OPINION

Why Does Ragging Happen?

March 13, 2009
Freya

I have never been ragged. In Mumbai, thankfully, many colleges either have Anti-Ragging Squads or the seniors are really good people who just mind their business. In my college too, there's no ragging and seniors are real sweethearts. I once ended up in a third year classroom by mistake, but still they all were very nice to me and neither did they tease or bully when I realized my folly. But that's another story.

The recent news of a 19 year old boy named Aman Kachroo who succumbed to the severe injuries inflicted upon him by his drunk seniors doesn't shock me. This is not the first time someone's killed due to ragging. The authorities of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Govt Medical College are trying to pass this off as a suicide case which makes it sound more heinous. I'm sure that either the seniors boys involved here mostly come from rich families who can silence the authorities with their money or the authorities are trying to just protect their image. So, when is this going to be stopped?

Ragging is a part of college-dom. Every college prospectus says that "Ragging is strictly prohibited". But how many colleges actually have no ragging? Very few.

I would first blame the college authorities. It is their college and the students belong to it. Strict steps should be taken against ragging of any form. In residential colleges, there should be more than one warden for every dorm. If possible, they should have separate dorms for juniors and seniors. Alcohol should be banned and there should be raids in dorms regularly. I have studied in a residential school myself and though there wasn't much ragging, bullying surely existed. I had some senior friends who used to proudly boast how they gave "treatments" to their juniors.

Next, I would blame the parents who don't believe their children or don't care. Most parents who have sons have this habit. They have the "ladka-hai-toh-sambhal-lega" kind of attitude. When it comes to girls, parents become overprotective. I say, stop idolizing your male children as supermen. THEY ARE NOT! Males are definitely more physically powerful than females but when 5 grown-up boys or even 5 girls attack a boy who's equally grown up, he cannot definitely do a Shaktiman there. Now, how do you expect your sons to protect themselves?

I cannot blame the first-years much. Though they can do something to protect themselves like forming groups of students who complain the same thing and demand an explanation from the administration. Sadly, there is a different kind of student politics in every institution. There are so many colleges who don't care what's happening or just ignore whatever is happening. There are still parents who think of their children(boys, especially) as superhuman. Only the tormentors can stop what they do. Senior students should be matured enough not to behave in this fashion. They needn't be godfathers to their juniors but at least think about their own future or their conscience which can prick them later.

I'm a person with so many interests ands likes that it scares me.
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#1
Benaam
March 13, 2009
11:28 AM

Indian children are mollycoddled to ridiculous extents and as a result they never truly grow up. I find it ironic that we ridicule Western culture all the time and pretend that Indian values are superior. Well, ragging is something you won't find as a rite of passage in Western universities. Sure there might be some ragging if you want to join a fraternity (and that's only IF! You certainly won't be forced to go through ragging sessions the minute you enter college). I think Indian kids should also imbibe some good things about Western culture like being independent and responsible. Most Western kids work hard to put themselves through college and learn at an early age about the value of money and being able to support yourself (and yes many also binge drink and do other irresponsible things at college but at least they do it to themselves and don't force their juniors to do humiliating things just for their sadistic enjoyment).

The sad thing is that the first year students who are ragged end up becoming the tormentors themselves in subsequent years. When will Indian teens and youth wake up to the fact that ragging is simply uncool and they are the only folks in the world who do this stupidity? Ridiculous.

#2
dark lord
March 13, 2009
11:34 AM

Ragging happens because some dumb ass thinks its a cool thing to do and he has been subject to the same behavior 1,2 or 3 years before. The best way to stop ragging is to get a bunch of students (both senior and junior) who believe that ragging is a heinous crime and involve faculty and administration to initiate action against those indulging in ragging. The faculty/admin support is an important part. I believe that Maharastra has a special law against ragging (implement around 1998-99). Was in college at that time (NIT nagpur) and it certainly help reduce ragging over the 4 years of my stay there.

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