(Trigger Warning: Mentions of suicide. If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs)
A man was found dead at his home in Tamil Nadu's Chennai a day after his 19-year-old son died by suicide after failing to clear the NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) medical exam, the police said on Monday, 14 August.
The incident: Jagadeeswaran, who passed class 12 in 2022, was unable to clear the NEET exam in two attempts. On Saturday, 12 August, he did not respond to calls from his father and was later found dead at home.
The father's death: The boy's father, Selvasekar, was found dead on Sunday morning. The police said that Selvasekar was unable to cope with the grief of losing his son and died by suicide, NDTV reported.
'Don't Entertain Thoughts of Suicide, Will Repeal NEET': CM Stalin
Offering his condolences to the family of the deceased father and son, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin pleaded with students to "not entertain suicidal thoughts but to have self-confidence and to live life."
"I was shocked to know that Jegadeeswaran from Chromepet, who was a NEET aspirant, committed suicide. When I was thinking of how to console his parents, the next day his father Selvasekar also died by suicide. I don't know how to console Jegadeeswaran's family, friends and relatives. It is horrible that a bright student who dreamt of becoming a doctor, has now joined the list of NEET suicides," he took to Twitter to say.
He also said that the state government will take legal steps to remove NEET.
Tamil Nadu's stance against NEET: In 2021, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a bill seeking exemption from NEET. The government argued that the exam favoured affluent students who could afford private coaching and was disadvantageous for poorer students who hailed from rural areas.
Governor RN Ravi had returned the Bill, but later forwarded it to President Droupadi Murmu after it was passed again by the Assembly.
"The NEET wall will crumble in a few months when the political change we aspire to bring about happens," Stalin had said.