Students under stress
IT was saddening to read about the student suicides in Kota, Rajasthan, owing to academic pressure and the difficulty of clearing competitive examinations such as JEE and NEET (Cover story, October 6). As the psychiatrist Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar rightly mentions in your story, “education is not our entire life”. Students must learn to take failures in their stride and rest assured that if one door is shut, other windows of opportunity will surely open in good time.
THE alarming rates of student suicide point to the need for qualified counsellors to advise students and parents on issues of mental health. Of course, the onus cannot be on students and parents alone. The license and permits of coaching centres must not be renewed until we ensure they follow due process and compulsorily employ psychologists who counsel both parents and students.
M. Jayadeva Varma
THE spectre of Kota haunts the entire nation. Following the “Kota model”, many schools have become self-proclaimed centres for competitive exams only because of the mad rush of parents who push their wards into the quagmire of false promises made by the pied pipers of education.
Policymakers, too, are indifferent to the misery of students and parents. The reduction of the NEET PG cut-off percentile to zero is disgraceful and deplorable, to say the least. Only alternate practices based on individual student capabilities and competence will provide a solution to this broken model of education.
When Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud said: “In 75 years, we have focused on creating institutions of eminence but we need to create institutions of empathy”, he hit the bull’s eye. The state’s inability to plan and care for education is the root cause of the multiple failures of the Indian educational system. The stranglehold of the “coaching industry” is not the cause but the effect of “privileging the privileged”, as seen in the JEE/NEET ecosystem.
Periyar’s counter to Sanatana Dharma
IT was heartening to read Periyar’s thoughts on samadharma (“Periyar’s idea for India”, October 6) in Frontline. His words “Today’s dharma will be seen as adharma tomorrow” have proved truly prophetic today when religion is being wielded as a deadly weapon in politics.
One nation one election
By proposing “One Nation One Election” strategy, the BJP government has set a veritable cat among pigeons (“Same ball, new pitch”, October 6). This move will drastically cut short the terms of several State Assemblies such as in Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. Going for early polls in these States far ahead of their respective terms is an affront to democracy and to the people who gave them a mandate for five full years.
There is also the worry of regional parties that in a simultaneous election, national issues will dominate the debates, with regional issues being sidelined and not receiving the attention they deserve, much to the discomfiture of States. This exercise also calls for an amendment to the Constitution. It is hoped that a final decision on this contentious issue will be taken only after proper debates with various political parties and citizen groups.
Ladakh on edge
There is no denying that Ladakh is on the boil (Cover story, September 22). And if the Ladakhis are protesting for their voices to be heard, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the fulfilment of their and legitimate demand for statehood. The government must immediately find ways to address the genuine concerns of the locals of Ladakh and Kargil.
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
What exactly is Prathyush Parasuraman’s piece on Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani about? It is 1,000 words of waffle and then a couple of dismissive paragraphs. Am I supposed to be impressed by the number of luxury brands he can spot? Such pretentious stuff gives serious criticism a bad name.