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Ragging, Hazing, Fagging, Bullying, Pledging, Horse-Playing, etc.
These are different terms used in different parts of the world but each signifies the same old practice of welcoming the fresher in a barbaric manner.
"Ragging is a savage phenomenon which is rapidly eroding our educational system"
Once I tried to find out, why senior students think that ragging a junior, who is no way related, is important to them. Seniors lose their valuable time, study etc just to enjoy ragging the juniors.
My findings regarding the matter were:
I take these three statements of the seniors to prove ragging is a criminal and heinous act...
As far as it comes to the personality developments, I do not see any way that ragging contributes in the process of improving one's personality. Whether he/she is made to urinate on an immersion rod or strip, etc. Does it improve anyone's lot? The only thing it does is cause mental and physical agony. 1 disagree with the third statement too, that is, ragging helps to teach juniors how to respect seniors and faculty members.
By torturing, abusing and harassing someone, one cannot earn their respect. To get respect from them we should be helpful and humble to them as they are new to our family and should be welcomed with warmth and feeling.
"Getting to know Juniors Need Not be a Painful Experience for Either Side"
Even knowing that ragging is banned and unlawful, seniors have not stopped it even after repeatedly being warned and counselled by the principal, faculty members and anti-ragging committees. This stands to prove that seniors do not respect the faculty members, so teaching how to respect others is besides the point.
Seniors should be role models and set examples for juniors by displaying the right attitude, good behavior and professionalism.
Solution for Ragging
This phenomenon of ragging can be traced back to as early as 7th or 8lb century AD. In Greek culture, new entrants to the sports community were subjected to all kinds of humiliations and teasing to inculcate a team spirit in them. Gradually with the passage of time this technique was later adopted by military forces, from where it finally entered in the educational system.
The 1st ragging related death occurred in 1873 when a freshman from Cornell University fell into a gorge as a consequence of ragging.
Ragging underwent a massive transformation after the first World War. It was during this time that it started to acquire its real brutal form. Soldiers returning from war re-entered the college and brought with them the technique of hazing learnt in military camps. These techniques were used to make individuals fail as individuals and successed as a team. This philosophy of team development continued to be used in different fraternities. Eventually, when fewer military students entered college, these techniques were passed on to others who did not understand their purpose or usage and ragging became a brutal and hazardous exercise. Gradually in the early 20th century ragging related violence started to escalate in the western countries.
Ragging In India
In India the tradition of ragging was imported along with the English education. Through it existed in the army and English public schools much before the country's independence, it became conspicuous only after independence. Ragging then meant seniors mocking and jesting at juniors
Till the late 60's ragging was never a serious problem in India as it was relatively in a much milder form, primarily because higher education was confined to some particular sectors of the society and hence, ragging was confined only to a part of the civilized community of the country.
During the early 90's rapid mushrooming of new private engineering and medical colleges led to several disastrous experiments with this old practice of ragging. It made southern India a hub of this brutal activity. During this period ragging related suicides began to increase at a rapid rate.
In India a myth that ragging makes the fresher bold, has always existed. As long as this exists ragging will never see its demise. In its several years of existence, ragging has done more harm than good. It has claimed lives of several thousand innocent students all across the world.
"Has ragging reached its pinnacle or is the worst yet to come? How many more lives will it claim before our society wakes up..??"
Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act (1997)
For teasing or embarrassing or humiliating a student: Imprisonment upto 6 months or fine upto RslOOO or both. For assaulting or using criminal force or criminally intimidating a student: Imprisonment upto one year or a fine upto Rs2000 or both. For restraining or causing hurt to a student: Imprisonment upto 2 years or fine upto Rs5000 or both. For causing grievous hurt to or kidnapping, raping or committing unnatural offence with a student: Imprisonment up to 5 years and fine up to RslO,000.
For causing death or abetting suicide: Imprisonment for life or up to 10 years with a fine extending to life or up to Rs50,000. A student convicted of an offence and punched with an imprisonment for a term shall be dismissed from the educational institution. A student convicted of an offence and punished with imprisonment for a term of more than six months shall not be admitted in any other educational institution. Whenever any student complains of ragging to the head or manager of an educational institution, such head or manager should enquire into the complaint and if the complaint is prima-facie found true, should suspend the student or students complained against. If the head or manager of an educational institution fails or neglects to take action in the manner specified in the act, the person shall be deemed to have abetted the offence an shall be punished with the punishment provided for the offence. If a student commits suicide due to or in consequence of ragging, the person who commits such ragging shall be deemed to have abetted such suicide.
Ragging is prohibited as per Act 26 of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, 1997. It entails heavy fines and/or imprisonment. Ragging invokes suspension and dismissal from college. Outsiders are prohibited from entering the college and hostels without permission. Girl students must be in their hostel rooms by 9:00 pm. All students must carry their identity cards and show them on demand. Principal and wardens can visit the hostels and inspect the rooms anytime. Suspended students are debarred from entering the campus except when required to attend enquiry and to submit an explanation.
Self-Defence Against Ragging
One of the things that you can do on gaining admission into a college is to take the phone numbers of the faculty or the administrative staff.
Refusal to get ragged beyond what you may think is harmless fun, is the first step towards escaping it.
Recognize the names and faces of the people who are troubling you. If the pressure does not ease, you should complain about the ragger to the college principal. If you do not want to go to the principal, you can approach the anti- ragging squad that is instituted every year by universities and individual colleges.
In case you do not want to make the complaint then you should tell your parents about it, asking them to lodge a complaint with the warden or the principal.
You are the only one who can help put a stop to ragging. Don't wait to take it all out on your juniors. Ragging your juniors to an extreme, because it happened with you, does not justify your actions in anyway. You are not giving it back because the fresher did not give it to you in the first place. The vicious circle will never end that way. Each one of us has to end it when we ourself are ragged. This is the only way you will never have to feel bad about what happened to us as freshers...
By Dinesh Kumar
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