Ragging: A Menace
“The Supreme Court defined ragging in following words : “Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written or by an act which has the effect of disturbing, threatening or handling with rudeness any other student indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities which causes or likely bring about annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear of apprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student or asking the student to do any act or perform something which such students will not do in the ordinary course and which has the impact 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.”
The apex court has taken into consideration, while defining ragging all sorts of acts faced by a fresher or a junior while subjecting to ragging by the seniors.
Ragging has been a menace, cause of fear and shock not only for a fresher but to his parents too who are sending the loved ones for pursuing higher education by investing a lot of hard earned money. Many intellectual youth have sacrificed their life because of ragging, some lost a nervous breakdown, some left the institutes after being suffered of ragging, some have committed suicide and some were killed by the seniors on the pretext of ragging.
The court, the authorities, the principal and every concern, have called the ragging a heinous practice, but a very paradoxical situation is, it still persists in spite of all the rules, regulations and directives of course and authorities. None could claim to have stopped it 100%.
The most gruesome incidence of ragging came into light in Nov. 1986, when Navarasu, a 17 years old first year medical student of Annamalai University, Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, was brutally, murdered by a senior named ‘David’ who was said to be a karate expert. He killed Navarasu because he denied to submit to his whims of ragging. In Aug 2003, an engineering student of Engineering college, Jalpaiguri in West Bengal was admitted to hospital after he was subjected to night long brutal ragging by his seniors. The victim was beaten up with iron rods and cycle chains for denying to strip before the seniors.
The government, central as well as states, have taken positive steps again to curb this practice. In 1997, the HRD Minister, Mr. S.R. Bommai, appraised the Rajya Sabha that steps were being taken to ensure that those found guilty of ragging can be treated as guilty of gross misconduct and subsequently, the penalty of rustication or removal from the rolls of the universities could be imposed on the offenders. He also informed in the house that instruction have been issued to the universities and institutions and the state governments to take stern action to stop this menace and to invoke the provisions of law if required.
A few years ago, the Governor of Kerala, promulgated the “Kerala prohibition of Ragging Ordinance” seeking to prohibit ragging in educational institutions in the state. The Supreme Court while dealing a public interest in 2001 said the failure to prevent ragging by the management would mean an act of negligence in maintaining discipline in the institution The principal and other authority will be liable to face action in case a student is subjected to ragging. The Supreme Court further directed that “If an institution fails to curb ragging the UGC/funding agency may consider stoppage of financial assistance to such an institution tills such time it implements the anti ragging norms”. Though the Surpeme Court has also issued very strict and stringent guidelines to stop the menace of ragging yet a-point to ponder is why the students resort to such heinous practice, after all these so called seniors are also from a decent home and belongs to the intellectual group of students of the nation.
Why do few resort to such socially unacceptable behaviour? Why the so called seniors do not look upon the problems of their own juniors and subjecting them to such intolerable inhumane acts?
A serious thought if given to the above questions, we find that our present education system is intended to create intelligentsia, but they are absolutely lacking the moral and ethical values. We do not teach our students, philanthropic and moral values.
There is no place for ethics in our education; we are just teaching them the materialistic value importance of money. Result has become’ meaningless. How alone the students are to blame, for such acts? Teachers and parents are also equally responsible for they are unable to cultivate in a good citizen. Academic qualification alone is of no value. If education does not teach students to share the problems of others to love all serve all, it would become meaningless.
It shall be fundamental to quote the following words of a great thinker that
If money is lost, nothing is lost If health is lost, something is lost If character is lost, everything is lost.
To prevent the menace of ragging it is but compulsory to inculcate among the students, importance of good character, importance of love and affection towards their juniors and fellow beings.