Some man hanged himself in what appears like a theatrics gone wrong during AAP rally in Delhi and almost everyone reported the person as a “farmer” because his father is a farmer. Turns out he was a self employed businessman with his own website and all. Not really a loincloth wearing farmer.
Almost all major studies have shown that rate of suicide among farmers is no greater than average rate of suicides. Thanks to a friend here are some numbers:
Rate of suicides among Indian army soldiers : 8
Rate of suicides among IIT students: 12
Rate of suicides among all Indians : 16
Rate of suicides among agricultural workers : 7
Please note that out of those 7 some of those suicides have nothing to do with agriculture or farming. Suicide rate in china is 22 for all people. For USA it is 12.6.
But as usual smartass politicians and media bimbos are knowledge proof and hence they will cry for the dead farmer.
Government need not do anything about farmer suicides. Giving compensation to dead farmers would only incentivize suicides.
India has many poor people. A lot of them do not even own a piece of land. If these people are not killing themselves then there is no reason why a farmer should.
Here is a quote from BBC article linked above.
“We estimate in 2010 close to 190,000 suicides, so of all the suicides occurring in India, that would suggest [farmer suicides] are only about 10%.”
According to figures from the UN, agricultural workers make up just over 20% of the population.
Another way to look at this is to consider the overall suicide rate in India. Using figures from Professor Jha’s findings and population figures from the UN, the suicide rate in India is around 15 per 100,000. The suicide rate among agricultural workers is around seven per 100,000.