Suicide is one thing which literally gives each one of us goose bumps, isn’t it? However, mostly doctors and psychologists say that suicides are committed in the spur of the moment—in fits of rage, anger and high emotions. But, there have been quite a few instances around the world where we’ve seen people committing a well chalked out and preplanned suicide. Although mostly it is done to meet some of the propagandist aim or the other, it is indeed pathetically heroic. Let’s look at some people who committed suicide in public and have been remembered more for this dreadful act than their propagandas which led them to do so.
Thich Quang Duc was a Buddhist monk from Vietnam who set himself ablaze in protest to the Protestant Government of Vietnam’s prosecution of the Buddhist monks. While he set himself on fire, he was seated in a lotus pose, and according to the onlookers, he hadn’t moved an inch till he breathed his last! Respect.
This is the story of R. Budd Dwyer, the 30th treasurer of Pennsylvania who was accused of bribery and falsehood while being in the chair. However, to prove his innocence, moments before the trial, he called out a press conference, declared his innocence and his distrust in the judicial system, and triggered himself to death right then!
Here’s the story of a convict who committed suicide while being hunted down by the police. Amidst a high profile encounter and after rounds of firing at the policemen, he pulled his car to a halt and fired his handgun straight into his head!
Romas Kalanta’s self immolation occurred as a result of a bundle of political instabilities and problems in Lithuania. And, though his death provoked innumerable riots and many other public suicides, it was later distinguished as an act of solidarity and heralding Lithuania’s oneness in moments of crisis.
“I am not committing suicide, they are killing me” were the last words from this 77-year-old pharmacist before he shot himself in the head at the Syntagma Square, Athens. It was a protest against the Greek Government that had slashed his pension.
This reporter from Florida had her life ended prior to her own show at the ABC 40 WXLT-TV while on air. She simply took out a revolver and shot herself to death, thereby exemplifying a “first attempted suicide”.
Now this is the story of a woman who devoted all the life as a feminist fighting against all the odds with a militant exuberance that was special to her. In fact, her death was something similar when she jumped across the track at the Epson Derby in England, and got herself trampled under the numerous horses which participated in the same!
Now, this man’s suicidal attempt needed some courage! As a protest against the Warsaw Pact and Poland’s participation in it, he had set himself ablaze amidst a crowd of around 100,000 at the National Harvest Festival and had the local leaders as well as important foreign dignitaries at the stadium!
One of the most shocking and eccentric suicides ever committed, came with Kevin Whitrick’s death, which “took place” in a chat room in the Internet. While engaged in a video chat, he simply stood up a chair, slung a rope at the ceiling and hung himself to death.
His protest against America’s involvement in the Vietnamese War came in the form of self immolation in public. Keeping his daughter with a stranger at the street, he covered himself in kerosene oil and set fire to meet out his goal!
His suicide came as a protest to the attacks on him (a Greek by birth) by the Junta Student’s Movement in Italy. On 19th September 1970, this young lad set himself ablaze at the Matteoti Square and ran around shouting the slogans “Down with the tyrants”, “Long Live Greece” and “Down with the fascist colonels” till his last breath.
Here’s again the story of a student caught in the agony of political unrest and the subsequent protest. However, Palach’s story a little different as this young blood was indulged in a suicide pact with a few other fellow students to protest Czechoslovakia’s invasion by the Soviet Union. By setting himself ablaze, he was the one to initiate this pact.
Malachi Ritscher was a quite well known jazz musician till one fine morning when the idea of being a human rights activist and an anti war personnel propped up in his mind. Although he was among the lesser known activists, he shot up in all the news channels when he set himself ablaze in a busy street near downtown Chicago. According to his family, it was a sort of protest against the America-Iraq war.