'Ragging', An Unnecessary Evil

23 August 2019


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Bhubaneswar: The dictionary defines 'Ragging' as an act of tease, chaff, make jokes, mock at or satirize. Unfortunately, this act has degenerated to violence, humiliation and torture. In the guise of acclimatising freshers to the college environment, senior students harass them mentally and physically.

Despite strict directive by the Supreme Court, college authorities at many places across India have failed to check this menace.

A case in point is that of mass ragging at a premier institution of Odisha. The latest unsavoury incident which surfaced on Thursday has created a furore across the State. People from all walks of life have condemned the manner in which Freshers of VSSSUT, Burla were forced to dance and present vulgar acts with bare minimum clothes.

Asutosh Rath, an ex-student of Burla Engineering College said that his alma matar has carved a niche for itself in the technical education sector of India. "Our college should have been a Centre of Excellence in the eastern part of the country. The best students get admission and the best brains teach here."

"But a handful of people (students) have brought disrepute to our institution. Ragging of this order (the latest case) is not acceptable at any cost. The offenders should be awarded with the strictest and exemplary punishment," said Rath, who currently works with Aluminium major NALCO as the DGM Corporate Communication.

At a time when Burla Engineering College (rechristened as VSSUT), is working on Space Technology, students of this college have made the 'all-terrain vehicle' and doing research of the highest order, such instances are shameful, he said. "I urge the authorities of VSSUT not to defend these so-called seniors, rather initiate stringent action against them which will deter others from resorting to such distasteful acts," added Rath.

A student leader Ranapratap Patra said that educational institutions should provide a safe and healthy environment for the youths to study and flourish. "Ragging is a cancer which needs to be eradicated from the roots. Students come here to build careers not to be tortured and humiliated," he said.

Dominating or demoralising a student is not acceptable. Ragging should be condemned and restricted at all levels in educational institutions, said Nandita, a student leader in Bhubaneswar. "I do not support ragging. Strict action should be initiated against the perpetrators," she said.

In the aforementioned VSSUT case, ten students (found involved) have been debarred from appearing the examinations for one year. Besides, 52 other students have been penalised with a fine of Rs 2,000. However, it remains to be seen, if this punishment acts as a deterrent for ‘senior’ students to shun this unholy practice in professional institutions and degree colleges.

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Asutosh Rath, DGM, NALCO

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Ranapratap Patra, Student Leader, Bhubaneswar

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Nandita, Student Leader, Bhubaneswar