Justice S M Subramaniam of the Madras High Court, has written a letter to the Chief Justice, seeking to initiate criminal contempt action against Tamil actor Suriya over his remarks about judges in the context of the courts allowing the conduct of NEET exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press statement, Suriya reportedly commented that while judges themselves are holding proceedings via video conferencing, they are asking students to appear for NEET exam without fear.
Justice Subramaniam in his letter to the CJ said that the opinion of Suriya amounts to contempt of court as the integrity and devotion of the judges as well as the judicial system is not only undermined but criticised in bad shape, wherein there is a threat for the public confidence on the judiciary.
He further stated that Suriya has committed contempt, warranting contempt proceedings to uphold the majesty of the Indian judicial system.
Suriya said in statement, “My heart goes out to the three families..! Can’t imagine their pain..!!. 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.”
He said 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, he stated.
“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,” he added.