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How teachers' recruitment scandal 'dashed' a Bengal family's dreams

By Atanu Roy* 
Rabi is a member of our extended family, rather our ‘inner’ family. He has been driving our car for many many years. Sometimes I liked to drive and drop my two sons to their school, but most of the days I had been preoccupied and Rabi was there to help me out. 
He had a dream ... to impart good education to his two sons and achieve social mobility, he wished his sons to do something better than him.
One day, he spoke about his dream, and I suggested bringing down his sons here from Midnapur village, and if possible to get admitted to a Kolkata school. “That may not be possible now”, he quipped, “Then dada, I have to bring the entire family, including my wife and my parents. I cannot afford it”.
No issue Rabi, let them clear class XII and get admitted for graduation, that was my prompt solution. 
Time passed fast, I migrated to Singapore, but kept in touch with Rabi. Whenever we came to Kolkata, Rabi was there in the airport to pick us up. “My sons have written for Staff Selection Commission (SSC) examinations”,  he told me. "They did quite well."
Meanwhile, there were a lot of rumours going around in our Midnapore village. Agents, said are to be belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), take big money (Rs 15 lakh plus), and assure SSC recruitments. I was taken aback, and could not believe it.  TMC is already in deep problems because of this scandal, and this seemed absurd.
On my next visit, Rabi was angry and frustrated. Both his sons did not get calls though they achieved good scores. His next door neighbour managed to get it, and became a teacher.
I gave him hope… One day people will protest and a backlash is inevitable. Such corruption will not come to stay and will get exposed soon.
I helped him with some extra money with which he initiated new efforts for his sons to look for alternatives.
His first son started a car hire business and his second son completed a MBA diploma from St Xaviers and bagged a good job in the private sector.
This is the real story of thousands of aspirants from middle class and marginalized families of Bengal, who gave a honest try to be  SSC teachers but were grossly betrayed by the current regime under the banner of the SSC outfit.
The Supreme court chief justice has called it a systemic fraud, which has brought down the teachers recruitment process to such a low. 
It's true, West Bengal never faced so many doomed days, since the change of hand from the Left Front.
What we people are discussing since last many days, Sheikh Shajahan, Uttam Hazra … and the numbers of SSC spurious teachers keep fluctuating like Dear Lottery numbers, some times 5250, sometimes 8861.
Few of us remember our Poet’s dream, “Where our mind is without fear”. on this 25th Baisakh.
No less critical is Rabi’s dream too: “Amar santan jeno thake dudhe bhate”.
---
*Based in Singapore

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