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Ragging: Adopt imaginative not punitive measures

india Updated: Feb 11, 2007 18:55 IST

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The politicians are fine people indeed, for they first spoil and corrupt a system then appoint commissions, hold conferences, arrange meetings and confabulations to set the things right. The Anti-Ragging conference sponsored by the HRD Ministry, to be held on 12th February, has invited all and sundry to its meet except the politicians.

It may be remembered that these days the term ”politician” is a cumulative term and includes police and civil administration, without whom the politician is a wet squib.

If the conference cannot ensure political non-interference on the campus, it should better confabulate, dine and wind up the proceedings. If the politicians do not lift their siege of the campus, from where they recruit their youth wings and collect their muscle power, it is futile to talk of any reformation of the campus. Most of the campus ills proceed from them and though they may not be the cause of everything, to be sure they are the effect. What has happened and is happening in the case of Late Professor Sabbarwal’s case should be an eye opener.

No one doubts the honest and serious intentions of the impending conference. But they should begin with the premise that our society has grown excessively intolerant and violent. It spurns the rule of law for, may be, the genius of the age itself is intolerant.

Thus when it comes to ragging one may dismiss sadistic individuals as exceptions but when normal, usually sane young men and women indulge in ruthless ragging, it is a matter for  alarm. Since ragging is something peculiar to educational institutions, especially of higher learning, it is for the teachers and the teaching community to resolve the issue, more specially when ragging takes place within the precincts of their own institutions.

The question is: do the teachers do their homework before a new session begins? The answer is No. When the new session begins and the campus is abuzz with students, the teachers have no distinct strategy or plan to immediately engage the attention of the students, who instinctively find ragging the most handy activity, and freshers a soft target. The teachers are indifferent to the plight of the juniors and keep safe distance from the rowdies whom they fear and dare not challenge.

Any campus of a professional college would vouch for this statement. In short the teachers have neither the will nor the imagination to handle this problem, which assumes serious dimensions only because it is ignored. If handled in an imaginative way it can be a source of great joy and will engender a creative force.

Once a premier institution of Bhopal created various clubs and encouraged the seniors to run them by soliciting support of the juniors to swell the membership of their clubs—literary club, sports, music and drama clubs, cultural clubs etc.

It worked, for the soliciting seniors besieged the juniors. The entire college was enthralled. The students were provided an opportunity of pleasant ragging and lighter moments in the presence of the teachers and parents. That year there was no ragging. Though the teachers may need the help of the administration in some desperate cases, they can prosper with their own innovative measures.

Besides, the teachers have not yet obtained the salutary services of the parents, the first stakeholders, who can help the institutions in overcoming not just ragging but other problems as well.  

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