Home Entertainment Review of Aspirants Season 2: Romanticizing the Toxic System That Produces Bureaucrats

Review of Aspirants Season 2: Romanticizing the Toxic System That Produces Bureaucrats

by khushahal vishwakarma
Review of Aspirants Season 2

Review of Aspirants Season 2: The TV show returns after two years, and this time, you’ll see aspiring bureaucrats raising a flag or two about creating competent administrators, even if they can’t be skilled at their jobs.

Our education system aims to convince us that if we can conquer the next hurdle, life will become an ideal dream. We’ve all grown up believing in these principles, and for a select few, they might fulfil their promises. But for the majority, this was yet another system designed not to assess one’s intellect or encourage a crowd mentality.

Aspirants, another TV show, puts into a romanticized perspective the nerve-racking days faced by millions of students who participate in one of the most competitive exams in the world, the UPSC. In 2023, ten lakh students applied for 1105 positions, meaning that roughly 905 students are competing for each seat, which has made a return for its new season.

Here’s a group of hopefuls prepared to sacrifice their blood, sweat, and tears to become civil servants, effectively embracing servitude until they crack the code and join the chosen few who relish the perks of an esteemed bureaucratic lifestyle. It’s quite baffling to see why we never look at them and think about why they aspire to be civil servants.

Is it because it’s a comfortable job highly esteemed in society, or is it their genuine desire to serve the nation? Has their parents (or society) convinced them that anything below the IAS will render them unsuccessful, or is it an interpretation of success in their minds? In any case, it’s essential to assess this idea, as thousands of young boys and girls aim for seemingly unattainable goals without proper guidance but prefer to see ambition in another direction.

The show’s second season picks up where it left off last time. Abhilash Sharma (played by Naveen Kasturia) still has all his eggs in the UPSC basket, even though he is battling typhoid to prepare for his exams. His friends, with whom he has a contentious relationship, are still unsure about whether they should hold a grudge over a long-ago incident or if they should forgive him now that he’s a district magistrate, which is no less than the universe’s kingpin, according to the show.

Speaking of district magistrates, Abhilash is precisely the kind of bureaucrat who falls under the category of those “reality vs. expectation” memes, something a political science student would present in their class. When applied in practice, these ideas lack perspective and can have violent consequences.

While the show attempts to question Abhilash’s competence in these scenes and shed light on the flaws in our system, it quickly gets overshadowed by the storyline’s pace, and everything is soon forgotten. Though aspirants, at this point, have repeatedly romanticized the examination learning and scoring formula, it raises a flag or two on whether Abhilash, a sudden hero who succeeds in a structured exam, truly represents the aspirant’s experience.

Candidates spend a lot of time developing their interpersonal relationships and appear a bit juvenile. The struggle between Abhilash and Sandeep (Sunny Hinduja), despite neither making any effort to earn the other’s respect, becomes a battle of dominance and honour.

The “Tripathi” trio is not a heartwarming friendship story. Instead, it’s a toxic friendship where a person isolates himself from the group after breaking free from adolescence. Ishak (Abhilash Thapliyal) and Guri (Shivankit Singh Parihar) are conflicted about wanting Abhilash around for one reason: his influence and Abhilash is self-centred in understanding that his friendship and romantic relationships are secondary. Ego, something an intelligent teacher hinted at.


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