Ragging in India is now clearly known as a damaging form of first interaction of the seniors in college or school with the juniors, newcomers or freshers.
It involves insults (simple or suggestive sexual, sarcastic and even physical), running errands for seniors, and many other complex activities, which may cause a serious mental or physical damage to the person being subjected to ragging.
Highly reputed Indian colleges have a history of ragging especially Medical colleges. It has become increasingly unpopular due to several complaints of serious injury to the victims and strict laws regarding ragging. Ragging is now defined as an act that violates or is perceived to violate an individual student’s dignity.
A decent practice, which started with an intention of familiarising beginners with their seniors, somehow turned into a potent tool for ill-treating and punishing poor students if they fail to obey their seniors.
Here are 7 utterly blunt and cruel reasons, why it is justified to categorize ragging in colleges as a legal and criminal offence:
- Under the pretext of fun, a poor student is often assaulted, sometimes even stripped and intimidated by his seniors and this ritualised torture leaves an indelible impression on his mind. The chilling incident continues to haunt him throughout his life, and he unknowingly develops various psychological disorders.
- After experiencing the evil of ragging, a student develops a feeling of revenge for his ‘unjustified harassment’ and derives pleasure in ragging his juniors on his turn. So the trend goes on and students continue to suffer.
- Those who surrender before their seniors are set free from the torment after going through a series of inhuman acts, but those who refuse to follow their diktats are subjected to barbaric and brutal treatment and are forced to urinate on high voltage heaters, take part in naked parades, shave off their moustaches and beards, and stand upside down on their heads etc.
- The situation sometimes turns so bad that it compels the ragging victim to commit suicide. A section of insensitive students feel that light ragging should be allowed in educational institutions, while some are totally opposed to the idea and demand stricter punishment for those involved in it.
- A high-level committee in 2009, which probed the death of Aman Kachroo, revealed that alcohol was the main reason leading to serious forms of ragging and violence in the campus.
- The custom of canning (Ragging) is indeed poorly-thought out. A report from 2007 highlights 42 instances of physical injury, and reports on ten deaths purportedly the result of ragging. Ragging has reportedly caused at least 30–31 deaths in the last 7 years. In the 2007 session, approximately 7 ragging deaths have been reported. In addition, a number of freshmen were severely traumatised to the extent that they were admitted to mental institutions.
- Ragging in India commonly involves serious abuses and clear violations of human rights. Often media reports and others unearth that it goes on, in many institutions, in the infamous Abu Ghraib style and on innocent victims.
Well, in many colleges, ragging has been strictly banned and is proving effective. However, this ban has not been the case elsewhere, as seen by the number of ragging cases still reported by the media. Ragging involves gross violations of basic human rights. The seniors are known to torture juniors and by this those seniors get some kind of sadistic pleasures.
Though ragging has ruined the lives of many, resistance against it has grown up only recently. Several Indian states have made legislatures banning ragging, and the Supreme Court of India has taken a strong stand to curb ragging.
Ragging has been declared a criminal offence now.
The Indian civil society has also started to mount resistance, only recently.
However, the Anti-Ragging NGO, Society Against Violence in Education (SAVE) has supported that ragging is also widely and dangerously prevalent in Engineering and other institutions, mainly in the hostels.
Following a Supreme Court Order, a National Anti-Ragging Helpline was created which helps the victims and take action in cases of ragging, by informing the Head of the Institution and the local police authorities of the ragging complaint from the college.
The main feature of the helpline is that the complaints can be registered even without disclosing the name by the victim, through email at [email protected], or through phone at 1800-180-5522.