The two-day monsoon session of the legislature, scheduled to begin from Monday, is likely to open on a stormy note. An ominous beginning has been made with the suicide of a 24-year-old MPSC aspirant, Swapnil Lonkar, in Hadapsar, Pune. Lonkar was reportedly depressed as the final interview segment of the Maharashtra civil services exam had not taken place due to the pandemic.
A civil engineering diploma holder, Lonkar had cleared the 2019Maharashtra Public Service Commission preliminary and main exams and was waiting for the final interview.
The police have registered a case of accidental death. Lonkar ended his life by hanging himself at his residence on June 30, when his parents were out for work.
"He left behind a suicide note which stated that a sense of negativity was creeping in as the interview was not being held and he was in danger of missing it on account of the age cut-off. He also stated he was depressed and that his family had a lot of expectations from him," Senior Inspector Balkrushna Kadam said. The heart-wrenching note says, “MPSC, sab maya jaal hai. Iske jhaanse mei na pado. Aane waale dino mei umr aur bojh badhta jaa raha hi.” (MPSC is an illusion. Do not fall for it. As I get older, the burden is increasing.) “My confidence is fading and self-growth rising. It has been two years since I passed the prelims exam. A mountain-sized debt has accumulated which cannot be erased by doing a private job. If there was no Covid, all the exams would have happened on time. Life would have been different,” he wrote in the note.
“I have had negative thoughts for some time now but I was holding on to the hope that something good would happen. It doesn’t seem likely now. No one is responsible for my suicide, it is my own decision. Forgive me,” his note said. In a video, Lonkar’s mother has blamed politicians for the present sorry state of affairs.
The opposition BJP has targeted the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on the issue. Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the MPSC enjoys autonomy but that does not mean arbitrariness.
“There is a need to review the MPSC’s functioning. There have been delays even after interviews; there are many vacancies. There has been no appointment of MPSC members. This is not proper. Youths appear for MPSC exams with a lot of expectations but get frustrated, as there are no interviews for two years. I urge the state government to review the working of the MPSC and make efforts to bring more efficiency, he opined.
Former BJP minister Pankaja Munde said, had a decision been taken at a right time the youth would not have taken resorted to the extreme step. She said accountability for his death had to be fixed. NCP MLA Rohit Pawar urged the state government to look into the issue seriously, so that the MPSC recruitment process could be streamlined. “The state government should, without further delay, decide the MPSC exam schedule and complete the recruitment process at the earliest,” he said.