Aniket’s friends were shocked by his suicide. They believe he could have been distressed because he had failed in quite a few courses in the third year and his C.P.I. had taken a plunge. The gender imbalance in the IITs and the fresh hullabaloo surrounding the spread of the gay disease in the campus meant that he spent more time in labs than in caféterias and multiplexes. He had a break-up with his girlfriend because he couldn’t land a foreign internship in the last summer. His roommate Pratik reported that Aniket was also upset over being seen as a geek by his relatives. He wanted to be creative and develop a multifaceted personality, but his coaching centre in Kota, and then IIT Bombay, ensured that his pursuit of happiness persisted in the direction they chose.
Pratik further added, “Aniket seemed depressed in the last few months. However, this is not considered a big deal here and a visit to the on-campus psychiatrist is considered good enough to rid one off his depression.” Another student reported (under the assurance of anonymity) that this instant relief provision at the psychiatrist’s has something to do with his hot compounder.
Some students (among those still alive) blame the spate of suicides to the abominable food provided in the mess. Another student was shrewd enough to point out that all those students who committed suicide in the past shared one common trait. Apparently, none of them had Posts of Responsibilities (PORs) on their résumés.
The Dean of Student Affairs (popularly known as DoSA) considers these suicides a testimony to the rigorous academics of the IITs and is proud that he has managed to get the better of the best students. “This is a flawless model of survival of the fittest. We are running an educational institute here and not a life insurance company. Students have to play by our rules. It is my vision to make the IITs the best engineering institutions in the world. Few suicides here and there won’t deter our resolve. It is a small price that we need to pay reckoning the huge stakes.” Aniket’s batch-mates are rather excited because these suicides have reduced the rivalry for the campus placements. As this is only the beginning of the placement season, they expect further reduction.
Meanwhile Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has requested the Central Government to grant Bihar a special state rank because five out of these twelve students were from this state. He expressed concerns over tortures that Bihari students undergo from their peers in the IITs due to Bihar’s development levels.
According to Anna Hazare, these suicides represent students’ dissatisfaction with the corrupt government. “Now the government can’t escape from the charges of corruption. Indian youth, led by the valiant IITians, seek answers. We will ensure that their martyrdom doesn’t go waste. This movement will continue till we achieve a corruption-free State. We are ready to pour more blood into this fight. After all, we have fifteen IITs and so many colleges. More students will emulate the deeds of these twelve martyrs. ”
Due to protests from different political parties and social activists, Kapil Sibal, the Union HRD Minister, convened a caucus of the directors of all the IITs. After a lengthy discussion, the following recommendations were made to reduce the number of suicides and de-stress the students:
- Introduction of a Girls’ quota in the admission process to improve boys’ attendance in classes.
- Replacement of ‘Simulations and Modelling’ in the final year project with modelling stints to create new jobs for students in the best modelling agencies.
- Signing an MoU with Channel V to allow students to participate in shows like Love Net, Axe Your Ex, Dare 2 Date, to provide them with opportunities to date.
- 60% reservation in campus placements for students having C.P.I. less than 5. Students having more number of backlogs will be preferred.
- Opening multiplexes, pubs, discos in the IIT campuses.
The government hopes these measures will reduce pressure if implemented.