Two days after Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi expressed his mind against the NEET exemption bill passed in the state assembly, a medical aspirant and his father died by suicide. The twin suicides have reignited the debate against the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) and Tamil Nadu’s strong opposition to competitive exams for medical admission.
According to police sources, P. Selvasekar, a 48-year-old single parent and a small-time businessman at Chromepet in South Chennai killed himself on Monday morning at his residence in Kurinji Nagar. On Saturday evening, his son S. Jagadeewaran, had died by suicide after failing to get into a government medical college. Jagadeewaran had appeared for the NEET exam twice. This was his second attempt and believed that he could get into a government medical college with his score. But, his score was so low that he could get admission only in a private medical college where he would have to spend huge money. On Saturday, after his son had hanged himself, Selvasekar said that he will fight NEET along with other parents, so that no student dies by suicide. However Selvasekar, too, killed himself on Monday.
In his statement lashing out at Governor R.N. Ravi for not giving assent to the anti-NEET bill, Stalin highlighted the plight of the students unable to afford expensive and special coaching classes to clear the NEET exam. “No matter how many lives are lost like that of Jagadeesan, the hearts of people like Governor Ravi are not going to change. Such cold-hearted don’t value human lives. Let it be the last death before the deadly trap of NEET. Let us continue to fight and live instead of ending lives,” Stalin said in his statement. Stalin also expressed his determination to ban NEET and said that it will happen in 2024, when there is a change in the central government.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin visited the house of Jagadeeswaran, to pay homage to his father Selvasekar. But friends and classmates of Jagadeeswaran raised questions saying, “Why should a student like Jagadeeswaran die? He was a very bright student. Why is our governor not giving assent to ban NEET?”
Earlier on Saturday, during an interaction with parents and NEET toppers called ‘Think to Dare’, Governor Ravi had said that he would “never” clear the anti-NEET bill passed by the state assembly.