Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Suicide is the greatest crime because it makes any crime to be done impossible- Students should evolve self help group to reduce rate of suicide

Today I came across a blog. Nicely written on increasing suicidal tendency in higher institutes.The generational change in attitude is ok but one must remember that this (Hindu)civilization of ours in too old to say precisely and we have to remember that the answers to many maladies rest more going away from the 'norms' than 'sticking' with some of them.
Let me exemplify it. Only yesterday I read in a Hindi daily(Hindustan) that a doctor son( Jha)of a senior officer Jha committed suicide in a Ranchi Ashok ashram apartment for his failure in marriage with a daughter of other senior Maithil officer working in Delhi with whom a divorce petition was pending on court for judgement.
Apart from titles that they are from my Maithil Brahmin clan, I do not know them bit share a point with the victim that when I had my failure in marriage in 1989,with my lovely MBBS wife who thought I would earn; I wanted to commit suicide and place and mode too I had decided,’ to jump in sea from the rocks of Vivekanand Rock,Kanyakumari," (I had collected in 1963 when I was only 8 years old, some money by selling 10 paise stamps at my home town, Forbesganj on Indo-Nepal border, where probably Jaya too had studied)for which like a squirrel for putting some sands bringing on her body when Ramsetu was being made). I thought to write my views as ’ suicidal note' my autobiography (though written those 169 pages then and due to Advani's PS Chopra's saying of protocol of 15 days when Advani was DYPM, it could not be released and in 'suspended animation' that 'The Autobiography of an Unknown Medico' is enlarged to 368 pages with no publisher).
If a boy is given a 'constructive mould' suicide can be decreased.
After all why hankering for IITs itself! When we were students (in 1970 I had SSC) I was not aware of IIT. Modern IT has widened the awareness. Whether it has also not increased ‘ rat race' for physical things.
Unless the modern advances are joined with the 'spiritual satiety' crimes of every type will increase including 'suicide',(which according to a great philosopher Chesterton, a friend of G. Bernard Shaw, "is the greatest crime because it makes any crime to be done impossible)"
Therefore one should train is/her child to(and first himself/herself) to be satisfied with whatever results or things could have.
Then the intellectual objection will be that without competition progress will be halted. Well, one should be therefore trained for 'healthy competition' like games.
And finally, there are some ‘ suicidal trailts' ,I feel genetically endowed too which needs taking consultations from trained psychiatrists(or mature persons and friends).
If any boy/girl says 'wants to commit suicide' he/she needs immediate treatment with antidepressant drugs. Any such uttering should be taken seriously.

As a doctor I face such cases and know in the vicinity of Shyamali colony(where in famous schools such case are not infrequent. So much so that one of my senior friend, a retired GM of SAIL, RN Chatterjee had for long taken the project of counselling of such students. One of the causes of such cases are guardians high expectations. True, in this colony where scores of IITians/BITians(in previous days BIT Sindri and or Mesra had almost equal and even better reputation than IITs when they were in their infancy) work forget that even if they were ‘toppers’, among the new students of such high reputed schools will have only one ‘topper’.
And every son is not like Syma Prasad(of Asutosh Mukherjee) or Amarnath Jha( of Ganganath Jha) or Damodar Thakur(of Pushkar Thakur). Whether intelligence has any relation to genes. Human Genome Projects said ‘No,’ but I had doubt and in one of medical conferences, famous Indian geneticist, Dr. Das Gupta, was non-committal on my query and now some papers are coming that this does have relations.

In 1977, I had visited Vashishtha Narayan, topper of Higher Seconday in Bihar who was then famous mathematician and was admitted under the care of Dr. Davis, at Kanke ,Ranchi. I asked Dr. Davis relationship between ‘intelligence and insanity.” He explained something then beyond the scope of a IV Year MBBS student but he appreciated me. He told me that Vashishtha ill health has a bearing from his failed marriage (with a lady from maybe some high up, he himself was a son of policeman and could get into Netarhat School).
While returning from Kanke, I went to meet Dr. H.C. Mishra(of Jaya’ neighbourhood, Gosaigaon village) . He had been very affectionate to me since my ISc days and he even had corrected my notes on Air, water,etc. Dr. Mishra told me that Vashishtha’s problembs were due to high expectations from him (Vashishtha had joined ISI but could not produce the required number of research papers).
Then I asked the same question from Dr.KC Prasad, just retired now as HOD, Mathematics, Ranchi University. He told me that when Vashishtha was admitted in the Science College,Patna(then aspiration for any brilliant student of Bihar- I too got an opportunity but could not take admission due to several abscesses in body) Vashishtha was allotted a room in the Faraday House there besides his. That year MSc batch was not good enough and once the famous teacher, Narendra Nath asked some problem which could not be solved by MSc students. He had just other class in BSc I and he put the same problem which was solved by Vashishtha. Pleased Narendra Nath recommended Vashishtha’s name for special Honours examination ; University did so arrange only for him; he was spared of pass subjects’ papers of chemistry and physics; Narendra Nath used to come to hostel to guide Vashishtha for Math (Hons) papers and he got honours and then went abroad and then the story of joining ISI, marriage with a Bengali girl(probably) coming from an aristocratic family and his mental breakdown!
So what was the cause- his genes, his sudden uplift in academics, his failures in expectations from ISI or failure in marriage by accomplished wife- one or some of them or all!
Probably all have contributed.
See the change in society in one generation. For some 20 years, Science College did not remain Mecca for brilliants- it became CBSE DAV/DPS.
Guardians aspired more than students for their child to join IIT. IIT coaching has been a 500 crore rupees industry- more famous than Kota cement. ( Now they will turn to +2 80 percentile business!)
Prof. Yashpal was saying yesterday on TV that Indian IITs should diversify to attract talents other than from coaching group and so 80 percentile has been said(not per cent but top 20 per cent students of any board can appear for IITs). Kapil Sibbal has to refrain after Nitish wrote a letter that 80 per cent marks will obstruct rural Biharis to enter into. I feel Bihar Board should amend itself to give equally higher marks as do CBSE Schools and GOI should see all boards mark at equal grade for the same pattern of question.
I know an honours in medicine(75 per cent marks do fetch an honours in medical subjects ) is as difficult as to get a first class in English in BA/MA. Because the examiners themselves had not got that mark will not award to any student.
I said once at Kolkata, only examiner of Dr.Rajendra Prasad was honest that he found ‘examinee better than examiner,’ while in fact every class has at least one student better than the teacher lest the students become doctor, engineer and teacher retiring at the same school.

I am surprised why so much importance to IIT itself. . Raman, Khorana,Venkatraman were not products of IIT. Any IIT/AIIMS is not out of India. Indian taxpayers have been bled to shape t you and you should be conscious of that responsibility. It is not a station to go abroad for some petty gains.

Brilliant students do not opt for research but became manager. Many IITians find such fabulous job in the market more on their other talents than the talent based on PCM/ engineering skills. Several go to IAS- this years’ topper is an IIT,Roorki girl.
The mad rat race to materialism will hamper the growth of science.

Any student once admitted to any institute may not maintain the same rank and as said Fs can become better. Who can be better F than Einstein himself?
Students should evolve self help group to reduce rate of suicide and institutions should make committees to help stressed students Teachers too need counselled for not making students stressed.
If any such self help group is formed anywhere I will be happy to share my experience.

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