10 Dec 2007

Ragging !!! Why are we so obsessed with it???

A: "I got through Class XII Board!!! I am going to college!!! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!!"
B: "But aren't you afraid?" "You know the seniors are really rough." "The ragging and all ..."
A. "Oh ya. I didn't think about it" "Its good you told me." "I will ask big bro if he has a friend at my college who could help."

Welcome to a typical Indian college-starting one's psyche and visions about college. Each year so many pass schools and move to college, only to find a rigged-world, even violent at times, not so friendly, and absurd really. "How does all this help me in making a better individual, if college life is meant to be that???" and other similar questions floating in the sky for these young-college-goers.

But then its the same every year. New platoons coming in and old ones trying to establish their dominance. I saw 'Jar head' the other day and found that this was even in Army. That may even be tolerable with Army people the so-called tough guys. But those who barely know what is ego-clash, dominance, fight-club et. al., being always in a small-compact school, ragging them is really being tough (if not brutal) on them.

The Supreme Court says the institution will be liable if they don't stop that, there is an expert (Raghvan) Committee Report on the subject matter and repeated references to the guidelines but no, the things do not fall in place. The things go on as ever; if not overtly than covertly.

But why are we so obsessed with it? Why do the seniors feel happy to have meted out their juniors with brutality and misdemeanor (ofcourse you would have made out by now that I am not against a healthy introduction and all, but yes when things start to get violent and against the notions of dignity, that is where I say one has to say 'stop')? Why? Why? and Why?

Is it reciprocity? One of my friends had put it that its because we got that, so we are giving that back. I keeps on flowing like from generation-to-generation. But then I ask, is it something worth handing down? It is on the same footing as one from a father to a son? I don't think so and think that no reasonable minded person would agree to that. Then why? why do we keep this practice intact, as if it is a heritage.

I understand that law-enforcement is really a problem and having a law against something does not translate automatically as meaning that end of problem (ya, the evidence on the effectiveness of child-marriage prohibition laws, anti-dowry laws, anti-sati laws, etc. all same thats) but that doesn't mean we do not take an occasion to look in our souls and ask "are we doing the right thing? "is it something I will want my child to face? "do i really resound as being a dominant personality when I rag someone?" et. al, which make you realize the worth and effect of the things we happily indulge ourselves in.

The answer will definitely be "no", I am sure of that. But if it is "no", what do we do to translate that "no" into action. Thats a big question and there is a lot of soul searching to be done. But surely and certainly, its not a good practice that we carry or take for granted.

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