Friday, July 23, 2010

Ragging: anguish of a parent

I read this post on the google reader... it shows the pain the parent has undergone...

If my son, Aman Kachroo, was not ragged, he is likely to have been a happy kid today and, perhaps, a great doctor tomorrow. My wife and I and the parents of 12 other kids who died in the past one year did not deserve to suffer the pain of losing a child, and the boys and girls who got ragged in colleges across the country did not have to live with the shame and suffocate in helplessness. 

You might be thinking that I am not man enough to argue my case and that is why I have chosen to use an emotional tool. But that is not true. Let me draw a parallel. Let us consider a situation where a drunk husband comes home at night, beats his wife black and blue, has forcible sex with her, and then goes off to sleep. The next morning he wakes up and puts the entire blame on alcohol. We all know that alcohol is just an excuse. This man is a sick person who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others. 

The man knows that his wife is an easy prey because she is a prisoner of her own false beliefs. She believes that matters of home must be kept within the boundaries of home, and to maintain that belief, she is ready to suffer pain and humiliation. For the husband, alcohol provides a convenient shield. 

Ragging is similar. Mentally sick students, like the drunk husband, indulge in their perversions under the excuse of ragging and the students who suffer are like the wives who believe that matters within the family must remain within the family. Clearly, the students who suffer are equally at fault as the students who inflict pain on them. 

Today, I want to tell them that they do not have to suffer for no reason. They can lodge a compliant on a toll free number 1800 180 5522 and action will be taken. I also want to tell you that if you feel that they are embarrassed or scared to talk, then you can file the complaint on their behalf. Please help them. They need your support. 

I know many of you must be thinking that I have created a monster out of something that is a bit of harmless fun and laughter. I agree that ragging, for most of you, is just that, but remember that those with the perverted mind are always on the lookout for something else. Something that you might have started for fun and laughter can get very quickly out of hand and turn into an ugly incident of rape or death or injury. Would you be able to live with that guilt for the rest of your life? Think about it. 

You must know that last year Supreme Court passed an order to ban ragging in all educational institutions, including private hostels, cafeterias and lodges that are outside the campus. Ragging is banned without any exceptions and there is nothing like soft ragging or hard ragging. Ragging is ragging and it doesn't matter where the act is performed. It is illegal. 

University Grants Commission has published what constitutes ragging. The details are on their website and on the website of the Aman movement for eradication of ragging, Basically, what it says is that you cannot force your will on any other student, regardless of whether he/she is your senior or junior or is in the same class as you. 

All of you know that if you get involved in ragging, you will be punished severely. But what you may not know is that from now onwards your college authorities too are culpable under the law if they do not act on a complaint of ragging. This means that the officials too can go to jail if they do not act and naturally they are not likely to shield you any longer as they used to do in the past. 

Also, UGC regulations place the burden of proof on the accused. What it means is that the person accused of ragging has to prove that he/she was not involved in ragging. The accuser has to only lodge a complaint. It is, of course, very tough on the accused but it only goes to show that the authorities are very serious about clamping down on the evil practice. 

We all know that making laws is necessary and punishment is a deterrent but we also know that laws and punishment alone do not solve the problem. There are many who break laws because they seek excitement and there are others who break laws because they like to oppose everything. When such people get caught they, of course, regret it but, unfortunately, it is often too late. Please do not come under peer pressure and get thrown out of the college. Ragging is an act of shame. It is nothing to be proud of.

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