Sunday, August 24, 2008

More cases of ragging

Ragging is a phenomenon that is not unique to India. It is present in many societies, in many forms and with different names. In India, it can sometimes take on a pleasant sense of introductions, of breaking barriers and introducing new people to life in an academic community. However, at the same time, there are many many cases where raqging takes on a more offensive nature, where the senior students consider it their birthright to make the junior suffer and subject them to humiliation and other such behavior. This has often been justified that it breaks the ice between batches, make for a better introduction to college life, and that it is 'harmless fun'. Often, when this results in serious implications for the junior students affected, the institute tries to push it under the carpet (inventing many different reasons), and so on.
For the past few years, this has assumed major proportions. In the absence of major efforts from the educational institutions (Ministry, colleges, etc), it has been left to the courts to 'legislate' in this behalf; and they have done so. The Supreme Court has passed severe restrictions against the practise of ragging, making it a criminal act and holding the educations institutions responsible for such conduct in their premises. And yet the message does not seem to have percolated through:

JAIPUR: The Kanota police have finally lodged an FIR against some senior students of Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine for alleged ragging of a junior – Prateek Bagi. The police are searching for the students who seem to have disappeared since Friday.
His hairs were allegedly cut off and he was forced to move around naked on the college campus. The seniors thrashed him many times as well. Prateek had to quit his hostel room when neither police nor the college administration paid heed to his problem. His parents had to come to Jaipur twice for their son’s rescue, but to no avail. "We had met the college administration, but received cold response. Now, we hope that the police will take an appropriate action in this regard, so that my son can study peacefully," said Parteek's father, Satish Bagi.

The college does not want to come into the limelight, not wanting to have scandal around the image of the college. However, it should be clear that senior students have no god-given right to harass junior students, and if the junior student does not want to do any of the 'activities' under ragging, he or she is well entitled to refuse.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 7:58 AM