Sometimes suicide seems like the only option, but it is not
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”
-- CS Lewis
Without abruptly making the decision to end your life, think again: Is suicide the only path in front of you?
This tragic act of killing oneself not only kills a human being, but also casts a shadow and leaves everyone who held them dear devastated -- a most traumatizing event.
This unholy decision of taking one’s own life can come about as a result of one being a damsel in depression, or maybe they have been harassed, or because of failures to reach certain expectations, or because they have been humiliated or tormented by some means.
But is that beneficial? Does anyone have a better solution to escape this excruciating pain of the body and the soul?
Yes, we do have problems, and it is true to say that is how life goes, with obstacles in every step, the road is never a straight one, but that does not mean we can get away from it. There may be some ways to get away from it by solving it. And that is why our family and friends play a vital role in shaping our lives in helping and nurturing our brain and souls when we are distressed. But instead, if we let the agitation grow, things get worse and out of hand.
The recent incident of the suicide by the Viqarunnisa student has left the whole country shocked, our educational institutions imbalanced, and society trembling with fear of how such a beautiful young girl could take away her own life.
Was it only the pressure from the school authority, or were there other stressors that led her to take this decision? The school authority has already taken some actions against the teachers involved. And we hope to see actions being taken so that in the future we do not see such mishaps arising out of an educational institution.
A school is where the very seed of knowledge is sown into our brains, so that we may grow and shine, and for steering our beautiful minds in the right direction.
In the penal code, abetment of suicide has been defined in Section 306, which states that:
If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Thus, we do have a law in the country ensuring that no one instigates, or conspires against, others to commit suicide. It was decided and reported in a case that this Section 306 provides for punishment to the person only in the case where a suicide is abetted and intended, but unfortunately, there is no provision in our laws to punish such a person whose cruel behaviour drags a married woman to commit suicide, but Section 113A of the Indian Evidence Act and Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code provide punishment in such cases, and it is expected that our parliament shall enact similar laws.
According to a survey report conducted by the WHO, close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds. Now, this is alarming, and we must work to build a society where people can think and live freely by limiting our stress, and lead a safe and healthy life. And we encourage our children and our society to get out of the social stigmas and deal matters more practically. Even the Holy Qur’an says (verse 4:29): “And do not kill yourselves. Surely, God is Most Merciful to you.” Further in verse 94:5, the holy Qur’an conveys: “So verily, with hardship, there is ease.”
Sabrina Zarin is the Partner in FM Associates and an advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.