BY SHAHID SHABEER MALIK
Kulgam youth commits suicide, Budgam boy ends his life, Kupwara boy kills himself, 16 year old consumes poison, 35 year old hangs himself, boy jumps into river and ends his life. 18 year old boy from Baramulla ends his life. Woman commits suicide by jumping into Jhelum. These are the headlines flooding every news channel and social media.
Apart from COVID-19, a new epidemic in the form of suicide has erupted in Kashmir. From the past few weeks, there has been a sudden rise in the number of suicide cases. People of all age groups, mostly youth are ending their lives, either by consuming poison, or hanging themselves, but jumping into rivers has become a trend and counts for most lives lost to suicide. Almost, in every two days, we are encountering a suicide case. The nail in the coffin is that almost everyone who attempted suicide from past few weeks in Kashmir, is a Muslim. Although, it is strictly prohibited in Islam.
The Almighty Allah says in the glorious Quran: And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal ] right. This has he instructed you that you may use reason [Quran 6:51], and , And do not kill yourselves[or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful [Quran 4 29].
It is estimated that suicides have claimed the second highest number of lives after conflict, in Kashmir.
According to a report published by the National Human Rights Commission of India, mentioned that 20,000 people have attempted suicide during the 14 years of socio-political turmoil in Kashmir. About 3,000 of them have died and most of them were in the 16 to 25 age group.
Now, a thought crosses everyone’s mind and a question arises:
There are many reasons for someone attempting suicide, some of which are depression, drugs, relationship failure, academic failure, domestic violence, family pressure, feeling like a burden to others, social isolation, hopelessness, loss or fear of loss, and above all is lack of moral and religious teachings.
Now, we have come to a point where we know why people commit suicide, but another question arises:
How to overcome this menace?
Being an individual, being a part of our society, it becomes our responsibility to take this menace seriously. After all, these are our people, our loved ones who are committing this sin. Suicide is a very complex and serious issue, and we need to work at every level, be it individually or collectively, to get rid of this. We need to guide our loved ones, create awareness programs, organize seminars, start campaigns to overcome this. Authorities must look after the areas that have become hotspots for committing suicide like that of bridges on river Jhelum. Moreover, parents need to teach their children the Islamic ruling on suicide. They should teach them, how big sin it is to commit suicide. Parents should never force their children to pursue a particular field of education. In fact, they should let their children free to choose their career. Drug awareness campaigns must be initiated, as it is a casual cause of suicide.
How to look for warning signs?
We can’t always tell when our loved one or a friend is considering suicide, But they sometimes give us warning signs. Few of them are:
· Talking about suicide as "I'm going to kill myself," "I wish I hadn't been born" or "I wish I were dead".
· Withdrawing social life and choose to live alone.
· Having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next
· Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
· Changing normal routine, including eating or sleeping patterns
· Doing risky or self-destructive things
· Giving away belongings.
· Saying goodbye to people as if they won't meet again
· Developing personality changes
We should refrain ourselves from thinking about committing this grave sin, because committing suicide doesn’t benefit anyone in any manner. In fact, our loved ones suffer, dreams get killed, and above all a life is lost.
To everyone out there, who had this thought or are thinking about committing suicide, I want to say one thing: “Suicide was never an option, and it will never be an option”.
Shahid Shabeer Malik is an undergraduate student currently pursuing computer engineering in Delhi.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.