for family. In fact, a loan is due.” (reason we have so many insurances now a days).
These are so called natural death scenarios as stated by society for men, but for me they are cold-blooded murders. Now let us come to suicides, the key reasons which have been found for suicides of men in India are “Family Problem” or “Illness”. In fact many a man commit suicide owing to “Illness” as they are grappled by family issues or forced to go on a guilt trip by family and responsibilities.
Family problem, is a vast term. Men being introvert by nature never share their problems, they are taught to be Manly (MARD), live life without tears (boys do not cry), etc. The general mindset for problems faced by men are that they never exist. Men facing issues at home, they keep their problems to themselves because of various reasons, the highly recognized ones are: “What other people will think of me, I can’t solve simple issues?” or sometimes “I know they will never understand”. The issues like kitchen fights, mood swings, changing hormones, changes in priorities after marriage etc are primarily identified for women by us but we must understand that they are equally reasonable and exist for men as well.
For example, an usual argument between wife and her mother-in-law over kitchen upsets wife and mother both, and when a man comes back home and see their red faces he gets equally frustrated, in fact, more. He comes home, tired, after having pathetic day at office, standing in bus for 2 hours just to see anger in his wife’s and mother’s eyes. His rest of the night goes in making his mother understand his wife and pleasing his wife to deal with his mother. This unnecessary burden being put on men pushes his state of mind towards thinking of “What the hell I am living in”. This being half of the story, sometime his wife pushes him with unreasonable demands ending up in failed marriage with court cases putting him in deeper shit than ever. The other inherent scenario of family reason for suicide is unable to meet increasing family demands (e.g. farmers suicide); it could be an expensive gift or vacation for wife or an inappropriate demand from kids or harassment by society, police, laws etc; men are always under pressure to earn more and maintain peace at home with no concern about their own needs, their health or their happiness for that matter ending up committing suicide and ending it once for all.
So, why one should not commit suicide or how we can help them in thinking otherwise:-
- Every problem has a solution. So, whatever you are going through it has not only one solution but many. Only thing you need is patience to find the right solution.
- Every problem has a life. In software, we say every problem has a life. Even if you do not solve, it will disappear soon. So, Chill! This too shall pass!
- Take a break, sometime you need time for yourself. Just stay away from people who create problems and go for a holiday or a fun outing. Sometimes, men need space. Don’t ask from others, just do it.
- Do not worry for others, think about yourself first. This is difficult with the kind of upbringing we men are brought up but not impossible. The most important thing for any individual should be himself. It’s “Me First” principle which can help you here. People were living life before you and they will live after you as well that doesn’t make you unimportant but that tells you something different. Life a precious gift, you were born to live for yourself not for others, be selfish here for your happiness even if it offends your family and friends in situation. Remember in flights we hear “Help yourself, before helping others”.
- Look at others, they may have bigger problems or pain than you. Sometime you feel better when you see a person in bigger pain and your own looks simpler and smaller.
- Delay your plans and call someone. Suicide generally comes after lot of internal pain but it is momentary. If one feels suicidal, he must delay it or call someone to take the shit out of himself, he will smile later on his own thoughts.
- As a friend/family for a man who is under visible or invisible stress, we must do few things.
- Respect Men: – Never heard this before? Yes, even men need to be respected equally as women. They are humans and need love and respect as much as other species need.
- Give them smile: – Try to keep men happy as they never ask or show their tears to others. It is required for men in your life to be happy and spend time with them.
- Do not leave them when they are in bad phase of life, they need you. Family and friends instead of finding his mistakes in difficult time must support them. Make them feel easy and nothing to worry about.
These are just very few of the reasons for suicides we, as men (the ignored gender), face. We have many more problems than what society thinks. Under patriarchy, we have been playing the role of provider or protector but it is time for men to think of themselves and revolt against these conservative rules. We have new cultures upcoming in Indian men like Men’s Rights, MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) and these are picking up because now we have 3 new words for you “Enough is Enough”.
Picture Credit: Gregorio Puga Bailón / Flickr