Land of Devis and Ma-Jananis

There are few things that trigger me more into blood-pumping fury than when somebody claims how superior South Asian culture is in respecting women and blah blah family values. By South Asia, I mean India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. I do not want to take space venting my fury here because I primarily want to post the following Guardian article. However, I must write a few lines.

These words need not be said because they are generally well understood by all knowledgable people. South Asia has the world’s worst reputation of treating women. It has worst reputation of violence to women, disrespect to women, sexual objectification of women and just every-day, every hour awkward behaavior to women. It has such bad reputation that whenever a foreign girl, white, black, East Asian, latina, expresses interest in visiting South Asia, all South Asian friends immediately discourage her. Female stewards in international flights specially watch out for South Asian men for perverted behavior. And so on and on. In sum, South Asia has the shittiest culture for women. We can debate till cows come home whether Islam, Hinduism, Muslim occupation, British colonialism etc are to blame for this but there is no escaping what it is now.

Finally South Asia is home to the world’s largest industry of making utterly fake paens, hommages to women. Cue a Karan Zohar movie theme.

Nearly 40% of female suicides occur in India

Study indicates early marriage, male violence and patriarchal culture are to blame

Nearly two in every five women in the world who kill themselves are Indian, according to a Lancet study published this week that says the country’s suicides rates constitute a public health crisis.

The rate of Indian women who die by suicide has fallen since 1990, but not as fast as elsewhere in the world, and now represents 36.6% of global female suicide deaths, the report in the UK medical journal found.

Indian women who died by suicide were more likely to be married, to be from more developed states and, by a large margin, aged below 35.

“It shows girls in India are in serious trouble,” said Poonam Muttreja, the executive director of the Population Foundation of India, a public health group.

She and other specialists blamed the trend on early marriage – one-fifth of Indian women still marry before the age of 15 – along with male violence against women and other symptoms of a deeply entrenched patriarchal culture.

The suicide rate among Indian women was three times higher than what might be predicted for a country with similar geography and socio-economic indicators, the researchers said.

“Our social norms are very regressive,” Muttreja said. “In the village, a girl is called her father’s daughter, then she is her husband’s wife, and when she has a son, she is her son’s mother.”

Muttreja said research carried out by her organisation had shown that 62% of surveyed women believed it was legitimate for their husbands to beat them.

The researchers speculated the link between suicide and marriage was due to the burdens of youth motherhood, the low social status afforded to wives in some households, the lack of financial independence and exposure to domestic violence.

“The disproportionately high suicide deaths in India are a public health crisis,” the authors, who are mostly affiliated with Indian public health research groups, said.

Around one in four men in the world who die by suicide are Indian, roughly the same proportion as in 1990, the study said.

Suicide was also the leading cause of death for young people of both genders but was worse for women.

The study noted that suicide had recently been decriminalised, so there was a possibility the true rate could be even higher but hidden by families and doctors for fear of stigma or police interference.

  • https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/nearly-two-out-of-five-women-who-commit-suicide-are-indian

 

 

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28 Replies to “Land of Devis and Ma-Jananis”

  1. in southeast asia (malaysia, singapore) indian-chinese marriages are mostly indian men with chinese women. one thing that comes up is that chinese families are always worried that their daughter will get beaten by their indian husband.

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  2. Loved this article. It helps explain why I support “me too” and think it has done great good around the world. This totally channels a lot of my feelings and more relatives and friends than I can count. You will see other Brown Pundit articles written on this subject . . . but I lack your courage bruv.

    http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/04/14/male-misogyny/

    “South Asia has the world’s worst reputation of treating women” . . . slight exaggeration. Rather men have a horrible reputation of treating woman in most of the world. I have noticed this since early childhood and have had a similar reaction to yours.

    India’s treatment of woman has gotten far worse over the past two generations. Why? I don’t get it. This is the number 1 issue in India among the middle class; and even more dominant among India’s spiritual communities. This question keeps coming up everywhere.

    Can you edit your article to add this data point?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

    As an aside suicide rates among caucasian young girls in the US has skyrocketed in recent years. I honestly don’t know what is causing this global pandemic.

    “It has worst reputation of violence to women, disrespect to women, sexual objectification of women and just every-day, every hour awkward behaavior to women. It has such bad reputation that whenever a foreign girl, white, black, East Asian, latina, expresses interest in visiting South Asia, all South Asian friends immediately discourage her. Female stewards in international flights specially watch out for South Asian men for perverted behavior. And so on and on. In sum, South Asia has the shittiest culture for women. We can debate till cows come home whether Islam, Hinduism, Muslim occupation, British colonialism etc are to blame for this but there is no escaping what it is now.

    Finally South Asia is home to the world’s largest industry of making utterly fake paens, hommages to women. Cue a Karan Zohar movie theme.”

    I wish I could disagree with this; but I can’t. My relatives and friends constantly ask me how it has gotten this much worse this fast . . . and I have no good answer. I have had many conversations with young sweet caucasian girls visiting India . . . it is beyond awful. How could the land of the Vedas, Zoroastrians, St Mathews’ adopted home, Kabir, Nanaka, Buddha, Gareeb Nawaz, Mahavira, and Shirdi Sai Baba be like this? This is the holy land that protected the family of the prophet (peace be upon him) from Muawiyah, Yazid, Marwan and Malik. The land of the first mosque of Islam. And it has degenerated into this?

    Shafiq, what can be done about this?

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  3. The report is far more nuanced than it appears at first. So at the outset, the age-standardized suicide rates for women have actually decreased substantially in the period under study (1990-2016) while that for men have remained same.

    “Age-standardised SDR among women in India reduced by 26·7% from 20·0 (95% UI 16·5–23·5) in 1990 to 14·7 (13·1–16·2) per 100 000 in 2016, but the age-standardised SDR among men was the same in 1990 (22·3 [95% UI 14·4–27·4] per 100 000) and 2016 (21·2 [14·6–23·6] per 100 000).”

    Next, try this section:

    “SDR in women was 2·1 times higher in India than the global average in 2016, and the observed-to-expected ratio was 2·74, ranging from 0·45 to 4·54 between the states. SDR in men was 1·4 times higher in India than the global average in 2016, with an observed-to-expected ratio of 1·31, ranging from 0·40 to 2·42 between the states. There was a ten-fold variation between the states in the SDR for women and six-fold variation for men in 2016. The men-to-women ratio of SDR for India was 1·34 in 2016, ranging from 0·97 to 4·11 between the states.”

    This means there are states where women do far better and far worse than global norms. To re-iterate:

    “There was a ten-fold variation between the states in the SDR for women.”

    Any generalization on suicide in India is therefore essentially useless.

    Also, if you look at the paper one quickly realizes that even the frequent generalizations of patriarchal/wheat/plough/north-west vs matrilineal/rice/hoe/south-east doesn’t hold.

    The worst states in terms of observed-expected ratios for SDR in women are Tamil Nadu (4.54), Karnataka (4.35), West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana in that order. This doesn’t correspond with epidimiological transition levels (ETL) either. High ETL states in the north like Punjab, Delhi, Himachal all do really very well with the observed-expected SDR ratio of women in Delhi being less than one (0.79). So does Bihar where the ratio is 1.18, far better than any of the supposedly progressive states. And UP, MP, Rajasthan do as well as Kerala and Maharashtra.

    Remember that suicide deaths of women are often thought to be used to hide actual murders (like dowry deaths/bride burnings) in the patriarchal north so if anything the rates there might be an overcount.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpub/article/PIIS2468-2667(18)30138-5/fulltext

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    1. And before people jump at me, yes the states where women have high SDR also have higher SDR for men but not high enough and hence the higher overall SDR for women and this discrepancy is why we are having the discussion in the first place. So the southern states and bengal are places where both men and women kill themselves at an alarming rate but far more alarming for women than men.

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      1. “and hence the higher overall SDR for women”

        Sorry this isn’t true. Overall SDR for women is 14.7 vs 21.2 per 100,000 for men in India. This is considerably worse than the global average (7 per 100,000 for women vs 15 per 100,000 for men). So the point still stands. There is still a discrepancy.

        (Btw, all this data is laid out clearly in the paper)

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    2. +18

      D, the female suicide rate is probably exaggerated. And it is not rising in India, unlike the US for example. However the Indian female suicide rate adjusted for age remains way too high.

      For me the larger point Shafiq makes is about male misogyny, sexual harassment, molestation and rape. And on this I agree with Shafiq completely. I would add India’s (and the world’s) epidemic of sexually harassing, molesting or raping poor young boys. This is a far bigger problem than the Indian or global media recognizes. And just because other countries are worse than India about boy molestation doesn’t make it any less a national disgrace.

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      1. ‘the female suicide rate is probably exaggerated.’

        Yes because they are murders. While this would be the opposite for men I guess. There is a tendency to claim suicides of men as murders because suicide is considered shameful for the family when it comes to men. So they get classified as unsolved murders I would imagine.

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  4. And since we are talking of suicides, I just wanted to bring up farmer suicides in India, often a topic of great outrage. The rate of farmer suicides in India is an order of magnitude lower than the suicide rate for the overall population (~1.8 per 100,000 vs 17.9 per 100,000). And this is a substantial outlier among nations. For example, in the US the famer suicide rate is just under twice that of the general population which is why you always see numbers and not rates quoted in the stories of farmer suicides in India.

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  5. This part stood out to me:

    “Our social norms are very regressive,” Muttreja said. “In the village, a girl is called her father’s daughter, then she is her husband’s wife, and when she has a son, she is her son’s mother.”

    Patriarchy is a major problem in South Asia. Women’s value is seen only in their being wives and mothers, while men are seen as individuals. We extol the “sati savitri” or the “mamta devi” while criticizing the working woman. In Pakistani dramas, the good woman is the one with the duppata on her head meekly submitting to her in-laws while the wicked woman is the one who dares to run an NGO etc.

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  6. Aryavarsha I would argue was less patriarchal than Western culture in many ways.

    South Asia problem is less male patriarchy than it is with male misogyny, male dysfunction, male disrespect of females, and bad male socialization. A huge part of the reason why is that mom’s, sister’s, aunt’s, grandma’s are not raising their boys well. Daughters, nieces and granddaughters are not keeping the elder males in check. [Less than 10% of males can withstand their females being angry at them and giving them the silence treatment.] Wives allow their husbands to mistreat non family females. South Asian woman have great power and privilege. They are not using it well.

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    1. And we are now victim-blaming. Wow! Phrases like “their females” are part of the problem. Women don’t belong to men.

      Patriarchy is a huge structural issue in South Asia. I’ll leave it there.

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  7. As usual Sri Lanka does not fit a pattern.

    Sri Lanka was one of the 112 member states for which WHO recommended caution. Following the publication of this report media groups in Sri Lanka reported,with some concern,that Sri Lanka had the 4th highest suicide rate in the world at 28.8 per 100,000 (male rate – 46.4 per 100,000; female rate – 12.8 per 100,000). This rate was modelled using the latest mortality data submitted to the WHO; the last submission for Sri Lanka was 8 years ago in 2006.

    More local data tells a different story. Numbers compiled annually by the Sri Lanka Police’s Division of Statistics show that the suicide rate has actually fallen by 70 percent since the mid-1990s.

    The suicide rate in men was higher (27.7 per 100,000) than in women (7.7 per 100,000) (figure 1). Using these updated figures, Sri Lanka is ranked 22nd in the global league table of suicide incidence – a considerable improvement over previous decades. It is thought that recent reductions have been driven by Sri Lanka’s robust app-roach to regulating the availability of toxic pesticides

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4384175/

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  8. The type of spin that is being put based on this study of suicide rates is disgusting.

    So overall, it does admit that the suicide rate of men in India is significantly greater than that of women 21.4 per 100,000 vs 14.2 per 100,000. So men still have it worse in India as compared to women. Wonder why no can see this ?

    It just so happens that the suicide rates of men in most other countries, especially the Western countries, is far higher than the women of those countries. So when we make the comparison of Indian women with non-Indian women vs Indian men vis a vis Non-Indian men, Indian women seem to come out worse.

    And this is the reason for this bile and diatribe ?

    Seriously, if the discrepancy of very high suicide rates of men but low suicide rates of women that is existent in Western countries ( men commit suicide at the rate of more than 4 to 5 times to that of women) is not existent in India, is that supposed to be a bad thing ?

    If we are to worry, we should worry about the suicide rates of both the genders and not just women. I have read enough feminist nonsense by the media over the years and I simply do not buy their women biased crap anymore.

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    1. I should add that A few years back there was NCRB data on yearly suicide of men vs women by absolutely nos in India. The latest data was I think either for the year 2011 or 2013.

      The data for the last year showed – 48,000 women commiting suicide vs 88,000 men. I doubt the ratio has changed significantly if at all. So how is this worse for women ?

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  9. Excellent comments from D and Jaideep. Especially D, wow, take a bow: the point of yours I liked most was how the parts of India which are most notorious for patriarchy were not the ones where the ratios were least favorable to women.

    1. To build on a point of Jaideep. Check here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_suicide#Statistics

    The world average is 1.7 times as many men as women committing suicide, while Sri Lanka is 4.4, Poland and Latvia are 6.7, Russia is 5.8.

    Now would the above be used to argue that these countries are unfair to men? No. Instead, they look for other reasons that basically blame the attitude of men. Or become proud that Sri Lanka drives four times as many men to suicide as women. This is a form of what is called the Althouse rule: whatever the result is, it has to be interpreted to somehow praise women/blame men.

    2. Everyone else on BP will disagree with me on this, but here goes. By all means blame many Hindu beliefs and practices for ill-treatment of women, but it would be good to keep Goddess-worship away from this (this is an instance of how liberalism is fundamentally Abrahamistic, with pagan-hatred in its DNA); just not a good idea bring in “devis and ma jananis” without any relevance (and it won’t cut it to call it a “literary device”, we don’t use such “literary devices” on each other without being considered jerks). It is a psychological tactic of subconsciously associating oppression to a specifically Hindu practice though the said practice is irrelevant to the said oppression – simply because they aren’t present in Abrahamism and hence represents the “bizzare other”.

    Not quite policing here or asking anyone to change – I am starting off saying no one is going to agree with me, but just felt like recording my protest.

    3. Kind of a ramble from personal experience (only somewhat related to the post): As I grew up, I was constantly told that women were smarter than men. Many school teachers explicitly favored and remarked on the superiority of girls over boys, since they were more “obedient” and disciplined. I was told that I couldn’t invite friends home to the extent my sister could, since men were dangerous. I knew many relatives thought of me as a threat simply because I’m male. During my youth, before I got a job, there was a lack of dignity in how others would treat me, because I was a low-status male then. In the US, I would often read that every man was a potential rapist (just think of how disgusting “Every Muslim is a potential terrorist” is). Though I should say that every American treated with much dignity in our personal interactions, unlike in India; however they may generalize about men in their literature, they personally treat individuals with dignity.

    It is partly due to this constant humiliation and demonization I had as a male that at one point, I was so impressed by a highly sexist (and racist) like this to have been a regular reader at one point:

    https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/the-fundamental-premise/

    (even now I think there’s some truth in it).

    Now being much older, and in one of the “elite” strata of the society, other Indians treat me with dignity for the wrong reason. This has mellowed me down considerably (which means I should confess I’m acting on the basis of my personal experience and not really on principle; I still notice that the same dignity is denied to young male students). I don’t read that blog or other PUA/MRA blogs any more.

    I know some here might feel that this shitty treatment of men is a consequence of patriarchy. But is demonizing an entire gender the way to address the issue? If a community has higher crime rates, is demonizing it a constructive approach?

    4. That survey of Thomson Reuters that was linked to ( https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/02/india-most-dangerous-country-women-survey ) is bullshit – they just asked a bunch of organizations that they themselves handpicked, to rate, and compiled the ratings.

    5. What Shafiq really calls South Asia’s reputation is really India’s reputation, not Pakistan’s or Bangladesh’s. Pakistan got a similar bad reputation through an independent process: after more westerners started hating Islam post 9/11. Both have bad reputations but due to different reasons.

    Would say sorry for the long comment, except that I’ve made many long comments here before.

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    1. Just to be clear, by Devi and Ma Janani, I wanted to include both Hindus and Muslims of South Asia. I did not mean any religious reference just cultural. I am aware that in Hindi India, women are publicly refered as Devi. I couldn’t think of a Muslim term quickly but all Muslim kids grow up hearing the line that ‘Behesth (paradise) is under the foot of Maa’, so I used the Ma-Janani word.

      As for the men-women differential suicide rates raised by several other readers, those points are definitely worth considering. I will try to give a detailed response later. However, I should mention here for now that women’s suicide rate should be compared more with women’s rate with other countries and Male’s with Male. There is sufficient uniformity of geneder roles in the world between all societies such within sex rate should be weighted more than between sex comparison. Undoubtedly cultural effects explain lot of differences between suicide rates of sexes. For example, in Russia, Male suicide rate aamong 25-35 group is 10 times higher than female. Wold you say that a matriarchal society in Russia is driving men to suicide? No you would not. Knowing Russia, you will understand that heavy alcohol consumption is definitely a big culprit here.

      So, within country variation of female suicide rate is interesting and should be analysed because within country comparison automatically controls lot of factors. But comparing male-female rates may not be so informative.

      Number of suicides per 100,000 by age group and gender. Russia, 2006
      Age (years) 5–14 15–24 25–34 35–44 45–54 55–64 65–74 75+
      Males 2.8 43.7 70.9 66.3 71.4 61.6 70.0 86.5
      Females 1.1 7.4 9.0 9.1 10.3 8.9 13.3 24.8
      Average 2.0 25.8 39.8 36.9 38.6 31.4 33.8 40.7

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      1. Thanks for approving the comment which had recieved spam filter love.

        Shafiq, I should clarify I wasn’t attributing any motive to you regarding the Devi thing. It is a pattern of narrative that floats around, so naturally that is much more likely to come across your mind while writing the post.

        Good point about the age-group-wise sorting, but my point was merely that the factors can a priori be more complicated (as the wide variety of countries with divergent ratios shows), and we shouldn’t prejudge the causes.

        Edit: By the way, patriarchy can also drive men to suicide as it has a bidirectional privilege structure in my view, wherein men are losers if they can’t get a job, but let me not digress.

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    2. It is a psychological tactic of subconsciously associating oppression to a specifically Hindu practice though the said practice is irrelevant to the said oppression – simply because they aren’t present in Abrahamism and hence represents the “bizarre other”.

      Is this maybe just a Marxist tactic? Left-wingers in the US tend to cast blame on Christianity a lot more than other religions.

      In the Hindu context, there’ also the inordinate attention paid to texts like Manusmriti.

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      1. Possible, though more like those who are very mood-affiliated on class-struggle, a class that strictly contains Marxists. Agree with the analogy about Americans. My problem was not with blaming Hinduism here though (a lot of which would be understandable); some sort of “alogical” (as opposed to illogical) maneuvering.

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      2. Numinous, few who criticize Manusmriti understand Manusmriti. Manusmriti does not apply in Kali (since 3012 BC). Manusmriti says that laws have to be continually updated and evolved for changing times. I could look up the exact verse number if you wish.

        The number one target of marxists/post modernism is Judaism which they hate for no rational reason. Number two target is Hinduism/Buddhism . . . which they blame for Nazism and the holocaust (the demonization of Myanmar is part of this). Number 3 target is Christianity. Number 4 target use to be Islam (which Edward Said fought against). But around 2015 this suddenly changed. Now post modernists are confused about Islam or engage in sophistry (pretend to be pro Islam while secretly trying to destroy Islam). Marxists are still anti Islam.

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    3. ‘how the parts of India which are most notorious for patriarchy…’

      The thing is its unclear how much of this generalization is true or if true, how it translates to wife-beating, female suicides and female foetocide. For eg: the most notorious wife-beaters seems to be in Telangana, well into the Deccan.

      “Among men, the highest acceptance for this form of domestic abuse was in Telangana. The survey found 75 per cent men in the state thought it was justified to beat their spouses.”

      The national average is 42%.

      I have brought up the horrible female sex ratio at birth of TN and how its getting worse (with appropriate caveats added about data thanks to comments). These are all areas also known for pervasive honor killings and caste violence. That there is a pre-concieved notion of North India as the epicenter of all things undesirable for right-thinking people doesn’t mean it’s actually something reflected in reality.

      Religion-wise as well, there are a few stereotype-busting surprises. Its neither Hindus nor Muslims who approve of wife-beating the most but supposedly the most educated and arguably the most westernized of India’s religious groups.

      “The survey also says that of the respondents, Christian men and women justified physical abuse the most among religious groups. Of members from the community, 56.9 per cent of Christian women and 51.6 per cent of men said any of the circumstances listed justified physical abuse.”

      https://theprint.in/governance/more-women-than-men-think-wife-beating-is-justified/29808/

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  10. Thanks to Shafiq R for writing about this and to D for elaborating upon it.

    What could be some reasons for such a high incidence of suicides among both women and men of AP, TS, KA and TN? I can think of a few but don’t know if they are correct or not. For example, I suspect student suicides to be a big problem because there is an extremely high pressure towards academic performance and from an early age, students tend to deeply internalise a vision of complete and abject failure of life and betrayal of parents if desired level of academic success is not achieved. While the parents may not be a direct cause of this in many cases, they typically tend to contribute to the problem by not explicitly and continually making it known to children that a bit of an academic failure is not a reason to decide to end one’s life and that they would love and support them no matter what.

    And regarding the wife-beating, dowry deaths, etc. phenomena, I believe that D’s assessment in his/her newest comment is correct, the questions of patriarchies, matrilinealities aside (btw south Indian kinship systems are also not matrilineal (there are only traces of matrilineality in some situations where a maternal uncle and maternal grandparents perform some religious rituals for children; other than that, families are completely patrilineal. And a thing like “matriarchy” does not exist in south India, probably never existed, quite as extremely rare as it is in the wider world. Even in small matrilineal pockets like the erstwhile Nairs of Kerala, the ultimate boss of the house used to be the eldest male progeny of the matron) though it could be said women typically tend to enjoy more freedom and autonomy than a textbook patriarchy which also probably is rare). I imagine wife-beating would have been quite common in at least Telangana and Andhra Pradesh during the 1950s, 60s and earlier and decrease it must have been doing but still probably a very big problem. My maternal grandmother herself was a victim of horrible domestic abuse that included beating in the hands of her husband in the 1960s who would have very well continued the practice into much later times had he not died himself for whatever reason (there is at least a single-digit percentage chance that he committed suicide himself). And dowry deaths definitely definitely used to be a very big thing too, though I hope that they are not such a big thing now (but I strongly believe that they they exist at least). My maternal grandmother told me three or four dowry death stories of women about whom she heard in a small region in the Krishna district around that period of 1940s-50s. The author Sudha Murthy also wrote about the incidence of the dowry-death problem in Karnataka in one of her books (I read her books quite a while ago but I googled and saw that the book is “Wise and Otherwise” and the name of the story is “Stove Bursts or Dowry Deaths?”) and I remember that the particular non-fiction incident that she wrote about in “Stove Bursts or Dowry Deaths?” was particularly gut-wrenching to me at the time.

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  11. The real problem it seems is that words, ground realities, statistics & conclusions all gets concocted to create false binaries to suite our own perspectives.

    Regarding the OP’s post –

    https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/-one-indian-commits-suicide-every-4-minutes-men-more-vulnerable/609058.html
    Note – Nearly 70 per cent of all suicide deaths in India involve males.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_suicide
    China – Where more women commit suicide than men.
    Also note that Sri-lanka which scores higher than most Indian states with regards to all major indices has a very high number of suicides.

    A reversed gender pattern? A meta-analysis of gender differences in the prevalence of non-suicidal self-injurious behaviour among Chinese adolescents – {Note thee other 2 nations with higher suicides among women than men}
    https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4614-z

    The OP conveniently overlooks the comparative picture Lancet study provides of young people aged 15-40 yrs. taking their own lives in India & overly focuses on Female suicides to blame the so called “South Asian culture” & “Patriarchy”. If this is true then the same can be said about “Hypergamy” & more male suicides in most parts of world.

    // one-fifth of Indian women still marry before the age of 15 //
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-gender-child-marriage/indias-child-marriage-numbers-drop-sharply-driving-down-global-rate-unicef-idUSKBN1GI03F
    https://indianexpress.com/article/india/bid-to-stop-child-marriages-nhrc-report-says-rte-should-be-extended-to-children-till-18-years-5351429/

    https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/india/
    https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/pakistan/
    https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/bangladesh/

    The author overlooks all differences so that he can put his prejudiced “South Asian culture” to broad brush the various different reasons for prevalence of these practices in these nations.

    Just for comparison – https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/sri-lanka/

    I wonder what is the statistical contribution of Muslims in this practice in non-Islamic nations ?

    The other blind spot i want to highlight is that these experts speak to reaffirm the Western prejudices to increase their ‘Academic Credibility’ or else just check how great scholars are cited for years {Western or Non-Western} while most of the Academia just works by reaffirming each other’s bubbles regarding various issues & solutions of world by citing each other until people give a jolt to their prevalent worldviews {e.g. Note discussions regarding critical theory, Identity politics, Globalization etc.}.

    I wish author would not have tried to straight jacket this serious issue to put forth his own prejudiced ideas to the whole region & as an suicide survivor myself i would like to request the OP to take great care and less prejudiced view while discussing such issues & the sources for their prevalence.

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  12. “It just so happens that the suicide rates of men in most other countries, especially the Western countries, is far higher than the women of those countries. So when we make the comparison of Indian women with non-Indian women vs Indian men vis a vis Non-Indian men, Indian women seem to come out worse.”

    The fact remains that Indian women are approximately 15 percent of the world’s population of women but form 40 percent of those who kill themselves. What do male suicide rates have to do with this ?

    The only silver lining is that this overrepresentation has been declining with time.

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  13. Recently the rate of suicide among young American females (born during and after the late 1990s) has skyrocketed. So has depression and mental illness. Interestingly much of the phenomenon seems most pronounced among the upper middle class and middle class. This discussion mentions some factors that might be contributing:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7venlDja6s
    Some say helicopter parenting is contributing. The first time kids are allowed to play, think or read on their own is in college . . . and then too in a very over protected over safe saran wrapped environment. The length of adolescence is lengthening. Until recently there was no adolescence. In Asia for many or most kids there remains no adolescence. One of the discussants speculated that maybe 2018 eighteen year olds are similar in maturity to 1980s fifteen year olds [during the Reagan golden years].

    For this reason starting in 2013, a phenomenon began unprecedented in US post 1776 history. US college students turned against free art, free speech and free thought; partly because they thought these were forms of oppression. Before 2013 in public opinion polling, young college students had always been the most supportive of free art, free speech and free thought of any demographic.

    But what shocked universities and researchers the most was that many students gave medical reasons for why they opposed free art, free speech and free thought. Many young kids genuinely were afraid that they would be medically harmed if exposed to different ideas and perspectives. And given the skyrocketing rates of psychological illness, rates of prescribed use of heavy brain altering medications, depression and suicide among 18 year old college females; this view has to be seriously explored.

    One recommendation some give is to delay college until young people are emotionally mature enough for college. In the 1950s, perhaps 14 year olds were generally emotionally mature enough for college. Maybe the age at which many students are similarly emotionally mature is 24 years old? Maybe 22 years old?

    Shafiq, what do you think can be done about the soaring rates of mental illness, large dosage prescribed psychiatric drug use and suicide among young upper middle class and to a lesser degree middle class young females?

    One of the reasons I think Asian societies need to prevent post modernists from taking over K-12 and college education is because of mental illness, prescribed psychiatric drug use and suicide among young people. Another is that I think young people benefit from learning to use their existing intelligence, logic, science, openness (also called art). Post modernism as currently misunderstood teaches children to think illogically and irrationally.

    Yet another reason is because I think a massive focus for young people and all people should be on increasing intelligence, physical health and mental health. Part of how should be to strongly encourage:
    —exercise (including through team sports, dance)
    —stretching (including through ballet, martial arts, Tai Chi/Qi Gong and Yoga)
    —breathing
    —meditation (including through brain electro-therapy and brain sound therapy (music))
    These increase capacity, competence and merit. Which is far more useful than post modernism, which at its core assumes that “oppressed” people [a made up nonsensical category that mostly does not exist in the real world] cannot become wise, powerful and sovereign.

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