The curse of being a South Asian student

Published: June 26, 2012
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Hopelessness, helplessness, depression, and frustration is, for much of the country, common currency.

When an eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after suffering silently from months of cyber-bullying, journalist Josh Goodman at the The Huffington Post demanded that not only his bullies but the whole of society be put on trial for its role in the suicide.

As virtually every media outlet, numerous celebrities, and even President Obama, spoke out about the tragedy, the question remained: Why would a young man just starting college, seemingly on the first page of a new chapter, change course and set sail in the direction of death instead?

It is true that such death occurrence’s have a spree of questions attached to them.

Everybody asks why and everybody wants to know how. It is through seeking answers that any sense of closure can be gained by those left behind. But where there is a suicide, the reasons why tend to follow the victim out, leaving the conversation painfully one-sided.

Take the case of Air University student Basharat Khan who was found hanging from a ceiling fan this month. His friends can’t recall any signs of depression. No warning flags were raised when his two roommates left him alone in the room that day. Now, a few days into this tragedy, perhaps Khan’s family and friends are realising what so many others have realised; that there is no black and white answer just a murky grey mix of troubles, anxieties and experiences that were exclusive only to Khan.

But wait a minute, how can there be smoke without fire?

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported 1,153 attempted suicides and 2, 131 actualised suicides across the country in 2011 alone. And then there are the incidents that don’t become statistics. Incidents which go unrecognised because the family refuses to acknowledge them for fear of societal shame and public humiliation ─ as was likely in the suicide of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME) student who jumped from the campus building to his death. A death which was neither investigated nor reported on at the family’s behest.

Brushing things promptly under the rug is no surprise in a country like Pakistan, which like many other nations of the East, subscribes to a ‘shame’ culture. In such a culture, social order and control over individuals, particularly children, is maintained by perpetuating the complementary threats of shame and ostracism.

What that means, in a nutshell, is that in Pakistani society what others believe is most powerful and takes precedence over everything else.

And from this stems the individual desire to do all in one’s power to preserve honour and avoid shame ─ a concept rooted deeply in the nation’s DNA, and a topic guaranteed to boost viewership on Hum TV.

Combine this culture of shame with an academic environment that is marred by nepotism.

The soaring cost of educating oneself, the competitive and rigorousness of getting in and staying in at the country’s top institutions, and the general zeitgeist of a society suffering from governmental apathy. Oh, and lest we forget; the general reluctance, prevalent in much of our society, of discussing psychological problems.

Just to take in all the above one would have to pop open another chamber in one’s heart, and an extra lobe in one’s brain.

Consequently, hopelessness, helplessness, depression, and frustration is, for much of the country, common currency. And maybe it helps us all sleep at night if we at least know what’s fuelling the violent behaviour and the dramatic increase in suicides nationwide.

When I told a friend I was writing on student suicides in Pakistan, she asked me why. Why focus only on student suicides when there are people like Raja Khan who escape poverty and desperation by choosing death?

It’s not that the death of a student is any more significant or trendier. But student suicide becomes particularly significant when you remember that many of these educational institutes have allegedly taken steps to prevent the very outcome that winds up taking place, most often on their campus.

Consider the story of Aga Khan medical student Ishfaq Hussain who was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his dorm room in 2010 by his brother. A faculty member acknowledged that at the time a mentor-ship programme had been in place to prevent something like this. But as a side note, till this day it remains only an effort on paper.

So I asked Junayd Khan, a Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) graduate who was attending university when Hashir Munawer committed suicide in a hostel room, why he thought a student may be compelled to take his or her own life.

Khan summed it up pretty nicely,

“The rigorous curriculum and an extremely diverse student body with people from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds,” he explained, adding, “it can be tough to adjust to life as most of these students are high achievers but struggle with the stiff competition”.

As the number of suicides go up at some of the nation’s topmost education centres, I asked Khan why he thought it was so and he breaks it down nice and easy for me,

“You’re studying at one of the best institutions in the country. And there is nowhere to go from here”.

Yet my simple, one-track mind still cannot accept these simplified explanations.

I still cannot fathom what compels such a drastic and final act of desperation by some. But questioning is maligning, I quickly realise, as all administration people I try to reach out at Pakistan’s prestigious universities skirt around the issue of suicide, chalking up their preventative programs to me and skillfully playing the blame game.

So, I ask Khan what LUMS did following its first ever suicide. He writes back stating that students were extremely critical of the administration at the open house following the suicide. He assures me that LUMS did take certain steps to institutionalise and prioritise student counselling which faculty members were assigned to take up. Also, student-faculty interaction as a whole shot up and faculty members were empowered to take a more hands-on approach to resolving issues.

Having exhausted my sources and nearing the end of my research I remain unsatisfied.

Shame culture, check.

Lack of intervention into the lives of those who may be clinically depressed or psychologically disturbed, check.

Lack of opportunity plus increased competition and frustration, check.

And, yes, suicide and depression risk assessments make a great component of the applicant process, particularly, when there is a chance the incoming candidate will face a degree of culture shock due to a move from rural Pakistan to metropolitan Pakistan.

And sure, mentor-ship programs along with selecting a large pool of candidates from the same geographical area are valuable preventative measures to reduce student isolation.

But maybe the answer is much simpler.

Maybe all we need to realise and start talking about on our countless daytime talk shows, is the darker narrative accompanying the popular stereotype of the high achieving, high scoring South Asian student. A darker narrative of disappointment, depression, and sometimes, if faced by a failing grade, a profound and deadly crisis.

Read more by Maria here or follow her on Twitter @mariakari1414

Maria Kari

Maria Kari

The author is a lawyer and freelance journalist. She tweets as @mariakari1414 (twitter.com/mariakari1414)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • BlackJack

    There is no curse in being South Asian. The curse is in being Pakistani and more so, in being to ashamed to state it upfront. Indians are among the most optimistic, and those who commit suicide do not do so because their country has nothing to offer them.Recommend

  • Pakistani Agnostic

    Indians are bullied as well @Blackjack in North America, probably because of their complexion Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    @ Maria Kari

    Where does all of South Asia come in this? We are different. South Asia means India. Pakistan is part of middle east now. Just bracketing ius together makes us un-comfortable.Recommend

  • http://thedabbabrigade.wordpress.com RiffyR

    This kept my attention through and through. The writing is balanced, shows evidence of detailed research. Pleasure to read, though the situation is deplorable and the “shame” culture as you say has to be swept under the carpet, not the problem itself.
    Being a student myself, I can vouch for the fact that there are teachers who encourage unhealthy competition themselves. One of our teachers said and I quote “What’s wrong with you guys? Why don’t you ever compete?”.
    When asked why would we want to do that, the teacher had to say “For a better education, better job and better life.”
    This sentence was met with blank stares. Better education? Aren’t we studying in the same institute? Better job? As far as I know, jobs depend a lot on your individual personality instead of your grades. Better life? That’s so subjective, it’s almost like pursuing an illusion.
    The teacher had done her undergrad from LUMS by the way. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Maria Kari

    Except for the Tyler Clementi case, all the examples you present are from Pak (including Pak specific Hum TV). So, the apt title should be “The curse of being a Pakistani student

    I deeply suspect that you were subconsciously trying to preserve honour and avoid shame by starting with a barely relevant American example and then sweepingly generalizing under the pseudo label of South Asia.

    This is not the first time I find Pakistanis genuinely struggling to take an honest look at the mirror.

    @Pakistani Agnostic

    Indians are bullied in North America, probably because of their less beautiful complexion

    Please define the term – less beautiful complexion.
    I wonder how your racist remark (aimed at both Americans and Indians) even got through the mods.Recommend

  • FU

    @Pakistani Agnostic Wow i am really impressed at your racist humor.Wake up son this is America nobody gives a damn how you look,what matters is what can you contribute to the society as a whole.Right now if you take a honest look,Indian Americans are the most successful immigrant in USA with annual income even more than the whites.As for as beautiful Pakistanis you harp about are the most poorest in America and Canada.This was reported by Dawn your own newspaper. Add to that New york bomb plot have made showing Pakistani roots isn’t good idea and most of Pakistanis are forced to take shelter in their ancient Indian roots to avoid discrimination.PS:Don’t blame airport authorities for pulling you out of the line for your terrorist complexion. Recommend

  • ss

    @indians

    dear indians, was 3 idiots (which was based on old and pathetic jokes) about american students? and if you couldn’t comprehend what the auther wanted to say in this article, that movie should be released again with title “billion idiots”Recommend

  • Muslim

    @Yuri

    99% people will tell you that they prefer fair or white complexion over dark complexion, hence white complexion goes with the concept of beauty…there is nothing racist is calling a spade a spade…but yes hating someone for their less beautiful or dark complexion is racism and should be abhorred…I consider fair or white complexion as beautiful, but I like and respect people of all complexions…

    Islam says that all humans are equal before Allah regardless of being white or Balck, Arab or Non Arab, only the pious and virtuous ones are closer to Allah. In contrast the caste system in hindusim dates back to when the Arians conquered India and were of a fairer complexion than the local population and started the caste system which was then indoctrinated in the Vedas.. Recommend

  • Confused

    Apart from the incorrect title, this is indeed a depressing issue. Personally, I would say it is because of the extreme responsibility. That not just includes getting top grades, but knowing that the moment you were born you were expected to marry, lead a successful life and take care of your parents.
    All my life I’ve thought why should I accede to this, simply because of guilt? Because when I was too young to think, I got looked after by my community and thus I have to even it out? I have to study and get the best grades cause my parents wanted me too, and they fed me so I have to value their opinions over mine? Well, no. Screw that.
    These hopeless students all thought they had no choice, but you always have them. You can retreat, you can surrender and you can backtrace, and there is absolutely nothing shameful about it, please realize that. It’s called living and learning.
    If I do anything in my life, I need to make sure it’s because I want to. I would (not should) take care of my parents, if I am in a position to. And I need not get a job so I can take care of parents (which is a thinking process of many such students), I get a job because I would like to earn my own money, live my own life and spend it like I want to… and sure, help my parents out if they need it.
    Your life is the most valuable and unforeseeable thing you can have right now, please enjoy it, and don’t waste time worrying about things that you cannot control, but rather what you can.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @ss who writes

    “dear indians, was 3 idiots (which was based on old and pathetic jokes) about american students? and if you couldn’t comprehend what the auther wanted to say in this article, that movie should be released again with title “billion idiots””

    If it were not for a billion idiots, an idiotic, lame film like 3 idiots wouldn’t be a hit.

    However, now it should be a billion+1 idiots, because an idiot from Pakistan, by the name ss has taken the film seriously.Recommend

  • malik

    Where is this country called South Asia ?

    I guess Pakistanis are ashamed to identify themselves as Pakistanis and now they go around saying they are South Asians.

    An Indian will say he is Indian and he will never say he is a South Asian. If someone says he is a South Asian, you can bet your bottom dollar he is a Pakistani. Recommend

  • wirate

    The author correctly labels it ‘south asian student’, because the huge majority of south asians, i.e. indians and pakistanis suffer from the same problems. These problems are tough competition (both in academics and social life) and shame culture. You have to be good among the best and you cannot afford to fail at being good.Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    Agreed with you 100%.

    When we Pakistanies study, we put so much things on stake that we do not have the option of getting less in studies, as a result, stress jumps up too high.

    Just take an example of HEC scholarships, we have to put 60 lac property on guarantee, so if some one will fail, 60 lac property will be gone.

    Just consider the stress at this point alone.

    http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com/2012/06/hec-scholarships-and-grants-not-for.htmlRecommend

  • Wayne

    @BlackJack
    Wow, you’re so cynical and full of hate towards Pakistanis.

    Not too long ago, an Indian student in America bullied his room mate for being gay, and there are now many Americans students that despise Indian students because of this incident.

    I guess you’re right, us Pakistanis shouldn’t consider ourselves South Asian anymore, because
    1.We don’t look like Indians/Sri-Lankans.

    2.We speak an Indo-Aryan language

    3.We’re Caucasian.

    We’re culturally more closer to central asians than Indians I guess, even the UN considers us a part of central Asia.

    I’m not ashamed of being of Pakistani descent, and many Pakistani-Americans I know aren’t ashamed of stating it upfront, for some odd reason Indians are believing some sort of rumor that we’re calling ourselves Indian.

    I mean people mistake me as Armenian/Italian/Lebanese but never Indian, and correct them by proudly telling them of my Pakistani/Kashmiri heritage.

    You seriously need to travel more instead believing everything you read on the internet.

    @FU
    In America people care A LOT about how you look, and color-ism is well and alive in American.Recommend

  • Wayne

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Changing your Indian name to an eastern European one doesn’t make you an Eastern European.

    Suicide is very common in America among teenagers, I’ve known quite a few girls from my high school that have or contemplated suicide, most of the reasons are cyber-bullying.

    Unfortunately with Indian commentators they like to make this a ‘Pakistani’ issue, when it really is Universal.

    Cyber-bullying and real-life bullying are the main reasons for suicide.

    Japan and Sweden have the highest suicide rates, so I guess that debunks your theory that ‘suicide is a Pakistani problem.

    Anybody that has lived outside South Asia would know that bullying is a major issue.

    Just a year ago an Indian guy in Canada, who was about 17 killed himself before killing his friend, or what about the Korean guy that shot people at Virginia tech before shooting himself or what about the Indian guy who killed dozens of students at McGill University before shooting himself, these guys were clearly depressed.

    You need to give a hard look in the mirror and look at yourself before you judge us.Recommend

  • Sigh

    The second and third comment have made me lose what remaining faith i had in humanity.

    Also, i don’t think i read anything about media’s part in this new “trend”, media’s behind EVERYTHING now it seems.Recommend

  • FU

    @Muslim Lol again the same Aryan invasion theory.This has been proven to be wrong.Update yourself. As for as caste system in Hinduism goes,i will not go into digging at your ignorance. The main fundamental principle of Hinduism is not to harm any living thing whether it is animals or plants let alone discriminating fellow human beings.The caste system is very similar to Plato’s ethical theory of how a society should function.Don’t talk anything about vedas, you don’t know zilch.If discrimination doesn’t exist in Islam,then what do you say about shias,ahmediyas and other sects of Islam. Recommend

  • geeko

    @BlackJack:
    @Yuri Kondratyuk:
    Stop acting so childishly touchy for a change, the issue was about the social pressure on South Asian students, and in fact in every developing country’s middle-class (economic capital monopolized for the social capital) which makes the failure burden further difficult to assume as it’s not an individual but familial matter : it probably concerns Pakistanis, Indians or Bangladeshis but also Chineses or Brazilians, as much.
    The (otherwise well-written) article was about suicide rates amongst students, not an hymn to a non-existent “South Asian” identity.

    You’re talking as if Indian students were known to ooze swag anyway, something that few Australians obviously missed over there it seems.

    Had you stopped on “Pakistanis and Indians are not the same and South Asia is an all-embracing pseudo-term” I would have agreed though (like @zalim singh put it.)Recommend

  • Future_of_Pak

    Wow, I didn’t realise my indian bros and sis’s were so harsh, here is a sad story about suicide and they’re coming on trashing us. come on guys. we’re grown ups hereRecommend

  • Honest Pakistani

    @Muslim:

    99%? Where did you make that up from? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is hard to generalize what’s a more beautiful complexion.

    The only thing your statement proves is that Pakistanis all suffer from a gora inferiority complex! We all have a pathetic desire to emulate and look just like the west. This author’s completely irrelevant example of the US Tyler student highlights once again the subconcious urge of Pakistanis to define their existence in relation to the West. Please get over this obsession! Recommend

  • Pollack

    @Pakistani Agnostic:
    “Indians are bullied as well @Blackjack in North America, probably because of their complexion”

    Never knew that Indians had a unique and uniform complexion. Are all Pakistanis “white”?Recommend

  • Whats in the name.

    @Author: I do not know what the curse of being a south Asian student in USA is all about, if that is what you meant. India and China since last 6 years have been sending the highest number of students to the US for higher studies. I pity the author for taking refuge by using the phrase South Asian and trying to mask the identity of Pakistanis, rather from what I have heard from people over there and also from internet, The title should have read as the curse of being a Pakistani.
    RgdsRecommend

  • Abbas

    I do not understand how you can put entire southasian region under your discussion? who gives you that right??? Pakistans education system is NOT any close to Indian system nor its students think like Indians or Srilankans. Just keep the discussion to Pakistan. None of the other countries are in failed state category!!Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Muslim: “Islam says that all humans are equal before Allah regardless of being white or Balck, Arab or Non Arab, only the pious and virtuous ones are closer to Allah. In contrast the caste system in hindusim dates back to when the Arians conquered India and were of a fairer complexion than the local population and started the caste system which was then indoctrinated in the Vedas..”

    Is that why Saudis call Pakistanis “mashkins (servant class)? Saudis don’t let their women marry Pakistani men. Even most Pakistanis prefer to marry cousins and don’t trust other Pakistanis. What your religion says about killing of Shias and Ahmadis?Recommend

  • gp65

    @Pakistani Agnostic: “Indians are bullied as well @Blackjack in North America, probably because of their complexion”

    1.The blog is not about South Asians studying in US but in their respective countries.
    2. When the entire content of the blog refers to Pakistanis students, Blackjack is quite correct in questioning the broader ‘South Asian’ label when Pakistani would have sufficed.
    3. Indian student being bullied in US due to their complexion? You are just making stuff up – right? I am not ruling out some isolated instance of this happening but it is definitely not a trend. There are over 100,000 students from India in the US. On top of that there are an equal number of American born kids of Indian heritage. Indian students have also excelled in US – whether winning prestigious spelling bee 7 years in a row, willing math contests, national geographic contest. You name it. Recommend

  • gp65

    @wirate: “The author correctly labels it ‘south asian student’, because the huge majority of south asians, i.e. indians and pakistanis suffer from the same problems”

    If the author had included examples from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal – he would have been correct in talking about ‘South asian student’. The author just talked about Pakistani students though – so the title is not justified.Recommend

  • gp65

    @ss: “@indians
    dear indians, was 3 idiots (which was based on old and pathetic jokes) about american students? and if you couldn’t comprehend what the auther wanted to say in this article, that movie should be released again with title “billion idiots””

    The numbers, examples given by this blogger all pertained to Pakistan. The title should have reflected the content rather than drag all of South Asia. Recommend

  • Vikram

    Eighteen-year-old Tyler Clementi case is very different from suicides in Pakistan. Clementi was seen on web cam by others while having sex with another man. An Indian student set the computer so that other people could see sex and kissing between Tyler and another man. Some information about this incidence was also put on the internet. This contributed to Tyler commiting suicide.

    Depression is caused by way we live our life. Every one needs to be involved in activities that bring joy in life.

    There is no pill or psychology that can solve one’s problems. Pill or counselling can provide you temporary support but eventually one has to change the way of life. This is my opinion.Recommend

  • Ali tanoli

    Great article Miss Maria Mari, and indians dont have guts to say truth about india thats the reason outsiders make Slumdogs millioners.
    @Fu,
    In north america i never see any pakistani is poor even with helping families back in pakistan
    too. but i have see indian so cheap with pockets khuda maaf karay.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Muslim:
    Don’t know where to start. Your post is full of ignorance, bigotry and sweeping generalizations.
    1. 99% prefer ” white skin”? This maybe true about 99% Pakistanis. It is NOT true about 99% of Americans and the statement of Pak agnostic was “Indians are bullied in US due to their less beautiful complexion”
    2. Stating that “Indians” practice discrimination but Muslims do not. Really? Shias are not being killed in India just because they are Shias.
    3. Caste system was not based on complexion of person but based on profession : Brahmins are teachers, Kshatriya are Warriors, Vanik/Baniya are Traders and Shudra are labourers. Inherently there is no harm in delineating professions. Like many other religions, culturally things were abused and caste became static and related to birth rather than something that person could determine based on profession. Having acknowledged the cultural distortions, we Indians are trying to address that through laws that provide affirmative action in education and government jobs as well as social reform. It is in Abrain though that the Sunni ruler is destroying Shia mosques. This is not a reflection on Islam per se but distortion brought in by some Muslims. Just as I do not blame Islam for the actions of the Barain ruler, please stop using the term Hindu while making sweeping generalizations.
    4. There is a difference between Arians (people born under the sun sign Aries) and Aryans. Google it.Recommend

  • Gupt Rogue

    Do not project the miserable failings of pakistani society and education onto the rest of south asia. Our cultures and attitudes are very different; indians’ expectations and opportunities are very high and their achievements and successes reflect that reality. Only pakistan is the land of gloom and doom, so please dont try to project onto southasia. Recommend

  • Iyan

    @Maria Kari
    This is really a problem most relevant to Pakistan among all the south asian nations. The problems faced by a citizen of Pakistan are many and complex and these become very unmangeable at times particularly when the person is abroad pursuing studies and away from the family. This is a very serious matter and the author of the article need to be thanked for the write up. During the past decade and at present, Pakistani citizens feel very uncomfortable in the US because of a variety of mostly well known reasons, and the students feel tremendous pressure. Local people who have not ventured abroad to western nations simply do not have a feel for the intensity. The consulates must step up and offer helpful mechanisms to cope with the incredible stress experienced.
    I request the moderators to intervene and stop nonsensical postings when such seriuos issues are being discussed. Recommend

  • G. Din

    All the cases she cites are of Pakistanis and a lone American. Yet, she can’t help but drag in India and Indians.
    Even the conclusions she draws are incorrect. Shame is not an exclusively “South Asian” characteristic. After all why did Tyler Clementi jump to his death, if not out of shame and embarrassment?
    “…the darker narrative accompanying the popular stereotype of the high achieving, high scoring South Asian student.”
    Although I don’t mind taking some pride in the fact that Indians consistently show themselves to be high-achievers (and justifiably very successful and top-earners), I resent Pakistanis tagging along in this parade. Pakistanis just can’t help freeloading, can they?Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    @Muslim, well said, brother. Don’t let the bugaboo of oppressive political correctness keep you down. Three cheers for truth telling and and for Islam. Recommend

  • Sherlock Holmes

    South Asians? Hahaha. Author should have said Pakistanis or Arabs. They are the ones who are failing in today’s world. Except Pakistanis, all other South Asians are doing fairly well for themselves.Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    @ss: Wow thats racist! How about the WORLD terming you guys as 180 Million Terrorists? Hurts doesnt it? Recommend

  • ukmuslim

    @writer
    if you don’t know, afghanistan, nepal, bhutan, srilanka, bangladesh, india are rest of the countries from south asia. where in your article, you have covered situation of these countries. its all pakistan-specific. or are you ashamed of discussing PAKISTAN’s own problem, that you are hiding behind south asia term.

    @ss
    like writer would you just care to show, REAL LIFE suicide incidents from india. i don’t want your filmy examples. they are meant to be made for loosers like you. but i am convinced that, india’s this movie power made its magic ( moeed pirzada show ‘sochta pakistan’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBWhwhB1l68&feature=fvwrel )Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @BlackJack:

    Indians are optimistic, yes, but let us not even try to deny the fact that students suicides is A MASSIVE PROBLEM HERE. Indian students commit suicide because they can’t deal with the constant pressure, the expectations people have of them. And it’s the same case in Pakistan. People who study at colleges like LUMS have a bright future ahead of them but just like indian students they may not be strong enough to deal with tough situations. Pakistani students are not committing suicide coz pakistan has nothing to offer them; they’re doing it coz they are incapable of handling the stress.
    Don’t bash Pakistan and Pakistanis just for the heck of it. Give criticism where it is due.If this blog was about the Pakistani govt supporting terrorism against india, then i’d have understood ur criticism but here it was not needed coz in this regard ( student suicides) India is FAR WORSE.

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    I am surprised to see your comment Yuri. Student suicides is a bigger problem in India than in Pakistan.Let us, Indians, not delude ourselves into thinking that india is better in this regard.All of us are well aware of the stress students are under because of the pressure to conform and do exceedingly well.The author may not have used indian examples but we all know what the ground reality is.Recommend

  • Adil

    I guess the author should not have used the word South Asian since it did hurt ego of many Indian readers who usually come here after reading Times Of India and are always ready to spit some venom while looking at Pakistan via lens of stereotypes. Anyways, it can’t be edited or undone. So, all I would say that it amazes me how many Indians here have easily ignored suicides that took place due to ragging in India.

    Have a look

    India battles ‘ragging’ in schools

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/14/world/asia/india-college-bullying/index.html

    Plus,

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-27/guwahati/314398781

    Now please don’t tell me that those ragging groups in Indian institutions are trained in ISI/Pakistan sponsored camps. And as someone said earlier, the movie 3 idiots do point out flaws in education system of not just India but many other nations too including Pakistan.

    And for those who are saying that many Pakistanis hide their true origins and backgrounds while living/working in Western nations, I am a Pakistani too living in Canada and have had friends and classmates hailing from India,Pakistan,China,Middle East and Serbia when I was studying. Plus, I do have many friends from different nations including India so I have got nothing against their culture. I have got no trouble in telling people that I am from a Pakistani background/family.Plus, one can easily see photos and videos of Pakistan Day parade in Downtown Toronto.Yeah due to Ramzan,it didn’t take place for past 3 years. Moreover I can easily see shops with word Pakistan written on them operating without any fear.So I would suggest that please don’t come here after getting brainwashed at Times Of India website (where they don’t even moderate abusive comments),and if possible then do check other news websites too. And then come here and post your hateful and threatening comments.

    For the author, I would say that we as a nation have to point out every flaw present in our institutions and society,and later on brainstorm ideas to tackle it.It’s none of our business to look at issues/cases present in other nations,It’s their trouble so let them handle it.And you have made an error by taking cases of other nations into consideration too especially those where media is always suffering from Pakistanphobia.Recommend

  • Rajeev Nidumolu

    I am appalled at the issue of tragic suicide in young has become another battlefield for Indo -Pak animosity in this blog . Depression in young students is not uncommon especially in teens . In some it leads to suicide. Highest rate of suicide in the world is in affluent,socially advanced and with wide social net Scandinavian countries . Every year in Japan and South Korea many young people commit commit suicide when the final national school exam results are released.www.oecd.org/dataoecd/1/23/43200195.pdf
    This also become a problem in India where the parents put so much pressure on their children to overachieve .The problem of high rate of farmer suicide in Southern and Western India is a national disgrace . New study in British medical journal LANCET titled “Suicide mortality in India ” released this month mentions that suicide is second leading cause of death among Indians with 190,000 suicides in young Indians in 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-18546215
    The problem of suicide in young people is a global problem irrespective of the social, economic or national background. Every educational institution should be aware of this problem and have a system to identify vulnerable individuals and help them by counseling and having facilities for intervention. The students should be educated to recognize the danger symptoms in themselves and their peers and seek help . You can read more about depression on teens and depression at this healthcare site http://www.helpguide.org/topics/depression.htmRecommend

  • Nobody

    @FU:
    Where did you read that Pakistanis are among the poorest in America?? Pakistanis abroad are succeeding the MOST in the US, as opposed to Canada and Britain (not sure about Australia). If you want to comment on someone else’s ridiculous comment, try not posting an equally, if not more, ridiculous and unfounded comment without doing your research ;) Cheers!Recommend

  • Diddly poo

    @Abbas:
    Did you learn to speak english in India my friend? You’ve proven your point nicely. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Muslim:
    I do not know where your 99% statistic came from.
    But, ever heard of white Caucasians trying to get a tan or using the phrase “tall,dark and handsome”?

    @Nandita.:
    I pointed out an obvious anomaly in the article’s title to it’s author.
    If you read my comment, you would realize that it isn’t made in the context of the points you raised against my comment.Recommend

  • Asad

    I remember my first semester at college in the US. Coming from one of the best schools in Pakistan and visiting the US countless times before, i was fortunate enough to not have any cultural shock or depression while adjusting to college life.

    What really hit me was the first time I failed in one of midterms. I was distraught since I had scored way below the average and suddenly found myself at the bottom of the food chain. I was so depressed and just wanted to take the first flight back home. Fortunately for me, my parents were very supportive and told me not to worry about my grades as my health took precedence over all such worldly matters.

    Depression is a very normal symptom when one leaves the comfort of home and begins to enter the real world. The most important thing during such a stage is to share your feelings with loved ones. My family and friends really helped me during my dark days and I’m glad that it’s all behind me. Although I don’t want it to happen again, I think it was a valuable and life changing experience which prepared me for the challenges and rigors of college life adequately preparing me for the real world.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Nandita.:
    Feel free to read more into the article than actually appears, I would prefer my response to be based on facts. First of all, there are no Indian examples, and there is no need to mention South Asian if you cannot substantiate – so my first sentence stands. Further, I quote from the blog: “You’re studying at one of the best institutions in the country. And there is nowhere to go from here”. Elsewhere: “Lack of opportunity plus increased competition and frustration, check.”. My response was “Indians are among the most optimistic, and those who commit suicide do not do so because their country has nothing to offer them”. My statement is borne out by (a) The recent AC Nielsen survey on most confident countries which India topped at a score of 131 (China was also in the top 10 with a score of 108) (b) The percentage of suicides in India – India comes 43rd in the world in percentage of suicides (just for reference, China comes 9th and the US comes 41st) and a large number of our suicides are from dire poverty and not from societal pressure on overachievers. Last, If you take the trouble to look at pressure in the top institutions, it is rather high in every country or institution and NOT a South Asian phenomenon (from personal experience and peer info I can tell you that most of the best b-schools have counselers available and still ended up with a suicide or two every couple of years and lots of drop outs during the core terms). Pls share data if you would like to rebut.Recommend

  • vickram

    However much you may like to include the rest of the countries under the South Asian umbrella, to the average US Joe, South Asian means Pakistani. And in some circles, the term is a trigger to press panic buttons. Ask Shah Rukh Khan; twice he had to undergo the ignominy of being detained at the immigration in US airport, just because he went there at the invitation of a South Asian organization.

    It is a term of convenience, a nice cloak to avoid glares and to reduce indifference. My country may be part of South Asia, but, I would hate to be known as a South Asian. Recommend

  • gp65

    @Adil: “I guess the author should not have used the word South Asian since it did hurt ego of many Indian readers who usually come here after reading Times Of India and are always ready to spit some venom while looking at Pakistan via lens of stereotypes. Anyways, it can’t be edited or undone. So, all I would say that it amazes me how many Indians here have easily ignored suicides that took place due to ragging in India.”

    I disagree with the title because the entire article talks only about the Pakistani students without providing any examples related to students in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh or Nepal. IT’s a question of the blog title not matching the blog conent.

    Further this was not a news report but a blog representing the blogger’s opinion about why suicides occur.While student suicides are a problem in India too and I think an aware Indian would not deny that, the question is it would require some sincere analysis to determine the root causes and conclude that they are identical in India and Pakistan. Using her knowledge and understanding of Pakistani society and generalizing to the rest of South Asia does not appear to be logical.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @BlackJack:
    You want Indian examples ? So you’ve never read articles in the indian press over the years about rising student suicides ? Seriously ?
    See this link –
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/experts-to-study-cause-of-student-suicides/108638-3.html
    India’s suicide figures have risen starkly over the past decade – even worse than the west. Mumbai has seen nine student suicides in the past week.

    http://www.asiaone.com/News/Education/Story/A1Story20100205-196894.html
    EDUCATORS in India are worried over an increasing figure – that of the rising suicide rate among adolescents.
    Its main cause? The pressure to do well in school, said a Times of India (TOI) report.
    And the pressure is not from teachers but from parents,the report added.
    India has one of the highest suicide rates in the world and recent studies suggest about 40 percent are adolescents.

    One more link about IIT -M Students committing suicide.
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-09/chennai/313123341nitin-kumar-reddy-suicide-academic-pressure

    Check out this article –
    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-04-09/chennai/313123341nitin-kumar-reddy-suicide-academic-pressure
    1. In 2006, 5,857 students — or 16 a day — committed suicide across India due to exam stress. And these are just the official figures
    [Source: TOI, March 2008, Report]
    2. The study (conducted 10 years back) had found that 16 per cent of Mumbai students were depressed – that is 2 per cent more than the students in Boston. It also found that 8 percent of these were suicidal.
    3. Today, 10 years later, researchers say things could be worse.
    – Statistics show that India has the highest suicide rate in the world, marginally behind China, but ahead of the west
    – 95-100 people commit suicide in India every day
    – And of these a whopping 40% are in the adolescent age group
    [Source: CNN-IBN Report,
    Jan 13 2010]

    THERE ARE A ZILLION LINKS IN GOOGLE IF YOU TYPE – ” STUDENT SUICIDES IN INDIA ” COMPARATIVELY THE PROBLEM DOESN’T SEEM THAT SERIOUS IN PAKISTAN.
    YOU ASKED ME TO SHARE DATA —- I HOPE THIS SUFFICES. IF YOU WANT ANY MORE, KINDLY LET ME KNOW. ALTERNATIVELY, YOU CAN TYPE ” STUDENT SUICIDES IN INDIA” ON GOOGLE AND READ FOR URSELF.

    You need a reality check blackjack.I have only one comment for you – People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw pebbles at others.

    Please share the AC Neilson survey link if you would like to rebut. I want to read that report for myself.

    “You’re studying at one of the best institutions in the country. And there is nowhere to go from here”. — the author could have meant that changing colleges might not be possible ?

    “Lack of opportunity plus increased competition and frustration, check.”. —- Dude, visit engineering colleges or even mba colleges in india and you’ll get the same response. These are the B or C grade colleges I speak about.

    My reply to your next comment will take ages coz i’m flying to London tonight and the layover is for 6 hours. But I shall reply. Dont let the delay make you feel i have no rebuttal :)Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @ss:
    You are essentially generalizing a population of one billion Indians based on a single scene in a Hindi movie(we have 22 other major languages). And given the fact that the 3 Idiots movies has great popularity in China, you have unintentionally generalized another billion.

    Congratulations! you have successfully misunderstood 40% of world population.

    I sincerely hope that rest of the 179,944,999 Pakistanis aren’t prone to arrive at such silly conclusions.Recommend

  • anon

    lalala India is the best, India does not have any social problems, India does not have racist people, India is perfect lalala and now excuse me while I go back to reality!!!Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @BlackJack:

    I don’t care about ur examples about US AND china. The author spoke about south asia here so i am talking about india and pakistan and i AM GLAD SHE USED THE WORDS ” SOUTH ASIA ” because a lot of indians seem to be in denial here. Please read my comment above – india is said to be one of the countries with the highest student suicide rates.
    Who cares about china and US. No matter what the suicide figures there are, that does not dilute our own failures. AND INDIA HAS FAILED TO CURB rising STUDENT SUICIDES.you can deny it all you want dude, your denial doesn’t change reality.
    Goodbye, i’ve got loads of packing to do.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    I am so angry right now, i am fuming. For the first time in my life, I want all the pakistanis here to get together and bash the hell out of all the unreasonable bigoted indians here. I never thought i’d ever side with pakistanis and bash my own countrymen. But you bigots deserve it. Why can’t you guys just accept that India has a alarming suicide rate ? As per the reports i quoted above, it is one of the highest. Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Nandita.:
    The points you raise are valid to a certain degree. But, a serious issue like this can’t be casually generalized and generalization definitely should not used to obfuscate the identity of group the blog actually targets. It’s neither ethical nor honest.

    P.S.: Please note that posting in all caps amounts to screaming and is considered as bad netiquette. Do refer the ET comments policy for more info.Recommend

  • Rana Kashif

    I think all of you have missed out on the point. The point of the article was to discuss the reasons behind students committing suicide. But what you guys are doing are obsessing over one thing and that is the title.

    Having said that I think it is the over competitiveness in our society that is inculcated into a child right after he is born. In top universities you are told that you will not find a job and your life will be finished. Your sense of worth is dictated by your GPA and not your other achievements in life or for the person you are. Your whole existence is summed up by this one number.

    What our educational institutions also miss out on is that the grading is done relative to other students. So if you put the best of the best in one class, somebody has got to get that C grade and D grade because it is relative grading. I know people who used to fail in my class and were getting 4.0 GPA at mediocre universities because the students in those universities didn’t work as hard.

    I think it is important to show balance in our approach and not see our GPA as be all and end all of our world. Because when we start to do that, it is then that one contemplates suicide.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    Generalizations ? the author did not generalize and neither did I. There are valid reports and studies ( see my links above ) to prove whatever the author has spoken about.
    Yes, i am screaming. Sorry.
    See, i am human. I have faults.
    My biggest problem in life is that I can’t stand bigots. When i encounter them , I scream. I shall strive to improve.
    I’m really running late. There will be No replies from me henceforth.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    And thanks for finding my points valid, even if its only to a certain degree. Atleast , i’m getting somewhere. :)Recommend

  • MS

    So basically there is nothing wrong with the content of the article itself. What is horribly wrong is the tite. All she talks and quotes examples from Pakistani institutes, so yeah why name it ‘South-Asia’. The topic is deceptive.
    Although being a student in the universities mentioned, I can relate to the pressure and all. But just that the author must have done some more research while writing the article. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Nandita
    Looks like I have touched a raw nerve from the degree of bold and caps sentences. I have quoted published reports that are available online. Some are in the links below (ET pls allow).
    http://www.nielsen.com/in/en/news-insights/press-room/2012/-indian-consumer-confidence-picks-up-in-q1-2012–retains-top-pos.html
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-01/news/315281631consumer-confidence-nielsen-optimistic-market

    Pls provide the links to these statistics showing that Indians have the highest rate (not numbers which is also a function of population) of suicides in the world – at least an article that quotes the name of a reputed research agency that can be accessed online. I read the articles in ToI too, and place about as much value in it as I place other articles by that publication. And as far as B and C grade schools, students who join those institutions have a fairly realistic view of their prospects and are unlikely to commit suicide. Again any report that proves my comment false will be gladly accepted. I have already covered the fact that students in top institutions regardless of origin face high pressure – I don’t see anything to disprove that statement. Have a safe trip.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Wayne:

    Changing your Indian name to an eastern European one doesn’t make you an Eastern European.

    My moniker is just that, a moniker. One I chose out of respect and admiration for Oleksandr Hnatovych Shargei aka Yuri Vasyliovych Kondratyuk, the pioneer of astronautics and spaceflight. I have no desire to misrepresent my DNA or pose as belonging to a different race than my own.Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    @Nandita.:

    Generalizations ? the author did not generalize and neither did I.

    Author did include Nepalis, Burmese and Sri Lankans (among many others) in a blog that specifically discusses what’s happening in Pak. And your comments amount to screaming “Please, please Indians too!”.

    My biggest problem in life is that I can’t stand bigots. When i encounter them , I scream. I shall strive to improve.

    I hope what you strive to improve isn’t your scream!

    I’m really running late. There will be No replies from me henceforth.

    Lady, you would eventually return home. So, no problem :-)
    Recommend

  • Gupt Rogue

    Nandita–you continue to argue even when proved your digressions were not related to the topic.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Yuri Kondratyuk:

    And your comments amount to screaming “Please, please Indians too!”.

    Hehehaha. My comments were in response to the denial the indians here seem to be in. I commented after you guys did. My comment was in response to the comments posted by other indians.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Wayne:
    I may be cynical, but I am not full of hatred towards Pakistanis. You may have found far more reasonable (and productive) comments from most of the Indians on this forum if the title had not unnecessarily said South Asian without any supporting content within the blog. Frankly, I think we have wasted eachother’s time and I am sorry for throwing the first stone.Recommend

  • http://mymimamsa.blogspot.com SM

    @Nandita: thank you. Some sanity! I don’t know what’s so wrong about being imperfect…..India has so much to be proud of, its past, its present and its future…..what is then wrong with accepting that there might be certain issues that need to be addressed. and that there are certain problems that both pakistan, yes that failed state everyone here is bashing, and India, oh that land of gods, face. It’s such a shame……some Indians are so full of themselves that they need to be reminded of their own shortcomings. Yes, there are human rights violation in Kashmir, that so is the case in Balochistan doesn’t exonerate India, the Sachar commission report-I don’t know how much progress has been made since then- lays bare the prejudice against Indian Muslims, problems in Assam, Naxalites (who, even if they are terrorists, have popular support), Hindutva parties. As much as I feel tired of reading Arundhati Roy I think some of you really need to understand her. Good Lord, look at you guys! And then someone would come and say but look Pakistan has its Islamic brand of hindutva, it has talibs, it occupies Baluchistan, discriminates against Sindhis, kills Mohajirs and Shias and Ahmadis and Hazara people. Even if this all was true, would that change anything in India???Anything?Recommend

  • YOLO

    @vickram:
    Really?Many Americans I’ve met think Pakistan is in the middle east, and when they think of South Asia, they think of India and Sri Lanka, the countries part of the Chola dynasty.

    Truth be told, Indians have it harder than Pakistanis in America, I mean they might be really smart and get good grades but that’s about it, most of them don’t socialize, don’t work out or play any sports so they don’t really gel with people of other races.

    Heck, when I was in high school, my school’s (American)football team had 3 Pakistani players and one half-Pakistani and no Indians, and the varsity Basketball team had one Pakistani player and no Indians, despite the fact there were a lot more Indians than Pakistanis at my school.

    Go to any house party, you will find a few Pakistanis there, and maybe sometimes one Indian.

    You see bullies like to bully social outcasts, not people with swag.Recommend

  • Shyam

    The curse of being a South Asian student

    But Pakistan is an Arab country now. It has magically become a neighbour to beloved Saudi ArabiaRecommend

  • vickram

    @Nandita.:

    The debate that has followed the blog is not about who – Indians or Pakistanis- commit suicide more, but about the way Indians have been included in the much derisive term ‘South Asians.’ As I mentioned before, I cringe when I am being referred to as a South Asian.

    Also, to educate you, India has a population of 1.2 billion; that is a large number. Let us consider, in some country, 1 million left-handed people with squint-eyes are being discriminated against. You can immediately raise your hand and say that the numbers are much more in India, maybe around 5 million. Number of english-speaking engineering graduate girls ? India has more. Number of girls who are being burned for dowry ? Number of people who convert religion after marriage ? India has more. Number of Facebook account holders who use drugs ? Surely, India must be in the top of the list. Number of people who bet on cricket matches ? Number of people who worship trees ? Number of bald people with a potbelly wearing an eyepatch ? Number of people who love Kim Kardashian ? Number of people who hate Kim Kardashian ? India has more numbers.

    Because of the huge population, India is bound to figure in every list or even top the list. So, it’s waste of time looking for supporting evidences to substantiate your argument. Whether it is social ill or social good, Indians – in every conceivable scenario – are more in number. I hope you get this clear.

    Now, please start finding remedies for your ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Recommend

  • Sane

    @Vikram
    Indians having no vision resort to personal attacks. They always demonstrate their hatred well for Muslims and Pakistan. Would you tell the rationale as why Brahmans kill Harridans. Also tell what Indians are called in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

    . Recommend

  • Ajay

    @Nandita.: You need to pack and get away from your computer.I like your temperament.Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Nandita.: Thank you for trying to inject a sense of balance into the completely skewered comments ignited by the first one, which has resulted in spoiling the possibility of an intelligent debate on an interesting topic and has taken it to the realm of stupid India – Pakistan bashing.Recommend

  • Raza

    Excellent article. Very balanced; and very informative. Just had some info to add which your source did not provide you.

    I am a LUMS alumnus; and I was there at the time of Hashir’s death. I love LUMS, but I would like to clarify that its response (or lack of it) was quite shameful. Sure; the steps mentioned in the article were taken on..paper. The truth is that LUMS went into decline in the last 4 years following Hashir’s death; the most infamous anti-student acts of which was the LUMS administration going on a run of suspending/rusticating/interrogating numerous students involved in extra-curricular activities without tangible evidence. Nor has any leniency been shown towards students’ academics (a friend’s convocation was almost postponed on account of GPA being 0.01 low). If anything, LUMS failed to learn from Hashir’s horrific incident. Recommend

  • sti

    it is not a question of student it’s question for whole of the society why peple opting this option.
    I mean there are lot of options are available in this world why people go only for this. there should be a physic research on this issue whould could help the nation to sort out the reasons of such incidence. Recommend

  • geeko

    @Nandita.:
    The whole rhetoric mumbo-jumbo began when the author chose “South Asian” instead of Pakistan, whereas we all know that she could have chosen Indian examples (and lots of others) but probably wasn’t thinking than an horde of frenetic Indians with Pakistan-bashing as their sacred hobby would miss the occasion to showcase their eloquent verbal talents on her blog – she probably thought (God forbid), that Indian students (like a lot of other ethnicities) feel the family pressure when it comes to studies, whereas we all know that, in the persuasive virtual world, the alpha Indian student, it all its spiritual disposition, attains a state of soul ataraxia instead of committing suicide when confronted to societal pressure.

    Yes, it just means that had the author not chosen the all encompassing culturally nebulous and ethnically panchromatic term of “South Asian”, there wouldn’t be 71 comments as the majority from them are love letters from across the border.

    I know that some Pakistanis do the same in the likes of Times of India (believe me I never did – and condemn that kind of social life management), also I sincerely salute you (and @Rajeev Nidumolu) for standing high, transcending petty “patriotic” loyalties and for your own moral consciousness, I’m sure that the majority of Indians who fought on such semantic futilities here probably already know how childish they were.

    @Wayne:
    Yeah bro, keep it up, the Kashmiriness. <3Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Nandita.: “I am so angry right now, i am fuming. For the first time in my life”

    Take it easy. You made a subconcious choice to be angry.
    Why are you angry if other people are wrong?

    Here is a source that can give you suicide rates of various

    countrieshttp://www.who.int/mentalhealth/prevention/suiciderates/en/Recommend

  • Pakistani Agnostic

    yawn. Indians getting hurt because i accused them of having a not-so-beautiful complexion. Hurts doesn’t it. And i have never been singled out o.O. You mad bruv?Recommend

  • Amjad

    @BlackJack: I would say there is more of a curse being Indian than Pakistani – to each his own but the point is that many students of european backgrounds have committed suicide in colleges and universities in North America too. It has nothing to do with rural to urban migration or ethnicity- it’s just maladaptive behaviour to stress which remains one of the greatest causes of youth death in the West.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Amjad:
    I agree – to each his own. My point to one of the Indians commenting was precisely that it has nothing to do with South Asians (or Indians) – to which she went ballistic because content from ToI is apparently gospel and everyone with a different point of view is a bigot. @Vikram has provided a useful link in this regard.Recommend

  • Nida

    @BlackJack:

    There is no curse in being South Asian. The curse is in being Pakistani and more so, in being to ashamed to state it upfront. Indians are among the most optimistic, and those who commit suicide do not do so because their country has nothing to offer them.

    Go through your comment again.You said its a curse in being pakistani. and also indicated that pakistanis who commit suicide do so because pakistan has nothing to offer them. not once did you say that it has nothing to do with south asia. you just didnt want india being dragged in and tried to deny india had a high suicide rate. your damange control attempts now will not be bought.

    you had a problem that no indian examples were provided so the author had no right to use the words ” south asia ”

    These are the sentences you used to say why pakistanis are more prone to suicide.
    Further, I quote from the blog: “You’re studying at one of the best institutions in the country. And there is nowhere to go from here”. Elsewhere: “Lack of opportunity plus increased competition and frustration, check.”.Recommend

  • vickram

    @YOLO:

    You don’t seem to have read my post in full.

    Not for a moment I am saying Indians are fairer or smarter. Nor do I claim that Indian kids are better sportsmen then Pakistani kids. Like Nandita has said, more Indians commit suicides than the rest of the Asia put together and there are many similar depressing statistics on various fronts that will gladden your hearts. India may not be a great place to live. I concede all of that.

    All I am saying is, please for God’s sake, don’t call me a South Asian ! Recommend

  • Nida

    you don’t trust TOI so here’s a link from bbc.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-18546215Recommend

  • Nida

    @BlackJack:

    you don’t trust TOI so here’s a link from bbc.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-18546215Recommend

  • xyz

    @BlackJack:

    you find vikram’s link useful ? How come ? You don’t trust TOI. But are willing to trust some random survey ?
    A random survey/study becomes gospel ?
    I can safely conclude that you trust reports that suit/support your opinions only.Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    For all the ‘Why are you lumping India in this, say only Pakistan not South Asia’ folks, here you go:

    Of the 0.5 million suicides reported worldwide annually, 20% are Indians. A large proportion of adult suicide deaths were found to occur between the ages of 15 years and 29 years.

    It is a known fact that the high competitveness in the state of Kerala among students contributes to the high suicide rate among students in that state as compared to other Indian states,Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Nida:
    Thanks for the link; I had seen the report through the Wiki “Suicides in India”. I am not trying to control any damage – pls do not mistake politeness for weakness. To your first comment – pls read my entire comment to Nandita from this morning for the South Asia reference. Note: The sections that are in Italics are from the blog (not written by me). I don’t know your interpretation of those lines, but they seem to indicate that a lack of future/ opportunity was a factor were reasons for suicide (else why include them?). Again, it is not my submission that societal pressure or ethnicity are significant factors in these suicides; the suicide rate in China/ Japan/ Korea is much higher – is the curse in being East Asian perhaps? On your second comment, we have a lot of people in India and some commit suicide – as far as I can see there is no major difference between India’s suicide rate and the world rate ref the Lancet report that you shared (17.5% of world population and 20% of suicides; the difference of 3% is not surprising given that globally young people are most prone to commit suicide and India has 65% of its population below age 35.) Trust this clarifies my position; if not, for the record – everything within this article that can be used to club Pakistan with India can also include any other country – and there are many which are more deserving. I also see South Asian as a fig leaf that Pakistanis use increasingly, hence my derisive first comment.Recommend

  • Vikram

    @Wayne:

    Not too long ago, an Indian student in America bullied his room mate for being gay, and there are now many Americans students that despise Indian students because of this incident.

    *It was not bullying, it was stupid mistake he set up web cam and he and his friends watches that gay have sex.*

    I’m not ashamed of being of Pakistani descent, and many Pakistani-Americans I know aren’t ashamed of stating it upfront, for some odd reason Indians are believing some sort of rumor that we’re calling ourselves Indian.

    *Many Pakistani-Americans are not ashmed of telling others their Pakistani roots.Your statement shows you accept their are some Pakistanis who are ashamed, you said many**

    Why you call yourself “Wayne”? You don’t want others to know you are a Muslim. Like Daviid Headley (Dawood Gilani) are you trying to hide some thing.

    Do you know 100 Muslims in US army are being investigated for their links to Islamic extremists?

    .Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @xyz:
    Dude – his link is from the WHO. The same data is available on Wikipedia using WHO as a reference.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_rateRecommend

  • Danish

    Will people please STOP TALKING ABOUT THE COLOUR OF ONE’S SKIN or the stupid Pakistan vs India debate?! This blog is about creating a healthy environment for students, so if you can’t comment on that, then please do not comment at all.

    There is also the problem of the ‘degree culture’ in the Pakistani society. Students are constantly in fear of not getting ‘satisfactory’ grades, because it becomes very difficult to get decent jobs unless one has a degree in hand. Add to that the pressure put on students by their parents and families, who consider underachievement in academics to be an embarrassment, and you have the perfect recipe to make students go crazy.Recommend

  • http://pakistani-edu.blogspot.com Usman Shahid

    instead of discussing on the issue, every one is talking on “Pakistan vs Southasia”.Recommend

  • ss

    @ all indians
    may be i did take that movie seriously, but would you guys mind commenting on this article

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/suicide-rate-in-india-highest-between-the-ages-of-1529/267455-3.htmlRecommend

  • mpq357

    @Zalim Singh:
    So very true. We are NOT of Indian backgrounds. You finally admit. I live in Canada and honestly, every Indian I bump into and the numerous blogs and comments online by Indians claim all “Pakistanis” are of Hindu origin.
    Trust me, we proudly disconnect ourselves from India and look towards the Middle East. And for those talking about complexion and beauty. Indians admit Pakistanis look far better. I can give examples. As for racism in US, please visit US and then look at how the common society treats you. The fact is, ARABS are treated MUCH better than INDIANS because they look better and can generally blend in with the population (they look almost the same as white people). THIS IS A FACT. Come here and see it for yourself.Recommend

  • Irony

    The irony of all this is that “Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after suffering silently from months of cyber-bullying” being carried out by an INDIAN student. Dharun Ravi, the INDIAN student bullied Tyler so bad that he committed suicide. Maybe the Indians are good at bullying others so they commit suicides yet they themselves do not commit suicides.
    Oh here’s a great article to read for the Indian commentators.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Nandita

    Respect.Recommend

  • Abbas Ali Baig

    @Nandita.: I think the facts you have mentioned in your summarisations reflect your lack of ability to see things as they are and very poor comprehension of what is being discussed. I am glad many here in this forum are educating your lack of knowledge in this and your poor levels of understanding. One of the benefits to visiting this forum is learning what we do not know. Recommend

  • Abbas

    @Adil:
    try something better and the examples you mentioned do not come close to anywhere where your country is known for (ask what Pakistan is famous for to a neutral person. let us go into details for your sanctity and peace of mind) across the world. The author erred seriously in putting herself across as south asian instead of Pakistani. Generalisations reflect very poor levels of knowledge and inferiority complex which is abundantly seen in Pakistanis living in US or UK. The reason is there is no connect between regular citizens, army, rulers. Each have their own agenda. Just be careful when you mention south asia..India students are not loaded with religious glory and delusions in schools itself. Recommend

  • Abbas

    @YOLO:
    Which part of world do you live in? Have you not seen Mutaza Haider’s article that came in dawn. Go and get some education about where your folks stand!!!Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Indian students face problems inside and outside the country. Yes. Absolutely.

    The title of the Article says South Asian, but giving not a single Indian example(Since, India forms over 80% of South Asia, its safe to assume South Asia without the mention of India hardly makes any sense).

    What my friends above have asked is, why no mention of India in that case?

    What is unnerving to my fellow Indians is that an article supposedly about South Asia is actually about Pakistan.

    Pakistan is a small chunk of South Asia, with diminishing cultural ties with it. Coupled with the trend that Pakistanis now tag themselves as South Asians(technically correct, but realistically speaking deceitful) lest they experience the negative connotations of being called a Pakistani, it is a very disturbing phenomena.

    Although Pakistanis have every right to call themselves South Asians, the obvious and simple fact is many Indians(to whom the word South Asia might also mean India) do not want to be associated with a nation that is 13th of the failed index list, now culturally and religiously closer to Middle East than the peaceful, tolerant and culturally vibrant South Asia; A nation that is considered the epicenter of World terror; A Nation whose dreaded passport means diminished freedom to travel around the World.

    There, I said it.Recommend

  • Zeta

    Look at the enormous number of indian trolls. One wonders if they ever go and read their own country’s papers or keep pushing their noses in the matters of others where they have no business with.

    7,349 reported student suicides happend in 2010. And these indians here make it sound like life a fairytale in india. Recommend

  • Intelektual

    @BlackJack:
    Its one & only 1 thing lack of real connection ! lack of a true friend who cares & listens and advices u positivly. Peolple studying in top institutes are alredy blessed by getting a higher education in our country thats a big deal ! The only reason they collapsed from the pressure was that they had no1 to share it with !
    No matter how bad we feel after hearing such stories the fact of the matter is V dont lend a caring ear to the social misfits V dont like to be seen with or associated with them Oh that nerdy oily and smelly villiger ! He does not belong here ! Thats wat isolates them and no uni cant do nothing about it its the behaviour of the students that needs to change !
    The roommates were unaware because they didnt care ! Surely He WAS disturbed if he killed himslf !! Recommend

  • Intelektual

    Why do ve need BiG job Big money Big Grades nd Big unies !
    Because we thnk all of these lead to happiness Wen v fail to realize every day Happiness comes from Human connection not money !
    Who cares about grades wen they are in Love ! who cares about classes when they are bunking wid frends for a party !
    Our attitudes need a massive fix ! and we need to learn to be a little sympathetic or just courteous ! A kind and warm smile can give someone a reason to live an escape from the constant pressure and trust to pour their heart out ! Recommend

  • kaalchakra

    Nandita

    You give hope that at least one person in India is not a bigot. All Indians here other than you and antanu g are bigots. All of us admire your ability to live in India without losing your decency. Recommend