Social Interaction Should Not be Curbed in The Name of Ragging

May 30, 2007

Lately, a lot of articles, a few even in leading dailies, have been published depicting ragging in a very negative light, and somehow I personally cannot relate to it. While I do agree that in many Indian colleges, ragging has taken an extreme monstrous shape, which instills fear of the unknown senior, I do believe that it has its own benefits.

First of all, at the outset, let me state that I do not wish to condone anybody who behaves with juniors in a manner unbecoming a gentleman or a lady. I have personally seen students who had been so frightfully affected by the treatment meted out to them as soon as they joined a prestigious institute that they retracted into a shell, their hopes and dreams shattered, and many of them left the college they had so expectantly gone to. Besides, many times, ragging takes a nasty turn when people try to get sadistic pleasure by physically harming others; accidents are not unheard of and such malevolent behavior is something that should not be pardoned.

However, coming back, all interaction is not unhealthy. These interaction sessions or orientation programs are a great learning experience, and really help break the ice with people you are going to spend the next few years with. It is not for no reason that people make lifelong friendships in residential hostels, which are notorious for ragging. In my own college, as soon as we reached the senior hostels, we were made to learn the basic introductions (name, native place and stream) of all our batchmates. While many spurned the idea, it later dawned that if you know somebody’s name, it is always so easy to start a conversation. It really helped us have a close knit community over our stay for the next few years.

Apart from that, our seniors organized various cultural and sports events in order to find new talent to participate in inter-hostel competitions. Before joining our colleges, we have hidden desires and latent talents, but the rigmarole of competitive examinations leaves little time to explore these other facets. This is an excellent time for exploring the unknown within us, since there are no expectations and no big-achievers to discourage us. This was the humble initiation of many among us who were later to become stars in the same competitions.

I have seen many of my friends transformed – a hesitant immature adolescent to a confident adult, who knows that he can carry himself in many situations in life and who has a lot less apprehensions than he had earlier. The period can really be used to break free from the protective shell that most of us are enveloped in while we live at homes under the protection of our parents. From holding back to letting go may seem a small change, but is exactly what a caterpillar goes through as it becomes a fluttering butterfly.

At the same time, as seniors, the same students later learn essentials like how to manage subordinates, how to earn respect, how to be sensitive to the needs of others, how to manage mass events and how to gauge people and how to deal with people of all kinds.

Interaction provides a lot of valuable and practical guidance on anything under the sun – from how to choose courses, to what is important for our future and how to land a coveted job, from how to fight stage fright to how to impress that girl. Valuable experience and invaluable friends – essential for the leap we take after we graduate.

It remains important that the authorities at these institutions channelize the interaction to make it both fun and educative. They should strictly enforce rules, but organize various events. Parents of kids who are going to join a college should also encourage them to participate in various events interact healthily with the others. A lot of energy is dissipated in unhealthy ragging, which can be made very fruitful if the interaction is done the right way. Colleges are, after all, a microcosm of life, and the interaction period is one of the best times to learn life skills.

Kpowerinfinity is a Technology enthusiast working out of Bangalore. He blogs at his wordpress blog.
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Social Interaction Should Not be Curbed in The Name of Ragging


Author: kpowerInfinity


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Die Hard
May 30, 2007
03:52 AM

KpowerInfinity you wrote "At the same time, as seniors, the same students later learn essentials like how to manage subordinates, how to earn respect, how to be sensitive to the needs of others,..." I lost you somewhere there! Freshers are not subordinates that need to be managed.

Are you against ragging or for it? I am a bit confused. Because ragging as I know it..is certainly not a mode of social interaction. And by referring to 'unhealthy ragging' do you mean to say that there is something called 'healthy ragging'?

May 30, 2007
04:02 AM

All I say is that sometimes we are so against ragging that we curb all forms of interaction between seniors and juniors, and prevent the boot-strap program that helps the juniors acclimatise themselves to the new place.

Healthy ragging is simply good interaction with fun activities and introductions that helps break the ice between the seniors and juniors and amongst the juniors themselves.

May 30, 2007
05:42 AM

I would tend to disagree. Once I came into the second year, I saw attitude of people around me. It was their birthright to rag people, and it was then upto the person as to how good or bad they would do the ragging. As to how to avoid anti-ragging steps, the hostel was an excellent place to.
It is not the right of a student to make somebody else do something that they do not want to do.

Mohit Garg
May 30, 2007
08:39 AM

I believe the debate here is concerning the effect the ban on ragging will have on senior-fresher interaction.

Ragging is an archaic means of interaction. This report by CURE traces the origins of ragging to the 7th century AD.

Modern means of interaction need to be publicised and promoted in colleges.

akshay uday bhat
May 30, 2007
01:28 PM

well lets analyze what you are saying.
you make following propositions
1.ragging can be of two types healthy and unhealthy.
2.ragging which is unhealthy and can be classified as not behaving as gentle man or gentle lady.
3.ragging which is healthy consists of behaving gently and getting acquainted with juniors.

your conclusion is that given current debate and measures implemented to curb ragging according to you the healthy ragging will disappear.

now fallacy in your conclusion:
now giving you a just good analogy to your statement:
"Social Interaction Should Not be Curbed in The Name of Ragging"

now just compare to.

" tradition of giving diwali gifts should not be curbed in name of fight against corruption"

given any junior he would like to meet his seniors and get acquainted with them also he would like to participate and get involved in festivals in college and assuming gentle senior this is a natural phenomenon.
any normal student will act in this way and not opposite social interaction is a normal process and need not be artificial.
as far as hostels are concerned assuming normal junior and gentle senior this is a natural process
the mind set behind social interaction is far much different than that behind ragging.
and the curbs implemented don't stop such natural processes.

so what you are saying is fallacious and is same as saying that diwali gifts should not be banned for sake of curbing corruption.

by the way i hope you are not saying that we should start giving tips to government officials such as we do to waiters.

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