DMK, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is a ruling party in Tamil Nadu. It garnered attention in August 2023, after it held a state-wide hunger strike on 20 August 2023 (Sunday), and is demanding the end of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses. It has become a wider topic because NEET is important to shortlist eligible and intelligent students to appear in the courses and clear them as well.
DMK Leaders And Ministers Lead The Protest
Let me inform you that the DMK leader started a hunger strike on Sunday at 9.00 AM and ended at 5.00 PM. It was also joined by the ministers and leaders of the various district of Tamil Nadu. Talking about Chennai, Udhayanidhi Stalin is leading the protest, who is the Tamil Nadu Minister and the party’s Youth Wing chief. He also gets emotional while giving a speech. Several other leaders also joined him including Duraimurugan, Mayor Priya R, Ma Subramanian, and PK Sekar Babu, party MPs, MLAs, and more.
Moreover, Udhayanidhi Stalin also paid tribute to a college of medical aspirants, where a lot of students committed suicide and ended their life after they were unable to clear NEET. One such student is S Anita of Ariyalur, who took her life in 2017 after she failed to clear the NEET exam but was a topper in her school exam. In addition to this, Stalin also visited Jagadeeswaran and his father Selvakumar, whose son was unable to clear NEET after 2 attempts. Stalin assured them that they have the support of the DMK party.
DMK Leader Criticised Governor
The DMK leader named Udhayanidhi Stalin also criticized the Governor named RN Ravi, who has not given his acknowledgment two times for passing the bill banning the NEET exam in Tamil Nadu. He said that Ravi is cold-hearted and doesn’t even care about the lives of the students. Also, the bill was sent to President Murmu for her approval but they have not received any reply from her yet as well.
DMK’s anti-NEET Protest Follows A Series Of Student Suicides
Let me tell you that DMK’s anti-NEET Protest comes because of growing public outrage following students committing suicide as they are unable to clear the exams. As per the reports, the party has been working hard since 2013 because the students are from different backgrounds and they can not afford expensive coaching to crack the exams. Moreover, NEET also goes against the social justice principles of Tamil Nadu, which has a system of reservation based on the student’s caste and community.
During the elections in 2021, DMK promised the citizens that it will abolish the NEET exams. Well, it won the election after defeating All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In September 2021, DMK introduced a Bill to scrap NEET and let students take admissions in the medical courses based on their 12th marks. Well, the Governor did not approve it and sent it back to the assembly.
In addition to this, DMK has also wanted to change education from the concurrent list to the state list in the constitution. It will help that state will have control over education and its amendments. Afterward, the state will also get the power to make policies and curriculum for this. Some other states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, and more have shown their opposition to NEET as well.
The DMK’s anti-NEET protest got the support of student organizations, political parties, civil society groups, celebrities, and other parties. On the other hand, some experts said that abolishing NEET exams will create some other issues in the state. However, it will also affect the standards of education in the medical field and give fewer chances for talented students.