Published: 08th April 2018
CBSE exam leak: Why not punish the offenders than making the students take a retest?
The leaking of exam papers is a perennial feature of the Indian exam scene for the last several years, causing much trauma to the students
There are two things in Indian history — one is the incredible optimism and potential of the place, and the other is the betrayal of that potential — for example, corruption. Those two strands intertwine through the whole of Indian history, and maybe not just Indian history
— Salman Rushdie
Salman Rushdie is right about India and if you stretch it in time and space, corruption and betrayal have been a part of world history through ages and around the world. One outstanding instance was the crucifixion of Christ, which the Christian world marked on Good Friday (March 30 this year). The previous day was Maundy Thursday which was marked by the Last Supper, noted for Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and thus, setting an example of service and humility.
Before we come to that and establish the rationale of this topic, we should go back to what happened in India during this year’s Holy Week. An unholy betrayal took place on the CSCI examination front, which, according to the latest media headlines, seems satisfactorily resolved with the arrest of three, including two teachers in a private school and another running a coaching centre (all from Delhi). For a moment, that seems to have calmed everyone’s nerves. But what about the exam officials who were the trustees of the question papers and who were paid to do their job? That takes us back to Judas, the ace betrayer in the Bible.
There is a jarring incident at the Last Supper – the prelude to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, one of his 12 disciples. He was like the treasurer of the group and was greedy for money. The chief priests were conspiring and waiting to lay their hands on Jesus. Judas agreed to betray Jesus in return for thirty silver coins and was waiting for an opportunity to do his dark deed.
At the Last Supper, Jesus said that one of them at the table would betray him. While the disciples one by one asked whether “it was I,” Jesus said, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me…. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
After this, Jesus went to a place called Gethsemane to pray. Then, Judas came with a crowd armed with swords and clubs. Judas had given them a sign, “The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.” Judas went to Jesus saying “Hail Master!” and kissed him and Jesus was seized.
Judas had betrayed Jesus for thirty silver coins. When he saw Jesus condemned to death, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the high priests and elders saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is it to us? See to it yourself.” Throwing away the pieces of silver in the temple, he went and hung himself.
The leaking of exam papers is a perennial feature of the Indian exam scene for the last several years, causing much trauma to the students, some of whom are said to have committed suicide. So, the babus who collude with greedy outsiders can be considered as abettors in such suicides for the sake of filthy lucre. Most of them get off scot-free and their jobs restored after some natak of suspension – taking undue advantage of the notorious shortness of public memory.
(John B Monterio is a lecturer who drifted into writing and Journalism. He has authored three books and is the founder of the Bondel Laughter Club in Mangalore)