Sunday, October 22, 2006
KOZHIKODE: A student of the MS Teachers Training Centre at Ranni in Pathanamthitta was admitted to the Kozhikode Medical College due to alleged ragging. Senior students in the name of ragging on October 14, a day after he joined the institute, allegedly manhandled Vipinlal, 17, son of Pulikkumadathil Chekkoti, hailing from Payyoli in Kozhikode.
It is learnt that some senior students had even forced Vipinlal to take alcohol. His family, after knowing about the incident, brought him back home and admitted him initially to the Koyilandy Government hospital and later to the Medical College Hospital.
Thiruvananthapuram: At least one person was injured and Government property damaged when two groups of students clashed at the University Institute of Technology (UIT) at Venjaramoodu on Thursday afternoon.
M. Anil Kumar, Sub-Inspector of Police, Venjaramoodu, said the violence started when a group of third semester B.Sc. students ragged a fresher. On the basis of a complaint given by the Principal, the police arrested Ajeesh and Renjith on the charge of ragging Ram Rejith, a first semester B.Com. student. The police have booked the senior students on charges of assault, wrongful restraint and violation of the Prohibition of Ragging Act.
Incensed over the ragging incident, the first semester students attacked the classrooms of their seniors and caused damage to Government property.
One first year student, identified as N.S. Shan, was injured in the violence. The police have stepped up patrolling to prevent any further violence.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Bhubaneswar, Oct 18: A first-year pharmacy student died here under suspicious circumstances last night, hours after a fresher alleged that he was seriously injured after being pushed from the second floor of his hostel building.
Bijay Kumar Maharathi, a first-year student at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a private institution, who stayed in the hostel, died at a private hospital here last night, police said.
Maharathi was taken to the Capital Hospital here after he complained of headache and nausea and as his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to Kalinga Hospital where he died.
Police said a relative of the student complained that the boy was being subjected to torture in the hostel which could have led to his death. The entire incident was being inquired into, they said adding the body had been sent for post-mortem.
Meanwhile, inquiry was on into the injury suffered by Shivshankar Ash, a student of Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, after he was allegedly pushed from the second floor roof of his hostel on October 10.
The incident has sent shockwaves across the state and the government has sought a report from the university authorities.
Ash, a first year student of agriculture, who suffered serious injuries in his leg and spine, is being shifted to Bangalore for treatment, family sources in Sambalpur said. (Agencies)
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sambalpur, October 16, 2006
In an alleged incident of ragging, a student of the Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar suffered serious spinal injuries and broke both his legs after allegedly being pushed off the hostel terrace by his seniors.
Siba Shankar Ash, a first year student of BSc Agriculture, is currently being treated in a private nursing home here. He will be taken to Bangalore on Tuesday, family sources said.
On October 10, Siba was in his hostel room when some seniors allegedly summoned him to the terrace. He was warned that if he did not come immediately, he would be subjected to severe ragging. “Siba said someone pushed him down from the fourth floor,” his uncle Tuhin Ash said.
The ragging had reportedly been going on from the start of the academic year. Siba had just got back after spending the puja holidays in Sambhalpur.
Siba was first taken to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar by some classmates and then to MKCG Hospital in Cuttack. Later, his family members brought him to Sparsh Nursing Home in Modipara. Doctors treating him here said Siba had suffered serious spinal injuries and would have to be taken to Bangalore. At present, Siba is not in a condition to talk.
Meanwhile, the OUAT authorities have not taken any action against those responsible. PK Mohapatra, dean, College of Agriculture, said they had asked Siba's classmates how he had fallen but they had not said anything about ragging. “However, if the family complains and Siba gives us names, we will definitely take action,” Mohapatra said.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday October 9 2006 14:02 IST
T’PURAM: With another academic year beginning in professional colleges, ragging has reared its ugly head.
Many students who have got admitted to professional colleges, especially in North Kerala, have been forced to seek admission in private lodges outside the campus for fear of being ragged. Fearing the prospect of ragging, certain institutions have also taken the extra caution of not admitting freshers in college hostels.
The classes for MBBS and BDS courses began on September 30. The classes for engineering, BPharm, architecture and medical and allied courses other than MBBS and BDS would commence on Monday.
Several educational institutions are also planning to sensitise the newly-admitted students on ragging.
In the most sensational ragging case during the last academic year, the police had filed a chargesheet against nine students of the School of Medical Education under the Mahatama Gandhi University for allegedly ragging a 17-year-old girl student. Following this, colleges across the state observed an ‘Anti-ragging day’ on December 6.
According to the Kerala Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1998, any student who who is found to have committed the crime can be sentenced to two years imprisonment and slapped with a fine of Rs 10,000.
Such students would face dismissal and would not be admitted to any other institution for a period of three years from the date of dismissal.
If a case of ragging is reported from an institution, the Act mandates that the head of the institution should investigate the case within seven days.
If prima-facie evidence is found, the student should be suspended and the case reported to the police.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
The writer is a California-based filmmaker and playwright whose first novel, The Peacock Throne, is due next year. He studied at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, between 1987 and ’92
I went to IIT Delhi in 1987. I was a small-town boy from Bihar, intimidated by tall buildings and the steady stream of traffic. Even now, after the Internet and all that, I meet people in my town who, when told about my college, respond: iti? Ek hamaare yahaan bhi hai.
When I arrived at my hostel on the IIT campus, I found a notice posted in the lobby, saying: ‘Ragging is banned in the Institute’. I had come with horrible stories of ragging in mind, told by friends, relatives and well-wishers. My father, whose knowledge of college life was 30 years out of date, wrote me to say that I was to ‘take care to avoid rigging in IIT’. I remember he misspelt the word, and he seemed to think my participation was voluntary.
I entered my hostel and was given my room. Ten minutes later, I was on my knees with a leash around my neck, reciting the hostel pledge, which granted every senior the right to f*** me in the arse, then break it into eight thousand pieces, mash some into bharta, and feed the rest to the hostel warden’s dogs.
It sounds funny now, even to me.
We did many things in that one month that now appear harmless and amusing. We stood on benches in the dining hall and recited the national anthem; we crawled on all fours and barked like dogs; we brought cigarettes and Campa Cola for our seniors; we cleaned their rooms; we dropped our trousers so they could measure our penises; we formed human trains — each car holding the penis of the car in front — and whistled our way through hostel corridors; we simulated orgies; stripped naked; then wore underpants over our trousers to turn ourselves into comic book phantoms.
After so many years, I can list all these forms of ‘ragging’ dispassionately, but no one should be misled. Brutality and oppression remain just that, no matter the name used for them. Who were these seniors, and why did they humiliate us so? They seemed powerful then, but they were boys like us, older by a year or two or three. They had once endured similar humiliations. Their seniority in the hostel gave them, for the first time in their lives, power over other human beings — power to command fear, to subjugate and humiliate. They exercised this power with abandon, and they had developed countless theories — from the facetious to the philosophical — to support their sadism. Ragging forces you to stay up late, they said, and this is useful when preparing for difficult examinations. Ragging brings the freshman — or the fachcha — into intimate contact with peers and seniors, and this turns the hostel into a home. Ragging helps the freshman lose his inhibitions. And finally, ragging teaches you humility. It prepares you for the ‘real’ world. Presumably, if you are insulted a sufficient number of times in college, you acquire the virtue of patience, and when your boss insults you in the real world, like a well-trained dog you will not bark and lose your job. Instead, you will wag your tail, look the other way, and pretend the abuse was meant for someone else. Our seniors proclaimed — and some actually believed — that this was wisdom acquired through age and experience, and they were now anxious to pass it down to us. Many were genuinely surprised that we were not grateful for the favour.
As time passed, so did memories of our humiliation. Six months later, ragging was merely an amusing episode. Twelve months later, we felt it was our duty to prepare the next batch for life. We ragged them ferociously, and were genuinely surprised that they were not grateful. I launched a ‘stop ragging’ campaign that died quickly when neither my batchmates nor the freshmen showed enthusiasm. My batchmates now had happy memories of their own initiation. For freshmen, it was easier to ‘get it over with’ than be ostracised for the rest of their stay on campus. When they were led on leashes, some had ingratiating smiles on their faces.
Everyone was wrong. I was supposed to come closer to my peers after our mutual penis-measuring ceremony. Shared humiliation was supposed to draw us close together. Instead it shut us into shells and ruined our first forays into adulthood. Now, having travelled the world and passed through many stages in life, I have never found any use for the education my seniors gave me. But, of course, they had no inkling of the real world themselves. They were newly pubescent boys who fancied themselves to be men. Their lesson of life came down to the scrutiny of the shrivelled-up penis of a modest teenager brought up by conservative parents, standing naked amidst ten soulless boys, his trousers wrapped about his ankles. Ragging is a case study for Freud, nothing more.
IIT had a disciplinary committee of professors — we called it disco — who policed ragging by making surprise visits to hostels. Their white Maruti van was announced well in advance by a freshman posted at the entrance, so the wise professors might find a senior giving freshmen an innocent tutorial on IIT life. The disco spent much time in meetings and consumed many cups of chai. Its function was to manage ragging — not stop it — and to prevent incidents from ballooning into ‘cases’. Like all committees it was inept, so we had one or two cases every year, which resulted in the expulsion of those who ‘overstepped the bounds’, after which everyone was satisfied that something had been done.
Even if faculty and students were sincere about stopping ragging, it is unlikely they will succeed. I remember how we sniggered at lectures on ethics. Years later, when I was as an assistant professor at IIT, I asked my freshmen students how I could help them escape ragging. There’s no such thing nowadays, they said with straight faces.
There is little or no ragging on American college campuses. By this I do not mean that Indians have a monopoly on brutality. One of my friends at Berkeley nearly died during a vodka-drinking hazing ritual in his fraternity. But most students do not become members of fraternities. For them, the very concept of ragging is unknown. In my dormitory at Berkeley, newcomers went on an overnight retreat with seniors, had coffee-socials, played racquetball and watched football games together. Humiliation was not a requirement for breaking the ice.
Why does this not happen in Indian colleges? The answer perhaps lies outside the campus. American college students are adults, and are treated as such. They do not spring up with a ‘Sir’ when professors walk in, they are encouraged to argue and protest. Many are already in their twenties and most have to earn or borrow for their education, unlike Indian boys who have been dispatched to college by loving parents on a cushion of money and support.
A college campus cannot exist outside the system that enfolds it. Many of the frustrations that a boy expresses through ragging are brought from the world outside. Given a chance to release those feelings, he will. You cannot expel every senior who humiliates a freshman. However, if Indian students were shown the respect due to adults, they may begin to find ragging juvenile. For instance, there remains no reason in the 21zzz century to segregate voting-age adults by sex. Boys and girls should live in the same hostels, come and go as they please and enjoy every privilege an adult is entitled to. Should they break the law, they’ll receive punishment. This may create conditions that make ragging seem quaint and allow it to wither away by itself.
Oct 14 , 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
3 October 2006
AHMEDABAD — Seven senior girl students of the Fine Arts faculty of Vadodara’s famed MS University, who were responsible for last month’s ragging incident in the girls hostel, have been asked to vacate the hostel. A fine of Rs1,000 was also imposed on them.
In another surprise action, 27 senior girls who remained mute spectators when five freshers were being forced to perform vulgar dances, were also told to pay a fine of Rs500 and warned against supporting ragging activities in future.
Parents of the seven girls expelled from the hostel, were informed in advance and the chief warden of the hostel was shown the door soon after the shameful incident.
A student-teacher committee formed after the victimised girls gave written complaints, probed the first-of-its-kind, shocking case and submitted its report. The report blamed the seven final-year students for ‘torturing’ the five first-year students during a birthday party in the dining hall of the hostel.
The seniors had also compelled the junior students to answer their ‘obscene questions put to them with obscene gestures’.