With the declaration of the death of a student in IIT Bombay as a suicide ascribing to poor academic performance solely to the individual, caste-based discrimination gets a back seat and the mental health of students becomes a questionable aspect.
An interim report submitted by a committee responsible for investigating the recent suicide case of a student named Darshan Solanki rules out caste-based discrimination as a reason for the demise. Yet, the parents and friends of the deceased stand strongly refuted the outcome of the research. Rather it infers upon emphasising, that the student scored less in his autumn semester resulting in his ‘suicide’.
This difference of opinion continues to breed ground among the authorities of the institution and several other groups. Family, friends and a rights group named Peoples’ Union for civil liberties claim that the deceased had often alleged the prevalence of caste-based discrimination in the institution. Moreover, they have put forward significant distress regarding the report published by the research team.
According to a source, Darshan was not only a prey of institutional oppression but also was unable to cope with the academic curriculum. As a result, his scores are reflective of the same which the institution ascribes as the primary reason for his “suicide”.
Two aspects are adequately questionable
- The extent of transparency maintained in researching and publishing the interim report.
- Are the friends, relatives and the rights group advocating false claims?
- Efficacy of the mental health professionals in these institutions.
Answers here are quite uncertain, indefinite and perplexing. The rights group emphasized that in the case of Darshan Solanki’s death, the Special Investigation Team must be completely transparent in their functioning and provide all available information and statements of any persons concerning this inquiry with his parents. Uninterrupted interactions with acquaintances of Solanki would eventually clear out the exact cause of his death which can be factored in more than one.
Suicide of students has ever-rising figures. The situation has been exacerbated post the pandemic and the lack of adequate mental healthcare professionals. The PUCL was quoted saying “Given the entire situation existing in various Higher Education Institutes, what is essentially required is providing social and economic justice to students from marginalized communities.”
This calls for effective counsellors and mental health professionals in all institutions to reach out to help students in distress to evade the possibility of another Solanki losing his/ her life.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are hugely based on facts, unbiased and non-propagation. It has tried to uphold objectivity to the greatest extent and put forth questions necessitated by the same facts.