Saturday, October 06, 2007

A fiery ragging?

-By Swetha Amit
Anything done within limits is acceptable and sometimes fun. However when boundaries are crossed, it tends to leave a scathing effect. This is especially relevant among the youth with specific reference to that of college goers.

The ragging incident at St.Stephen's college in Delhi invoked a repulsive reaction from millions. A fresher was sprayed with cologne by the seniors followed by a matchstick thrown at him by them. What was more shocking was the fact of it being dismissed by the principal as a 'minor' mishap. The fresher who is reported to have returned home must be nursing more than just mere physical scars. None would have expected such a terrifying occurrence from a prestigious college as St.Stephen's.

The first day in college usually tends to create a tinge of nervousness amongst the youngsters, who are fresh out of school. Like little lambs, they take an uncertain step into the campus looking around with rather lost expressions for a friendly face/smile and stumble upon the seniors. While a few students handle ragging well there are others ending up feeling anguished as though being pricked by a sharp needle from within; especially when such acts get out of control.

Ragging probably acts as an icebreaker between the seniors and the freshers. Being asked to sing, dance or even mocking at the introduction given by the first year student was nothing more than just harmless fun. It was used as an approach to recognize hidden talent and perhaps toughen one up to face the big bad world later on.

However it certainly does NOT give the right to indulge in what is rationalized as ‘pranks’ at the cost of causing a deep dent into their physical and psychological being. This can create a social phobia from entering campuses which will bring an abrupt end to the flow of educational prospects. It also tends to stagnate one’s self growth at times during this sensitive transit stage from adolescence to young adulthood.

Seniors need to conduct themselves as mature and responsible individuals and not as impulsive and impudent ones. Ability to distinguish between harmful and harmless prank is a must especially when the failure of it would cause horror amongst their juniors and extend up to their families. A forthcoming approach would at times ease the apprehension in the youngster instead of cold and arrogant glances. The latter case usually is known to stem from those students who want to prove their superiority and seniority by behaving in an incorrigible manner; or students who have a streak of sadism in them.

Sometimes freshers need to stand up for themselves if they sense things going a little too far. However such a stance would earn the disapproval and he/she would be stigmatized as ‘acting too smart’ causing unwarranted repercussions in the long run. It is then that the law needs to intervene and adopt a stricter code. Such instances require ragging to be forcibly banned in colleges. This is specially needed in the hostel premises with strict monitoring by wards or the security personnel. Any torture should be brought to immediate notice of the concerned authorities who need to develop impartiality in handing out punishments to the guilty irrespective of their backgrounds. Such cases like the above one require a higher degree of control as it could have cost the life of the victim. These grave acts deserve reprimanding and punitive measures to prevent such unfortunate mishaps from occurring in future.

It is the pure responsibility of the college authorities to take up such issues more seriously. Students found guilty of ragging must be severely dealt with and the college must not hesitate to throw them out. This would not help in retaining their reputation but also instill fear amongst seniors for behaving in an unscrupulous manner.

With all the brutality that is prevailing in the world it doesn’t cease one to hear of any more cases commencing inside a campus of all places does it? After all, hearing about such fiery ragging is bound to make our ears burn and leave the affected hearts burning with anger yet helpless fury.
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Blogger KParthasarathi said...

What starts as a fun tends to become a fury.There is no place for ragging in any form, fun or otherwise.Government should ban this deplorable practice and deal with violations with iron hand.This again is a case where the apex court will have to act suo motu for we cannot expect the politicians, whose wards are mainly the culprits, to act.

8:59 PM  

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