Who is responsible for Payal’s death?
A young medical student being humiliated to an extent where she committed suicide is not just a blot on our education system but a shame on our democracy which believes in equality. The death of Dr Payal Tadvi needs to be investigated by the highest authority and those responsible for her death deserves should be appropriately punished. She may have got admissions through reservation quota but examinations judge you on performance and even the college administration needs to be questioned on ‘ragging’ which push many students to commit suicide each year.
We are living in the 21st century and casteist slurs is a blot on humanity. Education is the need of the hour and every citizen irrespective of his caste, financial status deserves respect. We must have stringent laws to dissuade people from humiliating fellow citizens if we need to strengthen the communal fabric of our country.
Ragging claims one more life
Yet another precious life has been lost due to ragging. Twenty-six year-old Payal Tadvi of BYL Nair Hospital committed suicide due to ragging by her seniors. What is perhaps more appalling is that the college authorities had chosen to do nothing when Payal had complained to them of harassment by her seniors the day before she died. Can an educational institution continue to be called so when it behaves in such a callous manner? The medical college authorities should also be punished for dereliction of duty.
It is not uncommon these days to come across reports of senior students in colleges and universities playing cruel practical jokes on their juniors and passing them off as ‘friendly’ ragging. Ragging has actually become a means used by senior students to exploit juniors with the purpose of indulging in bestial pleasures. Junior students are ragged physically and mentally. Sometimes they are stripped off their clothes and made to walk nude along hostel corridors. If they disobey, they are beaten black and blue by their seniors.
Ragging also often causes promising but introverted students to return home. But the unpleasant memory of inhuman torture often creates a fear psychosis in them and this ultimately casts a shadow on their academic careers.
Every year, colleges throughout the country witness dreaded deeds committed by senior students against freshers who join the colleges for higher studies. Ragging has thus become the worst manner of interaction between the new entrants and the seniors.
Congress-NCP failed to stop Modi tsunami
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is true as far as the NCP-Congress relationships are concerned. The relationship was more of a convenience and not of any use to both the parties. To add to the misery NCP chief Raj Thackeray joined the bandwagon to spoil further hopes. The party failed to win single seat in Mumbai and the overall performance was disastrous. The weakness in both the coalition partner was in open as both the parties were involved in corrupt practices and that turned tables against them. If the same combination works together in the assembly elections, then it will be a cakewalk for BJP-Sena combine to retain power for one more term.
ECI’s work should be applauded
Post the jubilant poll results announcement of the 17th General Elections for Lok Sabha in 2019, the Election Commission of India which was at the forefront spearheading the consistent show needs to be applauded. ECI ensured that it was up and running to meet the increasing challenges to ensure a free and fair election.
The logistical and security arrangements made to ensure smooth and free and fair elections has emulated the voters expectations this time especially at the ground level. This comes at a time when ECI witnessed high level differences in the board rooms including speculations related to the appointment and tenure of CEC, dissent owing to Model Code of Conduct breaches, VVPAT challenge posed by the opposition parties, Supreme Court related judgements urging ECI to fall into the toe-line, effective EVM management till the end of polling process etc.
Several firsts were witnessed, amongst them being the formation of media monitoring committees, extensive voter grievance redress mechanism, consistent voter awareness drives including the launch of CVIGIL app and running of special Voter Express trains, launch of PwD friendly initiatives for special voters etc to name a few.
ECI’s move to conduct smooth elections was otherwise overshadowed by controversial speeches and actions by political stakeholders, owing to which ECI remained a mere mute spectator leading to voters apathy. The desperateness was to such an extent that it led to dissent amongst the three election commissioners instead of a voter’s expectation of a stern action and voicing out a unanimous decision. Finally ECI and its team at the ground level need to be appreciated for having conducted such a mammoth democratic exercise in the world.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)