Medha Patkar should be tried for suicide

A recent asides post on Medha Patkar evoked a sharp response. I felt I should elaborate my stand:

The question raised in that post was whether Medha Patkar should be tried for attempted suicide for her prolonged hunger strike.

“Suicide” is defined as an act of willfully ending one’s own life. The Indian Penal Code (sec 309) says:

Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall he punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year [or with fine, or with both]

Now if the argument is that the “Gandhian ways” are above the rule of law, I’ve nothing to counter that. Sorry. The only way out of this is to change the law and make suicide a legal right. And that’s a whole new debate.

Secondly, Medha Patkar’s hunger strike was considered as a “peaceful” protest. I’m not so sure about that. In my opinion, a peaceful protest should not bring any harm to any life. Would you consider self-immolation as peaceful? Burning to death or starving to death, they all might be for a just cause, but they are all forms of suicide.

Thirdly, I absolutely despise the idea of protests being personality based, instead of being community based. A single celebrity participation often overshadows the voices of thousands of protestors who are genuinely affected. The blame for this, needless to say, lies in our dork media.

Finally, I would like to make it clear that this post has nothing to do with the ideology of Narmada Bachao Andolan. I firmly believe in their objectives and their arguments. But sorry, I don’t want to be part of the “media antics” that they resort to every now and then.

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