Friday, April 17, 2009

On Ragging

Ragging is an evil that continues unabated despite the Supreme Court directive to educational institutions to end it. In recent times almost every week we heard a new case of ragging from around the country. Sometimes juniors tried for suicide, sometimes they were beaten heavily, and some times they even lost their life due to this evil.

Recently a first-year management student from Coimbatore, suffered serious injuries due to ragging by his seniors. Some two weeks back a student lost his life due to ragging in medical college of Dharmshala. It is not fair to blame the college authorities for not preventing the attack on freshers. Sometimes student was staying in a private hostel, where the senior students allegedly went in the middle of the night and demanded money.

Ragging implies mild mischief played by seniors on new entrants. But when such play results in illegal assembly and causes irreparable damage to the victim, one should not make an attempt to bestow respectability on the ugly activity.

Ragging has lost its meaning completely today. When a students comes out of school and joins a new medical or engineering college he knows very little about this completely new environment. There are students who come from villages or remote areas, they need to improve their personality, communication skills and they need a help in their academics. Ragging in a way can be a tool to remove the shyness, improve the intellectual capacity of freshers and let them learn how to face the new world of professionals, it can help in increasing interaction between senior and juniors.

With the number of colleges and hostels ever increasing, and new admissions running into lakhs across the country, it is difficult to keep a continuous watch on students to prevent ragging. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the victim is usually alone with no friends to approach after the incident, as he is still new to the college. The strength of the seniors lies in their numbers. A victim of ragging is bound to rag his juniors.

If institutions can open two or three weeks earlier exclusively for the freshers, they will get sufficient time to know and befriend one another.The hostel staff need to be vigilant at the beginning of a teaching session. It is important to raise a brigade of students dedicated to eliminating ragging. It should not only report instances of ragging but also intervene to stop them.

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