The Social media is in uproar over the joke made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a media event on April 26 regarding a woman’s death by suicide. Many have pointed out that it is highly insensitive for a prime minister to tell a joke about such a serious matter.
During the media event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech in Hindi which was aired live on a television channel. The following is a translated version of his speech. Please note that it may contain sensitive content, so discretion is advised.
According to reports, during the media event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi recounted a joke from his childhood, saying, “In our childhood, we would hear a joke. I want to tell you that. There was a professor and his daughter committed suicide. She left a chit, ‘I am tired of life and don’t want to live. So I will jump into the Kankaria Lake and die. In the morning, he saw his daughter was not at home. On the bed, he found the letter. The father was very angry. “I am a professor. For so many years I have worked hard, and even now, she has spelt ‘Kankaria’ wrong.”
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At this point, the audience erupted into applause while Modi himself appeared to be amused and was seen laughing.
Modi’s attempt at humor did not sit well with social media users who slammed the Prime Minister for his insensitivity towards the matter. Several opposition parties, including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, AAP, and Samajwadi leaders condemned his statement, describing it as a display of disrespect towards human life.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi stated that depression and suicide should not be taken lightly.
She tweeted, “Depression and suicide, especially among the youth, is not something to joke about. According to NCRB data, 164033 Indians committed suicide in 2021, with a significant percentage being below the age of 30. This is a tragic issue that should not be made into a joke. Instead of ridiculing mental health problems in such an insensitive and morbid manner, the Prime Minister and those who laughed at his joke should educate themselves and raise awareness about it. @TLLLFoundation @narendramodi”
Rahul Gandhi expressed his concern for the families impacted by suicide. In a tweet, he stated, “Millions of families are affected by suicide, and thousands of parents lose their children to this tragedy. The Prime Minister should not make jokes about it!”
In a tweet written in Hindi, RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha expressed his concerns over the audience’s reaction to Modi’s comments.
He wrote, “It’s a worrying sign that the Prime Minister can make a joke about a sensitive topic like suicide. What’s even more alarming is the applause and laughter that followed. It’s a clear indication of the illness prevalent in our society… Jai Hind.”
The official Twitter account of the Aam Aadmi Party also condemned Modi’s remarks, stating, “Imagine the insensitive disregard for human life by our Prime Minister who needs to crack a joke on suicide!?!?”
Even journalists and social media users also have expressed their anger on the joke.
Twitter user Dr. Nimo Yadav tweeted, “This is Indian PM narendra Modi, he is making fun of all the people battling with depression, he is making fun of people having Suic*dal thoughts. This is so sad to see that PM of world’s largest democracy is insensitive and people are cheering this.”
Journalis Swati Cahturvedi tweeted, “Suicide is a joking matter? Modi outdoes himself”