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  • Writer's pictureKrittika Majumder

In the Shadow of Uncertainty: A Student’s Plea to the Leader of Opposition of A New India

"Not all battles are fought for victory. Some are fought simply to tell the world that someone was there on the battlefield.". - Ravish Kumar

Dear Sir,

On 5th June, the country breathed a newer, fresher air. A democracy that had been languishing in the absence of a resounding voice of criticism, of opposition at the House of the People for ten long and bleak years, was salvaged.

The people of India, whose supremacy our hallowed Constitution stresses upon, gathered to abstain from conforming to an authority that hardly struck a chord with them. To summon and mobilize them in startling numbers from various swaths of our vast nation, to ignite in them a spirit of defiance so indomitable, and thus, to awaken the long dimming people’s power in a people’s government, could only have been the greatest service to democracy.

Despite the eventual aftermath and the purported majority opinion, for the first time in a long time, the people dared, the people resisted. The people were at the vanguard of the battle for attaining their will, a battle whose flame remained the most unfaltering with your tenacious leadership. Yet, the close of this grand battle shall not draw near for it is merely the beginning.

As democracy revives and blossoms in our country, far too many perspectives remain rather tactfully stifled. A glimmer of hope has fallen upon us, certainly, but it is far too early to revel for that hope is only faint. The picture still remains grim, as a great many sections of the society are still being wronged days upon days. As a student in this great nation, I could hardly help but put forward the injustices that we are forced to contend with.

On 4th June, while the rest of the country and the world remained drawn to the developing election results, the aspiring doctors of our nation suffered a dreadful fate. It was a tragic irony since the state of the students went, for a great while, largely disparaged and worse, undocumented, in sharp contrast to the charged political backdrop, when supposedly, it is the students who are hailed as the future of the nation.

Following a period of dawdling by the NTA, when a retest finally took place and the results of it were declared, as many as 23 lakh students received a revised rank. What stirred even greater horror and disgust, however, is a host of online attempts to communalise the matter by overtly attacking the religion of the students with fresh ranks, the majority of whom were depicted as Muslims, according to an India Today new report.

And that has not been all, as you must be aware. In the wake of NEET-UG allegations implying a paper leak and related scams, the NET examination was cancelled and the NEET-PG examination postponed on its very eve. The latest development that has left students in grave despair is the deferral of the CUET-UG results. As a CUET aspirant myself, in addition to the staggering 14 lakh students who had applied for the exam, I feel not merely failed by the system but also forsaken and forgotten.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), that remains at the forefront of the organization of these exams, appears hardly accountable. Despite being called on their helpline by a number of fellow students, they offer no answer, no certainty on our fate. We have been stripped of our very voice, our very right and in the greater sense, a basic affirmation about our future. Central universities under the CUET, housing our coveted seats, have too fallen under a quandary for the delay has been prejudicial to their yearly academic schedules.

Student protests have erupted in earnest in different corners of the nation, in its universities, on its streets, demanding the scrapping of the NTA. An atmosphere of grave unrest has been stirred. As an Instagram post by The Swaddle befittingly encapsulates the issue in its glaring headline, ‘India’s Education System is In A Crisis’. It is indeed so, and yet, the education scandal is not solely what plagues our youth.

Recently, The Acharya and Marathe College in Mumbai’s Chembur prohibited its students from wearing jeans and T-shirt on campus, a day after the Bombay High Court turned down a petition filed by the students deploring their decision to ban the hijab. These absurd and draconian dress codes imposed upon the students, these appalling interferences with their basic rights and harmless, personal desires further set off a spirit of bitterness and hatred amongst the youth.

Years upon years, students, disenchanted by their own country, find no hope nor pride, and are compelled to depart from it, questing after fair treatment elsewhere. Therefore, Sir, it is my earnest plea and a message of gratitude to you, on behalf of all students, for your devoted and unrelenting fight for our rights and for democracy, despite impediments posed by the incumbent government. I ask you to advocate for the honouring of our presence and service to the nation as students, as you had for democracy, not merely for the purpose of victory but justice.  

With great reverence and faith,

A youth who remains in the dark about her future

Written by Krittika Majumder

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