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