The harsh reality that the dream of acquiring quality education to all still remains a dream in India which again witnessed the suicide of Dr. Payal Tadvi.
Dr. Payal Tadvi (26 yrs) daughter of Salim Tadvi and Abeda Tadvi pursuing her second year of Doctor of Medicine(MD) under Gynecology in Topiwala National Medical College attached to BYL Nair Hospital committed suicide on May 22 after constantly being harassed and tortured by three seniors in the name of caste, religion and sector.
Payal was being harassed for being from a Bhil Muslim Community (Adivasi Community), though she had complained about the continuous tortures and harassment from the seniors to the lecturers and other authorities, but no sign of action from their part was seen. She had joined the college on May 1st 2018 and started complaining about the harassment to her family and the college from December 2018 itself.
She was constantly humiliated for getting a seat through the reservation criteria and for her identity. Apart from her Adivasi identity she was also questioned about her religious identity. Sources also state that she wasn’t allowed to break her fast being a Muslim. Her parents came all the way from their home town Jalgaon District to look into the issue directly but wasn’t pleased with the institution’s response.
Apart from the harassment due to caste she was also questioned about her skills in medical field and was not able to perform surgeries and this was found on a regular basis. She was also questioned about the presence of a girl like her in the medical field rather than doing some other job. Academic excellence of Payal was also challenging for her seniors.
An FIR has been filed on three of her seniors namely Dr. Hema Ahuja, Dr. Bhakti Mehar and Dr. Ankita Khandelwal under SC/ST PoA Act, and anti-ragging act. Apart from seeing it as merely a case of ragging which is reductionist, the suicide of Dr. Payal is an institution-driven case of caste atrocity. The college should also be blamed for not taking up required measures even after multiple complains from the student as well as her family.
Brahmanism assimilated in educational institutions is the main cause of the torture and other troubles the students from Dalit and other backward communities face when they move out for higher educational institutions. This is not the only case which has ever happened for a Dalit or Adivasi candidate. In 2016 the very notable incident of Rohit Vemula was also of same instinct. Again, in the year 2017, Anitha committed suicide due to the caste discrimination in the competitive exams. When the total statistics of education is considered we can see that students from marginalized communities are more in number to drop out from education when compared to other upper classes.
Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all is the responsibility of the government. The essence of democracy is JUSTICE and what we demand is justice for Payal and also the other candidates belonging to backward classes.