Make ‘Right to Die’ a Constitutional Right

We were not given the power to decide where to be born or who our parents will be. We did not have our say in deciding our sex, the colour of our skin or even whether we would be born as human beings or not. Nor we were given the choice to choose our parents on the basis of religion and language. But once born as human beings at least we should possess the right to decide the time to die. Hence just as the constitution has guaranteed the right to speech, right to organize, right to work, etc., we should have the right to die painlessly and peacefully and at the time of our choice.

Many people and government oppose this and if we attempt to die the government will book case for attempting suicide and punish with a jail term. Isn’t this silly, the government does not decide whether a person should be born or not. Then who has given it the authority to punish those who attempt suicide? Nobody wants to die without a cause. But if people feel that they do not want to live, they should have the freedom to extinguish their lives. But why should the government punish those who want to die? Because without people like you how can the government find fodder in the form of soldiers and policemen to oppress the commoners. How can it generate revenue and collect it, how can they get a regular supply of people to serve them and fulfill their sensual needs. Hence a coterie consisting of politicians, bureaucrats and corporates who need men and women for their personal interests make laws by which suicide is illegal. From time immemorial vested interest groups exploited, oppressed and got themselves served by others by following the carrot and stick policy, carrot in the form of food for bare subsistence and stick in the form of beating for not carry out their orders. The only hope of liberation for the oppressed was in the form of death. But if people are allowed to decide to die voluntarily to end their sufferings that would be a signal for others also that by death their misery will come to an end. Then there will be none to serve them, hence they not only made suicide illegal but also brought religion to tell them that suicide was a sin.

But the fact is all major religions of the world consider life on earth as temporary, suffering and sinful. For Hindus, Buddhists and Jains the goal is to achieve salvation or mukti which is not to be born again. If life in this world would have been so rosy the final goal of these religions would not had been liberation from rebirth. In India the Jain monks used to choose their death by fasting in a ritual called sallekanavrata. In olden day some people used to die by drowning in river Ganga and some by entering fire on eclipse day which they thought will enable them to enter heaven. In Mahabharatha we find the injured Bheeshma waiting till uttarayana (month of January) to leave his mortal remains. In the western world the stoics felt that the right to die was one of the basic right which gives man freedom. In Islam also the worldly life is considered as temporary and a test while the final goal is aakarath, wherein God on the basis of the deeds done by Muslims in this world will determine who can be sent to heaven and who to hell.

What will be the benefits of choosing one’s own death? Enormous, first of all the fear of death will go away and one can feel free from tension and anxiety and enjoy life. We experience a sense of freedom, fearlessness and look forward to the dawn of each day with enthusiasm. The fear of poverty, oppression, humiliation, pain and suffering vanishes as we now have the power to escape from these things by leaving our mortal bodies whenever we wish. Today majority of people are not in charge of their lives. It is their parents, spouse, boss, organizations, governments which control them. Many in fact have become walking corpse living mechanically due to the fact that there is no escape for them from this living hell. The constitutional right to die will lead to decrease in oppression and exploitation as people now has an escape route. The oppressor will think twice before he acts as if people die he will be at loss. Once this right is given every individual will be in charge of his life and can lead a dignified life. People will begin to appreciate and value love, relationship and will respect others rights and views.

Just because suicide is illegal has not stopped people from killing themselves. Every day we have news of people committing suicide by consuming poison, by hanging, by drowning, being run over by trains and from jumping from heights. By making suicide legal, people actually postpone their decision to die and think of ways and means to come out of their misery. The freedom to die anytime they wish without hindrance itself gives them the strength to live. Pharmaceutical companies should invent poisonous tablet which are cheap and effective. Once a tablet or two is taken within seconds one should fall into coma and within a minute or so should die peacefully. Mass production of these tablets will lower the cost and it should be made available in chemist shops for all persons without a prescription very cheaply, just like an aspirin tablet.

As most of us have realized and accept everything is predetermined. Just because suicide is made legal and poison is available freely does not mean that people will rush to commit suicide. As Sri Ramana Maharshi had said what is going to happen will happen even if we strongly will against it and that which is not going to happen will never happen even if we wish for it and try persistently. But one thing is certain, the decision to give freedom for people to choose their time of death will have huge psychological impact as mentioned above and would help every individual to lead a dignified life.

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Ithihas

Kaleidoscope of Indian civilization

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