Criminal LawResearch Article

Suicide– A Path from Bullying To Psychological Torture


Author: Snigdha Singhi, 4th year law student currently pursuing BA- LLB (H.) from Amity Law School, Noida. Her main area of interest is Criminal Law.

ABSTRACT

Suicide an act of killing oneself is most common in newspapers nowadays. People think that the easiest way to escape a problem is not by facing a problem rather than killing themselves or in order to punish themselves or when they are not in a situation to face the society they tend to take their lives by their own hands. Phil Donahue said that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.[1] The society thinks that people who are cowards or who are culprits of some acts tend to commit suicide. But this is not true, the people of the society in most of the cases have pushed the victims to commit suicide by not accepting them the way they are and by bullying them or mentally harassing them. Suicide is like a big chain of cycle which starts from bullying and takes the form of psychological torture and ends up at making people kill themselves. Some people still does not give importance to suicide and thinks that he wanted to escape so he/she killed oneself. “Anyone who survives an attempted suicide can be booked under Section 309 Indian Penal Code, 1860 which deals with “Attempt to commit suicide”[2]. Suicide has been going on in this country since centuries but after the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput it gained immense importance in the eyes of society as a whole.

Through this research paper, I would like to draw attention towards the big trap of society and it true image. I would even like to explain what is bullying and how it converts through psychological torture which leads to self-destruction. I would also like to put light on the some cases. The main aim of this research paper is to aware people about the harsh reality of suicide so they help those who are in need and to safe one from taking its own life.

INTRODUCTION

Durkheim defined suicide as “death resulting directly or indirectly from a positive or negative act of the victim himself, which he knows will produce this result.”[3] Suicide an act of killing oneself can be performed due to many causes like bullying, mental harassment, torture, fear, self-destruction and so on. Suicide although is considered as an offence is still committed by almost every man who wants to escape some sort of problem and wants to find a permanent solution to a temporary problem. A way to harass, threat, torture or someone is bullying. In order to lead a stable life and a healthy long life, humans should not only consider satisfying their lives but even should give proper care to their mental health. There are many reasons which affect the mental health of the human and at the end, they are left with no option and feel so helpless they decide to take their own lives by themselves. This can be also termed as suicidal behavior where the humans who deal with the hardships of life tend to take their own life under pressure, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Initially bullying does not seem to be dangerous and life threatening but in some time it is converted into psychological torture which forces a person to take down their own life.

Though suicide is a harsh reality of life it is another form of murder which forces or instigate a person to kill oneself due to various factors which leads to suicide.  Here, it can be termed as Abetment which comes under Section 107 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 which means “Instigates any person to do that thing; or engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing and intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.”[4] “Section 306 of IPC covers Abetment to the commission of suicide and the Abetment of an attempt to commit suicide is outside the purview of Section 306 IPC and it is only punishable when section 309 read with section 107.”[5]

Many people of the society does not consider it is an issue and does not even consider the person who committed suicide rather than talk nonsense about the person. People do not understand suicide is another form of murder only which coerces a person by just statements etc. to kill them and end their lives. “Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year, that is one person every 40 seconds.”[6]

Suicide is a global process which occurs in people’s lifespan where they have to fight with it and deal with their problems. It does not mean people who are weak or helpless only commit suicide. In order to understand whether a case is of suicide one has to clearly analyze and conduct investigation to find a hidden murderer. Bullying is the root cause for suicide along with social trauma, rejection, humiliation, low income sectors, rejection and even defamation. The person who bullies can even be our friends, teachers, parents or even peer groups.

Another harsh reality is that registering a suicide is a complicated process, often involving judicial authorities. Suicide deaths may not be recognized or may be misclassified as an accident or another cause of death. “Sometimes suicide is not acknowledged or reported, due to its sensitive nature and the taboo that still surrounds it.”[7]

ROOT CAUSE OF SUICIDE



Bullying, the root cause of suicide is of many types and can be done by many modes. Bullying is an act done by either a person or a group of person in order to suppress, humiliate, or defame the victim. Every person in their life has to face bullying whether a child, an adult or even a senior citizen. It is especially faced by people during their adolescence. A person is victim of bullying in fact in all spheres of their lives. The victim of bullying can be an ordinary person or a renowned celebrity or even high upper class society. Earlier bullying does not seem to be a threat but once it is done constantly one does not know what form it takes and how it affects the other person mental and emotional health. When a person is unable to take it leads to psychological torture and hence the person ends up committing suicide. In India there are no special laws to deal with bullying and hence, the person who bully is not liable to any legal penalty. This encourages the person more to bully others by hurting their sentiment without thinking of the actual consequences that victim of bullying will be facing. Sometimes bullying leaves a major impact on the victim which makes it impossible for victim to lead a normal and happy life. There are many cases where bullying has crossed the line of humiliation and hence, lead to psychological torture which leads to the victim committing suicide.

In this era of urbanization, modernization and westernization where we deemed to have adapted the western culture and their ways technology is one of the major adaption. Bullying with the help of technology which is mainly internet, social web like twitter etc. or other modes of electronic communications like e-mails etc. in order to humiliate or defame the other person is known as cyber bullying. In fact cyber bullying is more prone to make a person commit suicide rather than oral bullying or bullying by face to face. Although bullying is not legalized by the Judicial System of India but Cyber bullying is partially legalized under Section 67 of The Information Technology Act, 2000 which is “publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form.”[8]

Cyber bullying can be done through so many social platforms where most of the youth are engaged like in the case of “Bois locker Room” where “a 15-year-old boy is taken into custody for participating in an Instagram group chat that shared images of underage girls and made lewd comments about them.”[9]  Bullying by circulating the pictures, making memes, videos, etc. is cyber bullying. The culprit of cyber bullying can even range from kids to old age people. The youth specially thinks that in order to attain a place in this mean society the only way is by suppressing and humiliating others. In fact there have been many cases where the victim of cyber bullying has committed suicide. Internet was a major platform to spread communication as fast as possible but the youth of the nation has left no table to misuse it in any means possible. Cyber bullying only take seconds to spread rumor or to humiliate other and hence instigating a person to commit suicide.

“In the case of University of Kerala V. Council of Principal Colleges of Kerala & Ors, the Raghavan Committee report recommended the teachers and principals of schools shall be held liable for any such acts of bullying if takes place in school premises.”[10]

“In the case of Consumer Education and Research Centre V. Union of India, the Supreme Court held that Right to life includes the protection of the health and strength of the worker is a minimum requirement to enable a person to live with human dignity. The right to human dignity, development of personality, social protection, right to rest and leisure are fundamental human rights to a workman assured by the Charter of Human Rights, in the Preamble and Arts.38 and 39 of the Constitution”[11]

Ragging one of the common traditions of schools and colleges has even been performed the by students. In fact in some cases ragging was one of the reasons for the victim to commit suicide. Although there have been anti- ragging laws in the college and schools, even after then students of highly reputed colleges and school face ragging in their day to day lives. “The Supreme Court in 2009 judgment ordered the recommendation made by the Raghavan Committee be implemented immediately among which one of the recommendations were Every Institution must have an Anti-Ragging Committee and an Anti-Ragging Squad at university level”.[12]

Bullying leads to Psychological Torture



Bullying has a long lasting effect on the victim and hence when they are not able to deal with it they end up committing suicide. The confidence, dignity, esteem of the victim is compromised in such a heinous way that they do not find any reason to continue the journey and rather end up quitting their lives. Although humans face a lot of hardships in their lives such acts makes their life more complicated and difficult and hence victim gets suicidal thoughts. And even those who deals with bullying many times have a fear of being bullied again and hence cannot maintain relationship with friends, families as it is very difficult for them to trust someone. The mental health of the victim is not in happy state and therefore, they end up getting depressed or having anxiety issues or even panic attacks. Some people even get on medication or consult psychiatrist who have been adversely bullied.

The person who bullies in some cases lives with guilt of being responsible for someone to kill themselves or for their actions in the past.  Moreover, not only the person who is being bullied are at risk of taking down their lives but “Bullies are at greater risk for antisocial personality disorder.”[13]

The life of anyone from outside seems very fascinating whether and ordinary being or a famous celebrity but it is impossible to predict the level of mental torture and mental harassment they face every day in their lives. Some people who can deal and fight with such torture wins the battle and other who can’t deal with it either find a permanent solution which is suicide or becomes mentally disabled and some are haunted by the trauma for the rest of their lives. Suicide is like is a chain of cycle which goes round and round and begins from minimal stage and then leads to bullying and hence leads to torture for the victim and they end up  taking down their own life. For some people it is even a way of coercing or instigating a person to take down their own life without coming into picture, being liable and facing any legal consequences. In most of the cases such kind of suicidal death which takes form of murder is show as an accidental death.

Even the most happy, successful and courageous person who never get such suicidal thoughts can even be victim of suicide and no one knows what happens behind the reasons like Sushant Singh Rajput and even other famous Bollywood celebrity. Such crimes are hidden under the curtain of Judicial System and actual culprits are still roaming free without subjected to any penalty. As it is termed by layman that person who is not happy is only victim of suicide but in some cases it is not true, as I said we do not know what a person is actually facing. Societal pressure in such case is a major reason for a person in instigating them to commit suicide. There have been many cases of suicide who have been committed by successful renowned and fame celebrity who are known by major population for their hard work and commendable skills. “At workplace 75% of people are victims of bullying.”[14]

“In the case of Yelchuri Manohar V. State of Andhra Pradesh, an incident took place which shook the whole state where a girl student who was studying for her practical exam was brutally attacked from behind and hacked to death. The appellant was perpetrator of this shocking crime and was convicted for Life Imprisonment under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.”[15]

Conclusion

The main aim of the family or society is a happy family but many people tend to ignore or are reason for someone mental state when they are not happy. Such persons are not accepted by the society who is considered to be weak rather than are humiliated and bullied and hence they end up committing suicide. There will be negligible cases where someone is not the murderer of the person who commits suicide. Every person, sectors and the humans who live in the society can never escape from bullying. Even if some people fight the battle of bullying the society does not accept them thinking that they are mental and hence the people who fight the battle end up committing suicide as it is converted into psychological torture.

Suicide even in some eyes of people is committed in order to gain name and fame and the respect the people have lost during the process. It is the human tendency that when a person is alive his/her works are not appreciated but when something happens to them or they fail in making a good space in society the people starts appreciating. I will not say that appreciating is wrong but maybe if the society has appreciated before they commit suicide maybe they would save them from killing themselves. Society has to start accepting such people with big hearts and make them again believe in themselves and gain back the faith.

There are many helpline desk and contact number which are always available to help such people who are drowning in depression. There are even helpline for cyber bullying but even after having so many remedies still every person has to deal with bullying in every way. People think that by committing suicide they have put an end to a problem, but this is wrong. People have to understand that life is full of ups and downs and they will fight the battle and the society has to start accepting everyone irrespective of what happened. But now society has started accepting but still many people who are conservative still will have to accept. And even in some cases they can help the victims who are fighting such battle of life and death.  They should realize problems are temporary they come and disappear within some point of time but committing suicide would not bring them back ever to normal.


References

  1. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/phil_donahue_111850
  2. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1501595
  3. https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2004.053314
  4. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1667403
  5. https://lawsisto.com/legalnewsread/NzA2OA==/Driving-To-Suicide-From-Bullying-To-Psychological-Tortures
  6. https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/suicide-data
  7. https://econtent.hogrefe.com/doi/10.1027/0227-5910/a000315
  8. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1318767
  9. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-52541298
  10. University of Kerala v/s Council of Principals of Colleges, Kerala, (2011) 14 SCC 357
  11. Consumer Education & Research Centre v/s Union Of India,  AIR SC (1995) 922
  12. https://www.nitt.edu/home/students/Supreme_Court_Judgment.pdf
  13. https://mastersinpsychologyguide.com/articles/psychological-effects-bullying-kids-teens/
  14. Times Of India, June 17, 2020
  15. Yelchuri Manohar v/s State of Andhra Pradesh, 2005 (2) ALD Cri 751, 2005 CriLJ 4593

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