Hostel ragging aims at creating an environment of constant fear and intimidation for freshers, one in which every senior seems to be an enemy.
The fresher has to stand in a certain manner, chat in a certain manner, by no means smile even when aggravated by humour. There are little limericks which freshers are made to learn by heart, and one of the themes of these works of literature is that "I will make my a** available to my seniors whenever they want it."
Some students go up against the idea of any kind of surveillance against ragging in the hostel on the grounds of privacy. Such is the acceptance of the discourse of ragging, however, that the fresher's privacy is not an issue at all.
Says Ginny Rajbir, a senior hostler, Miranda House, "When we entered the hostel premises, we were also very scared as we use to hear dreadful incidents taking place during ragging. But when we became a part of it was great fun and healthy interaction.
But now fun element is just missing because of the lawful measures coming up.
Yes edicts are out: If you rag especially in the hostel premises, an FIR will be registered and police action will begin. Senior hostlers have been given ample warnings by the college administration, local police and student bodies not to scare the freshers, particularly the hostlers into doing something unthinkable - harass them in the name of ragging.
But do these stern steps have any meaning and do they really impact the phenomenon of ragging, that wonderful friendship building activity among hostlers ever invented, as some believe, as long as it is healthy and fun.
"For any student who slogs day and night to secure a hostel seat into a prestigious college, ragging in hostels which is going to be our second home can be our worst nightmare come true, especially for the home-sick hostlers", opines Ananya Nigam, a nervous fachcha hostler.
It is important for the ritual of ragging that the fresher's room be entered into in the late hours of the night, that the fresher be prevented from doing what he wants because getting ragged is more important; because fetching water for the senior or dancing before him/her is to be given preference over finishing the book that he/she was reading.
"Ragging is a inevitable fact. It has to take place. Any law or measure can't finish it entirely. So I'm all prepared for it. It's an unavoidable practice. Every fachcha has to go through it", says Rashmi Sinha, another fresher in line.