Bihar’s Prodigal Daughter: The Dubious Case of Ruby Rai and the Topper Scam

Guest Post by Priyanka Dutta

The arrest of Bihar’s Class 12 Humanities phony topper, Ruby Rai, is not the sensible way of addressing the quandary of hooliganism and corruption in the Bihar education system. She is not the real culprit who made herself the topper; it is rather the people who have set in motion these wrong underhand ways of buying the top slots in the education system who are the real perpetrators. True, she had the means of buying; but what does it say about those who are in a position to sell it to her?


It is the people in power, within the education and political system, who made this bizarre and shameful act possible. They are responsible for treating the state’s education system as merchandise; for their shameless, greedy ways the whole image of the state of Bihar has been trashed. It is not uncommon in these days to see caustic and incessant trolls of the horrible condition of the education system of the state and the generic caricatures of all things Bihari. Some greedy self-serving people are selling the whole state and shaming its people for their own petty gains.


Though Ruby is wrong in her own ways; she is merely a victim of the system. She has learnt from her surroundings and experience and that only underhand means and corruption will yield good results. Thus arresting her for the blunder of buying the top spot in the Higher Secondary examination is both erroneous and shameful. This punishment does not address the root causes; it is only a sly effort to evade the penalty of the real culprits. The authorities are cunningly pointing the fingers at her and making her a stooge when she is just a hapless pawn in the power play of politics and greed.


The national and state executive systems are nabbing the petty fishes and letting go of the large sharks without much ado. The dissemination of such corruption is the result of this lackadaisical attitude of the police and the courts. We as a nation have failed Ruby when she was arrested; it does not require much common sense to realise that many students before her have bought their ranks without having to face any consequences. Ruby has blindly followed the example of her peers and now she is the poster girl of the utter failure of the Bihar education system. She is merely a victim of her circumstance and her distressed condition is reflected in her retort “I merely wanted to pass, not to top.”


Ruby Rai is a scapegoat of the system. The nationwide apathy and clowning for Ruby, and her failure to answer even the basic questions on the subject in which she topped will have severe repercussions in the field of women’s education and progress in the future. This situation has a strong feminist perspective too. Girls who desire to pursue higher education will now be met with ridicule. Now every girl who dreams big and wants to build a career, will be told to burn their books and spend more time in the kitchen, citing Ruby’s example.

Do you think Ruby deserved such a fate? If you would you like to add your two cents on this topic please feel free to share your thoughts, comments and suggestions below.

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