Men’s suicides in India inequality-driven

Update 2018 06 09 — Note: This update reflects that India’s NCRB censored itself after the initial version of this blog posting was published on June 17, 2017. Instances of the NCRB’s self-censorship are indicated by the notes in red font throughout the text of this blog posting.

India experiences an epidemic of Indian men’s suicides, while the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) hides that fact behind a facade of Indian women as victims.

About a week ago (June 2017), I found that the two graphs included in this article needed updating.   The data reflected in the graphs covered an aspect of suicides in India, suicides by husbands and wives within the context of the epidemic of Indian men’s suicides, from the interval beginning in 1995 and ending in 2011.  The updating, to add data for four more years, was more difficult than I had feared.  The data were difficult to find. After three days of asking Indian men’s rights activists, one of them was able to provide me with a link for the latest report issued by the Indian government:

Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2015

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB); Ministry of Home Affairs
By Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, Government of India, 29th July, 2016
http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2015/adsi-2015-full-report.pdf. (Note 2018 06 09: The document at the preceding link was accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. It no longer is. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.)

The link to the report helped to discover other, related sources of information that I had been trying to find during the previous few days (relative to June 17, 2017).  That was not the end of the difficulties. Perhaps the NCRB does have a data base that permits the construction of graphs showing time series for data of interest, but that, if it exists, could not be found by me. Furthermore, the Indian government does not appear to have published such time series, either in tabular or in graphical form.

Men's suicides in India inequality-driven - husbands commit suicides at more than twice the rate at which wives commit suicides.

Men’s suicides in India inequality-driven – husbands commit suicides at more than twice the rate at which wives commit suicides.

Navigation of the sources of suicide data published by the NCRB is very cumbersome.

I tried as best as I could to identify the individual files in which I found the data shown here (to sort my thoughts and not to lose track of where I was when I found something I needed) for the updating of the associated spreadsheet that is used to generate the included graphs. I tried to follow the same principle when using the data I found for updating the associated spreadsheet, in the spreadsheet itself. (Some of the data, and links to their sources, I needed and found are shown at the end of this commentary.)

Men's suicides in India inequality-driven - husband suicides are twice those by wives

Men’s suicides in India inequality-driven – husband suicides are twice those by wives

The data of interest are spread out over reports that each contains only data for a single year or for some data for two years, and for some totals for several years, but not for individual sub-categories of those totals for more than two years.  That is very user-unfriendly. It is not too surprising that the World Health Organization provides comprehensive health statistics for most, if not all countries in the world, but virtually none for India.  I suspect that the WHO may have found it to be too difficult to work with non-standard and extremely user-unfriendly tabulations.

At any rate, I soon found that I became frequently lost while navigating through the NCRB’s documentation for India’s suicide data.  That will without a doubt be even more likely to happen to anyone who wishes to verify that the data reflected in the spreadsheet, and the calculations performed with them, are accurate.  Whenever that happened to me, I learned that it was a good practice to go back to a useful index page for reports covering a good number of years, to get my bearings and to start the journey again from there, so as to get to where I wanted to be.  Here is the link for that report index: http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/PrevPublications.htm (Note 2018 06 09: The document at the preceding link was accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. It no longer is. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.)

The NCRB maintains an index page for its data, but most of the links are fake, as they lead to nowhere.

No one should be too impressed by the large number of links to annual reports on accident and suicide data that are accessible to the public, covering the interval from 1967 to 2014.  That index page is largely a farce.  It does not even indicate which of the links lead to no information at all.  Only the links to reports for the years 2009 to 2014 lead to anything useful.  For the years prior to 2009, the links lead to empty web pages or at best, in relatively few years, to nothing more than the cover pages of reports.  There is not a single indication for even one of the useless links that shows that a given link is useless because it will lead to emptiness.

Why does the government of the second-most populous, soon to be the most-populous, nation on Earth advertise that its presentation of data presented to its people and those of the world is a shambles? Why not simply indicate on that index page that, although the data for the years prior to 2009 exist, the Indian government does not wish to have its people and those of the world gain access to it?

The data put together by the NCRB and made accessible appears to be generally good and trustworthy, but the navigating of it is not merely very difficult, it is absolutely bewildering.

The report for the year 2015 comprises more than 315 pages! The NCRB has to do a lot of work before it can come even somewhat close to the ease of navigating statistical data bases, for putting together summaries or reports that can be found at organizations such as, for example, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, Canada Statistics or the German Statistisches Bundesamt, a very long way!

It appears that if someone would have set out to deliberately design the extracting of data from the NCRB reports to be very difficult, he could not have done a much better job of it.

Misrepresentations that are designed to mislead, apparently to divert attention from men’s suicides comprise the largest group of suicide victims.

Some of the introductory statements in the annual reports appear designed to be deliberately misleading, although the factual data they represent is most definitely accurate. Still, being accurate does not mean that a misleading statement will not have the desired effect for which is was designed.  Extremely few people in the media will take the hours of time it takes to find and to use the factors presented in a misleading statement, so as to discern what the facts mean and whether or how far a misleading statement is from being factual, honest and objective.

Take this example in the Indian Suicide data:

1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’. Nearly 70.5% of the male victims were married while 67.3% of female victims were married.

More at ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India 2015‘, p. ix
(Note 2018 06 09: The document at the preceding link was accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. It no longer is. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.)

That statement is designed to be misleading. Although it should puzzle anyone at first glance, why women were singled out in the beginning of that statement, it most definitely attempts to present married women as the primary victims of suicide. When, however, all of the facts that the statement is based on are taken – to look at both, married women and married men who committed suicide, as a percentage of their respective suicide victim groups – a more realistic impression emerges.  To be objective, this is what the statement should have presented:

1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’, while a little more than 2 out of every 6 suicides were committed by ‘husbands’.

Married men are more than twice as likely than married women to commit suicide. Is it really too difficult to be honest about that India’s social policies aim at killing India’s men in disproportionately large numbers?  (Appended quotes show that the practice of obscuring men’s suicides and the misleading emphasis on women’s suicides is a long-established practice employed by the NCRB for many years.)

The insistence by media and Government, that women are the primary victims of social oppression and kill themselves in ever larger numbers on account of that, is bunk. That is the impression that the NCRB statement should make but intentionally fails to make!

Admonition to India’s government officials that their practice of downplaying the far larger number of men’s suicides and of asserting women’s victim status is deplorable.

Shame on India’s government for downplaying and distorting accurate information that shows that men disproportionately suffer much more than women – all for the sake of promoting gender politics that present women as victims, women who, measured by the risk of suicide they experience, suffer only half as badly as men do.

Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, Government of India, should not have authenticated a report that contains glaring attempts at indoctrination, thereby promoting gender-politics that aim at belittling the fact that male victims comprise the vast majority of accidental deaths and suicide in India. That is all the more so because the same sort of distortion of reality in the comparable statistical reports by the NCRB for prior years is a long-established practice that is being continued by the NCRB and endorsed by the Honourable Rajiv Mehrishi.

Walter H. Schneider, Bruderheim, Alberta, Canada, 2017 06 17


P.S. 2018 06 09:

Suggestion: India’s taxpayers and legislators should ask the Honourable Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, Government of India, for an explanation why and how it has been decided that the NCRB has the authority to hide information from the Indian public which the latter always had the right to gain free and unrestricted access to.

A relatively good ending to the dilemma is that I have copies of the indicated documents that the public no longer can get access to without special permission. I will gladly make copies of those documents available in digital format to interested parties who can demonstrate a need for them, but I would like to do so no more than once and leave the distribution of further copies of the documentation in the hands of Indian Men’s Rights activists who would like to discuss the contents of the documents with the media.

After all, the NCRB cannot possibly have a good reason for hiding objective, honest and comprehensive Indian suicide data from the Indian public, information which the Honourable Rajiv Mehrishi, Home Secretary, Government of India, had announced on the 29th of July, 2016 with the following words:

It gives me pleasure to present the annual report “Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India” for the year 2015 published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This report is forty ninth in the series; first report having been published in the year 1967. I appreciate the efforts made by the NCRB to bring out this publication in time.

Like previous years this year also the report has been published with detailed analysis on accidents (both natural causes and un-natural causes) such as road traffic accidents, suicides, etc. I am confident that this publication will enable the policy makers and all stakeholders to take decisions and carry out further studies and research on this important subject of national concern.

I convey my appreciation to all the States/UTs Police Departments for furnishing the data to NCRB within time and expect same assistance in future also.

[Signed]
(Rajiv Mehrishi)

Just a year later, the Honourable Rajiv Mehrishi was no longer pleased about the report and would rather have had that as many people as possible won’t be able to see it anymore, but not only that. He also authorized the NCRB, unless the NCRB is a rogue government department under no one’s control, to prevent the Indian taxpayers from accessing comparable information going all the way back to 1967.  Will the NCRB purge the nation’s libraries of all copies of the annual statistical reports of ‘ACCIDENTAL DEATHS & SUICIDES IN INDIA’, or is the NCRB merely trying to prevent too many people having easy access to the evidence that the NCRB has been lying all along with honest statistics by misrepresenting them in misleading summaries and press releases?


Related Blog-post: Indian men’s suicides have reached epidemic proportions, 2017 06 21


Various factors (and their sources) found for updating the graphs in the commentary

India – Total Population

Year Population Source
2012 1,213,370,000 1
2013 1,228,790,000 1
2014 1,244,040,000 2
2015 1,259,110,000 3

Sources:

  1. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2013/table-1.1.pdf *
  2. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2014/chapter-2%20suicides.pdf *
  3. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2015/adsi-2015-full-report.pdf (Table 1.1, p. 15) *

* Note 2018 06 09: The documents at the preceding three links were accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. They no longer are. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.

Total suicides (all India)

Year Male Female Source
2012 79,773 40,715 1
2013 90,543 44,256 2
2014 89,129 42,521 3
2015 91,528 42,088 4

Sources:

  1. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2012/table-2.4.pdf *
  2. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2013/table-2.5.pdf *
  3. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2014/table-2.4.pdf *
  4. http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2015/adsi-2015-full-report.pdf *

_________
* Note 2018 06 09: The documents at the preceding four links were accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. They no longer are. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.

Comparisons of the ratios of suicides by husbands vs. those by wives (from the introductions of the NCRB reports for years listed)

2012

“Nearly 71.6% of the suicide victims were married males while 67.9% were married females.” and “1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’.” http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2012/Snapshots.pdf p. viii *

2013

“Nearly 70.8% of the suicide victims were married males while 66.6% were married females.” and “1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’.” http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2013/snapshots.pdf p. viii *

2014

“1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’, nearly 67.0% of the male victims were married while 63.6% of female victims were married.” http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2014/page-vii-x%20snapshots.pdf p. ix *

2015

“1 suicide out of every 6 suicides was committed by a ‘housewife’. Nearly 70.5% of the male victims were married while 67.3% of female victims were married.”
http://ncrb.nic.in/StatPublications/ADSI/ADSI2015/adsi-2015-full-report.pdf p. ix *


  • Note 2018 06 09: The documents at the preceding four links were accessible without restriction to the public, as of June 17, 2017. They no longer are. Apparently the NCRB no longer wishes the public to have access to information it produced with the funding provided by Indian taxpayers.

#IndiaSuicideStatistics #RajivMehrishi #NCRBSuicideStatisticsIndia

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