Mankind's only alternative 19   APR.   18  
Mankind's only alternative
Welcome
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Gandhi Porn March 24, 2006
 
Part VI: Nerdicide
By Alexander Zaitchik Browse author Email
 
 

NEW DELHI — A couple of columns ago I listed the main causes and methods of self-inflicted death in India. Unfortunately, that article went to press just as India's high-school exam season started up, and thus omitted one of the biggest and most interesting trends in subcontinental suicide: Nerdicide.

Your mental template of this phenomenon was likely pressed in the home of a first-generation immigrant household. Or maybe from AP blurbs datelined Yokohama. In any case, you know the plot: A hardworking child of professionals, let's call him Tojo, is raised at his desk studying math and science. He spends his childhood and adolescence competing with half a million other Tojos for 200 slots at some ultra-competitive state university. Tojo, already hydraulically pressurized by his Rising Asian Nation's Culture of Achievement, begins to experience the psychological bends as exam time nears. Tojo is fully expected to crack the 98th-per-centile, and make family, neighborhood and country proud. Anything less is a disgrace.

Then young Tojo cracks. He jumps, swallows or slits. He commits nerdicide. He never even kissed a girl.

Nerdicide is hitting India in a big way, another little discussed dark side to the eight-percent growth clip everyone keeps talking about. Back in the old days of Soviet-mentored Indian socialism -- before Ajay dreamt of becoming a software engineer, before he had centerfolds of billionaire NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) on his bedroom wall, before India's seven technical universities were ranked alongside MIT -- nerdicide barely existed here. You had to visit first- and second-generation Indian immigrant communities in Michigan to find it.

But now that Harold and Kumar are going to White Castle, the center of Indian nerdicide has shifted back to the Hindu motherland, where every middle-class family wants its fair share of those New Economy duckets, and where contributing to the India Rising project means passing those engineering tests with flying Whites, Greens and Oranges.

So far this exam season, I have, without even trying, counted more than a dozen exam-season suicides. Most leave simple notes apologizing for not acing their tests; some claim they can't deal with the stress of preparation. Some write nothing before they, as the Indian press likes to say, "take the extreme step". Only the timing makes the cause obvious.

One Delhi couple was actually at the police station reporting their missing nerd-daughter when they returned home to find their nerd-son hanging from the fan. I was unable to follow-up on the daughter, but this may very well have been India's first Sibling Nerd Suicide Pact.

The government has begun an outreach program to help parents understand and lessen the stress of school exams, but this party's just getting started. Nerdicide is a toxic byproduct of rapid economic growth in a country this smart and this competitive. When rural Russia leapfrogged a generation of development to achieve economic might in the 20th-century, millions of peasants died; when hi-tech India does it in the 21st, thousands of studious teenagers are going to perish. There's no stopping it. It is one of the costs of India's superpower project.

To understand the severity of India's nerd crisis -- and why Washington had better keep cranking out those H1B visas -- open up a copy of The Asian Age, a major Indian daily published out of Hyderabad. Like many newspapers, The Asian Age has a "teen-youth-fun pages" type of supplement called "The Age", a tabloid pullout full of shopping fluff, celebrity gossip, teen advice, and the like. But before all that is a two-page spread called "Examine Yourself," which looks like the chalkboard in Stephen Hawking's Cambridge classroom on pop-quiz day.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Zaitchik
Browse author
Alexander Zaitchik is an editor at The eXile. Email him at zaitchik@gmail.com
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

Separated At Eye Hood? :

The Old Man And The Suka :
Afghan Gore
Afghan Warfare Just Got Real : Our man in Afghanistan loses two friends

Your Letters :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru