Suriya on NEET: It brings so much pain when students are forced to write an exam

By: Entertainment Desk | Bengaluru |

Updated: September 14, 2020 6:52:23 pm

suriya on NEETHe said, “Courts were delivering justice through video-conferencing due to life-threatening coronavirus fears (but) are ordering students to fearlessly go and write the exams.”. (File)

Actor Suriya has released a strong-worded statement against NEET entrance exams in the wake of recent deaths of three medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu.

Last week, three NEET aspirants in Tamil Nadu allegedly committed suicide, a day before they were to appear for the medical entrance exam.

Suriya issued the statement on Sunday questioning the role of the government, the judiciary and the media in such “unfair exam practices”.

“My conscience is shaken after three students killed themselves over the fear of NEET exam. It brings so much pain when students are forced to write an exam even at the time of a life-threatening pandemic,” he said in the statement.

“The government, which is supposed to create an equal playground for everyone, is creating an education policy that is creating inequality among the students. Those who have no understanding of the ground reality of the students from poor and downtrodden families are making education policies. The court, which delivers judgments through video-conferencing due to the fear of coronavirus, orders the students to take exam fearlessly. The deaths of students just becomes a subject of discussions on the news channels for a day. And some ‘Chanakyas’ even engage in heated debates about spelling mistakes in the suicide notes of the students. ‘Manuneethi’ tests like NEET not just deprive our students of opportunities but also takes their lives,” the actor added.

Suriya also appealed to parents and teachers to be more vigil and help students deal with failures. The actor said, “We should not let just exams decide the merits and talents of our children. The way we support them to prepare for such unjust exams, we should also prepare them to face the failures. We need to make the students understand that test results are insignificant before a life surrounded by loving family, relatives and friends. In the Mahabharata, Dronacharya asked for Ekalavya’s thumb as fees for teaching him. The modern-day Dronacharyas are asking a Class 6 student to prove his mettle by passing a test. For those who pass this, there are more fierce weapons awaiting, like the NEET.”

“NEET exam has killed three students in just one day. What happened today, had happened yesterday and will also happen tomorrow unless we start being vigilant. We should not be mute spectators. We should raise our voice against NEET, which sets fire to the medical dreams of students from normal families,” said the Singam actor.

Explained: Why top Tamil actor Suriya’s remarks are being scrutinised for contempt of court

Suriya’s critique of the judiciary has, however, invited criticism. Justice SM Subramaniam of the Madras High Court has approached the High Court Chief Justice to initiate contempt proceedings against the actor. The judge has taken exception to Suriya mentioning that courts deliver orders through video conferencing due to fear of Covid.

“The statement reveals that the Hon’ble Judges are afraid for their own lives and rendering justice through video conferencing. While-so, they have no morale to pass orders directing the students to appear for NEET Exam without fear. The said statement in my considered opinion amounts to contempt of court as the integrity and devotion of the Hon’ble Judges as well as the judicial system of our great nation are not only undermined but criticised in a bad shape,” Justice SM Subramaniam wrote in his letter to the Madras High Court Chief Justice.

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