Tuesday, October 30, 2007

[CentralChronicle] Personal Thought: Ragging & its remedies

As soon as admissions in technical and non-technical institutes start, news of suicides come from all over the country. In MP too such types of news is a common feature. Recently a ragging incident took place in the prestigious Hotel Management Institute of Bhopal wherein some senior girl students behaved unseemly with their juniors. Two of the students received serious injuries. The police registered a case but without result. Institute authorities have not taken any responsibility of this incident and told the media that this is just corollary of internal dispute between the senior and junior students.

Another incident occurred on Sept 27 at St Stephen's college, New Delhi when a first year student went to a senior student's room seeking help in filling up a university form. Some other students were also present. One of them had consumed alcohol. On the pretext of showing him some magic, a senior student sprayed a deodarant on his palm and ignited it as well. As a result the junior student suffered minor burns. It is high time for the concerned authorities to understand the matrix of ragging and take enough measures to stem the rot that has set in.

Ragging is certainly an anti-academic pandemic. We need to read and understand the Raghavan committee report that is based on problem of ragging. In this report bureaucratic approach has been adopted. We all know that ragging does not exist in simple form. Its shape is changing frequently and dramatically. Sometimes it has turned to criminality as well.

According to the report, time has come to treat every case of ragging separately and award proper punishment to the guilty students. Isolation and rustication of guilty students is the main tool of punishment. But it will push away students from the teachers; erode basic and tandem structure of college ambience. Hostility and distrust will spread in the education sector. It will ruin the very spirit of living and learning together.

Stress should be on a caring culture and mutual trust among the newcomers, seniors and the college authorities must be nurtured on regular basis. Our college is not a carry home knowledge outlet. It is an academic family. College is not the place where police go on a regular basis and lodge FIR against the students.

As per the Raghavan report, the college authorities could lodge FIR at police stations against the guilty students. The panel is also concerned about erroneous punishment which may push the guilty students to even more crimes. Hence there is need to make ragging a punishable offence.

Somil Chhaya

No comments: