So, who actually ‘killed’ Babysana Chanu? Well, the answer would be prejudiced as the case is still going on in the court, but it appears the public knew it already. Not getting into details about the legal terms and procedures for the final outcome and circumstantial evidence leading to the tragic death of the little innocent girl, one is certain that Babysana has left this universe, exposing us to the very kind of sick society we all have inherited.
The ultimate question is – what was Babysana’s fault and why she had to die so early in her life, when she might not even fully realize the meaning of life? Certainly, she alone could answer the question, which again won’t be possible for sure. But the fact of the matter is she is dead.
Now, we can look at two different hypotheses, not essentially the death of the girl. The private schools, which are mushrooming like anything in the state, and the second, a government which does nothing at all, but photo-ops for blinding the masses.
Many of us depended to private school due to reason best known by every responsibility citizen of the state and thus the first one be excused. Nevertheless, overall ninety per cent of all the private schools in the state do not follow the actual guidelines of the Central Board of Secondary Education or the central nodal agency for school education. This may be in terms of teaching facilities, student welfare and management of schools among many others. For a state like Manipur, which has no ‘proper regulation and guideline’ for establishing or running a school either in private or with government funds, one can have their say if you have the money and the right connections with the powers that be. And ultimately who suffers – the students, the teachers and the society.
The second: the government is the problem. Over the years, government funded schools are not able to produce a single credible student in examinations, also conducted by itself. There could be various reasons – one is that the state government hasn’t given any importance to the education sector and is still clueless where sector is heading to. The next is almost every decision initiated by the state government on education has been based on ‘adhocism’.
Few weeks ago, the media reported about the launching of a scheme called ‘School Phagathannsi’mission. One wonders what was the actual goal of the scheme: to improve infrastructure of the schools or the education system or both? May be yes. The next day it was full stop. And lastly, Manipur has no true public leader to lead the masses from the front. Of course, we’ve plenty if you talk about politicians.
Nelson Mandela, the great African leader, said, “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the word.” Truly, education is the key to everything in a society from establishing gender equality, to reducing poverty, to creating a sustainable planet, to preventing needless deaths and illness, and to fostering peace.
Last month, one had the opportunity to meet the state education minister, Th Radheshyam, who came to participate in a programme conducted by the Delhi government on education. When asked him about the state of the education system in the state, he frankly confided – it’s very bad, but is ‘trying’. Except the salaries for the teachers, his department has no money to launch any innovative and creative activities either for the teachers or students, which is the most important sector after all. In fact, hundreds of teachers get retired every year, but there is no recruitment for nearly 30 years in Manipur.
Coming to Babysana, her case could be either suicide or homicide, but her death is the symptom of a broken and sick society, which we all have to accept. The little girl was killed by you and me.
Writer: Leichombam Kullajit
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