The ragging incident at KEM Hospital’s hostel on Saturday was not a stray incident.
Around five years ago, a first year student at Seth GS Medical College, which is attached to KEM, had complained to the dean that three seniors had ragged him. The seniors were temporarily suspended and made to pay a penalty.
Medical students said ragging is part for the course. Most of them consider it a good “ice-breaker” and not a matter worth complaining about.
They said that ragging is fine as long as there is no physical assault. “At AIIMS and other medical colleges in the north, seniors often slap first-year students if they don’t give them enough respect,” said a doctor. “I did not complain when I was asked to strip. But I would have if I was hit.”
“All of us face it when we are in the first-year and indulge in it when we become senior,” said a post-graduate medical student at KEM.
The student, who requested anonymity, said he had been ragged twice, first when he got a MBBS seat at Grant Medical College and a month later when he was shifted to KEM.
“First, we were asked to introduce ourselves. Then, we were asked whether we had a girlfriend or had sex. Later, we were asked to do funny things like hurl verbal abuses at the ceiling fan and ask it to stop. We had to strip and asked to show our seniors how we masturbate and perform mock sexual acts,” he said.
A doctor, who recently graduated, recalled sitting butt naked on a chair facing his classmate and reading out lines from a Hindi porn novel. “It was funny not embarrassing because many of us were being ragged at the same time,” he said. “It was a good way to start interacting with the seniors. They took us out for dinner later and we had a good laugh.”
When asked about the Saturday incident, the students brushed it off as “mild ragging”.