Sunday, September 10, 2017


Hello World,

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With NEET protests gaining attention from the media and the public, I think, it is about time we discussed this issue in a relatively fair perspective than the ones being vomited into the public mind.

The administration at the centre has revised the entrance mechanism for medical courses and this has brought a new entrance exam based on a syllabus only a section of TN students study. Unfortunately, most of those who would otherwise qualify for a medical seat now stand disqualified because they failed the NEET exam. Clearly, what they studied for a year did not match what they were tested on the NEET exam.

The issue took a sharp left turn when Anitha, a 17 year old student from Ariyalur district here committed suicide. She had a good chance of securing a medical seat through the older system but with NEET in place, her scores were far too low and so went her chances of getting a medical seat.

As usual, the dumb ducks of this region started screaming and some have managed to coerce people into taking it to the streets in the name of protests. 

Some are screaming NEET should go. Some are screaming the administration at the state and centre must change.

What is appalling is the state of ignorance this community has been forced into, be it any social issue for that matter.

Here are the key questions that need to be answered before any solution for the NEET issue be designed:

  1. When was the first NEET circular sent to the state administration from the centre?
  2. Who received it [in the secretariat]?
  3. Who was the NEET circular circulated/notified about [those who received a copy of it from the secretariat]?
  4. Who gave the order to ignore the NEET circular based on which no action was taken until when the NEET protests started?

The central government is not the problem. The state government is also not the problem. However, the officers who received the NEET circular and the elected officials [ministers] who authorised the ignorance of the NEET circular are responsible for all the issues related to NEET.

As for the death of Anitha, the responsibility has to be shared by all of us in Tamilnadu as we had created a fake-protest atmosphere where not-protesting is seen as a shameful act and those who choose not to participate in protests are ridiculed for their disregard for social justice and democracy. She was a regular 17 year old girl. She was portrayed in front of the media and courts as ‘The Poor Dalit Girl from Ariyalur’. She was not part of a protesting group but she was made to be the front face of multiple protesting groups. The consciousness of being in the public eye and subsequent failure in the NEET exam [she scored around 76 out of 700, if I am not wrong] made her embarrassment many folds bigger than what it should ideally be. This is what pushed her to the unfortunate decision to end her life, not the central government or state government.

Dalits/Scheduled caste candidates have always been perceived and portrayed as freeloaders who gain out of reservations alone but when it came to NEET, where everyone gains, the ‘Poor Dalit Girl from Ariyalur’ became the symbol of fight against oppression. Out of the blue, all castes and communities went out the window and in came the fake #Tamilanda propaganda. 

The avenues under the state's control still face caste based discrimination and the NEET Protests are claiming medical admissions to be given to the same administrative set-up that has institutionalised corruption and caste based discrimination. The horrifying fact is that a dalit girl from Ariyalur was used as the protest mascot, the consequences of which forced her to end her own life. 

What frustrates me more is the idea that opposition and new/other political parties can deliver justice which is being vomited into the public’s mind via carefully designed paid news propaganda. All of a sudden, the anger over the ruling political party is turning into the fondness for the opposition or new political parties. 

People start political parties so they can sell their signatures on a ‘pay-per-contract-%’ business model. Be it one seat or the entire 234, each elected member get’s to sign many approvals ranging from contracts, to appointments to transfers and so on. Each signature is used to extort money from the public. This is the only reason they contest in elections, irrespective of their size or political heritage.

My objective with this blog post is more towards helping establish a sense of awareness that is desperately needed for those who are considering to or already acting/thinking upon the NEET issue. The real solution has to address the real problem. Parties and governments are not the problem. Their decision to ignore the NEET circular when it first came is the root cause of this NEET issue. New exams and syllabus changes are very time consuming processes and so they are planned ahead and such programs need collaborative effort both from the state and central administrative bodies.

How to prevent such deliberate ignorance of such circulars and what will enable such a preventive measure? The answer to this twin-pronged question will contain the real solution to the NEET issue.  Transparency in governance is the first step, in my view. 

As for the ongoing protests, well, if students do it, they get smacked and thrown into buses and taken away. However, if it is a ‘All-Party-Gathering’ the entire administration will stand and watch while providing security and free electricity for their bulbs and mikes. This the proof that all ruling and opposition and coalition nonsense, basically are the same nonsense deserving no more attention that that of a rotting rat in a sewer [unless, clogging is an issue of concern].

Feels a lot lighter now. 

What do you think?


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