The accurate meaning of the word ‘ragging’ is to ‘tease’, but even the dictionary says it is an archaic meaning. The main objective of ragging is to ‘break the ice’ between the senior students and the new entrants. Ragging is any disorderly conduct whether spoken or written or by an act which causes annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or raises fear or shame in a student. It is generally committed by ‘senior’ students, upon the first year students. Ragging generally takes place in colleges and hostels. The new students feel that they are in for a series of practical jokes at the hands of the senior students. Once they fall into the clutches of the latter, they don’t find a way to escape. There are a few senior students in every hostel who don’t take enough interest in studies. They indulge in ragging, bullying etc. They create an image of themselves as rowdies. No one dares to interfere with their ways. Ragging originated in the west. But today, it has reached the Indian society too. Some people feel that it is a socio-cultural problem. The truth is that in some cases, ragging has occasionally, ended in fighting, serious injuries, and even deaths, leading to the ruin of some brilliant careers. Senior students tease the new students about their looks and manners.
Students wearing glasses, have their glasses snatched away and are made to read without them. Sometimes the eatables brought by the new students are eaten by the seniors in the formers’ presence. A new student who resists becomes a target for harassment.During the trail, he might be forced to admit his guilt, he is pressurised by physical threats and humiliation. After the trail, the accused asked to polish the shoes of his senior students. Ragging has some positive effect too on the new students. It influences the new students to behave in a socially acceptable way. It makes one change one’ eccentric behavior. It creates self- awareness. Those who endure it get emboldened. They become courageous. They get used to facing hardships in life. They learn to face unpleasant situation boldly. Many a time, it is seen that the juniors and the seniors become very good friends after the ragging period. In the beginning, ‘ragging’ was an amusing practice. it has degenerated into an evil.
It has become a synonym for ‘torture’. It should be banned. The supreme court of India has defined it as. “Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken, or written or by act which adversely affect the physique or psyche of fresher or a junior student is an act of ragging.” But if through ragging the decency and morals are violated, one’s body gets injured, if any wrongful restraint and criminals intimidation is involved in it, then ragging becomes a legal offence. More effective steps need to be taken to deal with the evil. Institutes should arrange counseling session for fresher so that they can speak their mind. Anti ragging cells should also be established. A fresher party should be organized by the institutes itself within town weeks of the academic session so that junior and senior can easily interact with one another.
Courtney from Study Moose
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