Suicides@IITs

***this article was written in 2011, after reading about the 7 suicides@IITs the year had seen.I was deeply touched by the fact the bright minds resort to such a thing as denying the beautiful gift of God-life !. Listening to my batchmates at IIT talking about it, I felt the need to pen my thoughts down. Hope you find it encouraging.
“Take care of yourself beta, we are always there for you”,the words echoed down the empty corridor. What I saw was,well, a bitter sweet scene-an anxious and caring mum was counselling her daughter.I knew that girl and was also aware of the fact that she had fared badly in her exams.I moved on , relieved by the fact the she was being counselled to take failure in her stride.Why did I feel relieved? ? What was bugging me ? why was I calmed by the fact that her parents were supporting her and advising her not to give up,not to loose heart???Why did the comforting words of her mum pacify me down, even though we hardly knew each other ??? The reason was that my heart was trembling with fear,my mind occupied with a grievous news that my friend broke to me in the morning ….
‘IITs WITNESS SEVENTH SUICIDE OF THE YEAR .HIGHEST FIGURE REPORTED IN THE LAST 4 YEARS’
thus read the front page news. A computer science student at IIT Patna had committed suicide .
I was taken aback.7 SUICIDES? IIT? “nothing new, it happens every year”,my wing-mate said and moved towards her room . But for me,it was as if time went still. The news had shaken my entire being.My heart pained to think of the plight of the deceased’s parents, and to think of the years she spent , the hardwork she would have done to get into one of the most reputed institutes of the country , only to die disheartened and tired of life.
Yes , I am aware of the fact that suicides in IITs are not unheard of . I have heard of many young bright minds succumbing to the pressure and resorting to such an extreme step.Brilliant brains,bright minds have been lost.
why?what led them to such a decision that left their families grieving and mourning for them?? A single reason can not be assigned as the root cause of such a step. Human mind is complex.More than one factor is usually involved in a decision as huge and as scary as killing oneself.
Speaking of reasons, some of the most debated reasons of student suicide in IITs are –stress, loneliness, severe competition, stringent curriculum, strictness and apathy on the part of instructors , high hopes and aspirations of parents, high expectations from oneself and the pressure to perform well. Highly stressful ,isn’t it ? well, the life of an IITian is like that.
Back home they are hailed as if they have come down from planet Krypton. They are looked upon as really intellectual beings who are bound to perform well wherever they go. Parents, peers and relatives expect them to keep outperforming, just as they did in school or the IITJEE. They were brilliant performers at school and were always popular. They could score high marks without much trouble and without breaking a sweat . But what everybody forgets is that in IIT everybody was once a topper. So the competition here is really of an altogether different level as compared to school or JEE days.
The increasing number of students resorting to suicide in these premier institutes of the country has left the IIT fraternity quite disturbed. Govardhan Mehta –a leading researcher and former IIT faculty member-attributes such instances to the change in the mindset of the new generation. He feels that the current lot is very ambitious and is intolerant to failure.They are used to see themselves at the top of the success ladder always , but IITs are different, here everybody is equally competent.This is what makes them feel dejected.
They are not seen as pseudo –Einsteins anymore. It has also been discussed that students here feel an identity crisis. If one can boast of an Olympiad victory,being a computer-genius,topper of school, a great JEE rank ,he will always find others who can boast of the same credentials too. So he feels that he doesn’t have something unique to boast of or be proud of ,some achievement that identifies him …
Some people take this situation with a positive outlook and work harder to prove themselves. Others, who are usually in majority take this as a failure on their part and become stressed. And if one goes into the abyss of despair once, life looks more and more entangled and the poor soul soul searches for escape and relief from his life.
Thus stress the root cause of more malaises than what was previously thought. YES, STRESS KILLS!!!!!!
Most IIT administrations have by far largely blamed internet and computer usage as the root cause of the problems of the students. All night long hacking competitions, gaming, music downloading, file sharing, chatting et al – all conspire to ruin a student’s academics. Due to all this ,half the junta doesn’t go to the morning lectures and those who go usually sleep off in the class, and those who don’t look asleep are those who are present in the class physically but are mentally are off somewhere to their own world, not resulting in any attention to the professor’s words. Due to these considerations IIT-B has introduced a LAN –BAN from 12 at night to 7 in the morning.Data caps exist in other IITs.An appreciable step indeed.
Human nature is such that high self-expectation creates within us an ego-centric attitude,which in a state of depression fills our minds with negative thoughts and provokes a cowardly act like suicide.
What these people forget is that “COMING TO IIT IS ONLY WINNING HALF THE BATTLE”. The societal and peer pressure surmounts in the campus life and it is not easy for one and all to realize the dreams they once cherished . And parents , they play a pivotal role in lowering the stress threshold limit of their child due to high expectations. Many students kill themselves because of the fear that their parents will not accept failure …
Well there are many ways by which you can put back the “ SUPPOSEDLY BROKEN PIECES OF YOUR LIFE”. You can take help of stress management professionals, psychologists and try to calm oneself down. A pep-talk with a friend can make you feel all light and energized.Due to this the concept of room-sharing has been introduced.NO PROBLEM IS TOO BIG TO REMAIN UNSOLVED. As far as the educational system is concerned, can’t possibly overhaul it overnight. It needs highly organized thinking and time. A small step at a time is wise idea just like the student mentorship program is an innovative and powerful step towards directing students towards the right approach of life at IITs.Some instructors can be unfair,just like some students will be rule breakers.Life’s like that . We should not try to mend something that is not broken.
I seriously feel disgusted at the act of committing suicide.
You might have problems in academics –agreed,you might be a five point someone or four point someone for that matter , you might have not landed with a plum job ,you might be having adjustment problems . COME ON , this is life !! It is not supposed to be fair,you have to wind you life up by yourself by maintaining a positive outlook and trying to rediscover yourself !!!! IT IS MORE IMPORTANT IN LIFE TO UNDERSTAND AND REALIZE THE BIGGER PICTURE AND IT IS FUNNY HOW THINGS THAT WE ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT NOW DON’T REALLY MATTER MUCH IN THE END .It is really frustrating to see young lives perish. It is painful to hear about their demise because they could not fight with life ..They should be taught stronger and bigger aspects of life.Remember-”When we look back when we were in trouble ,those troubles look quite modest in the hindsight. that should teach us how to deal with problems and solve them successfully.” WHENEVER ONE GETS DEPRESSING THOUGHTS ABOUT ONE’S WORTHLESSNESS, ONE SHOULD REMEMBER THE LOVE OF OUR PARENTS AND MAKING THEM PROUD BY FIGHTING HARD AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT PUSHES ONE BACK AND EMERGE VICTORIOUS IN THIS STRIFE OF LIFE AND SAY ” I FOUGHT AND WON ” A LIFE IS TOO PRECIOUS TO BE WASTED … PLEASE GIVE YOUR LIFE A SECOND CHANCE, BELIEVE ME ..IT’S WORTH IT ….