by D Karthikeyan
Eighteen Dalit students in premier institutes of higher education in India committed suicide in the past four years after they underwent traumatic experiences of being victims of caste-based discrimination.
The documentary film, ‘Death of Merit,' talks about suicides of Dalit students studying in reputed institutions of higher education across India. The film was screened at People's Watch here on Friday.
It portrayed three cases of student suicides; the first case was that of Bal Mukund, a Jatav (Chamar) Dalit from Kundeshwar in Uttar Pradesh, the first Dalit from the village in 50 years to enter an elite institute like All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi. The whole family, including his mother and sister, had toiled hard to pour all their earnings to support Mukund. Mukund, a topper all through his life, had scored 82 per cent in Class X; had won the International Mathematics Contest and cleared the IIT and AIIMS entrance examinations but chose AIIMS as he had the dream of becoming a doctor.