linesh mohan gawle

that was his name. google asks whether you meant dinesh mohan gawli? some news sites had chosen that name. most reported the death of linesh mohan gawli.

you'll also find his name in the List of PhD. Applicants Short-listed for Written Test/Interview in SCHOOL OF BIOSCIENCES & BIOENGINEERING of iit bombay (# 203), and also here and a couple of other such lists.

he usually got short-listed. 'scored 98 percent marks in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) test' as fellow students say. he was very bright, topped classes through his career. he was as meritorious as those who consider themselves the best interpreters of merit. so, what killed him?

when madhuri sale was killed six months ago, i'd started on a post titled 'another murder', but couldn't finish it. here's the draft:
in education, there are two ways of producing 'excellence': giving everyone the best, or picking the 'best' among everyone and giving them the best. 
the second method is something hitler would have wholeheartedly endorsed. he was so big on excellence and purity, as everyone knows, that he was as keen on keeping un-excellence out, or dysgenics, as he was on eugenics, in improving racial stock. 
listen to what nehru had told his chief ministers in 1961: 'I dislike any kind of reservations. If we go in for any kind of reservations on communal and caste basis, we will swamp the bright and able people and remain second rate or third rate. The moment we encourage the second rate, we are lost. This way lies not only folly, but also disaster.' 
swamping 'the bright people' with the 'second rate or third rate' people? definitely not. nehru was as against varna sankara, as you can see, as hitler. 
lost in all this discourse on excellence and merit i will never be able to figure out why a state has to work towards producing the best engineers or best doctors or best international relations graduates. how are those goals different from trying to produce beauty queens? 
that's why i have never understood the need for the iits, or the iims or jnu or any other elitism in education.
being the 'best' could be a personal goal, not the goal of a society. unless the society in question is hitler's germany or nehru's india.

our media, or society, couldn't even get linesh's name right, the first time they wrote about his 'suicide'. and most first news reports about madhuri sale also got her name wrong, as madhuri salve. obviously, india is a society which clings to abstract ideals, like merit and purity, and ignores concrete realities. can it ever really be best in anything hard, cold, real? if there is such a thing as the best, objectively defined, of course. 

so it does the next best thing, always, adopting a winning combination of the two methods described above. it picks a class of people as the 'best' from birth (like 'fascist' hitler) and gives them the best, but makes it seem like the whole process is very democratic by designing a whole environment which weeds out everyone but them, from any contest (a 'socialist' nehru innovation). but when someone like linesh gawle or madhuri sale, people who couldn't even pick decent sanskritic surnames, come along, leaping over all walls and fences into this custom-designed environment, how can the meritorious tell them, openly, that merit is all about caste, and not merit? so they all die, suddenly, of 'depression' or 'failed love affairs'. or buckle under 'meritorious academic pressure' imposed on them by their gurus.    

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Next you will claim Marlyn Monroe or Gurudutt or Manmohan desai commited suicide because they were discriminated and dalit.

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