20
October , 2017
Friday

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Krishna Priya (KP) is one of the brightest students of her time. Having secured a 2000-odd rank in EAMCET, she enrolled herself into the Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) branch in Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Technology, Hyderabad. All the days before the colleges started were filled with anxious moments as she waited with bated breath for a totally unfamiliar experience; a 4-year roller-coaster ride- the ride of her life. Finally, the day had dawned upon her; the moment had arrived. The college bus was scheduled to arrive at 7:45 a.m. at her place. Her doting dad accompanied her to the bus stop, to witness his toddler set out for an unfathomable journey and to wish her all luck. From the corner of her eye, KP caught a glimpse of a group of students (most of whom were burly) constantly staring at her. Even as KP tried to figure out who they were, the bus screeched to a halt and a bespectacled man stood at its door. “All the juniors, occupy the front seats and seniors, sit behind,” he ordered. Eventually, the bus drove into the college and KP noticed that she was constantly being stared at as she walked through the college premises.

Not just her, every fresher in MGIT has to go through this ‘formality’ in the first two months of college life. As first year Mechatronics student, Jyotsna clarifies, “During the first two months, ‘wherever you go, stares follow.’ This is probably because yours is a relatively new face and the seniors gauge your potential to get ragged from all quarters”. Vaishnavi, another fresher quips, “There is a lull during this period as the seniors do all the ground work, such as getting acquainted with the juniors’ names and hatching plots to rag them”. But, Ashwin, a 2nd year CSE student begs to differ. “The first two months are the ‘testing’ period for the juniors, when their behavior, attitude towards seniors and obedience including dress-code are put to test”.

At the canteen Credit: Surreal Gaze

At the canteen Credit: Surreal Gaze

The campus turns into a fortress as lecturers don the garb of security personnel and ‘protect’ the juniors. Ragging is scarce and mild in this phase as the seniors wind into observation mode while the juniors do what they are best at- hide! The college principal Rama Rao quotes, “Ragging is a social evil and must be rooted out in all its forms. Our college boasts of a clean record as no serious ragging incident has been reported since its inception”.

“After the first 2 months, the fun starts”, chuckles Arvind, a 3rd year MCT student. “The management starts to loosen up ends and things start getting lighter, that’s when ragging peaks”, he adds. Priya, a 1st year ECE student recalls, “It all began with the conventional BD (Bio-Data) session for me, which I recited about 150 times in 3 different languages. Then, it gave way to all sorts of awkward tables, proposing guys and finally, dancing around a pole in the bus. Huh! That was the limit”. She hastily adds, “It was fun, though”. When asked about her experiences, Vissa, a 3rd year student retorts, “Oh! Come on, gimme a break. Ragging is not all evil as it is portrayed to be. It is fun for the major part. I still remember having recited Mmmm table. Mmmm ones are Mmmm, Mmmm twos are Mmmm Mmmm. And yeah, even the Aah table”, saying so, she bursts out laughing.

Rajesh (name changed), a 4th year MMT student and member of the Anti Ragging Squad (ARS) in the college asserts, “Any serious incident is immediately reported and the perpetrators are suspended accordingly”. But Vipul, a 2nd year denounces him saying, “Until last year, Rajesh himself indulged in ragging and even now, many of the juniors fear him for his heinous acts”. For the record, Rajesh was actually involved in an incident where he, along with his friends, forced a fresher into pole-dancing. Jairam, a fresher, points out, “It is always advised to obey seniors as long as it doesn’t hurt your sentiments. For, if the seniors are offended, you get chastised and isolated. Most of the times, you don’t get an invite for the freshers’ party”.

Ragging near the ground Credit: Surreal Gaze

Ragging near the ground Credit: Surreal Gaze

The environs of MGIT haven’t helped its cause any further. Its proximity to the Gandipet Park and CBIT has worsened juniors’ prospects. As Sai Krishna, a 2nd year student recalls, “I was forced to bunk classes and make out with a tree, pole in the Gandipet Park”. Also, MGIT is run by Chaitanya Bharathi Educational Society (CBES), the same management that runs CBIT. So, CBIT provides a perfect getaway for MGIT seniors as most of them happen to hangout in CBIT’s canteen with their juniors; tantalizing them, throughout.

While 12 out of 16 seniors surveyed admitted to having indulged in ragging, Isaac of 2nd year EEE commented, “Mere saare juniors boring hai baap. I didn’t feel like ragging them”. Rajan, a 4th year quipped, “Ragging doesn’t go down well with me. It’s an insipid act beyond doubt.” All 9 out of the 9 juniors surveyed admitted to having gone through ragging from mild to severe intensity. While 6 of them described it as a pleasant experience, 3 of them said they could’ve done without it. Nandini, a 3rd year opines, “I remember having written around 15 assignments for my seniors and always dreaded the ringing of my mobile for I feared if it was my senior”.

Strikingly, 23 out 0f 25 students agreed that ragging helped in building positive relationships. Manoj, a 4th year erases every shade of doubt saying, “I come to know my juniors personally only when I rag them; I know what kind of people they are and what talents they possess. This helps me in picking my assists for college events. This year, many of the juniors worked for Nirvana (the college fest), which suggests the situation is improving”. Kashyap, another 4th year sums it up, “Ragging has been on the decline over the years. It is now confined only to a fewer individuals. Seniors are restraining from excessive acts of ragging and the line is being drawn where it should be”.

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