UPSC aspirant commits suicide
UPSC aspirant Varun Subhash Chandra hung himself after he was denied entry into the exam hallFacebook/VarunSubhashChandra

Independent India has little to do with Indian ethos as power-deprived people in the corridors of power show their wrath on innocent people, especially students or job aspirants. The recent instance of an IAS aspirant committing suicide for denying permission to enter the UPSC Civil services (Preliminary) exam hall for being late by four minutes clearly illustrates the convoluted, sadist and unrealistic mindset plaguing the Indian bureaucrats, especially its parent house, the Union Public Service Commission.

During the British Raj, Indian subjects have been relegated to slaves with little understanding evinced by their colonial masters. Inheriting similar style, Indian bureaucrats starting from the school-gate keepers to exam controllers, everybody is hungry to show their power over others and innocent students, who could not reach exam halls on time for no genuine fault of theirs, are denied entry. This is happening at every exam hall in the country. Every such exam is marred by one or two suicides across the country. Who's to blame?

Not hapless students who are eager to lead a better life but the rulers and rule-implementers who should bear the brunt of it. No government in India was able to address the horrible traffic snarls on city roads from Delhi to Bangalore, or Mumbai for decades.

On Sundays when most of these exams are held, Bangalore Metro or the so-called Namma Metro (Our Metro) refuses to resume train services until 8 am in the morning, forcing many students run for buses or hire reluctant autos. We have government bureaucracy which never heeds common man's problems but takes every possible option to punish the man on the road. 

The police system is so weak in the country that no city can assure prompt auto-rickshaw hiring service when demanded by a customer. Delhi should not forget that its famous Nirbhaya rape case of 2013 would not have occurred had the auto driver outside the movie theatre heeded her request for a ride at 8 pm in the night. Why is it that we never own responsibility for the systemic failure but address every issue ad-hoc or blame others? Even the bureacrat-maker UPSC is not an exception.

When it comes to common man's transportation, independent India has failed to build planned inner-city roads. Even Railway network was a gift from the British period with no significant addition. Delhi or Bangalore Metro trains are, indeed, a sort of modified gift in the form of cheap credit by Japan or else it would have been delayed by another ten years.

Reaching the destination on time is no big issue in Japan but not in India. Every Indian faces the same fate at least once in his lifetime, whether the person is a Prime Minister or an ordinary common man. The problem lies in our mindset and certainly not in our younger generation's thinking. So strict are our modern-day exam controllers that they often forget their basic human traits and act as forest dwellers. Hapless students end up committing suicides because we have provided them no hope to live, no better transportation and above all, no humanity.

The latest instance of adhering to draconian rule in denying students from taking exams for being late by just four minutes is self-defeating and autocratic. Clearly, reason should have reigned the minds of UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Exam controllers on Sunday, not the rules. If it helps the candidate to make up his or her time lost, it is good but denying them the very chance to take the exam is just inhuman. Even the CBSE is no longer different when it held its recent NEET exam. These examination authorities have been abetting suicides among the youth.

The Karnataka student Varun Chandran from Kumta was just a victim of circumstances, which forced him commit suicide in disgust at the draconian rules still pervading the minds of our exam controllers, the way British rulers exercised them long ago. This is certainly not acceptable and UPSC should either scrap this rule or admit its own failure to provide a humane face in the entire Civil Services exam.