Friday, 28 April 2017

Why poor students topping exams is not news

* JEE Mains 2017: Son of Udaipur compounder tops exam
* Farmer's son tops Chhattisgarh Board Class 12 exam
* Autorickshaw driver’s daughter tops CA exams

This has become a mindless ritual in the hopelessly lazy world of news media.

Every time some exam results are out, newspapers and TV channels religiously serve gooey, boilerplate stories about some poor kids who scored heavily in whatever tests they took.

I'm tired of this sentimental tosh. What is novel about it?

With fewer, if at all, distractions to ruin their study, isn't it precisely what they are supposed to do?

I'd consider it news if a kid from an affluent family tops an exam. For a moment, shed your prejudices and consider the predicament of being a rich boy.

The poor kid has so many things screaming for his time and attention -- gadgets, girls, booze, automobiles, recreational drugs, splitting parents, dysfunctional families, Messi's injury, Ronaldo's mistresses -- the list just goes on.

Now where do you slot study in this crazy schedule?

Topping exams is the easiest thing when you have none of these distractions, which is why I don't get teary-eyed when I read about a rickshaw-puller's son cracking IIM or a daily labourer's daughter acing IIT.

The truth is, these poor kids have an unfair advantage over their rich cousins in terms of motivation.

They have the greatest motivation to succeed, for the result can potentially alter the standard of their life beyond their wildest imagination.

In contrast, a billionaire' s son enters the exam hall knowing fully well that education can't really lift his lifestyle. There is simply no incentive for him, just no motivation at all.

That they still take the pain to reach the hall and write paper is, you'd agree, utterly commendable.

So dear poor kids who just topped an exam, I'm not impressed.

The unpleasant truth is - the game of exam is blatantly rigged in your favour and your success, sorry to say, is pre-ordained.

In fact I'd go to the extent of saying that poor kids have no excuse for failure, as simple as that.

As for me, my heart bleeds for the rich kid who is mourning his low grade by smoking weed in a friend's place, befittingly rolling the stuff in his mark sheet and watching it burn.