Ragging etc.

Once again – the acknowledgement of inspiration where it is due:

How I was ragged at IIT Delhi and why it was no joke

Having been a pretty strong “anti-ragging” person myself, my interest in Sujit’s article was obvious. And I find it pretty much to the point. What Nanda is saying is also correct about IITK ragging. It is nowhere close to what happens at several other places. Still, I do not think it is a justification for even that kind of ragging to continue. There are two reasons: First what is “ok” for one person need not be “ok” for someone else at all. Just because worse things exist in the world does not mean one has to endure bad ones. There are people who can take it all lightly, but then there are those who can’t. A student born and brought up in metro might have a totally different perspective than someone brought up in smaller cities, towns or villages. Then someone will say that they must learn. Learn what and why? And even if there are things they should learn, then how? The torture and humiliation of any kind in the form of ragging is certainly not the way to learn. And someone hardly a year or two elder to oneself is no one to teach a new lifestyle either – does not matter how much we talk of peer-learning etc. Learning has to take its own modalities and must take its own course. Further, an individual must have time and freedom to decide what he/she wants to learn and what he/she does not! So, back to Sujit’s article. I totally share his contempt for the so called learning ragging of any kind is supposed to impart to us.

The second reason, again duly explained in that article is that whatever form the ragging takes, the underlying phenomenon is the same. For most part it is a vent to the frustration that arises out of most students not being allowed to be like an adult in the Indian environment. And so here they find a way to be responsible (to the freshers, since they have never been allowed to take charge of their lives themselves!). Yes – in that sense, ragging is childish… But it’s childish, not child-like and one must grow out of it!!


5 thoughts on “Ragging etc.

  1. I was first ragged when I moved to a new school in class 11. It was much worse than what was at IIT. When I came to IIT, I did not feel a prick of intimidation or frustration on ragging,. I was enjoying it. How do you explain this ? Well, ofcourse it was my first ragging that laid the platform for me to face the eventuality.

    So, if am a (a)live sample of what good does ragging to do your mind -It defnitely makes you tough. Ofcourse one doesn not have to face the worse to prepare oneself for the worse. I would not put it this way. I would rather say that ragging is like a hammer on the shell.It initially pains but eventually breaks the shell and brings you into the world (maybe I exhaggerated a bit, but you can understand what context I am talking in).

  2. I have already said what I had to say on it. You enjoyed it – certain people didn’t and yet others later convinced themselves that they enjoyed it!! Where is the individual choice? I wanted to write a quote that defines the culture, unfortunately I do not remember it exactly and can’t find it on net either. But it said something like this – Culture is what Professors teach to make next generations of professors.

    It’s an analogous situation with ragging.

  3. Who is asking them to make a statement that they enjoyed it. Everybody is free to hold is opinion. If they are saying that they enjoyed it even when they did not, out of the fear of peer seclusion, then it is their imbecility. They are the ones who need to be taught.

    There is always individual choice. One should have the strength to hold out his choice even if it is odd man out situation.

  4. Nobody asked them. It’s just the convenient position taken because by the time one is in a position to make a statement, the victim is someone else, one’s own agony is past and somewhere the conscious or sub-conscious syndrome of “it (or worse) happened to me, it must happen to them” is at play. Of course, once the choice is made there are plenty of justifications and rationalizations, like the ones given by you!

    Arguments can go on till eternity. I, myself, have given such arguments, but in a totally different context. What is at play behind such arguments is still sick. If you ask me why people do not make statements while they are being ragged and select themselves out of it – ask that to yourself and recall all the threats of outcasting you yourself might have given to your juniors. There isn’t enough time for them to weigh the consequences and see the result for themselves. People might just not be in a state where they can decide about it. And at that point of time the big-decision is taken by the ‘seniors’ – of imparting all possible ‘gyan’ to the ignorant junior – to be passed on to the generations further down the line!

    ‘CRAP’ is the word. ‘Clockwork’ is the phenomenon. ‘Self-centered attitude’ on some people’s part and ‘Risk-averseness on others’ is the mentality. ‘Frustration’ is the inspiration.

    I do not want to grow further bitter on this. Keep those sick arguments to away.

    I do not know why people didn’t revolt againts ‘sati’ or ‘parda’ systems for centuries. I do not know why even women continued to endorse them. I do not know why people did not make statements that were right. I still know that it was wrong. I do not know if you would agree.

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