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‘Digusting’, ‘sick’: Internet angry over PM Modi’s suicide ‘joke’

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The internet is angry with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he ‘joked’ about suicide, terming it as extremely insensitive. Modi was speaking at a media event in an attempt to lighten the atmosphere, he spoke about a woman who dies by suicide and the following events.

This is what he said.

(Siasat.com advises its readers to read with caution as some parts can be triggering.)

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Modi starts off by saying, “In our childhood, we would hear a joke.”

He talks about a professor and his daughter who dies by suicide, However, before taking the step, the daughter leaves a note for her father.

“She left a chit, ‘I am tired of life and don’t want to live. So I will jump into the Kankaria Lake and die.’,” Modi said.

“In the morning, the professor realised his daughter was missing. He then finds her note on the bed. The father suddenly turns angry. He says, “I am a professor. For so many years I have worked hard, and even now, she has spelt ‘Kankaria’ wrong,” Modi concludes the purported joke followed by laughter from the crowd.

Modi also seems to be in a jovial mood.

The event was hosted by the mainstream TV news channel Republic TV. Its head Arnab Goswami was seen enjoying the joke along with others in the crowd.

Modi’s joke has not gone well with social media users who lashed out at the Prime Minister for being ‘insensitive’. Many Opposition parties, including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, AAP, and Samajwadi leaders termed it as a statement of ‘disregard for human life’.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said depression is not something to laugh about.

“Depression and suicide, especially among the youth IS NOT a laughing matter. According to NCRB data, 164033 Indians committed suicide in 2021. Of which a huge percentage were below the age of 30. This is a tragedy not a joke. The Prime Minister and those laughing heartily at his joke ought to educate themselves better and create awareness rather than ridicule mental health issues in this insensitive, morbid manner. @TLLLFoundation @narendramodi

Her brother Rahul Gandhi said that millions of families are affected by suicide. “Thousands of families lose their children due to suicide. The Prime Minister should not make fun of them!” he tweeted.

The Congress party stated that according to government statistics, more than 1.64 lakh Indians died by suicide in 2021.

“The Prime Minister is telling a ‘joke’ on ‘suicide’. How can anyone be so insensitive about suicide? Government statistics show- In 2021, more than 1.64 lakh Indians committed suicide. Every day 450 people are forced to commit suicide in our country and this is a ‘joke’ for the Prime Minister. Don’t know how much…”

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Kumar Jha pointed at the applause that followed. “We have become a sick society,” he tweeted.

“Sickness is visible when the Prime Minister of the country tells a joke on a sensitive issue like ‘suicide’, but even more frightening is the applause and laughter after the joke. We have become a very sick society….. Jai Hind,” he tweeted.

Aam Admi Party (AAP) also tweeted condemning the joke. “Imagine the insensitive disregard for human life by our Prime Minister who needs to crack a joke on suicide!?!? Ironically, when this #AnpadhPM makes a sick & cruel joke on a girl’s suicide, the nation is expected to laugh!”

Apart from political parties, citizens have expressed anger and shock at PM Modi’s purported joke. Here are some of them.

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According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, India registered the highest number of suicides last year.

“In terms of the rate of suicide, India reported a rate of 12 (per lakh population) and this rate reflects a 6.2% increase during 2021 over 2020.[1] The number reported is the highest ever recorded in the country since inception of reporting of suicides by the NCRB in 1967. This is a genuine cause of concern,” the paper stated adding a significant number were students.

“The highest percentage of suicides consistently occurring in the young, productive population of the country over the years calls for serious action from the Union and the State governments,” the paper stated.

Rising unemployment, financial struggle, mental health issues, domestic violence, government policies, systematic failure, corruption, debts, agrarian crisis, and religious as well as casteist hate crimes were some of the many triggers that force a person to die by or attempt suicide.



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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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