One more Dalit life has been claimed. This time too, it is murder. The kind that gets called suicide when it is anything but. Our upper caste system of education has in the past claimed many Dalit lives from prestigious universities in the country. They just couldn’t stand the marginalized sections learning, earning doctorates or even being in the spaces they thought were solely theirs. In Anitha’s case, the message is clear. The upper caste dominated education system does not want Dalits or people from marginalized sections as doctors. Probably an ideology they follow from their master Dronacharya who asked for Ekalavya’s finger as offering.
Anitha was a student from Tamil Nadu who wanted to be a doctor. She was a Dalit and when she found out that the system was being unfair to her, she decided to fight it. In court. Anitha had scored exceptionally well in her board exams and wanted to enter a medical college. She realized that the rules required her to pass the NEET [National Eligibility cum Entrance Test] entrance exam. She knew she couldn’t. Do you know why?
Not everyone can coach themselves for this test. You see, rich folks, privileged caste people – all think that whatever they are able to afford, others can too. Then there are really nasty ones who know that backward classes will not be able to afford coaching. They are the Arjunas who sit smugly on the cut thumb of Ekalavya and yell ‘Reservation in education is a curse.’
The NEET scam
In places like Tamil Nadu, most of the students complete their education under the State syllabus and curriculum. The privileged join the CBSE system. NEET test gives advantage to the same privileged students, as though it is completely normal to bestow more privileges on the already privileged. If you are not already equipped to attempt the entrance exam, the students who are financially well off, can enroll in coaching classes.
Students like Anitha could not even dream of enrolling in one such class. There are even students who gave up their dream of being a doctor and joined colleges of engineering because the snobbery and favouritism of the society wouldn’t let her be a doctor.
Now that the system has claimed one more life, are the powers that be happy? Anitha took her battle to the Supreme Court of this nation. She fought hard and she ended her life because even the courts failed her.
How difficult is it for you to open your eyes and see that NEET is a system that gives undeserved advantage to those privileged CBSE students? You are actually saying that the State Board Curriculum is insufficient to prepare a student. Is that so? How is it that time and again from states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala students who coached themselves under the State curriculum entered medical colleges?
Tamil Nadu is protesting Anitha’s murder. Imbeciles, we need education reforms. NOW!