Tag Archives: Suicides

Pondicherry Ashram Suicides and The Spiritual Surrender: Bobby Kunhu

Guest post by BOBBY KUNHU

On 17th December there was a dramatic sequence where, the youngest of a family of aged parents and five sisters who were inmates of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry attempted suicide by jumping off a water tank. The police rescued the woman, booked her and her sisters for attempt to suicide and released them on bail. This was following a Supreme Court order evicting them from the ashram at the end of a decade long struggle against the ashram. Their demand was simple that the management of the Ashram be taken over by the State to contain the corruption within. On the morning of 18th December, the family of seven decided to walk into the sea. Three died, four were rescued. Amongst the four who were rescued, one was allegedly raped by two men in her state of unconsciousness.

The South Asian spiritual landscape perhaps is the most diverse – ranging all hues and shades of spirituality cutting across religions and castes and has attracted followers internationally including celebrities like the Beatles, Isaac Tigrett (the founder of Hard Rock Café) and many others. Without exception, all of these spiritual groups ask for “total” surrender, though the terms of this surrender would differ from group to group. And many have willingly surrendered! For a non-believer it might be difficult to understand this leap of faith. But, for the believer this becomes the single most important event in her/his life. Even more important than birth marriage, love or death! And, when the terms of surrender is breached – though all hell breaks loose, people cling on to their faith. Despite “Sexy Sadie”, Paul McCartney held that Transcendental Meditation was a gift The Beatles had received from the Maharishi at a time when they were looking for something to stabilise them. In the BBC documentary The Secret Swami Tigrett stated that he believed that there was truth to the rumors of Sai Baba’s actions of pedophilia and sexual abuse towards some of his young male followers, but also such rumours would not change his belief in the Baba. Continue reading Pondicherry Ashram Suicides and The Spiritual Surrender: Bobby Kunhu

Let us break the ‘silence’on Telengana movement: Sridhar Modugu

Guest post by SRIDHAR MODUGU

It is no exaggeration to say today that Telangana is burning. Nor will we be far off the mark if we suspect that a paralyzing fear has encased its ‘intellectuals”. Everyone is lost in providing testimonies to prove themselves to be pro-Telangana and everybody is a self-accomplished activist.  In fact, the intellectuals have lost themselves as spectators. They have become immune to understand what is happening before them.

The demand for statehood for Telangana is undoubtedly a democratic and judicious demand. It has been held back since 1950s and suppressed time and again.  No doubt Mr. Kalvakuntla Chandra Sekhar Rao (KCR), the President of Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) did maintain the public talk with occasional tactical moves and has been considered an icon of “Telangana vaadam” as last ten years of Telangana politics are referred to.  Since 2009 November the movement could attract large mass of diversified sections of people from all walks of life and engage the attention of the people with hopes of achieving the state any day thanks to the enthusiastic role play of the media and political parties – in power or opposition. It is indeed noteworthy that since November 2009 the movement has been able to attract a large number of diverse sections of people from all walks of life in thousands. They have mobilized voluntarily and have conducted meetings in the most democratic way. That there has been considerable restraint among the people who have been dishonored, alienated and humiliated under the Andhra Pradesh rulers is without dispute. These people have mobilized democratically despite the war-like surveillance and suppression of both the para-military and the state police force.  Historical injustice – political, economic and cultural of the people of this region is well highlighted.

Continue reading Let us break the ‘silence’on Telengana movement: Sridhar Modugu

The Suicide of Sense

Mumbai has been in the grip of a wave of student suicides this past month. According to the Mumbai Mirror, as many as 25 suicides have taken place in the city in the new year, most of which have been by students. As expected, the media has tripped over itself reporting every sordid and tragic detail of the students’ personal lives, and public anxiety in Mumbai is climbing to the level of all-round hysteria. The general consensus is that there is too much pressure on young minds from schools and parents; the Maharashtra State government has reacted by issuing directives to all eight regional education boards in the state asking principals to arrange workshops to identify depressed students and urge them to seek psychiatric help. State education minister Balasaheb Thorat has promised a stress-free curriculum in school boards, and followed this up by a new rule that allows failure in one subject for an overall pass result in the SSC. A south Mumbai hospital has recruited a former depressive who has a history of three suicide attempts to counsel others against suicide. The Thane Mental Hospital has in the meanwhile gone one step ahead and created what they call a ‘20-minute anti-suicide psycho drama skit’ to be performed on the streets and in educational institutions. According to hospital superintendent Dr. Sanjay Kumavat, the skit will focus on the trauma that family members go through when a child commits suicide, and the ‘problems created by such a situation’ (Mumbai Mirror Jan 18th 2010) – this will hopefully prevent them from taking the proverbial ‘drastic step’.

Continue reading The Suicide of Sense