Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Over the Top Ragging

Everyone's either done it or been a victim of it--ragging, that is. When done and taken in the right spirit, it can enable freshers and their seniors to bond over bouts of verbal sparring. When taken too far, it can lead to hospitalization and suspension or rustication.

In this case, eight girls who were students of the Institute of Hotel Management, Bhopal, chose to rag 17 juniors, two of whom were made to stand for hours while being abused and asked embarrasing questions. All eight were arrested by the police but released on bail.

There are other incidents that have taken place in the last few days--the ragging incident at St. Stephen's, euphemistically named a prank--comes to mind. Evidently, four senior students of the college sprayed a junior with deodorant and lit a match. The junior ended up with burns on his hands and knees.

In worst case scenarios, ragging can even lead to physical or sexual abuse and exploitation, sending the traumatised victim to years in a hospital or mental asylum, if not to the morgue as a suicide.

There are many people in our midst who think that acts of sadistic cruelty against their juniors or their inferiors proves their superiority. Such acts merely show the depths to which they're prepared to descend to feed their warped need to be seen as bigger, stronger, superior.

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