The Death of Merit: Manish Kumar (IIT Roorkee) [A Documentary]
When a student from the lowest strata of society fights against all odds to prove her merit and reach the best educational institutions in India, are those institutions proving themselves meritorious enough to recognize her worth, to accommodate, let alone nurture her aspirations?
When a Dalit or Adivasi student becomes an engineer, doctor, business graduate or scientist, it should be a cause of pride for not just the family or the community but for the entire nation. Instead, why do our nation and its educational institutions reward their merit with discrimination, humiliation, violence and death?
This documentary is third in the series of our efforts to document caste-based discrimination prevalent in Indian higher education system resulting in large number of suicides of Dalit students in the Indian campuses.
Manish Kumar Guddolian, 20 years of age, was pursuing his IInd year, Integrated Dual Degree Programme, Department of Computer Science & Information Technology, at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee.
The only son of a Junior Warrant Officer at Indian Air Force, Manish committed ‘suicide’ by jumping off from 5th floor of his hostel on 6th February, 2011.
The documentary is based on the testimonies of Manish’s parents and other family members who have yet to come in terms with his death and are fighting against the collective might of IIT Roorkee and Roorkee Police that, as usual, want to relegate their child’s death to ‘a weak student getting depressed for not able to cope up with rigorous academic environment of highly competitive IITs’ .
However the truth is Manish committed suicide, unable to bear the constant castetist assaults and abuses by his own batch-mates, criminal attitude of his hostel warden and IIT Administration that instead of acting on his complaints forced him to live outside IIT Roorkee, and perhaps also due to the complete shattering of his faith on IIT Administration that was supposed to treat all its students as equals and without using caste-lenses.
The Death Of Merit – Manish Kumar (IIT Roorkee) Part – I
The Death Of Merit – Manish Kumar (IIT Roorkee) Part – II
First two documentaries
Dr Jaspreet Singh, 22 years,a student of Final Year, MBBS at Government Medical College, Chandigarh committed suicide on 27th Jan, 2008.
On March 3rd, 2010, another Dalit, Balmukund Bharti, final year MBBS student from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi committed suicide.
- List of Dalit students committing suicides in India’s Premier Educational Institutions, (click here)
- Report of Prof Thorat Committee on Caste Discrimination in AIIMS, New Delhi, (click here)
- Report on Caste Discrimination in IIT Delhi,(click here)
- An article ‘On Suicides, Caste and Higher Education‘, (click here)
- In Dalit student suicides, the death of merit, The Hindu, (May 8, 2011)
- Death of merit, and of a family’s dreams, Hindustan Times, (May 10,2011)
- Icarus goes to flying school:Why are Dalit students in India’s best educational institutions committing suicide?, Tehelka Magazine (Vol 8, Issue 20, 21 May 2011)
- Les dalits ne sont pas les bienvenus dans les grandes écoles indiennes, inde.aujourdhuilemonde.com (May 19, 2011)
- India education: Dalit student suicide, Global Post (May 24, 2011)
- A Dissonance In Saraswati’s Divine Veena:The spectre of caste prejudice lingers on even in our most prized institutions, OUTLOOK Magazine, June 27, 2011