Is it a pain or pleasure?


Human nature is to enjoy, suffer, suffer and enjoy! Some feel pleasure in everything, some suffer pain in everything! It looks a great paradox – paradox remaining unresolved!

It is cruel that some find pleasure in others pains and sufferings. Some rush to help relieve the pain of others as if they themselves are the sufferers. If we can probably adjust ourselves to the pleasures and pains of life with equanimity and poise, we will not feel the extremes of both. Very easily said than done!

The purpose of this writing is to analyze the menacingly developing ‘ragging culture’ in the educational campuses. Though it is fairly and equally prevalent all over the globe, in severity it differs from place to place and here we discuss with reference to Indian conditions.

Any dictionary will show the meaning of the word “rag” as (a) practical joke; prank. (b) annual entertainment held by students to collect money for charity.

It is supposed to be playing practical jokes on somebody, teasing somebody in a harmless manner It was all thought of probably to make the new comers in the educational institutions at home and feel free to move with all juniors and seniors and have a feel of the culture of the Institution and adapt themselves to the new environ where they may have to spend a few years till their successful completion of their chosen courses without any inhibition. What started with a good and noble concept has degenerated to such an extent that every year on the start of the academic year, when the fresher flows into the campus, it becomes a hell to him driving him to the extreme.

Rightly the Governments at the State and the Centre have taken a very serious view of the situation and initiated several measures to annul the evil effects of the ‘ragging’ and free the newcomers to enjoy their new life in their educational carrier.

“Ragging” has been clearly defined and those who indulge in, can know the results of their indulgence.

Ragging is an act resulting in

 Mental / Physical Sexual abuse
 Verbal abuse
 Indecent behavior
 Criminal intimidation / wrongful restraint
 Undermining human dignity
 Financial exploitation / Extortion
 Use of force

Each of this is deemed to be a criminal offence and those who indulge in can be

 Expelled from the Institution
 Banned from the hostel / mess
 Denied scholarship
 Debarred from examinations
 Denied admission to other Institutions
 Prosecuted for criminal action
 Prosecuted by police on the basis of FIR filed by Institution.

This sure appears to be deterrent sufficient for those who intent indulgence! But, despite we do come across the cases where this evil is practiced. Many a time, the victim is so much traumatized that he/she takes recourse to quit studies, or the extreme of ending life.

That indicates that either the law is not strictly applied or there are loopholes to escape. from the intended punishment for the inhuman behavior.

What that was aimed to be “pleasure some” has degenerated to be quite “painful”. After all, the perpetrators are also only the students and have their parents at home to control and brothers and sisters going for higher education to the same or some other Institutions. This behavior may be attributed to general degradation in the society and devaluation of morals, and demonetization of ethics.

Law, trials and punishments apart, it is high time that the Society applied its mind and found solution to such nefarious practice.

Parents, teachers, service organizations, educational institutions and religious organizations have a very important role to play in this regard at different levels and at different magnitudes.

Right from the childhood, right values are to be injected in the individuals. Discipline has to be imbibed for which elders have to set themselves as examples and role models for the young ones.

Religious beliefs and values are to be infused in the young minds – love, affection, respect, regards, compassion, truth, non-violence, empathy, sympathy etc.

School days must give them exposure to values of life as preached and practiced by the teachers.

At the beginning of the academic year, Sports Day, Cultural Day etc. are to be organized to provide opportunity for the juniors and seniors to exchange, expose and experience the Institutional culture, rules, regulations, systems and practices in the new environment. In those days, negative ragging were not known and they are of recent origin. It should, therefore, be not very difficult to get rid of the same if concerted efforts are made at all levels by all concerned.


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