This IPS Officer, Who Failed In School, Inspired Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 12th Fail
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s most recent movie, 12th Fail, is enjoying success at the box office, with Vikrant Massey in the lead role. The film is also gaining praise from various parts of society. Based on Anurag Pathak’s best-selling novel with the same title, the movie draws inspiration from the life stories of IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma and IRS officer Shraddha Joshi.
IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma faced significant challenges, even for basic life necessities. He was born in 1977 in Bilgaon, a small village situated in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. His father worked in the agriculture department, and the family faced financial hardships. Manoj had little interest in academics but managed to complete his schooling despite the difficulties he encountered.
Manoj Kumar Sharma’s educational journey was marked by challenges. He passed his 9th and 10th grades with a third division. He managed to pass 11th grade, but it was in his 12th year that he truly grasped the importance of education and his future. However, even in his 12th-grade board exams, he failed in all subjects except Hindi.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra has captured Manoj’s life story and struggles in the film 12th Fail. The movie depicts Manoj’s experiences during his 12th grade, when the SDM (Sub-Divisional Magistrate) became stringent about preventing cheating in schools, adding to the challenges he faced.
After understanding that there were higher authorities beyond teachers and principals, he set his sights on becoming an SDM after passing the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission examination.
However, upon arriving in Gwalior after completing his 12th grade, he learned that the District Magistrate (DM) held a higher position than an SDM, and achieving this required passing the UPSC exam. This revelation led him to decide to come to Delhi to prepare for the Civil Services Examination.
Manoj Kumar Sharma’s journey in Delhi was undoubtedly challenging. To support himself and cover his expenses, he took on various jobs, including driving a tempo, sleeping on the footpath, working in a library, and even walking dogs for affluent individuals. Amidst his UPSC coaching and the pursuit of his civil services dreams, he fell in love with Shraddha Joshi, who hailed from Uttarakhand.
Despite facing significant hurdles, Manoj experienced multiple failures in his UPSC attempts, while Shraddha managed to pass the PCS exam and achieve the position of Deputy Collector. Their paths in the realm of civil services took different routes.