“Why dear? Why? Why kill yourself? Just because you didn’t get great scores in IIT-JEE mains? Was that all you aimed in life?” The only question that pops up in my mind after reading the story of a 17-year-old committing suicide in Kota, Rajasthan. And the reason for suicide is that she got less scores in JEE mains. And overall this is the fifth student suicide in Kota from January this year. When I look into all these deaths I really feel bad. I feel bad for the pressure that the kids are subjected to. I feel bad for the parents who pushed them hard to achieve, and I feel bad for the environment that we have setup for kids. I feel bad for all of us for being impractical in every way possible.
I remember the phrase , “God made man, man made money and money made man mad.” And this fits in very precisely for the matter in hand. IIT’s IIM’s are probably every engineering and management aspirants dream in India. The reason behind it is very simple. The fat paychecks that you get, when you move out of these colleges. They make us feel that the only dream in life is to get into an IIT, and then IIM after a degree. But when we fail, we lose hopes in life, and when the devastation goes beyond a limit we decide to kill ourselves.
There are hardly 10000 seats (9885 to be precise) in IIT’s altogether, and over 13 lakh students appear for exams every year. Going by numbers that means less than 1 person out of the 100 appearing for IIT JEE mains stands a chance to get into an IIT. And the 99 others fail. Does this mean that the 99 others are useless and does it mean that they are good for nothing?…. Well, I strongly feel that I have to disagree with this mean statement. But the students who fail are seemingly having the same opinion about it. And the parents who have to hold their back every time also seem to feel the same. This is where the problem begins.
It is a matter of prestige and extreme joy to say people that an offspring of mine cleared IIT-JEE mains. He/She got into an IIT. And when it doesn’t happen, everything else starts. Probably the dotcom boom which hit the silicon valley in the late 90’s and the Y2k virus which took over systems in the US in 2000 created a strong demand for Indian engineers in Silicon valley. With globalisation taking over the world in the later days created a great amount of fuss for being an engineer. Every parent wanted his/her child to be an engineer/doctor. That became the symbol of success and accomplishment in life. This is where the wrong things started selling in the world around. Institutes started saying that they guaranteed IIT IIM seats for kids, provided they spent 15+ hours in their institutes for a year or two. And slowly these institutes and getting into them started becoming a big thing. Places like Kota started became the heaven for IIT aspirants. Many other places started getting involved too. From pendulum sir to calculus madam every good lecturer started getting into this. Big companies, fat offers, Abroad jobs, a US green card, and a lot of money became the ultimate ambition. And with this came the disappointment of not being able to make to it, and immaturity of not being able to handle it. And kids started getting traumatized. Drugs alcohol and cigarettes became the ways to get out of the disappointment and the trauma. And the youth lost the battle of life even before it started.
I wonder why we miss out on very simple things. I wonder why people have a misconception that, an IIT degree would define success. Why on earth do they feel that there are no other ways to succeed in life. Why have we missed out on making our kids mature to handle failure before we prepare them to fight for success. The amount of pressure that the kids are going through today is immense and we have to find a way out of it soon. I find it sad that we are talking about Internet of Things for the comfort of mankind, but sadly the mankind on its quest of IOT has made it’s future generation objects striving for success. Why have we made it so bad that there is no space for emotions, failures, and excuses? Is this the world we want to see or live in? I don’t know. I still love going home in the evening, and talking about the things that happened in college. I am happy and satisfied with my degree and the college which I went to. Because I have lived my life more than that innocent kid in quest of IIT. I have enjoyed my life and have learnt to celebrate little successes of mine, rather than mourning and thinking of committing suicide for the things I couldn’t get.
After everything, home is my comfort zone, and my family is a set of people who don’t judge me on my accomplishments. They don’t praise me when I succeed or criticize me when I fail. My dad always used to say, “No matter what, come back home, we will e there for you.” This is probably the unconditional love and care and sense of security that every kid today needs. Yes I know that the situation has changed, the competitiveness has multiplied, but regardless of all that, we all live only once, why end it before it ends on its own?