Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday passionately appealed to National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) aspirants not to harbour any suicidal tendencies but face life with self-confidence, after a medical aspirant allegedly ended his life.
Stalin claimed that in a few months, when the political change takes place, then the NEET barriers will come crashing down. ”Then, all those who say ‘I will not sign’ will disappear,” the Chief Minister said apparently referring to Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi’s remarks against the state’s anti-NEET bill.
”I offer my deepest condolences on the demise of student Jagatheeswaran and his father Selvasekhar (who also allegedly died by suicide). Let their deaths be the last on the altar of NEET,” Stalin said in a statement here.
Expressing shock over the recent demise of the medical aspirant Jagatheeswaran, a student from Chromepet in the city who unsuccessfully attempted to clear the entrance test, the Chief Minister said he was at a loss to console his family. ”Jagatheeswaran’s father Selvasekhar also committed suicide the next day. I am at a loss on how to console his family and friends,” the Chief Minister said.
His parents wanted to see their son, who studied well, as a medical doctor. But Jagadeeswaran ”has joined the list of victims on the altar of NEET exam, which is the most gruesome incident,” he said. A spate of alleged NEET-related suicides have been reported in the state in the past few years.
”I appeal that no student should ever make a decision to take away their own lives under any circumstances. The NEET, which is a hurdle for your growth, will be scrapped. The state government is actively working on the legal initiative in this direction,” Stalin said in the statement.
Recalling the Assembly resolutions demanding NEET exemption for TN, he said the Governor returned the first resolution and sent the second one to the President for assent.
”It appears that Governor Ravi wants the bill to be shelved. NEET exam has become expensive and can be afforded only by the rich,” the Chief Minister said. Those who cannot afford to study by spending huge sums of money failed in the test, he claimed and said a situation has arisen wherein those who qualify NEET alone can join a medical college if they have money and that medical education is only for those who have money. ”In spite of this, the state government brought 7.5 percent reservation for the poor students of government schools in medical colleges. But, the Governor refuses to understand. There is a doubt that he is acting like a puppet of the coaching centers,” Stalin alleged.
Accusing Ravi of ”conducting classes” at the Raj Bhavan by inviting students, the Chief Minister claimed the Governor ”displayed his ignorance” when he had remarked that he would not sign the NEET exemption bill, an issue raised by a student’s father from Salem during an interaction on Saturday.
”The bill does not await his signature. It rests with the President. Governor has no authority as far as this is concerned, though he is giving the impression that he wields authority. No matter how many lives are lost like that of Jagadeeswaran, the heart of Governor R N Ravi will not melt. Human life has no value in the times of such stone-hearted people,” Stalin said offering his deepest condolences to bereaved family of Jagatheeswaran and his father Selvasekhar. ”Let their death be the final one on the altar of NEET. A bright future awaits you students. Be self-confident. Live and let others live. I urge you once again don’t harbour any suicidal tendencies,” the chief minister said. While Jagatheeswaran, 19, allegedly died by hanging on Saturday, his father took to the extreme step late on Sunday, unable to bear the loss, police said. He also died by hanging.