Friday, May 6, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dr Jaspreet Singh: The Death of Merit – Another Documentary on Dalit students suicide


The documentary 'Dr Jaspreet Singh: The Death of Merit' is second 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 Indian campuses.

It is based on the testimonies of parents and family members of Dr Jaspreet Singh, 22 years, who was a student of Final Year, MBBS at Government Medical College, Chandigarh. 

Harrased due to his caste by one of the professors, Dr Jaspreet Singh committed suicide on 27th January, 2008, by hanging himself on the 5th floor of his college's library.

  • Please watch the documentary 'Dr Jaspreet Singh:The Death of Merit' at YouTube at below link    or can watch it at our blog 

About the documentary 

Dr Jaspreet Singh (1987-2008) was a school topper and quite bright Dalit student, from a very humble background. He used to clear all his papers without fail, in 4 years of his MBBS, till he met a professor whose criteria of merit was not Jaspreet's performance but his 'caste'.

Do whatever you can do, I will make you to do your MBBS all over again' was the taunt Prof N.K. Goel, Head of Department, Community Medcine, Government Medical College, Chandigarh used to make to a final year student who, in his 4 years of MBBS, had cleared each and every paper without fail.

Tensed and much humiliated Jaspreet informed many other faculty members and friends about the casteist behaviour of Prof Goel and his fear of being failed once again but to no avail. He was once again failed in the same paper by just one mark. Finally he committed suicide in the college's library leaving behind a suicide note mentioning the name of the professor and his casteist behaviour.

Only after the intervention of National Scheduled Caste Commission, police filed the case under SC/ST Act and the answer sheet of Dr Jaspreet Singh were sent to a panel of 3 external examiners for re-evalutaion.

And Dr Jaspreet passed the exam, but after his death. Three years after, his parents and two sisters are still fighting the case and waiting for justice, not only for their son, but like Dr Balmukund Bharti's parents, for all other Dalit students so that they do not suffer the fate of Jaspreet.

  • Please watch our first documentary 'The Death of Merit'  (in 2 parts) released on April 23, 2011 at YouTube at below link. It is on the suicide of Dr Balmukund Bharti from AIIMS, New Delhi. 

  • For the list of Dalit students committing suicide in last four years in India's premier educational institutions, please click here.
  • To read the report Caste Discrimination in IIT Delhi, please click here.
  • To read the article 'On Suicide, Caste and Higher Education, please click here

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