Curbing a menace
CHITRA V. RAMANI
‘Get tough with ragging’ is the united message
The Supreme Court last week directed educational institutions in the country to put down ragging with an iron hand. It said that ragging had become synonymous with teasing, terror, harassment, cruelty, fear and physical and mental torture. A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Mukundakam Sharma gave this direction on the basis of reports submitted by a committee constituted under the chairmanship of former CBI Director R.K. Raghavan.
The Bench said the Centre, the States and Union Territories should act in accordance with the guidelines formulated by the committee. The Medical Council of India and the Bar Council of India, in consultation with the University Grants Commission, should frame regulations which should be binding on the institutions. As suggested by the committee, the prospectus must mention that if an incident of ragging “comes to the notice of the authority concerned, the accused student will be given an opportunity to explain and if his explanation is not satisfactory the authority will expel him from the institution.”
A.M. Narahari, president of the Federation of University and College Teachers Associations in Karnataka, says that ragging should be strictly put down. “Several educational institutions have model systems to curb ragging, which others can emulate and implement. Having a law alone will be of no use, if it is not implemented in earnest,” he says. Several students, under the garb of ‘introduction,’ resorted to ragging. Several cases of ragging have hit the headlines where students, unable to withstand it, have attempted or committed suicide.
Arun Kumar, a second-year student of M.S. Communication, Bangalore University, says that youth often misuse opportunities given to them. “There are a thousand ways to get acquainted with one’s juniors. Ragging should not be one of them. It is good that the Supreme Court has directed institutions to curb ragging,” he says. B.V. Chandresh, a final year B.Sc. student from S.J.R.C. College, says that through ragging, seniors often unnecessarily causes trauma for the juniors. “It is false that ragging is one of the ways of getting to know your juniors. At times, it is carried on for too long and often sours relations between seniors and juniors.”
The Supreme Court’s direction to the educational institutions in the country will make them (institutions) and authorities concerned alert, believes K.E. Radhakrishna, former Principal of Surana College and advisor to Federation of Degree College Principals’ Association, Karnataka. “Earlier, ragging was defined as ‘wavered youth behaviour.’ However, it has now become sadistic. There is a need for regulations to ensure that ragging is curbed and students’ interests are protected.” He also believes that heads of institutions are morally and legally obligated to curb ragging and ensure that students’ development is unaffected.
M.S. Thimmappa, former Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, says that though the law existed earlier, it was not implemented properly. “The law calls for stringent action to be taken when cases of ragging are reported. Authorities could suspend students who indulged in ragging after informing the jurisdictional police.” The need of the hour is for educational institutions and managements to stop making half-hearted attempts to curb ragging.
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