My poignant thesis may well be set down in the beginning it self. Despite almost in all colleges ragging has been strictly banned, this ban has not been very effective inasmuch as number of ragging cases still reported by the media. At this juncture, I deem that it is apt to quote three lines of suicide note of a victim of ragging, committed suicide.
"This is the last day of my life...
... neither could I be a good son, nor a good boy...
... I love you, Babuji (dad)"
- -Parmeshwar, who is one of the victims of ragging, committed suicide.
Most of the people think that ragging means playing practical jokes on somebody or teasing someone". Ragging can be seen in U.S also. Ragging is known as "hazing" in the U.S. But in India, ragging is more infamous for its ubiquitous presence in the educational institutions. According to the observations by the Dr. Raghavan Committee, which has been constructed by the Union Human Resource Development ministry on the orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, the medical colleges are the worst affected in India. Ragging should not be ''an annual tradition''. A loss of self control in search of fun is the initiator of ragging. It continues on for about a month or so and after that the things are back to normal. According to the reports the victims are solely the freshmen. Even in foreign countries ragging of the sort found in our country was unheard of. Ragging is a serious violation of human rights. In one case, if seniors harassed freshers physically or mentally, they would be liable to be booked by police, expelled from college and denied admission in future. But with ragging offences still regularly reported, it was time to get tougher. According to the orders of Hon''blet Supreme Court, ragging has been banned in colleges and universities on the basis of the Raghavan Committee recommendations. Colleges have now been asked to put it on their prospectus that students found guilty of ragging would be expelled immediately. Teasing a junior student/freshman /someone is nothing but inhuman.
Raggging and bullying: Please, don't confuse ragging with bullying . Bullying is a "no holds barred" scenario wherein everyone is the target of the bully whether he/she is a batchmate or junior or senior. Bullying continues all the year round and it is not reciprocative. Bullies are there in every walk of life and school/universities are no exceptions. But Ragging is not Bullying. The differences are subtle but well defined. Ragging has a large number of people involved in it and is quite prevalent , though it is not so with bullying.
Despite '' Hazing'' in the U.S, it is just a kind of interaction among seniors and juniors, customized by the formers into a form of serious abuse of the juniors. Hazing ,in U.S , commonly does not involve gross violations of human rights like in India.
Now it is apt see that what does ''rag'' mean?
If we refer a good dictionary, we can know the following meanings as to the word ''Rag''.
Rag (noun) : cloth
Rag (noun) : music
Rag (noun) : news paper
Rag (verb) : amusing / fun
Definition of Ragging:
Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act,1997 (Act no. 26 of 1997) defines ''ragging'' as infra:
“Ragging” means doing an act which causes or is likely to cause insult or annoyance of fear or apprehension or threat or intimidation or outrage of modesty or injury to a student.''
The Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act , 1999 states that "...ragging means display of disorderly conduct, doing of any act which causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological harm or raise apprehension or fear or shame or embarrassment to a student in any educational institution..."
Laws related to ragging in India:
-In 1997, the state of Tamil Nadu first passed laws related to ragging
-In 1997, The State of Andhra Pradesh also passed laws relating to ragging. i.e Andhra Pradesh Prohibition of Ragging Act,1997 (Act no. 26 of 1997)
- The Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act , 1999
- Many others have been taking steps to curb ragging
-- A fortiori, in 2006, the Hon'ble Apex Court directed The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) to form a panel which will suggest guidelines to control ragging. The panel was headed by the former director of C.B.I. Dr. R.K.Raghavan.
--The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), following a directive by the Supreme court, appointed a seven member panel headed by ex-CBI director Dr. R. K. Raghavan to recommend anti-ragging measures.
-In May 2007, The Dr R.K.Raghavan Committee submitted its report to the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
-The said Report of Dr.R.K. Raghavan committee includes a proposal to include ragging as a special section under IPC.
-Based on the recommendations of Dr R.K.Raghavan Committee, Interm Order of , in 2007, the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India makes it obligatory for academic institutions to file official F.I.R with the police in any instance of a complaint of ragging. This would ensure that all cases would be formally investigated under criminal justice system, and not by the academic institutions own ad-hoc bodies.
- A major rise to anti-ragging efforts was given by a landmark judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in Vishwa Jagriti Mission's case.
-The Hon'ble Apex Court issued several guidelines on ragging, including filing of an FIR by the institution concerned. I deem that it is apt to observe the guidelines given in the land mark judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court as to curb ragging.
'' Vishwa Jagriti Mission Through President Versus Central Govt. Through Cabinet Secy. &Ors.
The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India issued the following guidelines:-
This Court views with concern the increase in the number of incidents of ragging in educational Institutions. Some of the reported incidents have crossed the limits of decency, morality and humanity. Some of the States have acted by enacting legislations and making ragging as defined therein a cognizable and punishable offence. However, we feel ragging cannot be cured merely by making it a cognizable criminal offence. Moreover we feel that the acts of indiscipline and misbehaviour on the part of the students must primarily be dealt with within the Institution and by exercise of the disciplinary authority of the teachers over the students and of the management of the institutions over the teachers and students. Students ought not ordinarily be subjected to police- action unless it be unavoidable. The students going to educational institutions for learning should not remain under constant fear of being dealt with by police and sent to jail and face the courts. The faith in the teachers for the purpose of maintaining discipline should be restored and the responsibility fixed by emphasizing the same.
Broadly speaking Ragging is:
Any disorderly conduct whether by words spoken or written or by an act which the effect of teasing, treating or handling with rudeness any other student, Indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities which causes or Is likely to cause annoyance, hardship or psychological harm or to raise fear or apprehension thereof in a fresher or a junior student or asking the students to do any act or perform something which such student will not do in the ordinary course and which has the effect of causing or generating a sense of shame or embarrassment so as to adversely affect the physique or psyche of a fresher or a junior student.
The cause of indulging in ragging is deriving a sadistic pleasure or showing off power , authority or superiority by the seniors over their juniors or freshers.
Ragging can, be stopped by creating awareness amongst the students, teachers and parents that ragging is a reprehensible act which does no good to any one and by simultaneously generating an atmosphere of discipline by sending a clear message that no act of ragging shall be tolerated and any act of ragging shall not go unnoticed and unpunished.
Anti-ragging movement should be initiated by the institutions right from the time of advertisement for admissions. The prospectus, the form for admission and/or any other literature issued to aspirants for admission must clearly mention that ragging is banned in the institution and any one indulging in ragging is likely to be punished appropriately which punishment may include expulsion from the institution, suspension from the institution or classes for a limited period or fine with a public apology. The punishment- may also take the shape of: (i) withholding scholarships or other benefits (ii) debarring from representation in events (iii) withhold results (iv) suspension or expulsion from hostel or mess and the like. If there be any legislation governing ragging or any provisions in the Statute/Ordinances they should be brought to the notice of the students/parents seeking admissions.
The application form for admission/enrollment shall have a printed undertaking to be filled up and signed by the candidate to the effect that he/she is aware of the institution's approach towards ragging and the punishments to which he or she shall be liable if found guilty of ragging. A similar undertaking shall be obtained from the parent/guardian of the applicant.
Such of the institutions as are introducing such a system for the first time shall ensure undertakings being obtained from the students and their parents/guardians already studying. In the institutions before the commencement of the next educational year/session.
A printed leaflet detailing when and to whom one has to turn for information, help and guidance for various purposes, keeping in view the needs of new entrants in the institution, along with the addresses and telephone numbers of such persons, should be given to freshers at the time of admissions so that the freshers need not look up to the seniors for help in such matters and feel indebted to or obliged by them.
The management, the principal, the teaching staff should interact with freshers and take them in confidence by apprising them of their rights as well as obligation to fight against ragging and to generate confidence in their mind that any instance of ragging to which they are subjected or which comes in their knowledge should forthwith be brought their knowledge and shall be promptly dealt with while protecting the complainants from any harassment by perpetrators of ragging. It would be better if the head of the institution or a person high in authority addresses meetings of teachers, parents and students collectively or in groups in this behalf.
At the commencement of the academic session, the institution should constitute a proctorial committee consisting of senior faculty members and hostel authorities like wardens and a few responsible senior students:
1. to keep a continuous watch and vigil over ragging so as to prevent its occurrence and recurrence,
2. to promptly deal with the incidents of ragging brought to its notice avid summarily punish the guilty either by itself or by putting-forth its finding/recommendation/suggestions before the authority competent to take decision.
The local community and the students in particular must be made aware of dehumanising effect of ragging inherent in its perversity. Posters, notice boards and sign-boards wherever necessary, may be used for the purpose.
Failure to prevent ragging shall be construed as an act of negligence in maintaining discipline in the institution on the part of the management., the principal and the persons in authority of the institution. Similar responsibility shall be liable to be fixed on hostel wardens/superintendent.
The hostels/accommodations where freshers are accommodated shall be carefully guarded, if necessary by posting security personnel, and placed incharge of a warden/superintendent who should himself/herself reside thereat, and wherein the entry of seniors and outsiders shall be prohibited after specified hour of night and before except under the of the person incharge. Entry at other times may also be regulated.
If the individuals committing or abetting ragging are not identified collective punishment could be resorted to act as a deterrent punishment and to ensure collective pressure on the potential raggers.
Migration certificate issued by the institution should have an entry apart from that of general conduct and behaviour whether the student had participated in and in particular was punished for ragging.
If an institution fails to curb ragging, the UGC/Funding Agency may consider stoppage of financial assistance to such an Institution till such time as it achieves the same. An University may consider disaffiliating a college or institution failing to curb ragging.
The Universities and the institutions shall at a reasonable time before the commencement of an academic year, and therefore at such frequent intervals as may be expedient deliberate over and devise such positive and constructive activities to be arranged by involving the students generally so that the seniors and juniors, and the existing students and the freshers, interact with each other in a healthy atmosphere and develop a friendly relationship so as to behave like members of a family in an institution. Seniors or juniors should be encouraged to exhibit their talents in such events so as to shed their complexes.
We make it clear that these guidelines are only illustrative and are not intended to corn in the way of the institutions and authorities devising ways and means to curb the ragging. If there are local laws governing ragging they shall be implemented and knowledge and information about such laws shall also be disseminated. Ragging, if it becomes unmanageable or amounts to a cognizable offence, the same may be reported to the police. However, the police should be called in or allowed entry in the campus at the instance of the head of the institution or person in charge. We expect the police also deals with such incidents when brought to its notice for action by keeping in mind that they are dealing with students and not criminals. The action of the police should never be violent and be always guided by a correctional attitude.
The UGC shall bring these guidelines to the notice of the educational institutions. Publicity may also be given by issuing press notices in public interest by the UGC and the Government. ''
Deaths purportedly the result of ragging in India:
· In 2010, Satwinder Kumar, 28, ended his life on 3 March. He was a student of the Advanced Training Institute, Mumbai. he named seven seniors, In his suicide note, who had ragged him.
· On 4th April, 2010, Sinmoi Debroy, 21, was found hanging from the ceiling fan, dead, in his hostel room in Chennai. It was a private hostel shared by students of various colleges. Most of the 42 SMSes in the Assamese engineering student's mobile phone were threats and abuses from seniors, who also demanded money.
· In 2010, Gaurav Sadanand Raut, 22, strangulated himself to death on 9 February in his hostel room in Nashik's Maratha Vidya Prasarak Samaj Medical College. His father named his roommates Mandhar Monde and Anil Kavade as the culprits. Although the police detained four students, the local NCP MLA, Vasant Pawar, also the general secretary of the college body, denied that the student had been ragged.
· In 2010, Nagedra AV, 25, was found dead in Chandigarh's prestigious Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research on 19 April. The doctor had joined this post-graduate institution just two months ago. The police said he jumped to death from the hostel building, his father said he had been pushed. His father said a day ago he had said he was finding it difficult to continue there due to ragging.
· In 2010, Premlatha, 22, committed suicide by consuming sulphuric acid in the chemistry lab of the B S Abdur Rahman Crescent Engineering College on 5 February. Her brother singled out one senior, Yogesh, 22, a fourth year student, as the person ragging her the most.
· In 2010, Ajub Ajith, 19, hanged himself to death from the ceiling fan in his house in Thiruvananathapuram on 31 March. He was a student of at the Sarabhai Institute of Science and Technology. He had told his mother that he was being ragged badly, but prevented her from complaining to the principal as, he said, that would make matters worse for him.
· In 2009, Aman Kachru, 19, died on Sunday after being ragged by four final year students of the Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda town, 20 km from Kangra.
· On 7th March, 2009:- Aman Kachroo, 19, a first year student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda, Kangra, HP, India, had repeatedly complained to his parents about the brutal ragging that took place on the Medical College campus — often by completely drunk third-year students. On Friday night and Saturday morning (March 6th-7th, 2009), the boy was beaten so badly that he died of brain hemorrhage.
· In Andhra Pradesh, September, 2006, C. Lalitha, the mother of Mukesh, ended her life due to the controversy surrounding the sexual abuse of her son during ragging.
· In Madhya Pradesh, at Vidyanagar, in the month of August, 2006, three (3) of the ragging deaths were those of seniors. In this incident, 2 seniors were killed by a first-year student when he was being ragged ; one senior ended his life when he was punished for ragging. The other seven deaths were those of freshman, six who committed suicide, and one due to the result of brutal ragging.
· In the year 2007 session, approximately 7 ragging deaths have been reported.
· Besides that , a number of freshmen were severely traumatized to the extent that they were admitted to mental institutions
· On 11th October, 2005:- Amit Sahai committed suicide by jumping before an approaching train in Jalandhar. He was a student of National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar The suicide note of Amit Sahai discloses that he was ragged by 9 senior students who mercilessly ragged him.
· On 18th September, 2007:- Durgesh Shukla hanged himself from a ceiling fan in his hostel room in Pioneer College, Bhopal. In his suicide note, he blamed his seniors.
· On 8th August, 2007:- Manjot Singh,who was a MBBS student, committed suicide by consuming a poisonous substance, owing to ragging in his hostel at the Government Medical College, chandigarh.
· On 20th September, 2007:- Chetan Raj, 18, committed suicide in Mysore. His body was found hanging from the roof of his lodge room. He had already complained to his parents that he was being ragged in his college.
· In the month of November 2006:- SP Manoj committed suicide in his hostel room at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad.
· On 14th December, 2005:- C Abraham, a first year engineering student, hanged himself to death at his residence in Hyderabad. In his suicide note, he mentioned that he was not interested in studies. His parents suspected that his suicide to be a result of ragging.
· On 5th November, 2006:- Azad Nair, 22, a cadet at the Officer's Training Academy(OTA) in Chennai.He had hanged himself from the fan of his room. Prior to his suicide he had told his brother Soumendu over telephone that he was being ragged and humiliated at the OTA and he had pleaded to his father Padmanabhan Nair to rescue him from the OTA.
· On 5th December, 2005:- Sridhar, 18 year old student, hung himself to the ceiling fan in his hostel room in Chennai. In the English press, only one newspaper in Mumbai reported the incident.
· In the month of July 2005:- Kamlesh Sarkar, 19 year old student , committed suicide in a private hotel management institute in Kalyani, Nadia district, West Bengal. The police filed an unnatural death case and not one of ragging.
· On 19th December, 2004:- Mohan Karthik Tripathy,19 year old student , hanged himself from a ceiling fan in his hostel room at the SKR Engineering College in Tambaram, Tamil Nadu. His written complaint about ragging to the college authorities had gone unheeded. He had been forced to bathe in his own urine.
· In the month of June, 2004:- Sushil Kumar Pandey, 18 year old student , hanged himself to death after the humiliation of being paraded naked by his seniors at the Madan Mohan Malviya Engineering College, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
· In month of September, 2002:- Anup Kumar, 19 year old student, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in Kanpur. In his suicide note, he said that he was going through mental agony, owing to the sexual harassment by second-year students of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, Lucknow, in the name of ragging.
A fortiori, ''about 9 teenagers are killed every year... Hundreds get seriously injured and/or disabled...Countless of innocent youths suffer extreme forms of physical and sexual abuses for months...'' . Despite almost in all colleges, ragging has been strictly banned, this ban has not been very effective, as seen by the number of ragging cases still reported by the media. we should work hard to promote a healthy and positive learning environment in educational institutions; to provide medical, legal and counseling support students who are victims of ragging; to proactively promote measures to eliminate ragging, through the formation of Anti Ragging units within the campuses.
# Vishwa Jagriti Mission Through President Versus Central Govt. Through Cabinet Secy. &Ors
# WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO 656 OF 1998
# Visit to know more : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragging_in_India