The Wayanad district sees the highest number of farmer suicides in Kerala. Every month at least one such tragedy makes it to the pages of the Malayalam dailies. But little is heard about the suicides committed by the indigenous people of the place. This happens right under the collective administrative noses of a purportedly welfare state. These suicides are preventable, if the structural issues leading to these suicides are properly addressed. The template of the fragile ecosystem has been laid out by the Gadgil committee report, yet the human cost of the disaster still remains stuck in newspaper reports.
In the wake of the monsoon floods that occurred in 2018 and 2019, the fragility of the Wayanad ecosystem has been brought to the fore. The continued plunder of natural resources and unbridled construction and development activities are simply not sustainable. The accumulated human cost of such activities, remain to be studied.
Sumant Badami from the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia has written on ‘Suicide as a counter-narrative in Wayanad’ in which he says that the increase in the number of farmer suicides in Wayanad results from an exceedingly complex set of socio-economic and political factors. He also laments the state apathy and lack of psychiatric interventions, due to “over-politicisation”.