In a bizarre incident, former Chief Minister of Haryana and the head of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), Om Prakash Chautala on Wednesday took a Class 10th English exam at Arya Kanya Senior Secondary School in Sirsa.
The 86-year-old reportedly finished the exam in just two hours instead of the stipulated three hours and then left.
The former Chief Minister had earlier passed his Class 10 exam from the National Institute of Open School in 2017, while he was serving a jail sentence ordered by the Supreme Court over his role in a teachers’ recruitment scam. In that exam, he secured 53.4 per cent marks in ‘Urdu’, ‘Science’, ‘Social Studies’ and ‘Indian Culture and Heritage’.
Reportedly he started studying for the latest exam in Tihar Jail in Delhi, where he served his 10-year sentence from 2013.
Om Prakash Chautala, later on, appeared for Class 12 examinations under the Haryana Open Board earlier this year. However, his result was withheld on August 5 because he had not yet passed a Class 10 English exam. So, in order to get his Class 12 result released, he sat for the Class 10 exam on Wednesday. For the examination, he had requested a writer from the education department for the examination and his request was accepted.
On reaching the examination centre, he told the media, “I am a student – no comments,” and thus refrained from answering any political question.
The standard of education is often a thing of concern when voting for public representatives. May politicians even forge their documents or lie on election affidavits about their educational qualifications. In the ongoing Lok Sabha out of the 543 elected representatives, 44 MP’s didn’t study beyond class 10th, 12 MPs are just 8th Pass, 4 are 5th Pass and a single MP, P. Velusamy from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu is illiterate. The situation is even worse in state legislation and many times there has been a call from people to fix a minimum educational qualification for the election candidates.