Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ragging - A curse on Indian Educational system!

Time: 11:30 PM
Venue: A prestigious educational institution

The new batch of students for the next academic year at the prestigious education institution has just been inducted into the college. The students, after a tiresome day, go to bed and hope for a sound sleep to prepare them for the gruelling schedule the next day. But… They are woken by a loud rap at their door with sounds like “********. Saale so gaya kya. Uth be &^%$#@.” and “***** maar raha hai kya?”. They get up only to realise all the “fuchhas” have been woken by their seniors and now they have to dress up as a Eunuch or a Whore and sell each other. Or for that matter pretend to be a Superman by wearing their underpants over their trousers. Let us bring a twist in the scenario… How about asking some 20 odd boys to be a “Superman” in front of each other and a horde of second year students?

Sounds a bit rowdy for the so the called students who are deemed to be the future of our country, doesn’t it? But that is the case with thousands of students who enter the college with a sense of achievement but are forced to face such a situation. Of course some can cope with it better than some who can’t. But that not even a matter of consideration. What is more important is that why anyone should be made to suffer such a horrible form of “Interaction”?

The case of Aman Kachroo, sometime back, brought forward the plight of thousands of other students who suffer the similar treatment at the hand of their so called seniors. Of late there have been so many other cases with the a student being hit on their genitalia, a student being injected with air and then wrist slashed by his seniors at a Kolkata medical college and so on. It is not like it is for the first time that such a thing has happened. Everyone know that such things happens… the college authorities know of it… the “fuchhas” or first years being ragged know of it… the “Seniors” ragging the “fuchhas” know of it… and in the case of some of the institutions the entire campus knows of it; But still nothing is done about it.

Several similar cases have been brought to lights earlier as well. Every time some such case comes forward; there is a lot of hoopla, people get excited, and all the news report, internet chat, blogs etc are written. This continues for about a month after which it becomes old news and everyone forgets about it. But there are some people who cannot forget it even if they want to viz. the grieving family of the deceased. And what does the government do? Nothing. Because of the distinctive lack of will of implementation and the fact that their children do not have to suffer such a cruel fate because they, of course, belong to an influential family and this alone should be enough to scare away and potential “ragger”.

There are those who say that this ragging is good for developing a healthy interaction between seniors and juniors. Bullshit I say. If this is the only way that any interaction can be developed between first years and the seniors then they are better with no interactions at all. I mean what is the purpose that such an interaction solves when it forces the first years to actively avoid meeting the seniors or make them group up so that they are not alone when they meet any senior.

My two pence on what can be done to avoid such situations from arising in the future:

1) Make someone responsible to see that ragging, in no form, is pursued on and off the campus.
2) Provide strict guidelines to senior as to what is considered as appropriate behaviour and what not. Impress on them the seriousness of this issue and the implications of non compliance.
3) Provide a friendly interface to the first years to inculcate them into the system.
4) Put a system into place where the first year students can put their complaints in an anonymous manner but also ensure that the students do not take undue benefit of the system.
5) Arrange one or more official functions to familiarise the students with their surroundings. Many corporate have a “buddy” system in place to help new joiners’ feel at home in the new environment. Perhaps a similar system can be put in place with the help of local student body.
6) Last but not the least, it requires the college authorities to be willing to implement the necessary controlling measures and keep a track of the results. This can be done through various means such as surprise checks, forming student bodies etc.

Now I know that the people will find faults with every approach… But I feel that it is just the lack of willingness on the part of such people which prevents anything from actually being implemented. It is true that there are pros and cons to each action. I, however, believe that this is the absolutely worse situation and any step you take could only be a step towards betterment of the students’ plight.


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