Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The menace of Ragging

We all are familiar with ragging- a kind of physical,mental and/or sexual torture being experienced by new comers to colleges across India. I am not sure whether this activity is enacted and performed in other parts of the world. Wikepedia says that ragging is popular mainly in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan- all South Asian countries. I do not think that this heinous act is present in America or in the Western developed countries. If at all someone dares to do anything like that, he will be brought to book by the Justice system. This is not to say that the Indian Judicial system is lenient to ragging. If convicted, the person can get jail terms and also disenrollment from the university. Why is ragging so prevalent in our campuses? What is the urge behind initmidating and embarassing a fresher in the name of seniority? How can we uproot this menace once and for all. Let us take a look.

The fall of 1995. Even when I was scrambling to focus on my way ahead- I mean to study a professional course, people were asking me just one thing. How are you going to cope with ragging? Some would say- " You are lucky.. You are a day scholar.. If you are a hosteler , the first one year is goona be hell.. Or at least till the fresher's day".. "What the heck???? ", I thought. O.K , from that glorious day on Oct 4, 1995 someone else is going to decide my fate. How I should walk, how i should dress, how i should behave..Is this going to be a norm or an exception? I am not a tall guy.. I did not have the muscles.. I did not have a mustache to freighten those " thugs". But ,definitely, I had the attitude to deal with those guys. I never used to care two hoots about the so called " seniors". I can confess that I never lost a single paisa to them.. I can also claim that I stood against a just and right cause..

Just like any other campus, the world of CET is absolutely small. Even if you are the" king "in CET, nobody will know you once you reach Chavadimmukku. This is to emphasise the fact that the law of the land, the law of independent, democratic, soveriegn republic of India is the same in the capital of New Delhi as it is in the city of Trivandrum and also in the approximately three acre campus of CET. No exceptions...Absolutely no exceptions.!!! If you commit a crime, no matter what, the law will catch up with you. And yes ragging is a crime..a dangerous one at that.. The act of mentally and physically torturing a person for some insane pleasure- it may even involve lurid sexual acts..This has to be curbed at any cost.

How did ragging get so much prominence? How did it go beyond control? How can we quell this? I would like to diagnose these. Even in the 60s and 70s, ragging was active in campuses- albiet only in professional colleges. Getting admission into professional courses was the exception , not the norm in those days. So, the students who got admission were propelled into demi-god status. The parents ,of course , became the moms and dads of these demi-gods--I mean smaller gods. As a result of this, the professional college students in those days got the licence to do anything and everything.. Ragging, thus became part and parcel of the life of a fresher in college. Just imagine this- you study very hard, get good marks/ranks, go to college with high expectations and then you realize that a group of crooks are the ones who control your life..What a joke? I mean, why should I even have to meet that crook ( senior) and hear all his vocabulory? In simple language, this is nothing but a clear intrusion of one's fundemental right.

Some people say that if you don't have ragging, you cannot build friendship with seniors. Let me ask one thing.. " Will you be friends with a person whom you meet on the road, abuses you continously for hours, perhaps days and then that guy calls a meeting and declares that we will become friends". No, Never.. Then, how can you do the same with some 19, 20 year old " mavericks" who mess up with your life.. For me, even if I have lost a few " friends" because of that, I am happy..I have enough and more of friends to cater to..

Some might wonder that now he is out of college, he is saying all these things.. No.. I had always fought against this, right from the age of 18. I am proud to say that my group of friends including myself has not even verbally humiliated even a single soul.. We also went through the same age, the same kind of adrenalin, the same set of emotions but probably a different set of values. Maybe , I may not know a person since I would not have talked with him/her in the name of ragging.. But, atleast , if I meet a person from CET and shake hands , he will not have a grudge against me.

Strict punishments to be meted out to those who indulge in this third grade act. Actions ( including jail term and expulsion) should be taken against the guilty. Let there be no sympathy to these people..This is a shameless, embarassing act and the law should be equally ruthless.No one has the authority to morally or physically violate another human being. The victims should retaliate through legal means against these culprits. Last but not the least, it is good for all of us to know that.. " NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW OF THE LAND".

1 comment:

Som said...

Very sensible piece. As a parent of a prospective (and apprehensive) CET student, I wonder what specifically can be done at CET. Is the PTA (a unique feature of CET) active on this front?