December , 2017


It Happens Here :>

“I think everyone will, without a doubt, have a sucky boss in the future and unfortunately, the boss is always right and so is the senior. You have to put up with the seniors to learn to manage a really rough boss. All the ragging shapes us pretty well to put up with bad bosses in the future”, says Bharat, a 3rd year B.Com student who likes to call it, ‘The Theory of Surviving Ragging’. The views on ragging differ from one person to the other, and so do the reactions. While some people enjoy it and see the lighter side of it, the others seem to take offense. And then there is a whole new crop of people who only know to cross every limit there is when it comes to ragging.

Also known as hazing, ragging is carried out all over the world. For a lot of people, it’s just a way of ‘getting to know the juniors’ or ‘a friendly interaction’. But over the years, it has transformed into something much more than just “getting to know”. The recent events across the country show how it’s transformed into a monstrous form of abuse and exploitation. It is leading to trauma, depression and suicides in large numbers among students. The situation has shaken not only students in India but the institutions and parents alike. A major criterion for students joining colleges today is ‘the ragging’ that takes place in a particular college. Stories of ragging are reason enough to decide against a college, no matter how reputed it is. And with a new academic year about to start, the search for a ‘ragging free college’ is on.

“Badruka has very little ragging. I was barely ragged”, says Renuka, a 2nd year B.com (Reg) student. “It could be attributed to a lot of factors.Things like there being a crowd of only 2,000 in BCC (Badruka College of Commerce), the effort made by the management or the lack of places to rag at”, she adds when asked the reasons for the lack of serious ragging on campus. “I know that the definition of ragging changes from one person to another and some people are very sensitive to it. But I’m sure most of us don’t cross the line. I think the management should cut us some slack. We obviously don’t plan on torturing the kids and I don’t see why talking to the freshers on the first day is a problem. Banning us from coming into contact with them would only make us want to do it more”, says a 3rd year student who wishes to remain anonymous, responding to the ‘no talking to the juniors in the first week’ rule imposed by the management.

The Audi: Another place popular for ragging Credit: Rouge Wave

The Audi: Another place popular for ragging Credit: Rouge Wave

The incidents that take place on campus aren’t very serious, most of them done only in jest. “See, the rules of ragging change if you live on campus. If you are an off-campus student, especially a graduation student at that, the ragging isn’t that bad”, says Sharanya, a 1st year B.Com (Hons) student. “At the most, you are asked to either sing or do something lame for the seniors. I had a few seniors who wanted me to buy them things from the canteen and every time they asked me that, I told them I was broke and pushed off from there. If you don’t want to do it, you should put your foot down and say that you won’t do it”, she adds. But not everyone was lucky enough to get away that easy. “There was this one time when a friend of mine was taken to a nearby restaurant and made to sing songs for everybody present there. And I think he was made to pay the bill too. He could not wait to get out of the place and their company. But it was cool in the end”, recollects Sameer, a graduate of Badruka.

The expectations always vary when it comes to ragging in college. While some enter college wanting to interact and have ties with seniors, the others dread the ‘ragging’ that they may have to face. “I always knew that there’d be mild ragging, where I’d have to introduce myself and probably do a few things. But I wouldn’t want to call it ragging though. Ragging is way more serious than that. But the irony of it all was that I wasn’t even asked to give my bio-data. I was a little disappointed that there was almost no interaction in the beginning between the freshers and the seniors”, says Joyson, who will be a proud senior this year. At the same time, there are students who couldn’t have been happier to have been left alone. “I was terrified on the first day. For about a week all I did was attend my classes and go back home. I didn’t talk to anybody in that period. The teachers had told us that we could tell them if anybody was bothering us, but I was scared to even talk to my seniors. After a month I guess, when nothing happened, I let go off my inhibitions and started socializing around college“, says Sruthi, a 2nd year student.

A group of juniors and seniors... Credit: Rouge Wave

A group of juniors and seniors... Credit: Rouge Wave

With ragging turning an ugly face today, the Supreme Court has passed a judgment to ban ragging. Colleges all over the nation have started to take a firmer stand on the issue of ragging. But are the students happy? “It’s unfortunate that people are dying and committing suicides due to ragging. The physical and mental abuse they probably go through is unimaginable. The seniors must be psychos to put another person through so much torture. But because of a few of them, why should the rest of the country be prohibited from interacting with their juniors? Not everybody is as twisted in the head as they are. We only want a friendly interaction. After all, ragging does serve as a major ice-breaker between the freshers and the seniors”, states MJ, who is pro-mild ragging. Ragging also has its share of advantages. It leads to strong bonds being formed between students of different years and groups. “I’ve managed to make more friends of other years than people in my own batch. And the best part is that I get their text books and study material at the end of the year. Who needs their own books when they have seniors as friends”, says Aditya, a 1st year student, jokingly.

Ragging, Hazing, Ice-breaker, Friendly interaction (sometimes taken too far), Making connections. It could be called any of the above things. When done in the right way, ragging is enjoyable but if taken too far and abused too much, it can turn beastly. What is important and to be kept in mind is that the person on the other side of the fence is just that, a person who shouldn’t be treated as anything less. A person who deserves the same respect as the one doing the ragging. Let ragging be pleasant and not become a euphemism for crime and abuse.

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