An 18-year-old student from Tirunelveli district killed himself on Wednesday morning, leaving behind a suicide note that blames his father's alcoholism for his decision. Dinesh, who hails from Sankarankovil, was found hanging from a railway bridge by passers-by at Vannarpettai, an hour away from his home.
The teenager was preparing for the NEET exam and was set to appear for it on May 6.
"Appa, this is Dinesh writing this letter. You should not drink after I die. You should not light my pyre because you drink. You don't shave your head. To put it openly, you don't do my last rites. This is my wish. Only then my soul will rest in peace," reads the young man's suicide note. He further writes, "Stop drinking at least now Appa. This is my wish. Only then I will be at peace.”
He also sends out a message to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisami. "Let us see if the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister shuts down alcohol outlets at least now. If he doesn't, my spirit will come back to do it," he writes.
Dinesh's family members say that the father, Madasamy, was a daily wage worker and an alcoholic. He had lost his mother at a young age.
The medical aspirant would constantly plead with his father to give up alcohol his family says. According to reports, Dinesh studied in Namakkal district, away from his family after, the 10th standard.
"He was a very bright student and scored 464 out of 500 in his 10th standard. He wanted to become a doctor and even got the hall ticket for the NEET exam," Dinesh's uncle said. "He told us he was going to his grandmother's house and left. He never showed us any signs of considering suicide," he adds.
Police officials in the district are currently investigating his death.
The demand for alcohol prohibition has been loud and strong in Tamil Nadu. Women and children have come out in large numbers in the past year to protest against TASMAC outlets. However, the Tamil Nadu government is heavily dependent on sale of liquor for generating revenue. The government has a monopoly over the sale of liquor at outlets and is expected to make over Rs. 30,000 crore from it this year. Tamil Nadu also has among the highest number of alcohol-related deaths in the country, and several activist groups led by women have been seeking total prohibition. Despite a groundswell in support of prohibition, the TN government has not taken significant measures to reduce the sale of alcohol due to its financial dependence on it.