pass fail ka khel


Once again the dreaded happened: two young children of india took their lives away in the land capital city because they failed their Boards examinations.

This has been happening with obsessive regularity and yet no one had don anything to put an end to this..

Wonder what goes into the head of a child that makes him take this extreme irreversible step
Is failing in a set of questions in a limited number of subjects - some so inane and useless to life - tantamount to failing in life itself.. is our society so perverse as to judge a human life in whether it knows how to add, or remembers some statistic or the other.. is it the parents who put undue pressure, the peer group or the inadequate opportunities our society gives its members that make a child who has barely taken a few step in life take this momentous decision..

Imagine the sense of despair that the child must feel at that moment..

It is not the child who has failed but we adults who have made the norms of success so narrow and bigoted that they cannot account for those who are otherwise endowed.. Who knows the child who took her life may have turned out to be a musician, an artist or maybe just a good human being, something so rare that we have forgotten its relevance..

I work with people who by our standards are failures as they have never passed an 'examination' in their entire lives and yet when one looks at them, one can see that they stand far above what we call successes, maybe not in material terms but in what makes a human being worthy of that name. Mothers who never give up, women who carry on their station in life in circumstances that would make us give up a thousand times, men who toil so that their children can have a better tomorrow, people who may have nothing but are generous to a fault..

What makes my blood run cold is that every year, as if on cue, one or more children take their lives after failing in a school examination and we do nothing barring a few chuckles of sympathy. One child dying for in this way should be enough to make us stand up and do something.. There is something terribly wrong in this numbers game which is foul in more ways than one..

I cannot begin to express the sense of immense let down I feel, when an illiterate parent comes beaming from ear to ear with his child's school results wanting to share the joy of the child having passed. A glance at the report card where no number exceeds 33 and the words grace marks jump at you, are sufficient to prove the worthlessness of this piece of paper where the word PASS stares at you. You know the child will ultimately go the same way as his parents, as the certificate gathers dust and fritters with age..

What is this pass fail ka khel and can someone change the rules?