December 13, 2005

It's not ragging, stupid!

The cynic in me believes that we will never stop ragging. I don't like that cynic, but I hear him. Like we've not been able to stop killing across religious lines; or end bribe-taking and -giving; or institute free, compulsory and widespread primary education; or simply stop electing criminals to rule us -- these things and ragging too: I don't think enough people see these as serious enough problems, or problems at all.

Yet that cynical belief doesn't mean we must not work hard to stop it. After all, this peculiarly cruel ritual has actually driven many young students to suicide. One life taken like this would have been one too many, but Shivam stupefied me by pointing out yesterday that twelve -- 12! -- students are known to have killed themselves since May 2001. The latest was Sridhar, just last week.

12 in four years, what's the fuss about, is that what you're thinking? Well, here's why it stupefied me: May 2001 is when the Supreme Court banned ragging. Yet ragging continues.

Then again, it shouldn't have stupefied. Since when has the Supreme Court's considered opinions on -- oh, more or less anything -- led to some substantial change? Remind me, won't you, that the Supreme Court once suggested seven principles of public life? (Among other things).

Many people have suggested that "eve-teasing" is much too benign a term for what is simply barbarity. In the same way, I'd like to suggest that "ragging" is much too benign a term for what is simply barbarity.

In both cases, barbarity perpetrated on the most vulnerable among us.


Sailesh Ganesh said...

The seven principles of public life is the sanest thing I've heard in some time. Which means it is not likely to be followed. Anyone has any idea how to make it a religious mandate?

wise donkey said...

i agree that its barbaric.

but what many fail to see is that the student who is ragged, after couple of years becomes the one who indulges in ragging..
not always, but surely those who know the pain either inflict it or become passive observers when its inflicted on the next batch.

the logic, if i could endure it, others can and should?
or this is my revenge
or whatever..

i think the victims are not just the 12 in four years.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sailesh, you think making it a religious mandate will make them any more likely to be followed?

Pareshaan said...

People dying due to ragging, that is certainly barbaric.
But most of the times ragging is nothing more than an exercise in establishing social order in an institute. It is rather severe, when your head is on the block, but it seems right when you rag your juniors. There is something true and fair about most ragging and that is why it persists. Perhaps it reflects a reality in society, which nobody wants to address.
Kiss the butt of the powerful, or bear the consequences.
Ragging finds its justification and its necessity in imparting that fundamental lesson.

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