A few things that we Indians are good at also includes taking offense. Whether it’s a factual or logical thing it doesn’t matter to us, we will bully you in case you “disrespect” us, for ex, when Maria Sharapova was trolled for not knowing Sachin or when Snapchat CEO’s alleged statement about India being a poor country surfaced we were ready to troll them both.
This recent experience shared by a third-year physics student at the University of Oxford, Jack Fraser, is a proof of same and is making us hang our head in shame.The reason for trolling and abusive messages being received by him is that the guy who is a Physics graduate solved the IIT entrance exam Physics paper in nearly one-third of the allotted time and that too with 100 percent correct answers.This didn’t go well with some Indians who consider IIT JEE exam to be the ultimate parameter of assessing intelligence.
We don’t know why it is difficult for people to understand that Jack was much more qualified than class 12 school students who take this exam and hence it was a cakewalk for him.
Here is the post that Jack shared on Quora
“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 make exams immeasurably easier.
As I explained in this answer here, it thus comes as no surprise that I found a test designed for people much less educated in physics than me pretty easy. 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.
It was really rather traumatic. I deleted the answer, and a few days later the entire question was deleted by Moderation. I don’t know if it was one guy using dozens of accounts (they were all fake profiles), or a cabal of several people, but eventually, it petered out.
Facebook (slowly) dealt with it, and the stuff went away. My Mum still refers to it as “The time that guy had such low self-esteem that he considered me seeing his penis to be the worst insult imaginable”.
So it’s not so much that the response was on Quora — indeed, the problem was that it escalated beyond the bounds of Quora. I’m not going to answer any more questions about the JEE. It seems like it’s a bit too touchy a subject!
* This would have been more threatening if it wasn’t the top result when you google Trinity College Oxford. And if I still lived there, which I don’t.
PS. To the hundreds of people flooding to the comments section and my inbox to apologize for these people and assert that it’s not all Indians – no need.
I am in fact madly in love with one of your countrywomen and am perfectly aware that this is a small, idiotic minority. There is no need to fret that I am tarring all Indians with the same brush!”
Hope above two lines are enough to talk some sense into those trolls who were trolling him, from his statement it is clear that her partner is an Indian and despite of the traumatic experience he is not painting all of us with the same brush.
We need to learn that there is a world beyond our pseudo hyper-nationalism and we need to stop taking offense for things which are not even meant to offend us.