For over a month, 29-year-old Rahul Parasher had given his civil services preparations a miss as he joined hundreds of angry UPSC applicants in protests, alleging bias towards English-medium students in the examination. With the Supreme Court refusing to postpone the Prelims, Parasher said he had no option but to take the examination on Sunday.
“Since we have not studied for more than a month now, we know what our results will be,” said a disappointed Parasher, entering the small room he has been renting in Mukherjee Nagar with his brother, for Rs 10,000 a month. However, the option of not giving the exam doesn’t exist. “I only have three more years to take the examination. I am also answerable to my family,” he said.
Mukesh Rai, 23, one of the three civil services aspirants who had sat on a hunger strike will not give the examination though. “If people who led the movement relent, the morale of everyone who was a part of the protests will go down,” Rai said.
He was one of the few UPSC applicants protesting on Saturday afternoon. He was picked up near the Supreme Court and detained briefly.
Rai hopes to carry on the fight. “I am trying to convince people to boycott the examination. If there are any discrepancies in Sunday’s paper, we will approach the courts,” he said.
Parasher, however, believes “if the system is like this”, the only way to make one’s voice heard may be violence. “When Naxalites carry out blasts, the government wakes up and says it wants to engage with them,” he said.