Wednesday, May 04, 2005


At first, I read this article on Nanda's blog where he is talking purely about ragging in IITK in early 21st century and not ragging in general. It is in response to this article where the author tells us about his experiences with ragging in IITD in the late 80s. I refrained from speaking much about it as I have changed my views on ragging in the past few months. Then Jayajhi (have to give her respect or else...) came up with her opinion on the issue where she expresses her solid disapproval of ragging of any form... Finally I came across this article on the net.

I have been trying to keep my peace with this issue as I have also tried to point out some of the opinions in my short story. But it is a serious issue and I suppose I need to present my views on it more firmly in the form of a non-fiction piece. This is not to express my views but also to concretise my opinion on this much discussed issue.
I have had my experince of ragging as most people did in my early days in IITK. I had come with an impression that ragging would be as severe as I had heard in other colleges. So, some may argue that I was already prepared for the worst. Well, I wasnt. A shy guy coming from an protected family environment is never prepared for ragging of any form. Even though the ragging was nowhere what I had imagined from the horror stories I was told, I still was extremely uncomfortable with it. There were a few people whom I met who did not rag me in any way. They chatted with me and when they saw that I had similar interests, they questioned me about it and one senior told me that I had a 'good reading habit'. He was against ragging and I am not sure if he remembers it (It was Faiz). I really liked him because he did not talk down to me or make me feel small which most seniors seems to want to do. I never made friends with those seniors who were mean to me. I mean, how could you? Out of the all the seniors I met, there were really relatively few who genuinely wanted to know you and get a senior-junior bonding going. But poor me did not notice these facts at that time. I just took it as it is and later in my second year, we ragged a few juniors. It is not real fun to rag juniors, well at least not for me.
In the years that followed, the ragging rules got stricter and we could not rag the juniors even if we wanted to. In our final year, the rules were so strict that juniors were not to be allowed into hall one... We (a-mid) caught a few second years one day and ragged them. Nothing much. Just a little joshing. When one of them started crying, we let him go. The other guys were quite cool about it (we think). We did not think we did anything wrong as we felt that as these second yearites had not ragged enough. It was done more out of a rebellious nature than to extract fun out of ragging as I know that most of the guys are not avid raggers. Our disdain for rules, in general, and the admin (symbolised by Dhande and the DOSA), in particular.
It was a newsgroup discussion on why IITians are so rude and an argument with a junior (I forget who) that I seriously started re-hinking about my views on ragging. The crux of the argument was whether the galis we learn during ragging are really needed/make us stronger/give us the confidence to face the world... Does fluency in profanity equip us better for the big, bad world?
I have never used galis before I came to IITk and never used them outside the boys hostel. So, how dis they help, I thought... Well, it did not in any way. And that was what set me about thinking about ragging in general.
Ragging has made no better and perhaps, it has gone further and made me worser. Well, I learnt new galis and learnt the art of demeaning my juniors. None of my juniors who are my friends now are people I have ever ragged. Obviously, why would they like to talk to a person who ridiculed them??? So, ragging has actually distanced me from my juniors!!! There goes your theory that it promotes senior-junior interaction (which I was a supporter of)! I do not deny the fact that people have managed to make friends with their juniors during ragging but it is just not true for most people. Somehow, we forget what a torrid time we had when we were the 'freshies'.
I got to know my juniors by working with them in some event or other where there was no shadow of the ragging-period and we were equals in our discussion. I am still in contact with quite a few of them and I dont think there is anybody amongst them whom I have ragged.

So, am I in support of ragging or not? NO! I am not! It is just not a good practise and all the arguments given in favour of it is really not ture in general. Plus there is the matter of choice. The junior does not have the choice to not participate in the ragging process and it IS mental harassment for most people. Maybe, it is not for Nanda who faced worser ragging in his school but thats the whole point. Most people have come from the safe environment of home and are just not prepared for the harassment they face.
I am opposed to ragging as it demeans a person's dignity for the entertainment of a group of people. Just because you really do not mean what you say and 'it is all in jest' does not take away the fact that it may not be 'all in jest' for the other guy, and is a tiring and depressing scenario to be in.
What about senior-junior interaction, you ask? I think there are better ways of making friends with your juniors than ragging. Personally, I am friends with all my juniors I have worked with in SPIC MACAY or plays or ELS and I think that this manner of increasing interaction is mutally beneficial to both the senior and the junior and also for the cultural/sporting/etc aspects of the institute.
Adios and please stop ragging...


Jaya said...

"Jayajhi" with an 'h' looks more like a distortion of my name than respect. Get ready for consequences now :-D

MadHat said...

think i will go hide in some hole where you will never look!

Ragging in Indian Institutions said...

Ragging at Rajendra Institute of Medical Science(RIMS), Ranchi, Jharkhand

For the First Year students of MBBS, Rajendra Institute of Medical Science(RIMS), Ranchi, Jharkhand. Every day is a nightmare for them. Supreme court has ordered against the ragging in Colleges but it has got no value for the senior students of RIMS and Head/director and the professors of the Institute. The Director and the Professors know that the fresher are not allowed to live in the hostel due to ragging. They are living in rented accommodation. They wear a dress not prescribed by the Institution but by the senior students. But neither the Director nor the Dean or Professor has asked the fresher why they are wearing the dress not prescribed by the Institution. They also know that they are not living in the hostel but even then no action has been taken to stop the illegal act.. Ragging takes place. Just after the class is over at 1:00/2:00 Pm till 5:00 pm – students live without food and water and at Night from 10:00 Pm to 2:00 Am by forcing the students to come to Hostel and also at early morning at place where the students live. Frequency Of Ragging: 4 – 5 times in a week and Students of batch 2006, 2005, 2004 and PG students are involved in it. Mode of Ragging: Physical Torture:(by making Cock., forcing them to play Kabaddi in HOT sun and on Hot Pitch, Roll on Ground , run around the ground till they don't fall. If some one asks for water they are slapped and abused like slave. Result: after ragging most of the students suffer from FEVER, body ache, Head ache and has to go to doctor for treatment., not able to attend classes which may result in Shortage of attendance and finally they will not be allowed by the Institution to appear for the final Exam.

Ragging in Indian Institutions said...

Should College authorities be held responsible for allowing ragging on campuses?

Whatever happens in the college/unuversity campus, College authorities must be held responsible. They not only allowing the senior students for such crime but in many Medical colleges of Jharkhand and Bihar even Professors of the college support the seniors. The Director of the Medical college just behave like puppet.Such directors and professors must be sent behind the bars.

In all the colleges Seniors physically abuse their juniors.Making them Nude is a common activity which are done normally at night and on the roof top of the college hostels in day time.
These students and college authorities make mockery of Supreme Court's order. They must be be held responsible for ragging on campuses.

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