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Journey in Crisis-II

The article is a continuation of the Journey in Crisis. Read the nail-biting real story...

Rebati Mohan Sinha

In that interview the chances of my daughter’s selection was marred by the argument put up by her at the insistence of the secretary to the Medical Selection Board, Dr.Atul Bora that she was not from Assam. Anyway, she was hoping for another call from Banares Hindu University. Her preference was either for Silchar or Gauhati, but chances were very deem.

1987 was the year, Gauhati University was for the first time holding the Joint Entrance Examination, but for months, the tug of war was going on at the state capital, whether to go by the JEE result, or HSC results of various Boards and Universities. And here in Bombay the colleges had resumed classes, and her coming back was very much uncertain. I was worried for her impending loss of a year, if she did not get admission.

At last the Engineering Selection Board declared the list of successful candidates of JEE and my daughter was one of them. We were bit relaxed, thinking that she need not have to go back to her college in Bombay. During that time the Banares Hindu University’s call came and since she was in Silchar and there was hardly any time left for her to reach there on time. In those days there was no website to check the result on time and act accordingly. The people used to rely on written postal communication which sometimes used to get delayed. Also there was no regular flight to Patna Airport from Calcutta, so there was no possibility for her to reach Banares in time. She decided not to try, instead take admission in Assam Engineering College at Gauhati since, there was a very rare chance in Silchar Medical College.

As she had never been to Gauhati earlier there was a problem, as to with whom she should go there for her admission. It was her good luck that a relative of mine, with whom she was putting up those days, had agreed to take her to Gauhati, despite his busy schedule. So, I asked him to avail of an Indian Airline flight to and fro. Accordingly they went to Gauhati, did all formalities and came back to Silchar within 3days.

On my cousin`s advice, who was also a professor in Silchar Medical college, I reached before the declaration of the list of successful candidates in MBBS Entrance Exams. On that fateful day, the 25th of September `87, the list was out in The Assam Tribune. But her name did not find a place in the list.The last sentence read: the unsuccessful candidates might appeal within 10 days of the publication of the results. On anticipation, I was almost ready with the draft of appeal prepared by the Principal A.K.Chanda Law College, Silchar, who was a neighbour in Bombay.

In those days it was raining so heavily that the people were in panic, and expecting disruption of communication ie Air,Rail and Road any moment. I was worried about the appeal how it could reach Gauhati within the prescribed 10 days time. Suddenly it came to my mind, why not submit the appeal to Zila Sainik Board for further dispatch to Ministry of Health & Family planning, Govt. of Assam via Rajya Sainik Board. I approached the Secretary, Zila Sainik Board, at Silchar and apprised him of the problem. At first, he did not agree, saying that he was not supposed to receive the appeal. When I requested him to allow me to talk to Secretary Rajya Sainik Board at Gauhati from his office telephone, he stared at me and asked how I could know him. It is to mention here that the Secretary was a senior retired Naval Officer holding the post of an IAS cadre. I told him that I worked under him as a Garrison Engineer at Port Blair in 1968. Immediately he called one of his clerks to do the needful. On that day, the office staff helped me a lot, they enquired when the train would depart and accordingly one peon was instructed to post it to RMS (Railway Mail Service). Later on I came to know that it was the last train and there were no trains thereafter for next 3 days. One advance copy was also sent to Secretary Rajya Sainik Board by courier on the same day, so that he could take up the issue with the Secretary to Health and Family planning at secretariat

During those days, I was quite a depressed and an unfortunate father, seeking advice and suggestions from my nearest and dearest ones but no one could console and motivate, rather discouraged me up to the extend of, saying that once the candidate was rejected there was no chance and above all Dr. Atul Bora who had rejected my daughter was a very powerful person in AGP, and right-hand man of Shri Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the then Chief Minister of Assam. He would make sure that my daughter would not be selected, so why to spend money unnecessarily. Hearing all this I took a challenge and left Silchar with the first available bus after the flood receded. I took my brother-in-law along because he new in and outs of Gauhati. Even though we had plenty of relatives we checked in a hotel with fear of discouragement from their sides. My brother-in-law, sister-in-law’s husband met me in the hotel and had given me a brief on Dr.Atul Bora and a DSP who was a relative of mine and could be helpful in solving the problem, because he was the batch mate of the doctor’s father.

My first job was to meet the Secretary, Rajya Sainik Board at Rajgarh. There was no problem of navigation, as my brother-in-law took me there by walk. It was a great surprise for me, when he called me by name after so many years. As I was about to apprise, he stopped me, saying that he had received the advance copy of my appeal and it was very much self explanatory. He also appreciated my action of sending advance copy by courier, which helped him to take up the issue with higher authority in time.The office copy reached 14 days after posting at Silchar.

The next day he took me to the Secretary Health and Family planning and told; ‘This gentleman had given his prime youth to the defense of nation and on the contrary we are giving him injustice. Why should he be deprived of calling Assam as his mother land? Why his daughter was barred from joining in MBBS course on the pretext, she is not from Assam, when she had her PRC, issued by the DC of Cachar? Is this the reward given to him for rearing his children out side Assam for the exigency of defence service?’ The secretary replied that he had gone through the appeal and given instruction to the Secretary Selection Board to include the candidate’s name and also assured us that if name not included in the 2nd list, her name would be included in the next academic year i.e., in1988. "That means loosing one academic year?" I said. After a little thought, he requested us that the list might be out on that day, so we should carry his instructions to Dr.Atul Bora`s house for inclusion of the candidate’s name, but the address was not known to us still he(Secretary Rajya Sainik Board) ordered his driver to start with the car. Anyway after having a long search we could locate the doctor’s place. He cordially received us which was unexpected. Seeing a high ranking officer in his house, he was not puzzled and asked the reason for his visit. He told every thing, what had transpired between Secretary to Health and Family planning and him. The doctor was repeatedly asked to say in one word whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the inclusion of the name, but he did not comply with.The secretary asked me to stay back and left the house in a huff.

The forward line of defence, consisting of one DSP, a relative of mine and my two brothers-in-law, was already stationed at the doctor`s house prior to our arrival there. They also were listening what was going on between the doctor and Secretary. After every thing was cool down the DSP stood on his feet and asked what was the matter and why had he behaved in a rude manner with a senior officer. The doctor replied, “When a higher echelon comes to my house, why shouldn’t I show my authority”. Looking at me, the doctor said that he had never expected the father of an unsuccessful candidate would travel up to state capital, far away from Bombay to fight the case and also appreciated the way the things have happened. And he also laughingly said to me that he had already spoken to the front leader, his DSP uncle, that my daughter’s name was included in the list.

We had been served with snacks and tea. The meeting was called off and bade him a good bye and we left the place with a happy note. The 2nd list was out in due course of time and my daughter`s name was there in the list. She passed out from the Silchar Medical College in the year 1992. Now she is staying in Australia.


  1. Do you know what it indicates? It indicates, If a person having capability, caliber, etc etc and the most important is, If you have faith in God then only God make Path for your Success and Nothing is impossible for them……And Congratulations for your success… ..nice one

  2. Liked the post very much. It is really a nail-biting story and it is a story which will motivate others to have patience and keep trying till the goal is achieved. I read the previous part of this story and was waiting eagerly for the concluding part and now I feel its worth the wait. But one thing I find lacking in this article is the name of your daughter. Please do let us know her name. We the readers will be grateful to you if you let us know her name cause she really needs a standing applaud and you are really a concerning father. Hats off to both of you.


  3. Very inspiring write-up sir. Hope , incidents narrated in this article will immensely help and motivate to overcome obstacles face by parents and their wards, who wish to make it big in life. Sir, I could not resist the temptation to ask you a thing. Which one is more challenging ?......defending the case of your daughter before Dr. Atul Borah, or maintenance of a Naval Base at Port Blair ?.........

  4. Dear Prodip,
    Defending the case of my daughter was much more difficult than that of maintenance a naval base in Port Blair.The routines we followed there, was although difficult;but quite enjoyable because everyday we used to visit different Islands, and in the night go for the hunting deers.I was a bachelor there,had no responsibility what so ever.


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