Sunday, October 16, 2016
Why I think Ragging should be banned
By Mahendra Gonsalkorale
I can distinctly recall the anxiety and fear I experienced as the first week of my life as a Medical student approached. I was just 18 years old and fearful of the big jump from A level student to Medical Student. But more than anything, I was worried about the indignities I may have to suffer in the name of Ragging.
Ragging was purported to be a welcome for the freshers organised by the seniors. It was meant to ‘educate’ them on what is expected from them in terms of behaviour and discipline as new entrants. Sadly, it was nothing of the kind and was a forum for sadistic inadequate students with untamed cruel streaks to impart humiliation and physical and mental discomfort in an organised way. Unfortunately, teachers and Administrators often turned a blind eye for reasons which are unclear to me. Some spoke of upholding tradition, and that is laudable if the traditions are worth upholding.
Ragging can vary from relatively minor teasing to more overt forms of unacceptable behaviour including the use of physical violence and sexual harassment. Ragging has led to major psychological trauma and in extreme cases, even to suicide.
I did not and still cannot see even an iota of sense in allowing this sort of behaviour to continue. Some refer to it in glowing terms as a way of helping new entrants to become more mature and as a catalyst to forming lasting friendships between the raggers and the ragged. In some instances, it was a case of the seniors taking the Law into their own hands and meting out punishment to badly behaved juniors, as happened to our Batch after the infamous Castle Street invasion affair at the Law-Medical cricket match.
In a free society which upholds the principle of protection for all citizens, there is absolutely no justification for allowing ragging to take place. If a citizen behaved in this manner towards another in any other setting, he would be charged and punished.
Ragging is unjust, immoral, and inhuman and has no place in a civilised society and should be strictly banned and the ban strictly implemented.
I would be very interested to know the views of colleagues. Have your views changed or do you still hold the same view, for or against.