Today one of my friends got my attention to a really disturbing piece of news. Please read it first before going further:
Bihar: Not allowed to cheat in exams, students go on rampage; Rediff News
What was your first reaction? Funny? Or disturbing? Or perhaps a 3rd view? If you felt it was funny, you are on the right track. You are one of the countless Indians who has got used to the "system". I also felt very amused at first, but then started to wonder if this is the true India - where morals are thrown the drain. We are in a state where "sab kuch chalta hai" and "take it easy buddy" are as common as "Please" and "Thank you".
This got me thinking about the lax attitude we have towards malpractice. We want things done the easier way - what is with all this education anyways? All of no use in the future, so there is no harm in a bit of copying. This is our attitude and I know it as better as any of us because I have been a part of the system. In B.Tech, I copied whenever I had the chance. We copied from books, micro-xeroxes and even mobile phones which stored the diagrams' photos. We made sure that our degrees are the best and remain high forever.
We all wonder what is this hullaballoo about "not having enough talented workers" and having a "shortage of skilled labour" in India. If students like us, from premier institutes, resort to such practices, we cannot blame those LLB aspirants. I used to feel shallow whenever I copied, but I had to, else I would fall back in the competition. I had to do it to ensure I stay relatively at the same level I must have been without any malpractice at all.
But then another friend of mine came up with an interesting point. He said the media was highlighting the "students refuse to..." part a bit too much, a case of Yellow Journalism. He pointed out that the statement
"In all three colleges, students expected to be allowed to use unfair means as they had not attended a single class and the syllabus had not been completed in time. "How can we give the exams without using unfair means," was their angry query."
was drowned in the midst of all this news. I see logic in his point. Why did we start copying in the first place in engineering? Why did we resort to malpractice? It's because the system was incompetent to deliver the goods in the first place. I remember the teachers and their teaching and personally feel it was a big BS (Bull Shit for the uninitiated). I remember some really great teachers, in whose exams I could have never resorted to any malpractice. C'mon, when you see even the best fellas copy, you are obviously inclined to do the same. I also did the same. I made sure that I give some of the papers without any cheating as I wanted to be good in some subjects atleast.
There is no use of blaming the system. As long as teachers like Mr. G.K. Shukla (IIM-L) exist, students will continue to suffer and will resort to any means to ensure that they do well. God save the system.
This post is dedicated to Luv Chaudhary, who has helped me in many many ways here at IIM-L. He always has a 3rd view to things and almost always logical.