In the past year, the Hyderabad case of ragging and assault by senior students of Nalla Malla Reddy Engineering College who were alleged of passing lewd remarks to a first year student came to light. Then on 22 October 2008, a ragging incident was reported at Narayana Junior College when a first year student was beaten up in public by his seniors. Another incident of ragging was reported at Bengal Engineering and Science University where six third year students mentally harassed a first year one.
During these years of ragging, the total blame was put on the victim. It was mostly said that the victim couldn’t cope up with the embarrassment or mere activity of ragging and thus the guilt caused him to suicide. There were no strict actions taken against the accused seniors and the ragging menace continued to take toll over the lives of people calling it an incident of culpable homicide. But a time came after the year 2009 when a whole new scenario was observed. It was when Aman Kachroo, a 19 yr old medical student of Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda died after being ragged by four final year students of the college on 8th March 2009. The above examples of ragging are far more different than this case of Aman’s death. As for the other victims the blame lies in their incapability to cope up with incidents of ragging.
Ragging, according to most of the ministers and concerned officials is something that builds good interaction between the students and their seniors. It is something that is more of a fun filled activity than something that gives rise to embarrassment among the freshers. But after Kachroo’s death in 2009, the all time favorite culpable homicide was no more given as a reason behind his death. It’s not for the first time that a student has died as a result of ragging menace. But for the first time, it is very clear that ragging led to murder and not culpable homicide. As per the investigations, it was found that the seniors behind his death were under the influence of some kind of an intoxicant and as a result they ragged Aman very maliciously that led to his death. The other major reasons that led to his death were alcoholism, failure of anti-ragging squad and implementation of steps that could prevent ragging and an immediate action which could have handled the menace.
Aman was one lucky victim who escaped the blame game. His death was a turning point in the tradition of ragging. But his own parents portrayed the usual example of people who take ragging as a fun filled interaction. Aman, before his death informed his parents about the humiliation he was facing. But unsurprisingly his father didn’t take the issue seriously and thought things were fun and would be fine soon. Unfortunately, he failed to realise the intensity of agony and torture his son was undergoing until it was too late.
Aman’s father [Dr. Rajendra Kachroo] suggested creation of a database of students and ragging complaints, which will ensure efficient monitoring and prevention of ragging. This methodology also involves setting up a crisis-centre hotline, wherein students affected by ragging can call for help. Today a lot more steps are being taken to abolish the whole system of brutal ragging. Apex courts have ordered actions again college institutions where ragging would take place. Police officials have been appointed and incase any incident takes place in the presence of these officials, they would be held responsible for the happening. Stringent laws like never before have been implemented.
Ragging is something which cannot be avoided just by stringent actions but a ban is required to abolish this menace. Over the years, ministers have kept silent and remained inhumane to the issue but now it’s important for each and every person to realize that ragging is an issue that has to be dealt with strictness and concern.
All the higher institutions must make sure that no act of violence should take place in the colleges in any form. The issue of alcoholism should be dealt with de-addiction measures. In serious cases, psychiatric help should be provided to the students. No college should allow ragging in any form be it a mode of interaction between the students or whatever. The trend has to be banned before it gets too late. As it is in India, the issue has taken a different face unlike to the western trend. The kind of assault and activities one practices in name of ragging is unbearable and life taking. The time has come when also the freshers have to become bold enough to complain against this menace irrespective of the consequences. It’s an advice for all the freshers this year to be alert and make sure that they don’t fall victims to the nuisance.