Thursday, January 18, 2018
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ragging now

Ragging has indeed assumed explosive dimensions and if juniors complain against their seniors , it is hardly surprising. But this tradition has come down since the days when ragging was regarded as a part of the training that young students were supposed to have so as to  make them more bold and open in order to cope with the real-life problems that they all had to encounter after passing out. Even in those days sometimes excesses were committed. But, as seniors of that era tell me, they never intended to hurt anyone. In fact Dr BBL Saxena, late VC of Meerut and Agra Universities, once told me(a few months before his death), that the junior-senior relationship continued in some respects even in later life. He would say: ‘If a senior met juniors in coffee house, then he would pay their bill and would not allow them to open their purse strings’. Dr Saxena recalled that even after he had come in service, he once met an elderly gentleman in a restaurant who had been his senior in hostel. ‘He did not allow me to pay’. That is how the seniors preserved and followed those traditions.

Prof R.N.Deb once told us about an incident in a London University. He said, ‘A student had died as a result of ragging. The boy’s funeral was widely attended.  And the Vice Chancellor (or any one presiding over the condolence meeting) paid heartrending tributes to the departed soul and after a brief speech, concluded it by saying, ;But the show must go on. Ragging is a tradition that will continue’
I am saying this in the context of the hunger strike by  nine expelled inmates of the A.N.Jha Hostel who were thus punished for indulging in ragging.  The Vice Chancellor has said that the suspension can be revoked. And Registrar B.P.Singh  has remarked that if the VC says so then there must be some validity behind it. I hope that by the time this is in print, the suspension would have been revoked.
Ragging excesses are reported from time to time from different prestigious institutes of the country. That is presumably because  the media these days is very alive and reaches every nook and corner of the country within minutes. This never happened in the past. Hence if excesses were committed in the past as well, they were never reported.
There is no doubt that the spirit of tolerance is no longer there. The era of ‘Spare the rod and Spoil the child’ has gone because today even if a teacher justifiably uses the rod it is he who is not spared—by the parents who report against him or her to the police and even file an FIR. Some teachers have fled or have been sacked. In olden days school boys were severely beaten up by teachers for their lapses but none dared to go home and report against them to their parents because they were afraid that were they to do so, they would get a good  caning from the father.





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