“Everybody is not a performer — Say no to ragging,” read a poster at Miranda House, bringing home the message that even seemingly harmless pranks by seniors can traumatise a fresher. And that seemed to be the spirit across North Campus, where the police and college authorities kept a close eye on senior students.
Police personnel posted outside all colleges ensured that only bona fide students were allowed entry, but first-year students who had forgotten to carry along their admission slips that were being demanded as identity proof found themselves locked outside the college.
“I had to wait for a long time before I was let in as I forgot to carry my admission slip. I was a bit worried as attendance is compulsory on the first day, but I was finally let in after some faculty members intervened,” said a new entrant. Most colleges here followed the dictum of a civilised introduction over tea or lunch. Students at Ramjas College said there was no ragging happening. “We were not worried about ragging. Anyway in DU, ragging is just an intro. That is okay. We did that much in school,” said Mayoura Chatta, an English Honours student. Chatta, however, said she expected some ragging tomorrow.
One incident of ragging was reported from Shri Ram College of Commerce. Principal P.C. Jain, however, denied the incident. DU proctor Gurmeet Singh said no report of ragging was received from any college. “It was the smoothest first day so far.” Most colleges kept students busy to prevent them from indulging even in light pranks. “Senior students were so glad to be back in college and organising events, they did not have time to go after juniors in a vicious manner,” said Pratibha Jolly, Principal, Miranda House.
Some light “interactions” took place at Kirori Mal College, but college authorities said it did not qualify as ragging. Mild forms of ragging, re-christened “friendly interactions”, took place just about everywhere in South Campus. Every corner of the campus at Sri Venkateswara was bustling with life. In the Chemistry (Hons) class, a group of four seniors took the lead, when asking the new students to showcase their skills.
While the girls adjusted their vocal chords or rather nasal notes to Himesh Reshammia numbers, the boys were given chairs as props to exhibit their dancing abilities. Some shy loners like Gogou Houkys and Hiller from Manipur were asked to copy timetables for seniors. “We are having a lot of fun and I would certainly not term it as ragging. It is friendly interaction and they are giving us the liberty to do what we like,” said Houkys.