Monday, December 31, 2007

[ToI] Student complaints of ragging

31 Dec 2007, 0350 hrs IST,TNN

NAGPUR: Yet another incident of alleged ragging surfaced at the boy’s hostel of RTM University on Friday after a first year student of Masters of Physical Education lodged a complaint at Ambazari police station of alleged harassment against two senior students of the same stream.

Victim Sachin Walke (26), reportedly approached Ambazari police station after he claimed to have been harassed by his seniors, Samad Baig and Prashant Bhandari. Police said that Walke was intimidated by the two senior students who compelled him to do some physical exercises as punishment in the night. The complainant, according to police, was being harassed for ignoring the dominance of the senior students.

"The police cannot directly register or comment on any case related to ragging incidents. We have handed over the complaint to University authorities. The decision on the report will be taken by a committee constituted to analyze it," said sub-inspector Vilas Kulkarni of Ambazari police station. "Once the report is sent back to us, we will take further steps," he added.

Meanwhile, sources also said that one of the seniors also approached the police station with a complaint about a commotion but was not encouraged. "A senior named in the complaint of the junior was trying to cover up the incident with a fabricated complaint," said PSI Kulkarni.

In an earlier incident, Ambazari police had registered a similar complaint filed by a student of political science, Gulab Bawanthade, against contributory lecturer Usman khan Habib Khan Pathan in August this year.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

[NewIndPress] Ragging: Test identification parade sought

Friday December 28 2007 11:03 IST


THRISSUR: The five senior students of the Kerala Agricultural University’s Veterinary College, who were accused of ragging a first-year student of the college, have filed a petition in the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here on Wednesday pleading the court to direct the inquiry officer to conduct a test identification parade.

The accused students, who were present in the court, expressed their readiness to present themselves before the authorities concerned for the test identification parade.

The students alleged that merely on the suspicion of their involvement in the case, the police are harassing them. The case will come up for hearing on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[NewKerala] Kerala HC asks govt to take effective action to end ragging

Kochi, Dec 18: Dismissing the bail plea of five students in a ragging case, the Kerala High Court today said the state government should take effective steps to eliminate the ''pernicious practice from our campuses.''

Dismissing the bail application of Berin T Varghese and four other students of the Government Veterinary College, Mannuthi, accused in the attempted abetment of suicide by a junior student, Justice R Basant observed, ''the bane of ragging has been polluting the atmosphere in the professional college campuses of this country for a long period of time. The young students cannot be permitted to indulge in such vice.'' ''I have no doubt that prevention of ragging must now be held too serious a business to be left to the managements and principals of the colleges alone. Civil society has to intervene effectively to prevent such incidents in our campuses.'' The court also opined that strong legislative action supported by effective executive enforcement and judicial interpretation could certainly help the polity to prevent this vice.

The state had to undertake a minimum five-year ''war'' on ragging, not isolated skirmishes or battles to exterminate and eliminate this vice from the college campuses, the judge added.

Principals and managements must be compelled by law to cooperate with the law enthusiastically under threat of effective sanction, he said.

The history of war against ragging in the campus revealed that there had been no determined and positive action. The offence under the Kerala Prevention of Ragging Act was non-cognisable and bailable. The system could not expect the impossible from the police force. ''If you expect them to fight against ragging on behalf of the sublime polity of this country, they have to be equipped with necessary legal weapons,'' he added.

--- UNI

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

[Time] Is Hazing Worse in India?

Anxiety is a typical emotion for teenagers around the world upon leaving home to take up residence in a college dormitory. They face the daunting challenges of fitting in and making new friends amid unruly roommates and without the comfort of home cooking. But for thousands of Indian students, the anxiety is driven by an even greater menace: the prospect of constant verbal and physical abuse by senior students as part of a hazing tradition called "ragging," which critics say is systemic and far worse than in the United States.

Although the government does not keep exact figures, the Coalition to Uproot Ragging from Education, a non-profit lobby group, found 52 hazing incidents reported in India's English-language media between June and September of 2007. The group claims that six suicides and three attempted suicides in the same period can be blamed on harassment, which they say is widespread at engineering and medical colleges — mostly, although not exclusively, among male students. Anti-ragging activist Shivam Vij, who launched the website in 2005, claims that nine out of ten students in India are subject to ragging, but that most cases go unreported.

An engineering student in the northern city of Agra broke his legs in October after seniors allegedly pushed him off a college building during a ragging session. In a suicide note, another student at an engineering college in the northern city of Jalandhar described the constant harassment as humiliating and blamed it for his decision to throw himself in front of a speeding train two years ago. "If education... is to serve as the lever to the great surge forward of the Indian nation, the scourge of ragging which corrodes the vitals of our campuses needs to be curbed," an Indian Supreme Court committee concluded in a recent report. Ragging, it said, is "a form of psychopathic behavior and a reflection of deviant personalities."

The ragging problem is a legacy of the British, who imported the practice to India from elite public schools back home. But while experts say extreme forms of hazing have all but disappeared in Britain, they continue in India and other Asian countries. Like mild hazing in the United States, ragging in its more innocent forms — students forced to address seniors as "sir," answering their questions and doing their menial chores — is defended as a way to create camaraderie and build character. In an essay about his experience at the prestigious St. Stephen's College in Delhi, writer Amitav Ghosh describes two ragging experiences that led to lifelong friendships, saying the relationships later helped launch his writing career.

But critics say Ghosh's sympathetic portrayal of ragging reflects a misguided sentimental view too common in India. "Ragging is sold as part of the tradition of the college," says Vij, who refuses to distinguish mild ragging from harsher abuse. "The idea of ragging — that freshmen have to be made to feel lower — is wrong. And once seniors know they can control students, once they taste that power, mild ragging often turns into something harsher."

That was the experience of Rohit Kaliyar, 24, who was at an engineering college in the northern state of Uttaranchal five years ago. Like other freshmen, Kaliyar was told he could not look seniors directly in the eye but had to stare down at the third button on his shirt. Seniors cursed him, slapped him and struck him with a metal ruler. They also entered the hostel around midnight one day and forced his friends to strip and rub Vaseline on each others' bodies, he said. "It was all for their sadistic fun." But freshmen were reluctant to retaliate, he said, reasoning they needed to befriend seniors for books and jobs. A faculty member was also unsympathetic, telling Kaliyar his ragging experience was not that bad.

Kaliyar, who is broadly built and over six feet tall, fought back, but soon left college fearing retribution. Although his father supported his decision to leave, Kaliyar says others were less supportive. "They said, 'You took it to heart. This is something that always happens. You should not have reacted that much,'" Kaliyar explains. "I was filled with rage and anger toward everyone because it was the rare person who said, 'You did the right thing.'"

The government has tried to clamp down on ragging, but so far its efforts have proven ineffective. Many states have enacted anti-ragging laws, and in 2001 the Indian Supreme Court advised colleges to implement measures such as advising students about the punishment for ragging, and informing freshmen of their rights. But the most recent report commissioned by the Supreme Court notes that ragging has not declined, and found that school officials do not report even extreme ragging cases to police. The report also faults state and central government authorities for failing to implement and monitor anti-ragging provisions. The committee recommends that schools be forced to file police reports if the alleged ragging victims or their families are not happy with the institution's response, and says ragging should be added to the list of punishable offenses in the Indian penal code.

But threats of punishment may not be enough. Harsh Agarwal, co-founder of the Coalition to Uproot Ragging, says the practice will stop only if there's a cultural shift in colleges. The Indian Supreme Court committee agrees, calling for human rights instruction for younger students in addition to a widespread public awareness campaign. "The biggest hurdle is no one believes ragging is a social evil," Agarwal says. "When an entire society believes in this, how is enforcement of the law possible?"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

[NewKerala] Agricultural college students face ragging

Sehore, MP, Dec 14 : More than 20 students of the Rafi Ahmed Agricultural College here have complained about being ragged by their seniors.

A complaint in this regard was made to college administration and the Superintendent of Police by students concerned, who are studying in BSc (Agriculture) first year.

The students, on the condition of anonymity, said senior students, including girls, were ragging them from the past one month.

Junior boy students had been stripped, while vulgar remarks were passed to girl students, who were also slapped some times.

College Dean S K Srivastava refused that he had receiving any complaint in this regard. He, however, said, the complaint might had been sent to the anti-ragging committee.

SP Rajendra Prasad said the matter was being investigated.

--- UNI

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[MeriNews] Jammu University students stage protest against ragging

Link to report

A group of students were ragged by senior students in one of the hostels in Jammu University campus. Junior students were thrashed, paraded naked and later humiliated by some of the senior students. They protested against university administration.

A GROUP of students, who were agitated over the repeated incidents of ragging, ransacked office complex of vice chancellor of Jammu University Prof Amitabh Mattoo last Thursday. They staged protest later outside his chamber demanding strict actions against those students involved in ragging incidents. According to the report, a group of students were ragged by senior students in one of the hostels in Jammu University campus. Junior students were reportedly thrashed, paraded naked and later humiliated by some of the senior students. While staging protest, the students were unhappy with the university authorities for not taking prompt action against students involved in incidents of ragging happened on Wednesday night.

Agitated students alleged that the incidents of ragging were going on inside the hostel for past several days and the issue was brought into the notice of the university authorities. “On Wednesday evening also when the incident took place we immediately contacted our hostel warden but he refused to come and informed us to meet him in the morning”, students peeved over the delayed response told media persons outside the VC chamber amid chanting slogans loudly.

The victimized students alleged that they brought the matter into the notice of the university authorities early in the morning, yet they failed to take any action against the culprits. Angry over the poor response of the authorities, the students assembled outside the main gate of the administrative block and smashed windowpanes, flowerpots and wall paintings. Later, they staged protest outside the VC chamber and chanted slogans demanding action against the students responsible for the act.

University authorities reportedly made several attempts to pacify the agitating students but went in vain. Groups of students also clashed with each other exchanging hot words outside VC’s office trading charges against each other. Dean student welfare PS Pathania told media that university administration has already identified those students who were behind ragging incidents. “We have informed local police authorities and appropriate action will be taken against them soon, he added. Superintendent of Police, who arrived on the spot, said that University administration have been asked to submit a written complain against the students so that they can register an FIR for further action in this case.

[Telegraph] Ragging cry puts off Besu exam


Postgraduate students of Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) boycotted semester exams that were to start on Tuesday to protest the alleged ragging of an undergraduate student.

Besu postponed the exams for an indefinite period. On Monday, the undergraduate exams were indefinitely postponed following a boycott by students.

The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) alleged that Afroz Ahmed, a second-year student of information technology, had been ragged in his hostel by Independent Consolidation (IC) supporters late on Monday. The IC, however, denied the charge, saying Afroz was involved in assaulting its supporters.

Vice-chancellor Nikhil Ranjan Banerjea said: “The allegation has been sent to the disciplinary committee.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

[PunjabNewsline] No case of ragging reported from Punjab colleges

Link to report

CURE strongly refutes this claim by the government of Punjab. Infact, several media reports point out that this is incorrect. This blog contains the list of cases in Punjab reported in the online English media here.

CHANDIGARH: Not a single case of ragging was reported in any Government and Private Medical/ Nursing/Ayurvedic/Homeopathic and any Para-medical teaching institute in the Punjab State during a current academic year, due to strict vigilance measures initiated by the Punjab Government.

Stating this here Tuesday Tikshan Sud, Medical Education & Research Minister said that the Punjab Medical Education Department had conducted a detailed exercise to control ragging in the State by involving faculty, parents as well as students in this campaign. He said that the department today circulated the latest judgment of Supreme Court on ragging to all Medial Institutes in the State and they have been directed to include the clause of 'expulsion of students involved in ragging from the institute', in the prospectus of next academic year.

Sud said that Medical Superintendent in each institute has been designated as Nodal Officer to check ragging and he would be held accountable in any case of ragging reported in their respective institute.

The Medical Education Minister said that the Punjab Government was committed to check the practice of ragging in the State and the Minister solicited the co-operation all strata of society in this campaign of Punjab Government.

[ToI] Six students held for misbehaviour

LUCKNOW: As many as six student leaders of the Lucknow University were arrested on Friday on charges of vandalism. The development comes a day after LU authorities lodged a complaint against some of the student leaders for allegedly misbehaving with chief provost and director of Academic Staff College Nishi Pandey. The students were, however, released after being detained in the police lockup for nearly six hours.

The six students included Ranvijay Singh and Maan Singh. The duo was reportedly behind the entire drama which unfolded in front of Academic Staff College on Thursday when Ranvijay alleged Prof Pandey of misbehaving with him.

Significantly, Prof Pandey and proctor AN Singh have acted tough against the student leaders who were engaged in the ragging of their juniors in the university hostels. The two senior faculty members had surveyed some of the hostels and found some rooms where the junior students were reportedly roughed up by the seniors.

[Hindu] College prospectus must have expulsion warning on ragging: SC

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday directed that universities and colleges shall, henceforth, mention in their admission prospectus that students who indulge in ragging would be expelled from the institution.

A bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Aftab Alam, also said that its guidelines for ensuring ban of ragging in universities/colleges, shall apply to colleges under the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India; polytechnics and those institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture.

The apex court passed the directions after the amicus curiae (friend of court) and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam sought such directions, as many incidents of ragging continued to be reported in the country despite its earlier directions for implementation of the Raghavan committee recommendations.

Moreover, he said, that there were misconceptions among authorities of medical colleges, polytechnics and institutions imparting education on agriculture that the anti-ragging rules were not applicable to them as they were under separate regulatory bodies.

The amicus curiae also mentioned two separate incidents of ragging in which a student was reportedly forced to consume narcotic substances and another physically-challenged student was subjected to ragging by his seniors.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

[TheCheers] College students in J-K protest ragging

Jammu, Dec 7 (ANI): Students belonging to the Jammu University took out a protest rally here on Thursday against ragging.

They shouted slogans against the hostel authorities for not ensuring their safety and security.

The students were protesting against the ragging of some Muslim students by their seniors belonging to Hindu community. They alleged of being beaten up by their seniors.

"There was a group of boys who were drunk and were creating the chaos. Some of them were also outsiders. We were sitting inside our room, when suddenly some boys came and forced us to open the door of our room. Once inside, they started beating us. When we tried to defend ourselves, they took out sharp weapons with which they threatened us. One of them also threatened to shave of my beard," said Mohammed Aslam, a student.

Ragging has long been an issue of debate in educational institutions, forcing the Central Government to enforce strict anti-ragging laws in universities and colleges. (ANI)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

[ToI] 4 Angrau students held for 'ragging'

HYDERABAD: Four students of Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University were arrested for stripping a student and beating up another during a party.

Three students—Padma Rao (B Sc I year), J Rajesh (B Sc III year) and B Ajay Prasad (B Sc III year) were arrested on Monday and G Karunakar (B Sc I year) was arrested on Tuesday by the Rajendranagar police following a complaint by the victims and a case registered under the Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act, section 4(3). If convicted, the culprits can get two years imprisonment with a fine of Rs 2000.

According to Rajendranagar police, the incident occurred as part of a birthday party which was organised by Padma Rao on late Sunday evening at Hostel B, Krishi Nilayam. The party which began in the midnight was attended by more than 10 students. Early in the morning liquor was allegedly served in plenty. At 2 am Padma Rao, along with three other friends —G Karuna, J Rajesh, B Ajay Prasad—, went out to have ‘more fun’.

They allegedly summoned two students of third year horticulture to a hall in the middle of the hostel and stripped one of them and beat the other student and also showered abuses on them. Even as the students allegedly protested, they were made to wait in the hall for 15 minutes and then allowed to go. The incident came to light when the victims gave a written complaint to the Rajendranagar police station. Police arrested all the four students.

The university authorities, however, have not taken any action against the accused student saying that it is not clear whether it was an act of ragging. The university authorities said that since all the accused students were either from the I or III year, and the victims were from III year, the incident cannot be categorised as an act of ragging.

"It cannot be categorised as ragging also because the academic year had begun much earlier and the freshers’ day got over in November first week. But action will be taken once we find out what really happened," registrar, D Jagannadha Raju told TOI. The university has formed a committee to look into the incident. Any action on the accused will depend upon the findings of the committee.

But the police maintained that the act was punishable under the Ragging Act as the accused were ‘seniors’ as they have been the residents of the university for four years. All the four accused had stayed in the university for a longer period of time as they had failed more than a couple of times and were known as seniors in the university.

[ToI] Students booked for ragging

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow University authorities on Tuesday lodged FIR against four students and put them under suspension for their alleged involvement in a ragging incident. An inquiry has also been constituted on the written complaint of junior students.

According to proctor AN Singh, the four BA II students suspended are Mani Singh, Mritunjay Singh, Prem Singh and Bhanu Pratap. The complaint was lodged by four BA I students Jai Prakash, Sunit, Shrawan and Avinash Verma in which they have accused seniors of harassing juniors in the name of ragging.

Juniors have alleged that seniors used to assign them work with the threat that those who failing to do their assignments will be made to urinate on heaters or singed with a cigarette buts. Juniors also complained that seniors use abusive language against them.

Both the accused and the complainants are residents of Acharya Narendra Dev (AND) hostel. The alleged ragging sessions used to take place in room number 110 and 125 of the hostel. LU authorities are verifying the claims of the complainants as the latter have not been able to produce any evidence to support their allegations.

The Proctor told the TOI that as per the directions of the Supreme Court we have lodged an FIR and suspended the students against whom charges of ragging have been levelled. But we are also verifying the veracity of the charges to ensure that innocents do not get punished, he said. If found guilty, these seniors will be expelled from the university, he added.

Meanwhile, proctorial board members took rounds of various hostels and asked the junior students to report any incident of ragging without fail. Juniors were also told not be afraid of seniors. Prof Nishi Pandey, dean student welfare, assured students that university will provide them full protection.

The incident of ragging had come to light on Monday when some junior students created ruckus at the AND hostel claiming that some day scholars along with senior hostlers were subjecting juniors to ragging. University authorities raided several hostels following complaint but could find nothing. However, an identification was done on Tuesday on the basis of the complaint lodged by the juniors.

[CNN-IBN] Maya out to tackle ragging, brings tough law

New Delhi: The Mayawati Government in Uttar Pradesh approved a bill on Monday paving the way for a total ban on ragging in all educational institutions in the state.

The bill envisages expulsion, two years' prison terms and fines up to Rs 10,000 for offenders, UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said.

The draft Ragging in Educational Institutions Bill 2007 was approved in a Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Chief Minister Mayawati.

According to the Cabinet Secretary, the proposed law permits students expelled from institutions on ragging charges to appeal within 30 days before a commissioner, whose decision in the matter would be final.

The bill also provides that in case of written complaints by students, their parents or guardians and teachers, the head of the educational institution should probe the charges within a week.

The provision holds that the institution head should expel the offenders, if found guilty, within a week and file a complaint with the area police station.

The government initiated the mover following concerns over numerous incidents of ragging across the state in the past few months in places like Gorakhpur, Greater Noida and Gorakhpur.

Six students were expelled from Apeejay Institute of Technology in Greater Noida in October on ragging charges while an 18-year-old student of Madan Mohan Malviya Engineering College in Gorakhpur committed suicide in September this year after allegedly being tortured by his seniors.

(With agency reports)

Monday, December 03, 2007

[ToI] Ragging menace still raging

This report appeared on Page 3 of the ToI, Delhi edition on Dec 03, 2007

Raghavan Wants ‘Proactive’ Action Against Offending Colleges

Sonia Sarkar | TNN

New Delhi: Six months after the Supreme Court passed an interim order asking for implementation of R K Raghavan committee’s recommendations to stop ragging on campuses, nothing much has been done to curb the menace. Showing their displeasure at the snail-paced progress done on this front, panel members and chairman Raghavan, in a recent meeting, asked various affiliating bodies — University Grants Commission (UGC), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Medical Council of India (MCI) — to take ‘‘proactive’’ action against institutes which don’t comply with the panel’srecommendations.

The committee, which met for the first time after the interim order was passed in May, was not satisfied with the attitude of the affiliating bodies. ‘‘Not enough action was taken by the affiliating bodies against the educational institutes which didn’t implement the recommendations. They were asked to be a little proactive on this,’’ said a committee member. The court had stated that these affiliating agencies have the right to stop funding to institutes, who don’t implement the Raghavan committee recommendations. A document prepared by CURE, an NGO, stating media reports on 70 such cases, was also presented in the meeting.

Though Raghavan was reticent when asked if the committee acted tough on the affiliating bodies, he told Times City: ‘‘We had recommended in the report what we had to. There is nothing further we can do on this. We have asked UGC, MCI and AICTE to monitor the situation in their respective institutes, for which, we will do a follow-up later.’’

These bodies had submitted action taken reports to the committee, which forwarded the same to the MHRD. But the report may not be depicting the true picture as for say, UGC in its report hasn’t even stated the recent incident at St Stephen’s, where one first-year student got burn injuries on his knees and hands after four of his seniors allegedly sprayed deodorant on him and lit a match stick. Though the authorities suspended the culprits for one year from the college and for a month from the hostel, they tried to hush up the matter calling it just a ‘‘prank’’ and ‘‘irresponsible’’ behaviour on part of a few students.

After the media reported the incident in the first week of October, UGC asked for an explanation from the college on the matter to which the latter hasn’t replied yet. ‘‘We haven’t got any reply from the college as yet,’’ said R K Chauhan, additional secretary, UGC, who attended the meeting.

Asked why they have ignored this incident in the action taken report, Chauhan said: ‘‘We cannot state the incidents institution wise. In our report, we have stated that almost 95% of the institutes have followed the recommendations. We have initiated action wherever it was required.’’

As per the Raghavan committee, an FIR has to be lodged in case of ragging, but interestingly, no FIR was lodged in the St Stephen’s case. Nandita Narain, the college dean (residence) said: ‘‘It was a prank and college has taken appropriate action against the students.’’ Asked about the delay in the reply, she said: ‘‘We have already given an explanation to the university, since it had asked for it. The university proctor should be forwarding it to the UGC.’’ Proctor Gurmeet Singh, however, was not available for comment.

The action taken reports submitted by the affiliating bodies will be produced before the court in its next hearing likely to be scheduled for December 4.

[ToI] The 'R' Word

Let's start with a confession. “When I joined a boarding school, I was thrown into a completely different world, one that existed far beyond the realms of my confined existence. I was exposed to the perils and wonders of being in an all boy boarding school. In the first week, the seniors confronted the first-year students in the common rooms and as was the custom, one by one we were supposed to come to the center of the gathering, stand upon the trusted wood table that had withstood the weight of generations of schoolboys and speak to the rest. This was 'Intro', a ritual that inducted all first-years into the school, albeit of course from the prying eyes of the authorities.

I nervously awaited my turn as I saw my classmates go up one by one, where they were asked questions ranging from 'What is your name and where do you come from to how old is your sister? All were asked to sing. On my turn, I was able to answer all questions well, and was even spared the usual slaughter owing to that fact that I had a brother instead of a sister. When it came to singing, I was a nervous wreck because I had never sung before, not even in the bathroom. But when I began, I even surprised myself. I realised I could sing just as well as any other. I held the audience captive, discovered a new talent and made myself known amongst the seniors. I even finished off a fine performance with a joke that had my audience in splits. Not only did it help me become a recognised face and won me many friends amongst the seniors, but six years later I went on to become the school music captain,” confesses Agrim Joshi, whose first brush with the term ragging turned out to be a pleasant one.

World over, freshers or first-years at colleges and boarding schools are subjected to some form of ragging, ranging from asking simple questions, to dancing and singing for an audience, professing love to an unsuspecting victim to downright 'servantry' of their seniors. While there are many colleges that deny the existence of this dreaded practice on their campuses, fact remains that most of us do face it in some form or the other during our formative years. Why do students indulge in this practice and what good could possibly come of it?

“It is a good way to get to know your juniors better. Since you will be spending the better part of your school life with them, and sometime, it may involve working together as a group, it is for the best if the ice is broken between both parties. Besides, in a close knit environment such as a boarding school or a hostel, you can't expect people to be mere acquaintances at a superficial level,” says boarding school student, Pranav Kapur. Raghav Puri mirrors this view when talking about a college environment, “Seniors are your best guide to survival in college. They know all about the course, teachers, things that could get you into trouble etc. It helps to have cordial relations with them, and if that involves a little bit of singing and dancing for harmless fun, then so be it.”
While those of us who study in high-end colleges may agree with this view, by no means do we have the right to judge the dilemma of an engineering or medical student. Here, the term ragging is practiced in its worst form.
Often there are reports of students beaten up by seniors, abused over long periods of time, made to carry out menial errands, all under the pretext of ragging.

One could argue that this stems from the high amount of stress that these students go through in the daily course of their academia, and ragging juniors is a way to vent some of that frustration.

“Being a first-year student in a medical college is hell. We are made to do all sorts of things. You are treated like sub-humans, and it's almost as if the only purpose of your existence is to serve your seniors,” says Arpit Verma, a first-year student at a reputed medical college.

Colleges have begun to take the issue of ragging seriously and have implemented certain counter measures such as severe punishments for those found indulging in the practice, counseling sessions and anti-ragging squads. But in many cases this is not enough.

The solution lies in going into the roots of the problem. It is human tendency to want to dominate over those we consider inferior, and in a college mindset, the senior-junior difference is more distinct, leading the seniors into believing that juniors are there to be ordered around.

The ridiculous practice of calling your seniors 'Sir' is a good example of the dominating mindset of these students. Efforts should be made to eradicate this mentality and re-enforce the point that age difference is no reason to subvert those younger than you. If this is not done, ragging, ideally a harmless way to get to know each other better, may spiral into something much worse than what it already is.