Ragging is a disruptive behavior mostly observed among senior students of many institutes towards their junior sub-ordinates.
Also called ‘fooling’ as the ‘victim’ is often fooled or made to look like a fool
The principal purpose of ragging is to provide a mechanism of interaction and socialization; however it has proved more harmful than beneficial as discussed below
This blog is about the myths, realities and remedies of this horrific crime in educational institutions
The Myths & Facts
Myth 1: Ragging makes students bold and prepares us for the difficult circumstances in life. It makes us strong.
Fact 1: Boldness as instilled by ragging is a weak acceptance of fate by victim. It teaches us how to be exploited and mutely, non-resistively accept it.
Myth 2: Ragging helps in breaking the ice between seniors and fresher’s. It helps in their interaction and developing friendship between them.
Fact 2: Ragging is a archaic method of interaction with several harmful effects. Today with advance psychological science there are many other healthy ways of interaction which are more effective and without any human rights abuse.
Myth 3: Ragging generate the feeling of unity and oneness.
Fact 3: Ragging divides the students on the lines of cost, region, class etc. It sets mob mentality students
Myth 4: Severe ragging is not prevalent any more.
Fact 4: Severe ragging is widely prevalent in most of the college hostels. There have been many suicides, deaths, violence, theft and other crimes due to ragging in educational institutions. The problem is not yet solved, it is just hidden.
How Ragging Effects the Victim
1. An unpleasant incident of ragging may leave a permanent scar in the victim’s mind that may haunt him for years to come.
2. The victim declines into a shell, forcing himself into ignominy and alienation from the rest of the world.
3. It demoralizes the victim who joins college life with many hopes and expectations.
4. Ragging may severely affect students’ learning, for which their parents may be paying hefty amounts, especially in private institutions
5. Though incidents of physical assault and grievous injuries are not new, ragging also simultaneously causes grave psychological stress and trauma to the victim.
6. Those students who choose to protest against ragging are very likely to face ostracism from their seniors in the future.
7. Those who succumb to ragging may drop out thereby hampering their career prospects
8. In extreme cases, incidents of suicides and culpable homicide have also been reported.
a) Victim may belong to a broken home, be a victim of domestic violence including physical or verbal abuse
b) Victim’s parent one or both may not be alive
c) Victim already suffers from psychological problems
9. Ragging affects the victim’s family, the educational institution as well as the people who do the ragging
10. Ragging may also affect the student financially, especially if there is continous demand of money, treats etc and especially from a relatively not financially well – off student
It is a myth, a falsehood that ragging brings confidence in a person; more often it does more harm than any good.
And it is haram and therefore should be avoided as explained below
Strategies to Prevent Ragging in Educational Institutions
To maintain healthy institutional environment, it is a primary responsibility of the administration to punish the offenders.
The following strategies and remedies are suggested that can help authorities to overcome this horrible crime against innocent students:
1. Zero-Tolerance for Ragging: This message from the principal well before the start of the new academic session should be given conveyed very clearly through various means.
Students need to be educated about the negative impacts of ragging by pamphlets and interactive sessions.
This can also be emphasized in the prospectus of the institutions, admission advertisements and admission forms.
Severe penalty towards Ragging or Ragging Free placards or notices depicting the consequences of such an act needs to be displayed at strategic points of the premise
2. Formation of Anti-Ragging committee: An Anti-Ragging committee consisting of reliable senior students, faculty members and other managerial staff.
3. Supervision of hostels: Hostels are one of the common places for ragging and which remains unreported or unnoticed. Thus, to prevent ragging in hostels a strict supervision of hostels is needed. It can be done through installed CCTV cameras at strategic points & other means.
4. Alternatives of Senior-Junior interaction: Alternate healthy methods are required in order to promote a manner of socialization which is free of cruel ragging customs and much more effective.
Many alternatives can be used such as pre-session parties for the fresher, social gathering of juniors and seniors in the presence of authorities, interactive games, community work, trips etc. in which seniors and juniors are bound to work and participate together.
5. Awareness through media: Social, electronic and print media should talk about the grievous impacts of ragging, students need to be educated about the negative impacts of ragging by pamphlets and interactive sessions.
6. Workshop or Sessions for awareness of Ragging hazards:
Creating awareness amongst students, management and faculty of institutes about the ill-effects of ragging can play a crucial role in mitigating the ban of ragging in the colleges
7. Seniors Counseling: Proper counseling of senior students through sessions and spreading awareness among them about the after-effects of ragging should be done.
The Islamic Perspective
A public service message.
Wa ma alaina illal balagh ul mubeen
And Allah knows best