Anitha: So much pain and no gain

Did Anitha commit suicide?
I don’t know her. I hadn’t seen her until the media showed her. Yet, I refuse to believe that Anitha committed suicide only because of failure to secure a medical seat. Suicide is preceded by symptoms of deep sadness or loss of interest. It is not spiked in a moment and Anitha seemed to show none of these during her interviews before her death. A child from a struggling background generally tends to have tenacity of mind. Suicides have been more on account of honour than failure. Hence, it puzzles more. So who labelled it as a suicide due to NEET failure? Without blaming the media or taking any dignity away from her demise, I only wish the message and the messenger are presented right
Is entrance exam justified?
The previous generation was part of a process called TNPCEE (Tamil Nadu Professional Courses Entrance Examination) which they wrote and then gained an engineering seat. The quality of engg was somewhat better at that point in time. By removing the entrance exam process, see the quality of engineers that the state is producing. If one girl chooses to exit the world because she doesn’t have confidence in cracking the exam, we must introspect on what counselling can be given to such students by the parents/society/teachers etc rather than getting carried away by the sympathy wave. What happened to those so many forward community students who could not get admission simply because of a quota system and other lesser qualified people got admissions? Does anyone know how many students died because of that? We will never know because the media never bothered to cover it. The tamil movie Gentleman showed clearly what I am trying to convey.
What are the Myths?
Myth 1: That entrance exams can be cracked only with coaching. Entrance exam tests the inherent quality of a student to ensure an opportunity goes to the most deserved. In the earlier days, IIT or IIM never had coaching for their entrance exams. Every parent’s anxiety resulted in increased competition and a general belief that coaching would help gain an extra edge. The coaching centres were only too happy to see their balance sheet grow
Myth 2: NEET was a government initiative. NO. It was a supreme court ruling
Myth 3: Some quota would have helped her. Only 15% is part of All India Quota which means, the home state students have the advantage of 85% which is a further 15% quota for SC/ST in Anitha’s case. All indicates that things were indeed in her favour. As an SC, she had an age cap of 30 against 25 for other cases.
Some uncomfortable questions that I seek answers for
  1. The mark sheet of Anitha mentions her school as Rajavignesh Hr Sec School which is NOT a government school where expenses must be higher than a govt school. Two of her brothers are engineering students while one was pursuing IAS preparations. So there must be certain amount of awareness of the outside world
  2. Who funded her case in Supreme Court?
  3. Why is this case alone gaining political attention? In her last interview, why did she end her talk with “Jai Bhim” which seemed prompted (The equivalent of Jai Hind for Dalits)
  4. Why is the Dalit card being payed?
  5. Every private school takes pride in churning out doctors and engineers and the admission is based on these tall claims only. When NEET was inevitable, why didn’t the school coach someone like Anitha?
  6. Why didn’t the guy/organisation who funded her supreme court case spend that money on coaching her instead?
  7. When she got so much media attention, didn’t even one person come forward to counsel her and motivate her to appear next time?
What pains me?
  1. Vested interests prodding Anitha’s family to play the victim card
  2. Politicians seeing opportunity for propaganda in the death of an innocent soul
  3. TN getting into protest mode easily.
We are moving backwards and losing opportunity to stay ahead in development. Time is ripe for new leaders to emerge
Whats the failure?
Failure 1: In trying to be popular, Samacheer Kalvi is a failure and Anitha’s case is a slap on the face of politicians who claimed it to bring about equality in education. When you bring Samacheer Kalvi, people will obviously go to CBSE for better quality education and when NEET is more suited to a CBSE student, we cry foul. I have no doubt that the law makers in our state are taking TN to the dogs.
Failure 2: Freebies, continuation of TASMAC and now low standards of State Board education is causing more damage to TN than we think. State board is in shambles and it cannot run on sympathy or sentiments
Do we have a lesson here?
Of course yes!
Lesson 1: chest-beating in an emotional moment is fine but lets read the fine print between the lines to see motives behind why such suicides happen and the media projects it in a way that it does. Unless we know who the villain is, whats the point in loading the gun? To shoot in the air? it is important to harness the power of youth in the right direction else it becomes a ball of fire without direction.
Lesson 2: Being Anti-government is the new fashion. I am not defending the government. Remember that a Julie also became Jallikattu Julie only by coining rhyming statements deriding leaders and government. It was fun and frothy but not factual
Bottom line?
Anitha was only a tool for a coterie to raise their point through a sympathy mean like this and stall further NEET in the state. If it was Rohit Vemula then, it is Anitha now. Lets read between the lines. There is more political to it than we think. Anitha is a messenger while the message is larger. Unfortunately we are not reading it. And that is worrying.
Questions remain unanswered, the dust is settling down and Om Shanthi for the departed soul
Guerrilla warfare where children were used as shields: I see the political class using people like Anitha to do the same with NEET to save their vested interests
We went together to the same school and wore the same uniform. When results came, i scored more than him and he got a better college than me. I didn’t understand and wished him well. Welcome to the world of reservations
Reservations could neither help Anitha nor a forward community guy. Appo yaarukku da arasiyal panringa?
Reservation was meant to be for one beneficiary in a generation. Next generation, it should not be there

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