No safety for dreams in the land of protests


New Delhi: 21 February 2016 was the scheduled date of Air Force Common Admission Test(AFCAT) and Engineering Knowledge Test. Thousands of young fresh students marked the date on their calendar as it was supposed to be the gateway to their dream.

A student fills up the form, prepares for the exam and is all set for the exam. A day before the exam, people belonging to a caste demanding the caste reservation block all roads around the capital of the country. Trains get canceled. The result, a young aspirant could not even appear in the exam.

Now, some would say, “try next time’’. But why? Wasn’t the exam supposed to happen now? What about all the preparation and hard work that went into vain.

In the times when people are ready to give the certificate of anti-national on anything, here are some students who wanted to join the Air Force, serve their nation but the government and all those nationalists could not even make sure that they appear in the exam.

Jats in Haryana are demanding the reservation. It is a different debate altogether whether they deserve the reservation or should the reservation be there for anyone in the first place. Here are important questions, how can government authority not make sure that the exam they are holding takes place? Can’t police make sure of the safety and peace needed?

A week ago, journalists were beaten in a court in the presence of the police? BJP is in the power, both in Haryana and Centre. But probably they are not aware of this. After all, it is a ‘minor issue’.

Air Force Headquarters said they can’t postpone the exam or change the center. Where is the common logic? Either make sure that all get the chance to give the exam or just postpone it.

In India, these days anyone has started making demands for reservation, the worst part is these protesters think vandalizing government property, blocking roads, impacting the normal life and peace are the way to get the government to accept their demands. How come nobody calls this anti-national?

There was a lot talk of JNU students wasting taxpayers’ money; shouldn’t the Jats be asked the same question? It’s not just Jats, it’s Gurjars in Rajasthan or Patels in Gujarat. Every year, a different caste blocks the roads in demand for the reservation.

The Government knows it is a matter of few days there will be some new issue and people will simply forget that. For example, since the day Jats reservation issue came up, JNU issue took a back seat in the media. But ask the student who missed the exam.

Then there are business companies, leaving no opportunity to make a profit. As soon as they came to know there are students who wanted to reach for the exam, the price of air tickets rocketed to the sky. Rs 55,000 was the price of the air ticket to Chandigarh from Delhi.

Incidents like this make people feel they are ignored by the government and the state and which unfortunately for the state itself, creates ‘rebels’. Then it is a never ending process of protests, crushing them, damage control and changing policy etc. Why go through it when it can be stopped in the beginning itself?

Hopefully, next time when there is such protest, no common student or people will have to bear the consequences of it.

(The article is personal point of view of the writer who has written on the behalf of a student who missed the exam and sends greetings to the Protesters and the government.)