My first brush with ragging happened when I was doing my engineering. I still recall the day I walked past the parking lot to be caught by a bunch of seniors who wanted to have some fun at my expense. To give them credit, they made me do some silly things like walk up and talk to a girl, throw a stone as far as I could and measure the distance with a match stick, sing a few songs and whatever.
While I was embarrassed doing some of what they wanted me to do, the 20 minutes odd that I spent with this group of boys was so much fun for me. The ensuing 3 years with them was so much fun. They turned out being my best friends and seniors whom I could always look up to in college. To be brutally honest, I benefited immensely from this relationship!
I had the advantage of being a day scholar and hence get away with what my friends called “minimal” ragging. My friends who stayed in hostel had a fair share more and to be honest, they loved it. I still remember this boy from Bihar who landed up being the most ragged boy in hostel. He wasn’t complaining one bit though. Needless to mention, he grew up in college to be one of the most popular and lovable boys around. Everyone seemed to know him and his deep pockets in terms of the connections that he established helped him immensely – helped us and all the groups he was associated with in hindsight.
Realizing the benefits, we made sure to extend the olive branch at the end of every ragging session that happened as more and more students came in through the doors, year after year. That said, farewell parties was a teary affair and the treats demanded from the seniors who got jobs would certainly mean hiring a restaurant! This was a legacy of sorts were I studied and was mutually appreciated.
There were a few snobs there too. They’d run at the sight of seniors and were clearly loners. Our friends would loathe this group and they I am sure don’t have too many nice experiences or friends at the end of the 4 years they spent doing their engineering.
The recent news article on the death of a first year medical student is now doing rounds. This is not the country’s first incident either. It is very sad indeed to see a bunch of jerks go to the extremes of beating up someone to death! I fail to understand what could have driven them up to such extremes.
Being seniors in the system, they are sure “victims” of ragging themselves. If they were victims themselves, they won’t be alive today right? Initial reports in this case and the other cases in the past have invariably unearthed a link to two extremely potent elements – Drugs and Alcohol.
Historically, it’s been proved that the guys who are actually involved in such gruesome acts cross the line under the influence of both these elements – together, this sure is a killer and the effects seen, sadly on others.
The ensuing few days will have increased scrutiny, renewed rigor around the controls to ensure that ragging does not happen and whatnot. The bottom line is the plot has been lost. Knee jerk reactions like this will only ensure that people apply band aid to the situation. Over time, many students will only miss out on a opportunity to know their seniors and know them well.
It is isolated acts like these that can potentially harm a lifetime of friendship and relationships. I wish the root causes are eliminated rather than the larger issue of “ragging”. People must certainly no their limits and I am sure most people do. As someone who has eaten the fruits of the so called pains, I’d hate to see future generations pay a large price for silly acts of a few.
Image Credit: Piyush Chandra