Mr Shyam Narayan was my Hindi teacher in my college. He was a very strict and disciplinarian person. His son, Amit had passed the intermediate examination from that college. He was a soft-spoken guy and well-known to us. In his first attempt, he secured a seat in the medical college of BHU.
After a few days, we came to know that Amit was hospitalised. Mr Shyam Narayan had to take leave. He extended his leave again and again, but Amit was not okay. He was discharged from the hospital, but he remained confined to bed.
The first year of Amit’s medical course had washed out all due to ragging. He had been harmed physically so badly by his seniors that he remained immobile for months together. It was a mental torture too.
I don’t know whether the perpetrators of this crime had been punished or not, but Mr Shyam Narayan had lodged an F.I.R. against them.
Ragging had become a norm rather than exception in a number of educational institutes in our times. Although ragging started with medical and engineering students living on campus, gradually it spread to other streams and day scholars as well.
Anything like jeans, t-shirts, specs, pens, bags or even accent would become subjects of ridicule or tools of harassing juniors. They would be asked to perform ridiculous acts, crack jokes or speak on something ex tempore.
The purpose of ragging was to help break the ice between the seniors and juniors for better interaction. But later it assumed serious proportions and became a notorious practice of welcoming new students to college, as some seniors would get violent too to satiate their sadistic pleasures.
It has, therefore, been prohibited in India and the Supreme Court has declared it as a criminal offence. No student can cause, induce, intimidate or compel others to do any act against human dignity or make them subjects of joke and ridicule. Institutes have now formed Anti-Ragging Committees as a preventive measure.
I had never faced bullying or ragging in my educational life, but I knew the business of ragging, as I did get an opportunity to rag my juniors who would be in attendance as directed by us. But I was a sober guy. I never took lead, as I had my own weakness. I had to impress my next-door girl, whose brother was one of my juniors.
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