Sep 17: Story of Sanjay pal Singh is no different from various other previous stories of ragging and spoiling mental balance and bright future of budding citizens. Now we don’t feel the news of this MCA student of Lucknow having nervous break-down due to ragging as shocking. Why? More because we have become used to such incidents of harassment of students. And we just let it go. Somewhere we either ignore the things or just tolerate them or give justification of non-activity to our mind saying what we can do if college administration, government and laws are not able to prevent it. But it is serious issue to dwell upon because it paints the negative picture of the world in the raw mind and distorts the personality.
Some we can see justifying the practice itself on baseless grounds. Shocking is that those who suffer due to ragging and survive are the very advocates of this malpractice. Is this the atmosphere, our blooming citizens should get while entering to the college with the dreams of future in their eyes? Why to adopt exploitative measures to expose them to the realities of the world, a justification normally given by the raggers and supporters.
Let’s come to the starting point what is ragging? Ragging meant to break the ice between juniors and seniors, a kind of interaction but in theory only. Practically, Ragging now is considered in international arena a human rights abuse in educational institutions perpetrated by seniors over the juniors. It may involve any abuse physical, verbal and sexual. It takes its horrible appearance in engineering, medical and yes in military colleges too.
Our Supreme Court defines ‘ragging’ ‘as any disorderly conduct by words or act....indulging in rowdy or undisciplined activities which may cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in a fresher or junior student or asking him to do something which .... has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of a fresher or a junior student’.
From psychological perspective two factors provide basis to the concept of ragging. One is that it facilitates the interaction between juniors and seniors and it makes a positive impact on the personality. Fresh incident of Lucknow states all the facts about this heinous practice. What it does to the students who come to build their character and skills for a better future. Repeated incidents of torture either render the students insensitive to the pains of others or break the self-respecting students mentally by creating the atmosphere of fear and apprehension. Ultimately sensitive ones commit suicide or leave the college or hostel premises. Where is the positive effect?
Torturing the fellow students, subjecting them to exploitation or whipping them at will gives the sadistic pleasure which in itself shows a distorted psyche. Where are the roots in the system, society or family upbringing?
Whatever it is but needs to be uprooted from such a place of sanctity as educational institutions. First law, putting curbs on this heinous crime was enacted by Tamil Nadu government. This practice took such vicious turns that Supreme Court had to intervene and order the appointment of a panel to study the remedial measures to deal with this problem. Supreme Court itself made it obligatory for academic institutions to file official FIR with the police in case of complaint of ragging. This would help the formal investigation under criminal justice system.
Recently the committee headed by CBI director, Dr. R K. Raghawan has recommended that ragging should be included as a special section of Indian Penal Code. The committee also considered it a failure to inculcate human values from the schooling stage. Committee also called for the active role of the civil society and media. Here lies the burden.
The committee recommends the exemplary punishment to deter the recurrence of the process. Among other measures any failure on the part of institutional authority or deliberate delay will be considered an act of culpable negligence. Courts should also tackle the ragging cases on the basis of priority. Anti-ragging squads and committees will be constituted in the institutions. Apart from all the measures awareness programmes regarding the threat and consequences of ragging should be launched.
Despite all this what we need is the initiative from the side of the students only to end this unhealthy practice.
AvinashSeptember 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM
Dr. Kushal BanerjeeSeptember 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM
SabySeptember 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM
Sanjeev Kumar PunjSeptember 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM
ashokSeptember 17, 2007 at 12:00 AM