Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The fight of village Kurihara with death.

There is one offence in the world for which there is no punishment if it is committed but there is a penalty if it fails



All countries follow this thumb rule. First because they cannot help since the culprit has cleverly escaped beyond their jurisdiction. But when he/she is caught in the act the first thing they is to pull him/her up before the court..

Japan is the only country in the world which does not prescribe any punishment such as imprisonment or imposition of penalty even if the ‘culprit’ fails badly. Is it because Japan does not consider that Life has no value? It is more likely that its action or rather inaction arises out of sympathetic appreciation of the forlorn condition of the ‘culpit’.

While Suicide is not only a criminal offence but is also a sin everywhere Japan has a hoary tradition of suicide called ‘harakiri’ Anybody committing harakiri is not only honoured but in some cases one is ordered to resort to harakiri e.g. a royal command to a knight who has failed in his duties or has committed an offence bringing bad name to himself and to his house. And harakiri is a very cruel way of killing oneself. The candidate pierces his sword in his stomach and swirls it round in the belly. The practice has an ancient origin in the heroic tradition (A similar convention obtains in the West where the captain of a steamer which sinks is by convention refuses to save himself if the sinking has drowned any member of the crew or passenger and drowns himself . You might have have seen in the Titanic the Captain resolutely standing on the deck in salute slowly going on sinking.) Since 2003 a forest at the base of Mt. Fuji known as Aokigavhara has become ‘a sacred place’ for suicide .because 78 middle-aged persons committed suicide there by hanging themselves on tree branches .

Is it because of this that Japan is a country where there are maximum number of suicides in the world and they are going up. Japan is almost in the grip of a suicide mania cutting across all social strata and age groups. According to the recently released statistics almost a hundred people take their lives daily which roughly works out to almost one suicide every fifteen minuts. On a rough calculation Japan suicide rate is almost as large as America which is twice its size, Traffic accidents are supposed to be the worst killers but if we set them against thesuicide statistics of Japan for every casualty due traffic accidents Japan would have five suicides.

Website Development Nashik

The lack of religious prohibition against suicide is already referred to above., The Japanese idea of forebearance is also rather acute.They are generally reluctant to share their mental health and stress-related problems even with their near and dear ones..An idea of self-sacrfice for others obtains in all societies. But this romanticism goes up in Japan to view suicide as an honorable act, a way of taking responsibility for failure, among other issues. The breakdown of families and social networks and the resultant increasing isolation of individuals also contribute to the problem.

The latest available statistics present -35,000(34427 precisely)- are very despairing. The latest NPA(National Police Agency) figures make the picture still darker showing an increase of 7.1%. figures for 2003 paint an exceedingly grim picture, showing that a record 34,427 . Besides the statistics it is the age analysis of the self-killers is disturbing.Of the above 4,603 or 17% were young .This number is more by 668 over the last year.The proportion of men of these is nearly three quarters but then usually men are more prone to take a recourse to such steps everywhere.The seniors claimed 33.5 % of this (dis)credit.

Suicide is an offence under the Indian Penal Code and it is also considered sin( a backdoor attempt to escape the consequences of the sins of a previous birth/births by suicide is not considered effective since the backlog would have to be filled up in the future birth/births India has been rocked from 1990 by large number of suicides among farmers. As is the usual wont government initially denied them as rumours. but as more and more information came up it accepted that the farm sector was under stress. However, they tried to run down the statistids since this was a sentimental issue.Govt. tried to underplay the cases.During the five years from 2002 oer 18000 farmers killed themselves.The most suicides occurred in Andhra Pradesh(The Telangana Region),Maharashtra(The Vidarbha Region),Karnatak,Kerala and Punjab. The Maharashtra govt. appointed a commission. Over a quarter (4453) of the all India figure (17060) was from Maharashtra(National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB) .These suicides have been going on since 1995 and the NCRB report ssho 36428 cases from l995 to 2006 .An other study shows a decrease since 2001 as thousands abandoned agriculture in distress. Even Govt. Statistics shows 5000 farmers committed suicides during the four years from 2005-2009. while 1,313 cases reported by Andhra Pradesh between 2005 and 2007. In Karnataka the number stood at 1,003, since 2005-06 till August 2009. In the last four years, cases in Kerala were about 905, Gujarat 387, Punjab 75 and Tamil Nadu 26.[9].It was only then that relief operations started

eCommerce Solutions

As against this the story of the village Kurihara(Japan) is quite inspiring. The suicides there went up and became almost double of the ‘national’rate of Japan.With the economic recession the world over which also affected Japan there was a fear that this rate would go even further up.Had the Japanese ‘naional ‘tradition obtained in India it is not impossible that this would have been taken as a feature of Indian Culture. a la the Samuri and Kamikazee. We almost did it. It was only when a correspondent conducted a detailed survey of the region and filed reports that government woke up. The grim situation was not repeat not the result of government’s own investigation. As seen above attempts were made to dilute it first denying it and then painting it with dull colours

Not so the Kurihara City Welfare Ofice (Chief Toshira Osawa). Instead of treating the suicides as just due to depression as has long been the pracicx, the city offered financial and legal counseling along with ‘hope loans’(nozomi). The suicide rate there fell from 50(48.6 to be precise) per one lakh people in 2005 to 30(27.5 to be precise).The city officials are confident that it will fall further never mind even if the national rate may go up.The place has given a lead to other places.

A concrete case of how this plan helped is that of citizen Ishikawa.He is a middle aged person working in a office and also on his family farm. Last year he found the school fees and the necessary purchases for tilling the soil going above his head. He sought loans but for Banks in Japan there are no easy loans.They see to it that their loans are fully guaranteed with sureties. And so if one defaults payment it makes him feel guilty and despaired. Researchers at the Tokyo University have found that there is high correlation between suidice rate and economic indicaters such as GDP. In any society,Japanese or other, the weak are always beaten down. As the Japanese economy has languished since he 80s there was a rise in thesuicide rate there. Outsiders tend to associate it with the Samurai ritual of hara-kiri(self disembowlment) or with the Kamikaze pilots of WWII.As regards such notions the Mayor of the city Kurihara has this to say’But it is not true.People are driven to suicide becausehey are sruggling in their daily lives.And I like people to know that even a little city in rural Jap;an can take steps to effectively tackle the problem’ He had a survey of over 500 ;people done . He found that a high number of middle aged,self employed men who had been contempoated suicide because of financial strains.

The Website Development Blog

The City Welfare Office has brought out a leaflet which reads

Plesased call us.Counselling is the first step on the way to solve your problem.”

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page