Over last month or so, media has pursued three cases of suicide in Indian institutes of technology (IITB, IITKgp and IITR). What’s bothering me is the fact that media like to pin point the smallest of the faults in IIT system. The three suicides have made it to the headlines on number of occasions. Much has been said about the stress levels in IITs.
Little do people know about four suicides in same hostel in NIT Suratkal (Karnataka) this year. Yes, four suicides, two of them apparently in the same room. Hardly any media coverage was received for this bigger incident. In fact, some kind of a puja was performed in the hostel after the four incidents. We learnt about this from students who had come here for the technical festival, Shaastra. The reasons for the suicide range from being rejected by a girl to being bad in academics. Does it not deserve some coverage by the media?
Now we have three stray incidents in IITs, the press is going gaga over it. Even the blogosphere is all over IITs. I have seen number of blogs written about how IITians always think about the extra point five CGPA, having two midsems and an endsems, puts undue pressure on students, relative grading is an added burden and tons of other points. These are true only to some extent. It’s definitely not true that we are in front of out books all the time. In front of the computers, yes, most of us are. Over 80% of the under graduate students here study only a day before the exams just like most of the students in every other hostel in the country does. There are a bunch of people who are extremely sensitive with the issue of getting lower grades, who are forever engrossed in their book and who do not miss a single class. I am sure such “characters”, if I may, exist in any other college. A handful of incidents don’t reflect the real life.
There were others who expressed their dismay over the fact that only killing of Dubay and Manjunath was highlighted by the media just because they were from IIT and IIM respectively. Media sometime glorifies these institutes and sometimes brings them down. Nobody is ever going to get the true picture if this happens. Even our attitude should change, when Manjunath’s story was being ignored, people demanded it be covered because of the fact that he is from IIM. We should learn to treat an even as an event, not as an event in IIT or IIM.