Something Amiss

Today’s "Times of India" carries two disturbing stories on its front page, both about work-related stress…

Airport witnessed a 7-hour hostage drama :


There was high drama at Sahar international air terminal on Saturday evening when Raj Namdeo, a constable of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) fatally shot his superior, dy. commandant A.R. Karanjkar, and took six of his colleagues as hostage… The seven-hour hostage drama ended in the early hours of Sunday with him surrendering, and the hostages being rescued.


Mumbai cop guns down family and himself :


An assistant inspector of police shot dead his wife and son before committing suicide at his flat in Chembur in north-east Mumbai on Sunday. In a suicide note addressed to his parents, Sawant said he was depressed since his stomach ailment was not showing any signs of improvement and that he was fed up with his job in the police department, which he had joined in 1988.


The second story offers an insight into possible causes (common to both situations, I am told by friends who know a little bit of army life in India) :


The incident has sent shockwaves through the city police. Several officers complained that there was no proper grievance redressal machinery in the police. They added that policemen were required to put in at least 12 hours of work daily and there was little appreciation of their work by their superiors. Besides, large-scale corruption in matters of postings and transfers has completely vitiated the atmosphere in the department.


Something is seriously amiss.

We were meant to work for a living, not a life. Yet, each passing day, we learn about another incident of how our "work" has eaten into the fabric of our lives, causing acidity, hypertension, stress, and now.. death!

Something is seriously amiss…

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  1. Stress, dejection, jealously are states of mind that have known to take their toll on individuals, especially when there appears to be a thin line between sanity and hysteria.Most of us attempt to walk this thin line almost daily. For those of us who do not succumb to the growing demands of a mad lifestyle and life, we unconsciously let it fester, but somehow gain control of balance and sense and most often emerge triumphant from the ordeal.The rest seek refuge from the barrel of a gun, asphyxiate loved ones or invest in a long drop from the highest cliff, thereby plunging everybody connected into darkness.It is too late for the world to rectify itself, but for eternity’s sake, I hope that such incidences reduce in number.We as a race, I think, are running too fast and unnecessarily so, since there doesn’t seem to be any worthy contender.Tigers and whales may become extinct, the off-chance that humans will is anybodys guess.’Mad pace’ according to me is the root of all sins. Money is a far lesser evil.

  2. Its been about a week that the shooting incident had taken place. Of late, the media has conveniently given lesser coverage to the incident and failed to ponder real issues that lead to such incidents. We the people also have hooked on to more interesting things in life. Hope that is not the case with authorities concerned. Excerpts from Indian Express that highlight the seriousness of situation: At any given time, there are almost 100 personnel from various paramilitary forces mainly BSF and CRPF undergoing treatment for depression and schizophrenia at the capitals AIIMS and Safdarjang Hospital. Their need for treatment is recognised only after they attempt suicide or try to kill their seniors when denied leave. Unable to take the stressful conditions any longer, at least five personnel of BSF and CRPF seek premature retirement everyday, as per a study conducted by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). Over 80 per cent of police officers in Delhi are suffering from psychiatric disorders due to hectic schedules and heavy pressure. The shocking disclosure was made by then minister of state for Home Maqbool Dar in Parliament on May 7, 1997, and there is no reason to believe that things have improved. According to a NIMHANS, Bangalore, report, more than half of the policemen tested in Delhi and 37 per cent in Bangalore suffer from mental disorders. Its high time to consider people in the Security Forces as human beings, prone to Stress and other human limitations. Else we will get such rude shocks from time to time……

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