Andhra Suicides and YSR Reddy
The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh died in a helicopter crash this past week. Our heartfelt condolences to his family. It is a sad moment when life suddenly comes to such a tragic and untimely end.
Rest in Peace, Y S Rajashekhara Reddy.
As always, this event got converted into a huge national crisis, and the media went into overdrive with the frenzied zeal that has become synonymous with news coverage these days.
And then they took it up a notch.
At least 60 persons either committed suicide or died of shock after hearing the news of Chief Minister YSR Reddy’s death in a chopper crash.[link]
As much of a charismatic and visionary leader he may have been, it is hard to stomach the fact that grief stricken people are going around committing suicides because of his untimely demise.
We Indians sure are crazy, but this crazy? Somehow, in a state that has seen almost 3000 suicides in the past 5 years this claim rings hollow.
Sample these news reports from the time when YSR was alive and well.
Even as Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy admitted there had been 20 suicides by farmers in the state in the last 40 days, yet another case came to light on Saturday. [link] – 16 Aug 2009
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today admitted that 2,890 farmers committed suicide in the state since May 2004 when he took over reins for the first time.[link] – 10 June 2009
Why must we attempt to squeeze every ounce of marketing points out of even a tragic event like death? Why must death be made into a complete circus?
Is it a fair assumption that any deaths in the state following YSR’s are out of grief for the fallen leader, or is it just propoganda by overzealous party promoters?
Also read this piece by Sandeep, who points out that YSR may not quite be the god that he is being proclaimed to be.
(Image courtesy: indianexpress)