Just the other day I was involved in an animated discussion about the practice of ragging in educational institutes in India. Though I had written on this topic a long time back, the contents of the discussion forced me to write about it again.
What amazes me is the support to the menace called ragging by those who themselves underwent the trauma while in college. During the above mentioned discussion, there were several points put forward in the favor of ragging. I will thus dissect each of them one by one.
Ragging is a means to ‘break the ice’ between the new-comers and their seniors.
Now, why does meeting someone new and getting friendly with them requires one to perform certain acts (even like singing and dancing) ? When you meet a stranger at a party, you don’t ask him or her to sing or dance for you to get friendly. What it simply requires is a shake of hands and some decent and nice talking to know one another.
And even if one accepts this theory of ‘introduction’ to be true, why is it only the new-comer who has to perform for the senior ? Why not the other way round ? The basic logic is that, to be friendly, all that is needed is a decent conversation of introduction. And it is required both ways, not just by any juniors.
Ragging teaches the juniors to respect their seniors.
Respect ?!?! A human being should respect every other human being and even animals and plants. And special respect towards someone comes through admiration, not through fear.
A person is respected not because of merely his or her knowledge, intelligence or even experience but because of his or her wiseness. And how can a so-called ‘senior’ by virtue of entering an institute before a junior be entitled to respect ? Isn’t it absolutely absurd to expect respect from someone just because you got admitted to an institute before them ?
Ragging teaches the new-comers to be disciplined and get accustomed to the rules of the institute.
Another absurdity ! How can something disgraceful and illegal be a tool to inculcate discipline ? Moreover, if a person could not be disciplined through twelve years of schooling, how can he or she be disciplined by ragging ?
Also, if that were true, all those ‘seniors’ who harass their ‘juniors’ should have themselves been disciplined after they themselves were ragged as new-comers.
Ragging creates a bond between the ‘seniors’ and ‘juniors’ after which, the ‘seniors’ help the ‘juniors’ with their studies and their life in the institute.
I fail to understand how someone can bond with a person who abuses and harasses him. As for the several benefits the ‘juniors’ keep in mind while tolerating the harassment, isn’t it something ridiculous to think that a person would harass someone in order to help them later ? A helpful person would help others irrespective of their being ‘junior’ or ‘senior’ to them. Doesn’t this signify that the ‘seniors’ need to be pleased in their pervert acts in order to expect help from them ?
And how can any benefit be greater than one’s self respect. Are people so vary of doing their own work or studies that they depend on some pre-cooked benefits from their ‘seniors’ ? My batch at college didn’t have any ‘seniors’ (as we were the first batch) but still we got through with our studies and life at college without any problems.
Ragging helps to build confidence in new-comers to face a tough professional life in the future.
How abuse, degradation, humiliation, harassment and torture can build someone’s confidence is something that is beyond my imagination. This is one of the lousiest excuses put forth in favor of ragging. In fact, the menace of ragging is an evidence of the perverseness and sick mindset prevalent in our society.
As far as logic and psychology goes, ragging cannot be anything as per the above arguments. My take on it can be summarized as follows.
- Ragging presents itself as an opportunity to those individuals who never find anything about them to be appreciated by others (and hence, live in severe inferiority complex) to portray a false sense of superiority and an ego boost.
- Why should a whole batch of new-comers be collectively afraid of a bunch of so-called ‘seniors’ ? Yes, it is usually a handful of people from every batch who indulge in ragging.
- If one is confident of his or her own abilities, they don’t need to depend on any sort of help from any ‘senior’ that too in exchange of their self respect.
- No ‘senior’ has any moral or legal right to exert their superiority on a ‘junior’ in order to treat them as their personal slaves.
- Why can’t people be helpful and friendly irrespective of the other person being a ‘junior’ or a ‘senior’ ?
- Ragging is, in fact, an outlet of the hidden perverseness in certain people which they take out on diffident and scared new-comers.
- Instead of any benefits, ragging corrupts fresh minds by forcing them to indulge in activities which are not fit for any civilized society.
I hope this menace is weeded out from the society as soon as possible.
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