With the new academic session in various colleges and institutes scheduled to start soon, some students feel apprehensive about their first day. Kaustav Rakshit feels the same, who is all set to join ICFAI, Hyderabad from Monday, June 4. Though, he does not feel anything bad about ragging, if it is done in a healthy manner. He says, “It is a medium of interaction, where juniors and seniors get to know each other”, but he adds, “there is always a sense of fear among students”.
Prawesh Chettri, a former Engineering student of Indo-Global College of Engineering in Chandigarh says, “Though, I stayed in a college hostel, I did not witness any form of ragging”. Prawesh may be one of those very few students, who, in spite of staying in a hostel, was not ragged, as we have heard many stories, where hostel students had to experience torturous ragging in its campus. He adds, “May be I was lucky, as the authorities in my college were very strict about it, with punishments ranging from rustication, suspension and fines running up to more than Rs 20,000 rupees was the order of the day.”
AICTE, this time, has also brought parents into the picture of ragging by also making them submit an affidavit. Hence, parents are also under pressure to make sure that their children do not get involved in such acts. Rakshit feels that involving parents would make their children think twice before committing acts of ragging, as they also do not want their parents to get hurt by their acts.
Mandira Ghissing, an Assistant Professor in Darjeeling Government College says, “It is the first step (AICTE's decision) to do away with ragging and it may be effective to a certain degree.” Ragging is considered to have become a culture in most of the colleges and institutions in India - especially in Engineering Colleges - as they have a long tradition being associated with it.
Ghissing also endorses the same view. There have been instances, where students had to go through the mental trauma after being involved in vulgar form of ragging. But, seniors asking their juniours to sing or dance cannot be considered to be a form of ragging, as it is a way of knowing one another. Ghissing says, “It is difficult to draw the line of ragging”. She later adds, “It depends upon the seriousness of the matter”. So, it is better, if the authorities spell it out, as to what kind of activities would spell trouble for students?
With such kind of guidelines, will the new academic session see a dip in the number of ragging cases in various colleges? In the past too, while this CJ was studying in a college, there were huge hoardings and posters in the college, which read 'No Ragging', but still in places like college canteens, ragging would be conducted silently, away from the eyes of concerned authorities.