At a time when legislators have hardly any time for academics, Chakradharpur MLA Sukhram Oraon (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha) took time off to realise his dream of passing the matriculation examination to be able to pursue higher education.
The legislator on Wednesday appeared in the school final examination at SPG Mission High School. Oraon answered 19 of the 24 questions in the social sciences paper and was happy with his performance.
Talking to the Hindustan Times, Oraon said: “I felt the need for education after becoming a legislator. It dawned on me that without education, understanding things become difficult and you cannot fight corruption. Lack of it also leaves you vulnerable at the hands of the bureaucracy; the babus tend to dominate and fool you.”
“I have been honouring matric toppers every year. It hurts me that a non-matric was honouring those higher in educational status than me. I have wealth, political status but not the education that I feel is the real status and standard booster of a man. This was the other reason that motivated me to go for the exam and open the locked doors of higher education,” he added.
“It also dawned on me that I would be setting an example for legislators like me; there are many of my ilk in the state. If all the legislators are educated, it would help reign in corruption and the unbridled bureaucracy,” Oraon said.
Talking about how he managed his studies amid the pulls, pressures and lure of politics,, Oraon said: “I did not take tuitions. I shared notes gathered by my son — who is also appearing in the matric exams — from his coaching. This helped me a lot.”
The centre superintendent at the SPG Mission School offered Oraon a separate room but the legislator refused, saying it would send the wrong message.
Oraon dropped out of school while in class IX at the Marwari High School, Chakradharpur in 1984. He has led a chequered life, having been exonerated in over two dozen criminal cases. But with his new education, he has taken to writing letters after 23 years. What will it be next Mr MLA? College?