Updated: Apr 15
In a society sometimes it becomes really hard to survive, for decades it is being like that, you must’ve heard about the famous quote by Charles Darwin “survival of the Fittest” which means that the one who’s the fittest will survive and others will die. Now let’s talk about today’s world where everything has become so competitive that if this theory was to work then most people would be dead by now. In times like these where everything is so hard to achieve yet so important, normally people start struggling sometimes there is no way out and they can’t find a way to achieve anything in their life and that’s where the depression peeps into the life of a normal person, depression is different for every person and a person can be struggling socially, economically or emotionally it doesn’t matter that what may be the reason but the person becomes lonely and cannot find the way out of such problems. If an outsider looks into such a problem, it may not seem too big to them but for the person struggling with such problems, it may be the end of the world for them. In lifestyle like today’s it has become common as people generally live on their own and loneliness takes over them, thus every section of the society has to come out and support each other otherwise the most common thing among us will be suicide and people will not find a way out of such problems.
Depression, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorders, and Eating disorders are some of the disorders which are generally been neglected by society at large. Depression is a mental illness where a person takes their issues very seriously and thinks that they’ll never get the happiness that they deserve and generally the only option that remains with them is taking their own life. Now suicide is not the only option as it not only affects the deceased family but society as a whole because the reasons due to which a person took his own life could’ve been dealt with and nothing is important than the life of a person. In Indian law, before the year 2017 attempt to suicide was punishable under section 309 of Ipc, acc. to this section the person attempting suicide if saved will be punishable with imprisonment and fine. In some of the cases of depression, a person trying to take his own life must have been going through hard times and that is why he/she tried to take their own life and if by any chance saved then would’ve to go through the court proceedings, such person who’s already going through the failure of their attempt to take life cannot be given more stress by filing a case against them. It was debatable that if there is an inclusion of the right to life under article 21 of the Indian constitution then the right to take life should also be included and by this virtue section 309 was unconstitutional but since the right to life is an inherent right and a natural right which cannot be compromised with, right to die, as suicide is the unnatural termination of life thus section 309 cannot be unconstitutional.
Decriminalizing Section- 309
It was the question that since section 309 comes under the Indian Penal Code and criminalizes the act of suicide, would it be justified to give the punishment to someone who’s already suffering from some kind of mental illness giving them more worries and since the state must look after the lives of the people and make a society easier to be lived in, also the main aim of the law is to provide justice as well as better living for the citizens, such law which doesn’t look after such circumstances should be invalid and cannot be a justified law in such a society as it will only lead to the questioning on the legal system of our country. To cope up with the situation in the year 2017, The Mental Health Care 2017 was passed wherein the person trying to suicide is said to be temporarily lost his intellect because of some kind of mental illness and cannot be punished for such an attempt. Also after the 210th report of the Law Commission of India, section-309 was decriminalized as it was an inhumane law whether constitutional or unconstitutional. Decriminalizing such a law was relieving as well as justified for many people.
The governmental bodies must spread awareness regarding mental health, as depression is also a disease just like cancer or diabetes wherein a person suffers but it can be cured and the person could be saved from doing anything unwanted. The government issuing guidelines regarding mental health in public hospitals along with free counselors should be must, counseling in schools and colleges should be also made compulsory because depression is most common in students, Mental health is a subject which needs to be necessarily discussed among the society, as people generally neglect it, and maybe being nice to people around you could also change their perspective of life, these short steps should be necessary for our daily lives to make ourselves as well as other’s living peaceful and healthy.
- LEGAL HUMMING
(CO-AUTHOR LAIBA ARSHAD)