Are we moving towards being an increasingly intolerant country?
Well, if this incident posted by Quora user Jack Fraser is anything to go by, we clearly are.
Jack Fraser, a Physics graduate from University of Oxford, was asked by someone on Quora if he could solve the IIT JEE question paper. And well, the physics graduate did it in no time! Now, how difficult is it for anyone to understand that his educational qualifications are far higher than the school kids who appear for the exam in India?
But no. Some people took it as an insult when a foreigner said that he got all the questions right at the stroke of a pen.
All hell broke loose. The man was called a lair and abused left, right and centre by some people who deem the IIT JEE exam to be the ultimate parameter of assessing intelligence. He narrated the entire incident in his Quora post and you will only hang your head in shame at the treatment meted out to him and his family.
This was a particularly unpleasant thing that happened to me a few weeks back.Someone asked a question in the topic Jack Fraser (Quora user), which went something along the lines of“Can Jack Fraser solve the JEE paper?”(For those of you who don’t know, the JEE is an Indian physical sciences admissions paper for their universities – some people take it really seriously, a fact I didn’t know at the time!)I thought it would be a laugh to sit down and do the paper and see how I did. There were two papers, about 80 multiple choice questions each.Now. This is where I made my mistake. I told them how I breezed through it. I did it in about a third of the allowed time and with 100% correct answers.BIG mistake
Now, first of all, I think I need to make some qualifications: I am a third-year physics student. This is a high school-level paper, taken by ~17-year-olds who haven’t spent 3 years at university studying physics. I have been sitting physics exams every year for nigh-on 7 years. Now multiple choices makes exams immeasurably easier. It’s nothing special – nobody is surprised when a 6-year-old can walk, and a baby can’t. It would be significantly more worrying if £27,000 being spent on 3 years at one of the best universities on this planet didn’t prepare me to ace an admissions test for another university!Now – I explained all of this in my answer, in painstaking detail.It didn’t go down well. I was called a liar. Insults were thrown. One guy called me scum. I was told there was simply no way a simpleton like me could do well on this — it is simply the hardest exam to ever grace the face of this planet. This stuff was pretty mild — and Quora took care of the abuse well enough that I had no complaints.But then some people took the issue off Quora. They found my Facebook. They found my family’s Facebook.
My mother got some graphic pictures of male genitalia. My brother got sent threats. My Facebook profile picture was reported for ‘graphic indecency’ a few times, and I had a flood of abusive message appearing in my “Message Request” box. One guy sent me a picture of my (old) University accommodation, saying they knew where I lived*, and that he was going to “shiv” me.
Are we ever going to learn?