For the past three years or so Kapil Sharma has ruled the laughter industry, he induces hysteric laughter amongst his viewers, reducing them to tears many a times. Now what if someone told you that he has a competitor! Someone who could match him for giggle to giggle, punch to punch, but what makes it even more interesting is the fact that the challenger is not even a person, it’s a whole damn bloody system.
Bihar as we know had been the laughing stock of the whole nation for a very long time, everything about the state induced a sense of helplessness or disgust amongst the natives, so bad were the days that dialogues like “Jabtak rahega samosa me aloo, tab tak rahega Bihar me lalu” had made their way to people’s daily conversations. I remember reading that in the 2001 census Bihar had a literacy rate of 47.6%, as if the stories about potholes in the roads & the daily blackouts were not embarrassing enough. Redemption was needed & in time it did come, Bihar was saved from the disastrous regime of the RJD, the BJP-JDU coalition swiped through the state, delivering on its promise of development, the houses were lighted, roads were built, bridges indeed were built, national level institutions were also set up but somewhere negligence was overlooked & the ghosts of the past have come to bite again.
Two years ago, all the news channels were showing footages of people climbing on top of buildings, clinging on to anything they could find from a bar to a brick, at the first sight anyone could have mistaken it for some sort of prank being played around, but to my disappointment it wasn’t a prank, the TV kept reading “Mass cheating in Bihar Board examinations”, at first I didn’t even realise the seriousness of what was going on, but now that the truth stands bare in front of me, the truth scares me, what a might fall it has been for the once mighty Patliputra, the state which harboured the world’s first “Vishwavidyalya” now stares into the future with fear in its eyes and speculation in its mind.
This year a mere 33% of students have passed the annual board examinations conducted by the BSBE, it is down from 66% the past year and way off from the 75% the year before. The stats are mind boggling, calling it nerve wrenching won’t be an exaggeration. Such variation in results cannot be down to natural causes and yet no one from the education ministry seems to talk about the rate at which the passing percentage has declined.
To add to the already existing wounds, credibility of the results are threat post the Topper scam that surfaced last year where in the toppers of the science & the humanities streams failed to answer basic questions related to their streams & has done so this year as well when Ganesh Kumar a 42 year old & father of two topped the arts stream, something felt fishy but the topping on cake was served when Ganesh who had secured 65/70 in the practical examination of Music failed to sing a single song in front of the camera.
The best part was yet to follow, Dr. Ashok Choudhary the education minister of the state tweeted congratulating the students for a good showing in the examination, unless and until Mr. Choudhary was resorting to sarcasm here, this statement is laughable while smelling of ignorance, in which universe is a pass percentage of 33% even a mediocre showing let alone a good one. Maybe Mr. Ashok took to the saying “Ignorance is bliss” way to seriously.
The seriousness of the matter can be understood from the fact that students who have qualified national level examinations like JEE have not secured passing marks in the boards, this is quite unbelievable as papers like JEE test the basic knowledge of the students on various parameters & people who would have cleared it shall possess a good knowledge of the subject & for them not to pass boards is taking it way too far. The only way this could be explained is if the Bihar board conducts its examinations on the line of famous IIT-JEE, where only the best of the best crack the examination, but when the science topper says that Aluminium is the most reactive metal on the periodic table, the excellence of the qualified students comes under question.
The officials in the system must be avid supporters of equality for they have bought everyone down to a level where we as viewers don’t know how to assess students, here the topper in the boards doesn’t know his basics and students who have cleared national level exams can’t get through the intermediate. If all of this were to be made into a film, it would be a smash hit with the audience, the critics would describe it as the most complete comedy movie of all time, but the sad truth is that there is nothing comic about it whatsoever, on the contrary this is a very saddening situation for the people & the government of Bihar, for they have made a complete mockery out of themselves & left their reputation in tatters.
Biharis are one of the most hardworking in the country, stories of Bihari students defying poverty & hardships to reach the pinnacle are not rare. The state is a major contributor to the Civil Service and many a people have gone on to make a name for themselves in the field & have made the country proud. The Super-30 is a well documented case that has its origins in Patna, Anand Kumar its founder has worked tirelessly to educate the poor & the less fortunate towards the pinnacle in technical education in India, the IIT’s. He has helped out many students who might not have had access to quality education, he made their lives, in a sense he has served the humanity in a way more than millions have ever done.
Many such stories come out of Bihar every year and many of them aren’t as well documented as the others, but the fact of the matter is that the state remains a hub of producing hardworking talented youngsters, all that is to be done is to clean the system and for the good, for its bringing unprecedented shame onto the name of state, which should be in the hall of fame for all the laurels it has bought to the country but presently finds itself in the loathed hall of shame.