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.