By Vijay Phanshikar:
THE problem of suicides by youngsters may be rooted in families with confused idea of life as well as ill-defined idea of success, happiness, and human completeness. It may be related to an inadvertently built sense of insecurity in the family as a whole. It may be stemming from unrealistic expectations of the family and the larger society from the youngsters. But then, this is not an expert’s opinion. At best, this is a layman’s observation that needs to be tested against scientific constructs of psychology so that a proper handling of the issue can be ensured.
Yet, years and years of keen observation of various social issues and developments has led one to believe that the fundamental responsibility of the family is to build a physically healthy and mentally contented child. Also, it is the fundamental responsibility of the family to give the little one an atmosphere of security not just from want but also from venomous and demonic desires and expectations. In many homes, such an awareness is available in a heartening manner. In many homes, conscious efforts are made to build certain realism toned up by idealism as an essential parameter of familial atmosphere. In many homes, kids are raised in the most natural manner without burdening them unnecessarily with adult ideas that actually go against the grain of childhood. However, even if one uses the term ‘many homes’, in actuality those are only just a few homes -- found in very small numbers.
And that is the nemesis of the larger Indian society of today. Most unfortunately, in countless homes, the feeling of home is missing, the sense of family is absent, and a spiritual connect among members as the primary unit of living is not available.
This may be the actual problem that we, as a society, need to take care of. For, it is our failure if we build our families in such a manner that seeds of failed families get sown. When a child feels terribly lonesome, horribly insecure, and irretrievably beyond redemption, he (or she) drives himself (or herself) to suicide. Most unfortunately, the number of such families is increasing, as many studies as well as individual observations indicate. This reality, if we are willing to give it serious enough a thought, must have led countless youngsters to end their lives for absolutely no reason.
But when extreme despair overtakes reason, extremes steps are taken. In my opinion, this may be the only reason why countless youngsters are driven to ending their lives for things like failure to meet family’s and society’s expectations in academics to failure to win the heart of a beloved or garnering a job too ...! How do we tackle the challenge, then? To this question, there is no easy answer.
Yet, the best answer is to start taking care of our families and homes by creating an atmosphere of security in everybody’s head and heart. We do not have to be loose in our moral norms, but we need not be raucously strict about certain issues so much so that we convert our homes into places where there is no freedom to commit mistakes and later to correct those and redeem oneself. In actual terms, this may not be too tall an order.