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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Is ragging right?

Come July - Come freshers - Come 'Ragging Phobia'

What is ragging? It is the process of students getting acquainted with the freshers of the college, who are unfamiliar with the environment of the college, whose portals they have just entered. It is a sort of warming up that should ideally help freshers shed their inhibitions if carried out in the right spirit. Ragging can take various forms. Some senior may ask a fresher to dance or sing, the others to do 'catwalk'. Some freshers are happy to 'serve' the senior. However ragging may sometimes culminate humiliating sadistic practices and harassment etc. that violates the basic human ethics, causing much pain and embarrassment to the newcomers.

The freshers fear the sight of the seniors, and what should actually be a process of 'breaking in' becomes an exercise to be dreaded. There have been instances, where the ragging has been so severe, that it has resulted in total loss of confidence in the freshers. They have even lost an academic year owing to the damage done to their psyche.

Ragging is particularly severe in professional colleges. The poor fresher is caught between the herculean task of coping with exacting standards of academics and the mental torture caused by merciless ragging.

Despite stern warning and reprimands, the tradition of ragging continues. Perhaps, if the practice of ragging is carefully monitored and controlled, it may not result in trauma for the fresher. It can be made an exciting way of starting college life, provided that the senior develop a healthy attitude towards it. If they regard it as a friendly way of 'breaking ice' between the freshers and themselves, the authorities would have no objections to the practice. On the contrary, it would become a fun-filled exercise, something to be looked forward to, rather than to be dreaded as a nightmare!

Animesh Batra
8th A
La Foundation School
(Source: Various compositions)


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