Ragging: The Curse Machine

Ragging in institutions of higher education is rampant across India. The dictionary describes the word as ‘to engage in rough play, ‘tease’, and ‘play rough jokes on’. Often the rough play is rougher than mere ‘rough’. Negativity is the biggest curse of India. We have young people who are not actually young in spirit and soul. The youth is lack luster. The youth doesn’t have the necessary hope, enthusiasm and positive gush. The youth lacks the very essence of youth. There are many factors like intoxication, unemployment, and compartmentalization of society responsible for this dull state of Indian youth. Ragging is also one factor affecting potentially bright young people. It’s more tragic because it demoralizes the talented. Ragging generates the cycle of negativity. It robs a young mind of a sense of self-respect. It generates fear psychosis. It produces a cynical, dirty-minded, bitter, and battered youth, eager to take revenge the next year. It’s a perfect system of chain reaction.  

The curse of ragging is more serious than it is often visualized to be. President Patil has taken up this cause time and again. Many sober and sensible Governors of various Indian states have also issued strict dictates. But the problem has percolated down the surface. It starts by compelling the fresher to use dirty and abusive language. It goes on to compel the poor fresher to listen to ‘your mother’, ‘your sister’ stuff; then comes obscene gesturing. There are naked parades in the hostels at the dead of the nights. It’s, in fact, quite scary to imagine what our young people go through in order to become graduates.

The Indian society at large is insensitive to this cancer of ragging in our institutions of higher learning. The common Indian often laughs when ragging is mentioned. From nudity, ragging graduates to physical torture, public disgrace and mental torture. I’ve seen many people asking, ‘How many fists?’ It means that how many public slaps have been borne by you in your ragging.

Another boy, son of a colleague reported that in a National Institute of Technology, ten freshers were forced to sleep together in one bed. It indicates to again very horrible trends of forcing behavioral patterns. The horror stories are endless. We’ve all heard of young people committing suicide as a result of ragging. In extreme conditions, when the fresher is unable to protect her/his self-respect, disastrous, irrevocable incidents happen. Parents, teachers, students and educational administrators need to be educated. Wardens alone can solve 80% of the menace. The dragon in the name of a senior also knows that s/he has secured a place in a professional institute with much labor and s/he cannot afford to lose that admission to a professional institute. I’ve also seen a so called omnipotent senior begging and crying  and licking feet of a junior when the junior reported the horror of ragging to watchful administration of a medical college. An FIR had been lodged. 

Ragging generates a sense of helplessness in freshers. A hostel means captivity. There is a prevalent sense of fear. ‘Don’t move alone; go in groups; don’t go out after it’s dark; never go when seniors call you to a lonely spot; keep heads down; keep very short hair’ – these are common sentences floating among freshers. This is how we welcome our future generations into colleges; into the dirty world of adulthood. There have been so many champions of noble causes fulfilling their mission; why it doesn’t work for these young and helpless youngsters? Why a young mind has to be forced to believe that all that was taught in school was wrong? The quotes of Gandhi and Lincoln were wrong. The schoolteacher was wrong. Patriotic and idealistic poems were wrong. The only ‘guru’ is the rascal ‘senior’. Why a fresher can’t be allowed to sleep timely, if s/he wishes to. Why the adult world has to be so cheap, vulgar, drugged, boozed, corrupt and unhealthy? Why can’t someone pray? Why can’t someone be allowed to maintain the good qualities of childhood? Don’t all great people say, ‘Keep the child alive in you’? 

The psychological impact of ragging is far too deep for us to gauge normally. It creates an evil adult. It inculcates distrust. It teaches suspicion. It kills innocence.

Sports facilities, openness, psychological help centers, aware administrators, and informed parents can eliminate this artificially created tragedy in our society. Even caste angles have been reported. One boy in an engineering college was brutally beaten. With each thrash, the words came, ‘How are you feeling, Thakur saab? How it goes, Zamindaar Saab?’ In fact, seniors of the reserved categories were doing social justice to a young, poor fresher! These are very true, very real and alas! very common incidents. 

Crime has no caste, no category. Ragging should be put at par with rape in the book of law. Speedy and exemplary punishment can solve the issue for ever. We need sensitive leaders who understand psychological trauma of confused, pained, roaming, restless, young minds. The silver lining is that it is not an incurable disease. There are oases in the desert where dynamic institutional heads have kept this curse away from their boundaries.     

Related:  Ragging a Menace by Dr. Asha Choubey

More By  :  Prof. Shubha Tiwari

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Comments on this Blog

Comment India's leading Ant Ragging NGO, SAVE, has been active in the field for over 7 years. SAVE is run mainly by professionals and by students volunteering for the cause, over and above their regular jobs/studies. SAVE invites every conscientious citizen, who wish to volunteer for the cause, to join the movement. Every participation can make the movement much more stronger. www.No2Ragging.Org

SAVE (Anti Ragging NGO)
26-Feb-2015 12:11 PM

Comment Well,I too appreciate the fact that singing,dancing,asking questions etc. are not ragging ordinarily.But if someone who doesn't know to sing or dance a particular type of song or dance,and is harassed/hackled badly for not being able to perform the same,then it is definitely ragging.Again,if someone is asked apparently vulgar questions,and they are not explained,then ,too, it is extremely notorious behavior,if not ragging.Asking really vulgar questions,with no decent meaning,too,is a bad form of ragging.The REVENGE taken by the seniors on their juniors,simply because they were ragged by their seniors in the past, is the most RIDICULOUS theory I find.This is a BLOODY BASTARD type of attitude.Actually,seniors who rag juniors for the sake of revenge,don't know the meaning of the term "REVENGE" at all.'REVENGE' should be taken on the guilty,not on the guiltless.If a senior was ragged in the past,then instead of ragging his juniors,he should try and punish his own seniors who actually ragged him.He should create a strong group among his friends and attack his seniors.If the seniors have already passed out from the college,then he should attack them on their houses.That's why,it's very important for a junior to collect the address of a senior in case the latter severely ragged him.Taking revenge on juniors is the most cheap and easy solution,as thought by many students,and it reflects how coward,pleasure-seeking and luxury-loving our society has become.There are two ways of leading life-1)the right way and 2)the easy way.Unfortunately,majority of people today choose the second way,which is also the synonym for 'wrong' way.It is shocking for me,and is the reason why India is being scientifically and economically advanced(to some extent) on one hand,and socially,spiritually and humanistically backward on the other,day-by-day.This attitude will ruin our country one day.Personally,I opt for the right way(which is also the tough way in general),and thus belong to the minority.I urge each and every boy and girl of my generation in particular to follow this method of life as well as this theory on ragging and REVENGE, although the revenge theory should be applied mainly in the severe cases,e.g.-"if 5 seniors thrash a single junior badly,then that junior should bring in (5*5)=25 friends,and beat those 5 seniors badly".This is the perfect manner of revenge,as the 5:1 ratio is maintained.Practically speaking,in case of Aman Kachroo,too,this method could have served the perfect punishment.He was killed by 7 seniors,who simultaneously beat him to death.So,each of those 7 seniors should have been beaten to death by 7 juniors/persons,and a total of (7*7)=49 people would have reqd. for the purpose.If a boy/girl doesn't become able to create groups to punish his/her seniors,then he/she should wait until getting established.Once he/she starts to earn,he/she should hire contracted goons to settle scores.That's why,knowing the addresses/movements of seniors,who ragged you,is very necessary,after they pass out of college.My principle is-tit-for-tat.If your seniors behave decently,you must respect and love them.Again,if they rag/torture you,you too must inflict the same amount of pain/torture on them.However,I am confident that many seniors are good,lovable,well-mannered and respectable.So,taking revenge can't be the only motive to keep contacts with seniors after they pass out!On the contrary,in many cases,one can have lasting and eternal friendship with one's seniors.Personally,I am a University student in my 1st yr of masters,but have never been ragged by my seniors.Still,I have an exceptional mindset and that's why I understand the gravity of ragging.I feel blessed to have very good,respectable and lovable seniors in my college-life as well as school-life.To conclude,one can also be ragged by his/her friends,but that is not regarded as ragging by our society.Actually,the Indian society doesn't know the actual meaning of "ragging".Realistically,ragging is serious harassment/torture,or both, by any student on any other,and it doesn't necessarily mean seniors on juniors.

Shankha Biswas
24-Dec-2012 06:22 AM


After reading this article  I  am reminded of all those  meritorious students who fled hallowed precincts  on being unable to withstand the torture.

Arundhati Sarkar
20-Apr-2012 06:04 AM

Comment  People do not understand the slow poison that ragging is. The article rightly brings this menace to the focus.

Deepa Shrivast
02-Feb-2012 03:05 AM

Comment  Reading this I realize that if seniors give up revenge once, the whole cycle can be put back on the right track. Having separate hostels for juniors will also help greatly.

Akhilesh Sharma
01-Feb-2012 06:30 AM

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