CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The suicide rate in India has shown an upward trend over the past fifty years. It is possible to discern a close relationship between the suicide rate and the various dimensions of economic growth thanks to data gathered by the National Crime Records Bureau every year since 1967. The present situation in India is reminiscent of that of European societies studied by Durkheim: suicide is linked to modernity. The Census of 2001 allows direct calculation of suicide rates as they relate to level of education and professional status. At both extremities of the education ladder, the suicide rate is lower: those who have to put forth uncertain or incomplete skills on the labor market are more exposed to the risk of suicide than the illiterate or university graduates. The study of suicide rate according to professional status puts into perspective the incidence of suicide among farmers, in whom the media want to see the paradigm of Indian suicide. Suicide is, above all, an urban social fact. None of these facts would have surprised Durkheim. However, one phenomenon distinguishes India: the weak protection afforded to women, especially at the age range that corresponds to the start of married life. From this point of view, India belongs with Asia, where going to live with the husband’s family (virilocality) makes the first years of marriage very difficult for the wife.


  • anomy
  • integration
  • modernization
  • suicide
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