The Ministry of Women and Child Development today said its minister, Maneka Gandhi, advocated equal rights for all citizens and her reported remark on male suicides had been taken out of context. Gandhi was asked during a Facebook live session yesterday, “What is our government doing to reduce higher suicide rate among men, majority of which is due to Gynocentric Gender-Biased laws?” To this, she replied, “Which men have committed suicide? Why not try and resolve the situation rather than commit suicide? I have not heard/read of a single case.” The ministry said the minister’s response was being judged in isolation and taken out of context. “The Ministry of Women and Child Development and the minister have constantly advocated for equal rights of all citizens of the nation,” it said.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), of the 1,33,623 suicides reported in 2015, as many as 91,528 (68 per cent) were by men. Moreover, 64,534 (74 per cent) of the 86,808 married persons who committed suicide in 2015 were men. A further break-up of the data reveals that 654 married men ended their lives because of ‘non-settlement of marriage’, as against 524 women. Divorce led to 192 men and 199 women committing suicide. The minister held a one-on-one interaction yesterday through a Live Facebook session and reached out to nearly 2,00,000 people. Over 700 questions were received.