Ragging: A Black Blot on Indian Education Sector:
© Harish Jharia
In olden days, senior students of any college used to make the freshers comfortable by displaying welcome messages on banners right at the entrance of the college. Seniors especially those who were active members of the students unions use to open freshers’ assistance booths for helping them in filling up various forms, paying fees, getting hostel accommodation and even guiding them to for shopping for their basic requirements. Some of the senior students used to do all this for selfless service of the youngsters in need and the others did this for inflating their vote banks for students’ unions elections.
With the passage of time, the freshers were successively turned into easily identifiable individuals and for that, many ID systems have been introduced. The freshers now need to follow various codes as follows:
- They should have crew-cut hairdo
- They should shave-off mustache
- They should wear full sleeved shirts
- One of the front buttons of their shirts should be of a specified color- mostly ‘red’
- They should wear normal trousers and not jeans
- They should not make direct eye contact with seniors
- They should recite a pre determined dialogue whenever they meet a senior
Once the new youngsters are eliminated from the crowd in the college, they simply turn into soft targets for everyone for exploitation in whatever way others like to. If you want them to do sit-ups holding their earlobes, you need not think twice. Simply call them in front of you and ask to do and they will definitely do that.
Freshers are forced to do that they do not like...
Youngsters lose their self-confidence and keep engrossed in a continued scare from anyone whoever comes across. I have seen some freshers addressing the peons of colleges with the prefix ‘Sir…! Some of them go in depression. There are reports of many youngsters committing suicide because of consistent rigorous ragging. It was reported in a section of press that a trainee just vanished from a ship when he joined marine training. There are reports of physical abuses from many parts of our country.
Whatever is described above is nothing but ‘ragging’ for which court had to intervene and issue a judgment for completely banning the inhuman practice of ragging in colleges, hostels or anywhere. Nevertheless, many incidents have been reported even after the courts directive.
We all were students. Many of us are still studying in colleges. Some of us might have been ragged and few who might have ragged. All of us know well that the students union is one of the most powerful bodies that can play a vital role in eradication ragging from the education sector. In addition to them, the political parties to whom the unions are affiliated should also issue strict and unequivocal directives to various college branches, for stopping the practice of ragging. If the students unions enforce the law along with the college authorities and district administration then only we will be able to get rid of this shameful black blot on Indian education sector.
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- Harish Jharia