Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ragging : Illogical & Illegal...

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. No ‘senior’ has any moral or legal right to exert their superiority on a ‘junior’ in order to treat them as their personal slaves.
  5. Why can’t people be helpful and friendly irrespective of the other person being a ‘junior’ or a ‘senior’ ?
  6. Ragging is, in fact, an outlet of the hidden perverseness in certain people which they take out on diffident and scared new-comers.
  7. 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.

You can read my earlier post on the menace of ragging here.

Image courtesy : Google Images


  1. Very well said..! I totally agree to your post..why is it that only the juniors need to sing and dance to get friendly with the seniors? Why is isn't it the other way round?and yes.. Ragging is illegal.. One should raise their voices every-time they see injustice.. Nice post.. Keep writing..

    1. Priya K :

      Exactly ! Tolerating injustice in any form quietly is wrong too. People should learn to raise their voice and should refuse to suffer harassment. Nothing can justify something like ragging.

      Thank you for your valuable feedback. :-)

  2. A pertinent post Shobhit. When our son went to an Engineering college, we were made to sign an affidavit against ragging. It was a small step but it was a deterrent for some. More voices against this menace will go a long way in curbing ragging. However, as a society we have become very intolerant which is disturbing.

    1. Alka Gurha :

      Very true Alka Ma'am. Involving the parents in the activities of a student while at the institute is so important to curb untoward incidents. In fact, if parents are involved, like you signed the affidavit, then they will themselves tend to carry a responsibility towards whatever their child does. Anything that is deterrent to any extent should be welcomed.

      As about the level of intolerance in our society, your previous post about the venom in online comments is a clear example of the same. Sometimes one fails to understand the defect in the psychology of such individuals who are so full of venom.

  3. Well! I got answer to many question in your blog which were still avoided by others..nice and bold!! I can imagine how much you might have suffered as a medico!

    1. Namrata :

      Fortunately, I didn't have to suffer at all since we were the first batch of our college and hence had no such so-called seniors. But we made sure that we ourselves didn't turn into such sadists with the future batches and prevented this absurd tradition to start.

      Thank you for reading and giving your valuable comment. :-)

  4. Your blog is awesome, but I fail to understand why don't juniors raise their voice. Someone who is vey temperamental in nature why he subjects himself to humiliation by the seniors. Why he doesn't react. When juniors are slapped why don't they slap back. Think someone who has been a captain or prefect in school and was the symbol of courage and strength gives in to humiliation of ragging. I am pondering over these thoughts from many days but still looking for an answer.

    1. Anonymous :

      I have often thought about why the juniors keep quiet in spite of facing humiliation. There are a number of reasons (some very illogical too) that makes them take it all quietly.

      1. Being in a new college and new surroundings, a person is still unsure about his companions and whether he or she will be supported in times of need. A person who is alone needs all the more courage to raise voice.

      2. As told to me by people themselves - people tend to accept being ragged in return for the so called benefits they seem to get from their seniors in future. Be it books, notes or just some materialistic benefits, people seem to accept ragging as a price for all those.

      3. The most pathetic reason of all - people accept being ragged because they then feel entitled to rag their own juniors to take out their own perverse and sadist characters.

      4. Some people see ragging as a tool to demand (hollow) respect. Which is why they agree to being ragged so that they can rag their juniors and be respected in return.

      5. Some people keep quiet for the fear of being outcasted by everyone else including their colleagues and seniors if they try to raise their voice against ragging.

      6. And finally, believe it or not, some people actually enjoy being ragged and humiliated. No wonder they go on to rag others.

      Thanks for reading and liking. Do keep visiting. :-)



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