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The Right To Be Ordinary

The Right To Be Ordinary

July 24, 2011

An open letter to HRD minister Kapil Sibbal.

Dear Sibal sir,

My son has just got admission into a nursery school. Though we had started teaching him the alphabet and how to count from when he was 5 months old, it took him more than 5 attempts since he reached the age of 1 and a half to get into a half decent nursery school. The first few schools suggested that he was slow and didn’t match up to their expectations because he could not count the sheep, sing Ba Ba Black sheep and spell the whole rhyme correctly.

We tried really hard, but then finally managed to put the fear of the Right to Education in the principal who interviewed him last. It also helped that the school was yet to get some European sounding certification and had only managed to prefix a ‘St.’ in front of its name to create an impression. I am, therefore, truly thankful to your foresight and vision in passing such a law. If not for you, I don’t know how many interviews my son would have had to attend.

Though my son has somehow managed to cross this first hurdle of his career, his first test results have me worried. Mr. Sibal, as you are aware, the Delhi University cut offs are 100% this year. If they keep increasing at this rate, by the time my son clears his boards, I am sure the cut off would be at least 150% if not more. And in his first alphabet and numbers test, my son has only scored 98%. Going by this rate, at the height of his teen angst years, when he would be giving his boards, his percentage is likely to drop to 95%. There will be a 55% deficit and I am unable to comprehend how he would bridge that.

This has me losing sleep. While you have very generously ensured children do not go without basic education, there is no law by which I would be able to exhort the college principal to admit my child.

At first I thought to write to you to add a clause about Right to Higher Education within your Right to Education (RTE) law. But then I realised the folly of this simple inclusion. While this would guarantee my son and other children a basic college education, there will still be hurdles to overcome. Their future employers could very well say they do not want employees from colleges that did not teach You Can Win jargon. And even if they did employ them, they might not get respect from our society that now wants even Rajnikant to go fair and sport blonde hair.

You might now say that you cannot spoon feed my child at every move. Well, kind sir, that is not what I am asking for. But if my child was to live with a modicum of respect in our society, I think the least I can ask you is to allow him to be ordinary, because sir, as I see it, it is not the pressure to excel, but the pressure to confirm to a universal level of ‘coolness’ that plagues all our children. It is for this that I plead, that as part of an ‘Aam Aadmi’ centric party, you kind sir, should pass a law called the Right To Be Ordinary (RTBO). Here are a few clauses I would like to see in this new law :

1. Thou shalt not sneer at another’s Bata hawai chappals.

2. Thou shalt include at least one 70% or less scorer in your school group.

3. Thou shalt not splash muck from your BMW on the one walking to school just for kicks.

4. Thou shalt not discriminate on the basis of the address of the college/school.

5. Thou shalt not air ‘NG’ (not good) rehearsals of misguided wannabe artistes in reality TV contests just for laughs.

6. Thou shalt not demand everyone wear designer clothes and have straight hair.

7. Thou shalt not seek only IIT-IIM grooms for your child.

8. Thou shalt not belittle those who have never had a KFC burger, watched How I Met Your Mother or heard of Lady Gaga.

I could go on and on, but you being extraordinarily intelligent, I am sure have got the drift sir. This law is extremely important sir, or I fear, the children of this country will be forever divided into the ‘ordinary’ and IB-ites (International Baccalaureate). I request you therefore, to come up with a legal draft for this as soon as possible and protect the future of the majority of children in this country.

Thanking you,

An ordinary parent.


  • Deepa
    04.07.12 07:55 PM
    I agree with Sudha up in the comments section. If this is an online petition, I would like to sign it too. I am not a parent yet, but looking at the rate at which this is going, added to the peer pressure and pressure from parents and other kids parents all around, I shudder. I wouldn't want to be a kid born in these circumstances. The government created the RTE but what about ensuring whether there are enough teachers and schools to accomodate them? We simply convert 60 kid classes to 120 and dust our hands off the issue?
  • Maheshwari verma
    Maheshwari verma
    10.09.11 09:21 AM
    Honourable sir,Human rights minister,there is grief to say that Lucknow university Failed me Without any reason in 1995-96 in M.SC.II Botany in Four subjects.After full preperation & Labour I had get nothing.
    Only roaming here & there.Give aplication to High Court but not satisfactory answer.Due to this, from 15 years I am in full depression.No path ,no carrier.Only one ray of hope
    to inform Human Rights Education Minister.Iwas Sheduled caste Candidate.
    Please contact me on 8445857128 for help.
    02.09.11 11:51 PM
    Honored HRD Minister Mr.Kapil Sibal,
    I most humbly beg to draw your kind attention towards harassment of my sister-in-law Smt Aparna Kolay, a retired Jharkhand Government school teacher by the Director, Directorate of Secondary Education, Ranchi. This directorate has snatched away more than six years of her service tenure by changing her date of appointment from 16 Feb, 1974 to 19 April, 1980. Prima facie it seems to be a typographical error, but now it is established that its done with wicked intention. DARPG & President’s Secretariat Help Line registered complaints:Complaint I.D.’s a] GOVJH/ E/ 2010/ 00003, b] GOVJH/ E/ 2010/ 00008, c] GOVJH/ E/ 2010/ 05946, d] PRSEC/ E/ 2010/11598, e] PRSEC/ E/ 2010/16458, f] DARPG/ M/ 2011/ 01366, g] DARPG/ E/ 2011/ 06107, h] PRSEC/ E/ 2011/11228 and i] DPG/O/2011/80062; DPG/Z/2011/90398. These complaints have been forwarded for necessary action to Mr. Mukhtayar Singh, Principal Secretary, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Ms. Rajbala Verma, Principal Secretary, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Shri Fedilish Toppo, Joint Secretary, D/o Personnel, AR & Rajbhasha, Jharkhand Mantralaya, Sri K C Jayarajan, ACPH, Shri Amit Khare, Joint Secretary CVO & PG, Ministry of HRD, Dr. P Prakash, Add. Secy II / Director Admin, University Grants Commission, Shri Satish Kumar, Director, DARPG, Multiple complaints were made with several reminders as no appropriate action is taken. Many e-mails were also sent to high officials of DARPG, Ministry of Personal and Public Grievance, Ministry of HRD, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of I.T., distinguished officers of Rashtrapati Bhawan, Transparency officer PMO etc. In fact all the conceivable high authorities have been approached to get a break through from the prevalent logjam situation.Directives of Sri.Kamal Kishore Soan, Hon’ble DC,Ranchi and Sri. Yashwant Sinha, Hon’ble M.P have also been ignored. This matter has been exposed through a news report HT,Ranchi on 3rd September,2010. Copy of this news report have been sent by e-mail to you and other dignitaries. Burial of this gross injustice is her misfortune and disgrace of the nation as well. Please see, if you can please help her out from this log jammed situation.
  • Sourav Roy
    Sourav Roy
    10.08.11 12:13 PM
    Hats off. Bulls eye!
  • md saquib reza
    md saquib reza
    26.07.11 06:30 PM
    I had not got admisson in a deemed university named suresh gyan vihar, jagatpura,jaipur. Because of my beard , as i am a practising muslim and in my religon it is compulsory to have it , but they dont agreed with this and told that we cannot take you with ur beard. I want justice.
  • Vijay Menon
    Vijay Menon
    26.07.11 03:52 PM
    Awesome article!
  • Sudha
    25.07.11 01:56 PM
    Wonderful article. If this is an online petition, please consider, me having just signed it.
  • tys
    25.07.11 12:59 AM
    i salute u, mom..

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