Daily Newsings: 13th May

Daily Newsings are musings on the daily news.

For today’s newsing, we look at the report released by the Kota district administration that around 300 PGs and hostels are yet to install a spring device on their ceiling fans. This is in violation of a regulatory mandate to all the hostels and PGs in the district.

But why the regulation? The devices are supposed to prevent suicides.

Kota, known as the coaching capital of the country, attracts around 3 lakh students every year from all over the country. These young people come to the place hoping to be trained and prepared to clear the competitive examinations in the country that would enable them to become doctors or engineers.

If academic and career success is the god of the country, Kota is its holy place. The place is filled with students, like devotees, coming from all over the country. All over the city on walls and buildings, you can see huge photographs of the “toppers” — those saints who have gone through the test before and conquered. They now inspire the others.

But idolatry always exacts a price.

9 students have died this year in Kota due to suicides. Last year, the number was 27.

The blame does not lie solely with the coaching centres, or the teachers there, or the Government, or the parents of the students, or even the students themselves. It lies with all of us — society as a whole. All of us worship success.

The children of our country grow up soaked in the religion that worships academic and career success.

We are all responsible. All of us worship success.

We worship success when we compare ourselves with those who are extremely successful. “If only I worked as hard as them.” We worship it when we make excuses for not coming to church because we have an exam to prepare for.

We worship success when we determine the worth of people based on their academic or career success… When we introduce people as having studied in such and such a prestigious institution (nobody proudly says that so and so studied at an obscure college). We worship it when we speak highly of those who were determined to study hard and clear the exams. “She studied for 18 hours every day, you know?”

The worship of idols always exacts a price.

The coaching centres of Kota are symptomatic of a rot that is nation-wide.

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