suicide by hanging
Praveen Kumar was found hanging from the ceiling of his room by his roommates. [Representational Image]Reuters

Christians in India have the highest suicide rate at 17.4, while Sikhs have the lowest at 4.1, as reported by the Indian Express, citing data provided through an RTI application released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

In this context, rate refers to the number of suicides per one lakh population. The data is based on religion- and caste-wise suicides as reported in 2014. The NCRB gathered data on suicides based on religion and caste groups for the first time in 2014. Data for 2015 was not yet available. 

Suicide rate among Hindus and Muslims stood at 11.3 and 7, respectively. The national average stands at 10.6. 

Among caste groups, Scheduled Tribes have the highest suicide rate at 10.4, followed by Dalits at 9.4, according to the data. Although the "general" category has a higher rate (13.6), it includes suicides by those from all other religions as well. 

Data calculated on the basis of National Sample Survey Data, Other on Census 2011 figures *Suicides per on Lakh population **OBC populationData collected by the efforts of the Indian Express who filed an RTI query.
Data calculated on the basis of National Sample Survey Data, Other on Census 2011 figure. *Suicides per one Lakh population **OBC populationData collected by the efforts of the Indian Express who filed an RTI query.
Data calculated on the basis of National Sample Survey Data, Other on Census 2011 figure. *Suicides per one Lakh population **OBC populationData collected by the efforts of the Indian Express who filed an RTI query.

Hindus, too, have a greater share among suicides (83 percent) than their representation in the population (79.8 percent).

The percentage of suicides among Muslims is much lower (9.2) compared to their share in population (14.2 percent).

While the rate of suicides among SCs and STs hover around 10, which is close to the national average, the rate among other backward castes (OBC) stands at 9.2 percent – based on the National Sample Survey's numbers, their share in population is approximately 40.2 percent. The Home Ministry, incidentally, is yet to release figures of the caste census conducted in 2011.

World renowned sociologist Emile Durkheim's argued that suicide is not an individual act. He suggested that suicide was a social fact tied to social structures. He defined suicide as a social fact because it was something that happened driven by social causes, however hidden they were.