Sunday, October 01, 2006

Its the context, stupid!

From The Hindu:
Union Agriculture Secretary Radha Singh said the recent spate of suicides by farmers needed to be viewed in context and not blown out of proportion.

"Suicides are a cause for concern but an analysis of the suicide records of the past 10 years shows that the number of suicides in rural India has not exceeded 16 per cent of the total in any given year," she said at the valedictory session of the Agri-Marketing Summit 2006 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Friday.

In 2003-04, the National Crime Records Bureau showed that there were 187,000 suicides in India. "Of this, only 16 per cent were in rural India. This debunks the current perception that there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of farmer suicides in India," said Ms. Singh, who was involved in preparation of the Rehabilitation Package for Farmers.
(Emphasis added)

3 Value-adds:

Blogger nice try said...

ultimately everyone is just a demographic statistic in someone else's viewpoint ...

October 01, 2006 8:36 AM  
Blogger eV said...

My problems with the Secretary's statements:

A. Logically flawed argument.

1. That the fraction of suicides in rural India has not exceeded some arbitrary number does not prove anything.

2. Her facts state that the percentage was 16% in 2003-04 and never higher in the past 10 years. So for all we know, the percentage could've been rising over the years.

3. Is it her argument that suicide is now a national phenomenon, and not limited to farmers alone?

B. As a person responsible for solving this problem, such talk smacks of insensitivity and insincerity. It might be ok to use data/statistics to understand a problem. To shirk responsibility and to refuse to acknowledge the problem is not.

And Nicetry: while that might be true, try telling that to the family .

October 01, 2006 11:01 AM  
Blogger nice try said...

ev -- agree with you .. i was saying so to lament abt politics/statistics being insensitive!

October 02, 2006 12:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home