Back in the 80’s, when our parents were Undergrad/Grad students, they used to celebrate their farewell ceremony along with a fun day known as “Rag-day”. Basically they used to play pranks with each other by throwing colors or water among them. They used to do it for fun since they will be leaving their student life soon and subconsciously prepares themselves to face new challenges that life is going to throw at them.
Nevertheless, if we want to know about this issue from someone who is a descendent of this new generation, we’d probably be taken aback by listening how they visualize the word “ragging” inside their mind. It conjures up visions of horror in their hearts. Now if a person who is not even enrolled in a College or University search for the word “ragging” in Google or look for its meaning in the dictionary, he or she will find that it is a practice in college or in university where the senior or an influential person tends to demoralize and defame the juniors through the means of verbal or physical abuse and harassment.
Ragging has not always been that dreadful as it has now become. The term “ragging” was originated in the west as a sort of initiation rites. It is more prominent in the countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Consequently many tales of torture and humiliation have been associated in the name of “ragging” that it is virtually impossible to look at this practice from any angle other than that of disapproval.
Ragging means perpetrating of insult, humiliation and torture upon the freshers by the seniors. It frequently consists of mock-interview and mock- trials of the freshers. They would tease about their looks or manners. Unusually tall or short students would be easy targets as well as the fat and the lean. Some of them even would be asked to run errands for the seniors too. And this practice continues in a loop, seniors tend to have some amusement at the cost of the freshers’. If anyone tries to repel the attempts of their seniors in mocking them, then they will for sure become the target of special harassment.
Well, everything has some positive and negative aspects. Now if we try to look at this issue as a positive aspect then it will definitely not seem like a serious matter. It can be considered as a prank done by seniors to teach their fellow juniors how to face hardships and unpleasant situations. And it’s not that unusual that the committers and the victims of ragging become best of friends in course of time.
Trivial matters take less time to turn into a big issue. Many of the activities, which are performed under the pretense of ragging are tremendously questionable practices. Just for the sake of entertainment, seniors make new rules and regulations for the juniors and force them to follow it no matter how inconvenient they seem to be. Hence, this creates a sense of slavery in the minds of the juniors and naturally they want to oppose it which sometimes leads them to face difficult situations, more oppression and severe punishments are offered by the seniors. A lot of new comers often even commit suicide as they somehow fail to endure these tortures.
Ragging has become a serious issue in our society these days. Too many cases have been reported to the press regarding ragging which often lead to death. Every day or the other, we get to know about the miseries caused by ragging. According to a survey, there are altogether of 642 complaints filed related to ragging. Likewise, in West Bengal 432 cases are filed against ragging. The concept of ragging exists in many educational institutions only because of the fact that the authorities take these issues lightly or they don’t want to get involved in these matters effectively. They somewhat neglect the gravity of the situation. The perpetrators utilize their money and muscle power in the name of ragging and thus in those cases, people often choose to remain silent rather than raising their voices against the culprits. Ragging has caused terrifying situations within the students and created strong reactions among the guardians of newcomer students and also in the community on a large scale. Several students have left their study for the fear of physical torture in the institutions. The prey of ragging often suffer from depression, isolation, demoralization and many other forms of detrimental effects on their personality. The mental pressures that develops in the long run influence the victim to commit suicide.
Although, the central government has implemented an anti-ragging act, but then again these steps are not enough for this serious reality. We need to stand up unitedly against this evil deeds or else this nuisance will never stop killing the small hopes of various families. Few moments of fun for seniors become a lifetime of sorrow for the families of juniors. As a result all the efforts and sacrifices of their parents, since the beginning of time till their children are brought up gets wasted. If ragging is not stopped, there will be constant fear and tension in the minds of every second student that she/he might be the next victim of ragging and it will disrupt the liberal atmosphere of learning in colleges or institutes.