Dubai: A 24-year old livestreaming on Facebook should have been nothing out of the ordinary. But, Munna Kumar’s minute-long video on Facebook was his suicide message to the world – the Agra, India, resident hung himself while on camera, and not one of the over 2,750 people watching the live video, could do anything about it.
Social media users were upset to read that his Facebook ‘friends’ did not think to alert his parents or call the authorities. He killed himself on Tuesday night, while his parents were asleep in the next room.
Gaurav Arya @majorgauravarya tweeted: “Extremely saddened by the suicide of Munna Kumar, who was depressed because he did not make it to Indian Army. But 2,750 people watched this young man’s suicide as if it was a reality show. No one called the police. Sickening. Mindset of a vulture.”
Tweep @Prachi_Vyas wrote: “Unfortunately, technology has turned humans into robots. We have the luxury of watching a livestream, but not the heart to take action in a situation like this. Extremely disappointing.”
However, a report by Indian news channel NDTV states that people watching did try to discourage him from committing suicide, but Kumar did not respond.
Kumar was a Bachelor of Science graduate, and was depressed after failing to join the Indian Army. He had been trying since he was 17.
Speaking to Times of India, his younger brother Vikas Kumar said: “He was highly inspired by Bhagat Singh and wanted to join the Indian Army. Hours before committing suicide, he was normal and we had dinner together. No one in the family had any idea that he was going to commit suicide.”
Kumar left behind a six-page suicide note, in which he blamed himself for not being able to pass the Army entrance examinations, and expressed regret for disappointing his parents.
Social media users expressed the need for more conversations about mental health, depression and suicide in Indian homes.
About 800,000 people commit suicide worldwide every year, and of these, 135,000 people or 17 per cent are residents of India, according to statistics by the Registrar General of India.
Aditya Dixit @aditya304 tweeted: “Life can’t be decided with just one factor… more can join this bandwagon after watching this suicide event. They need help and counselling.”
Kumar’s father had recently set up a grocery store for his son, in order to keep him busy and help with his depression, according to Indian news reports.