This is a blog post from SEETHA WRITES. This post describes one facet of the counter attack by the ruling elites on social justice won by decades of struggles.
When Malala Yousafzai was shot at and grievously injured by Islamic fundamentalists to deny her education, the world took notice, provided the best medical care to her, saved her life, made her speak at the UN and even awarded her Nobel Prize for peace.
Anitha suffered similar fate. She dreamed of becoming a doctor, attack by the state and Hindu fundamentalists on social justice denied her education. She gave her life in the battle against denial of her right to education.
But intellectuals preach about alternatives, another try etc.
Let us all say I AM ANITHA and continue the fight for social justice and right of the working masses to education.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 BY SEETHA SEKAR
Long long ago, there was a country, where anyone could dream of anything, where people believed in equality, where equality was not just a dream, but a reality that had been established by the efforts of many great people. Then a sect of people gradually rose to power, who introduced inequality in society. Over a period of time, their slow and steady progress changed the nation according to their will. They started branding the people who talked against their will as anti-nationalist. The majority of the nation either didn’t have the guts or didn’t care about what happened around them as long as they got their three meals a day and had a roof on top for shelter. These people chose to turn a blind eye to the atrocities that happened around them while deluding themselves that they were optimists.
In such a society lived a girl, who dared to harbour rich ambitions in spite of being born to poor parents. She went through a lot of struggle, hardships and sleepless nights while striving to achieve her goal of becoming a doctor. Innocent as she was, she didn’t realize how biased the system had become and how unfair it could be. She believed that she could realize her dream just by her own hard work and sincere efforts. She didn’t realize that she lived in times when the rich became richer at the expense of the poor. She didn’t realize that she was unlucky to live in a time when the very same sect that had already introduced so much inequality in society, had launched one more initiative to widen the gap between the rich and the poor.
I’m referring to the introduction of a common entrance examination for students wishing to pursue medicine. This exam poses an insurmountable barrier to the students from poor background and inaccessible villages who aspire to become a doctor, since they can’t afford the exclusive coaching that is essential to clear this entrance exam. Thus, the introduction of this entrance exam is like hiring a doorman who favours the rich who can afford the required coaching, while shutting the door on the poor who cannot.
But, our girl didn’t understand how hopeless her situation was right from the beginning when she sat for the ‘common’ entrance exam that did not test anything which the students learned in ‘common’. She foolishly believed that justice still existed. So she futilely appealed to the judiciary to get justice. Even though she was bright enough to score 1172/1200 in the board examination, she was not bright enough to understand that the system had rigged her for failure from the moment she was born to poor parents.
So she was devastated when her failure in the entrance exam shattered her dream of becoming a doctor. She, who had always dreamt of becoming only a doctor and who had done everything in her power to fulfil her dream, couldn’t accept the verdict.
She should have opted for BDS or Agriculture or anything else within her reach as some ‘intellects’ have suggested in the social media, but she wasn’t ‘smart’ enough to know that it is no longer one’s right to choose what they want to become in life.
Again, some ‘intellects’ believe that she should have made another attempt to clear the exam after preparing for a few more years. But how could she make these ‘intellects’ understand the hardships that she had to endure in order to complete her studies? Why could these ‘intellects’ not see that she could not afford to waste even a month, leave alone a year.
After much thought, she chose what appeared to be the best option for her – to leave this pathetic world and put an end to her life and dreams. This is the end of this story too.
So, what is the moral of this story? You cannot afford to dream or have high aspirations if you are not already rich or in power. You ain’t worth much if you have neither.
Oh! I forgot to mention – there is one lucrative profession which doesn’t need any qualification or prior knowledge (I mean you don’t have to sit for any entrance exams). Can you believe it? Yes, you got it. Even if you have never set foot in a school, you can still have a pretty good shot at becoming an education minister. You can always dream of becoming a politician who can decide the fate of the country and its citizens either for good or bad. Welcome to the new India!