Suriya's hard note against NEET, Court says comment is contempt

Suriya has strongly condemned the way the NEET exams are conducted in spite of the pandemic, blames education system with disparities
Madras High Court judge orders to initiate contempt proceedings against actor Suriya over his remarks about Supreme Court upholding central government's decision to conduct the NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) in the midst of a pandemic.

Suriya, while commenting on the recent student suicides in Tamil Nadu over fear due to NEET, criticised the court for allowing the examination to be conducted amid a raging pandemic. "Fearing threat to lives due to Covid-19, judges were dispensing justice via video conferencing, but ordered students to write NEET exam without fear," he said in a strongly-worded statement.

He further stated that Suriya has committed contempt, warranting contempt proceedings to uphold the majesty of the Indian judicial system.

Three NEET aspirants in Tamil Nadu died by suicide on Saturday, a day before attempting the common entrance test, due to fear and stress. Reacting to this, Suriya urged the government to scrap NEET permanently, claiming that it kills the dreams of children from poor families. He urged the society to raise their voice against NEET and asked them not to be silent spectators of student suicides.

The statement of Suriya, which was posted from his Twitter account, has gone viral on social media platforms, with several people lauding the actor for taking a strong stand against NEET.

In a tweet that reads, "My heart goes out to the three families..! Can't imagine their pain..!!," the actor has put up a long and hard-hitting note expressing his anger.

The statement translated to: "The news of three students committing suicide on the same day over NEET fears has shaken my conscience. There's nothing more shameful than offering words of comfort instead of best wishes to students who are sitting for an exam. That students have to write exams and prove their worth in a life-threatening situation like the corona pandemic pains me.

The government that should create equal opportunities for all is implementing as law an education system that creates a divide. People who do not know the realities faced by poor students are framing education policies. The court that delivers justice through video conferencing due to corona scare orders students to appear for exams without any fear. 'Student commits suicide out of fear of exam' becomes the day's topic of discussion in media. And some Chanakyas fiercely debate the spelling mistakes in the suicide notes of the students.

'Manu needhi' exams like NEET don't just take away the chances of our students but also their lives. For parents who lose their kids to an unjust exam system, it becomes a lifetime punishment. From now on, parents and teachers should be aware of this education system that doesn't have any interest in the well-being of students.

We shouldn't let exams decide the worth and talent of our kids. Just like how we stand by them and get them to prepare for such unjust exams, we should prepare them to take on success and failure. We should make them understand that these exam results are nothing in front of a loving family, relations, friends and this miracle called life.

In the days of the Mahabharata, the Dronas only asked for the thumbs of Ekalavyas. The modern-day Dronas are asking even sixth standard students to write exams and prove their worth. And they use powerful weapons like NEET to sacrifice those who manage to overcome these challenges.

NEET has killed three students in a single day. What happened today happened yesterday as well. It will happen tomorrow, too. If we are not vigilant, this will keep repeating again and again. We shouldn't silently watch the deaths of innocent students. We should, as one society, come together and raise our voice against NEET, which burns down the dreams of children from humble backgrounds.

Almost all political parties in Tamil Nadu have been opposing NEET and have repeatedly demanded the central government to scrap the common entrance exam as they believe it discriminates against students coming from rural and underprivileged backgrounds.

Though this year several non-BJP ruled states had approached the Supreme Court requesting postponement of the exam in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the court rejected their plea.


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