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Ragging is Like a Terrorist Act
Vinod Anand | 09 Aug 2013

Ragging is Like a Terrorist Act (Vinod Anand) The JUDGMENT of the Court said: Every single incident of Ragging where the victim or his Parent! Guardian are or the Head of the institution was not satisfied with the institutional arrangement for action, a First Information report must be held compulsorily by the institutional authority with the local. ‘Any failure or negligence on the institutional authority to file an FIR with the local police, or dissatisfaction of the victim with the institutional redress mechanism shall be construed as an act of culpable negligence on the part of the institutional authorities. The court, however, clarified that filing an F.LR by the victim or his parents directly with the police would not absolve the institutional authorities of their responsibilities in this regard’. The Court also asked the Raghavan Committee to monitor the functioning of the anti-ragging committees squads were constituted forthwith and it shall be their duty to see that the court’s directives be implemented in letter and spirit... Needless to say that every victim or his parent/guardian of ragging can also file an F.I.R. directly with the police, but failure on the part of he victim to do so should not justify the delay, or neglect or failure on the part of the institutional authorities The court urged the educational institutions to include in their prospectus a specification seeking an undertaking from the students that he/she was not involved in any ragging activities. It is advised that one should go through the voluminous report of the Raghavan Committee and the judgment of the Supreme Court for getting one-self updated in detail. HISTORY OF THIS MENACE OF RAGGING: When often come across news items highlighting how the career of many a brilliant student is cut short every year due to menace of ragging that has now taken the shape of a terrorist activity against innocent freshers and many lives are lost on account of the acts of a few Dada’s who rule the roost in the campuses of different professional colleges and institutes. The freshers labour hard for years together to join campuses and institutes of their choice in pursuit of a profession to reach at the zenith of their career. But alas it is sometimes horrifying to note that instead of achieving their goal, they are lost in the dense jungle of ‘Ragging’ practiced in its crudest form in some colleges and their very aim ends in doom for them as also for their dear parents. Of late, a bright student of the institute of Engineering and Technology was ragged to the extent that he lost his mental balance and committed suicide by hanging at his house in utter frustration and depression. The boy complained that his seniors had been indulging in inhuman behavuiour in the name of ragging. They even stripped him naked, forcing him into sodomy and other indecent acts as per newspaper report. Unable to bear the pervert acts, he ran away from the institute and hanged himself in his sown house. Now, does it not amount to torture or a terrorist act Principal on an innocent boy who laboured hard and burnt the midnight oil in order to come up to the expectations and aspiration of his parents and other well-wishers. Does this act of the seniors not come under the category of most brutal violation of a person’s human dignity or human right? It is common knowledge that the poor parents, particularly of a middle and upper-middle classes, undergo great hardship to rear and educate their children in order that their wards achieve success in their lives and reach a position which themselves could not sometimes attain. The children of today are themselves very keen to compete with others in their endeavour to reach the zenith or the peak the career they have chosen. ‘Ragging’ has not always been the nightmare as it has now become. It originated in the west as a sort of initiation and introduction night. The freshers were initiated into the manners and the life of the hostel by seniors. The seniors used to help juniors in various sways. The innocent freshers, in their turn, used to get lessons on how to live a corporate life and how to behave with seniors. Thus, there was a kind of healthy relationship with the seniors, who in the absence of parents of the freshers, acted as their friend, philosopher and guide. The guardians of freshers felt satisfied that their wards were being properly looked after by senior boys, professors etc. and used to wait for the time when their dear child finished off his career and came out from the portals of the institute with a tag of a matured person and developed personality. But of what has happened to those old norms, concepts and principles? Of late, ragging has degenerated into simple torture of the innocents at the hands of some sadistic elements among the senior boarders. Such sadists often resort to strip the boys naked, physically beat them and exploit the emotional and sensitive fresher by straining their nerves and endurance - often resulting into depression or death. Ragging, which was an amusing practice in the past has now degenerated into an unmitigated evil. It has now become a synonym to ‘torture’. Now a question arises? By what right and in what capacity do the seniors order freshers to wear a particular dress and prescribe a-different code of conduct that what the college authorities have prescribed? Does it not amount to running a parallel Government and framing rules in contravention to rules framed by the college Principal, Proctor etc? The seniors also have been enrolled in a professional college to make a career for themselves and guide the freshers so that they may not feel the pangs and anxiety of leaving the sweet company of their dear old parents, sisters and brothers. The introduction function with the freshers should be marked as a symbol of bonhomie, comradeship, breaking down barriers and forming a healthy rapport between the juniors and the seniors. The problem of ragging often becomes a burning topic as and when some incident of suicide etc. due to ragging comes into light. The Government of the day forms and enquiry committee to go into the reasons of occurrence of death and suggest steps to be taken to do away with this evil. But as time apses, the recommendations of the committee become a part of cold storage and things again go on till another heinous incident comes into light. Now what is expected of the Government-both at the Centre and the State levels? 1. It should ban ‘ragging in the present form, ‘Freshers introduction function’ should be held under the direction of the Principal/Proctor. 2. Stringent laws should be framed and exemplary punishment meted out against the guilty. 3. The Principals should be given wide powers to deal with the menace, including rustication, expulsion and even suggesting the courts take action which has now been done. 4. Armed guards should be employed by the college authorities, like other employees (with the same facilities and perks) if need be, to deal with the situation. 5. After all, a senior is also as good as a student as others are. They do not enjoy a position, parallel to the Principal, to frame another code of conduct for the fresher, Remember, only a few unsocial elements rule-the roost in the college-the majority is always disciplined and have joined the college for something to achieve. I also appeal to the right-thinking and justice loving seniors to request their friends to desist from such activities. Remove fear of ragging from the minds of fresher and allow them to move freely inside the campus. Fear complex is more dreadful than the actual act. In essence, RAGGING to my mind is a synonym to TORTURE. The word ragging in its present form, conjures up a vision of horror in the hearts of many a prospective boarder of college hostels. TORTURE is the most brutal violation of a person’s human dignity and human right. It was expected that some day to combat such a torture, the Government, both at the Centre and State levels, should come out with stringent laws and exemplary punishment to the guilty. And Lo! The Supreme Court drew first blood and approved stringent and anti-ragging measures, accepting the R K Raghavan Committee report on RAGGING.     PAGE  PAGE 2