“General physician wale hain (We are general physicians),” laughs 30-year- old Sintu Kumar when asked about the kind of jobs he is preparing for. He explains the ‘general physician’ term in detail. “Like general physicians treat all kinds of diseases, people appearing for the general competition exams vie for a raft of government jobs, all low grade. That’s what I’m preparing for.” Though the term is used sarcastically, it is very common among those who prepare for the exam.
Like Sintu, lakhs of youth living in Musallahpur Haat area in Patna are preparing for years to land government jobs. The passion that drives them for anywhere between 8-10 years of their lives has nothing to do with any interest in public service, but a desperation for a regular job.