16 May, 2009

Ragging - myths that menace

Ragging is morally wrong. No ifs and No buts.
It is just wrong. Ragging is dirty and disgusting.

I was young, enthusiastic and innocent just a school passed out girl. Going to the college was very much new and exciting to me. Literary, I had no knowledge of what doesSeniors” mean. I thought, I was the new aspiring student of college. But the moment I entered the Institute, I realized, I was a "junior"/fresher before being the student of the Institute.

Fortunately, being a Girl and a day-scholar by chance paid me off well. I was not harassed/ ragged like my other batch boys. I was only asked to give introduction. Like what my name was, which place I belonged, from which school I studied…But the amazing question did sometime come across me was “what was my favorite color?” I stretched up my right eyebrow, and thought, how does that matter to them. For me even this was ridiculous and irritating. I would have loved to tell everybody, my own classmates and my respected seniors about me. But giving introduction almost 10 times a day made me feel hard.
Indeed, “Interaction”, yes that is the key word used to justify the humiliation of a human by a fellow human.
Luckily, none of the senior girls were cruel. But I do remember, that there were few who used to bring messages from the seniors boys to us. This was again the fact I dint like at all. God knows why my seniors were so egar to know about us…the Juniors. They could have planned a particular day to take intro of all students together, as they planned for fresher's party. But no! They are seniors afterall.

My new friends, my classmate were always there to support me and help me just if I felt alone with my seniors during intro-round. They were there to tell me what was right and what was wrong in the seniors/juniors dictionary, which was very much new to me.

That was a time I realised, true peers were so important.
Click to Enlarge:

Worst part was I could never remember the names for my seniors. Anyway how did that matter, when we had to address them with “Sir and Maams” titles. Now this was again the funniest part calling them Sir/Maam. Although I dint felt bad about it, as at least then I could ignore the fact that I cannot remember their names.

The moment, I reached the cafeteria; I was under the keen observation of the seniors and all the eyes followed me, until I was left eating nothing. Fortunately I was not among my other batchmates who washed the dishes of our seniors after lunch. Now, how humiliating was this.They sometimes made us do silly things which gave them immense pleasure.

When my juniors came, I made sure no harmless-fun shall be entertained atleast by me. Luckily, I became the member of the Anti-Ragging committee. But the culture cultivated by my seniors left their long roots. We were also known as Sir and Maams. But we definitely did not force any of our juniors to address so. I remember to have a great rapport with my junior girls, who came from far distance. I personally went to them and met them and made sure they were comfortable. But in this process, I made sure that the mistake my Seniors made, wont be repeated by me. I did not act either smart or over-friendly with my junior, to make them feel good. This act created the history that we still share a great bond together.

I definitely today feel that I learnt a lot during my graduation. I tried and understood the real bond to be shared with the juniors. What I above mentioned I not at all mean that, all my seniors were cunning.

There were some seniors, who least bothered the ragging terns their classmates followed, are today still my very dear friends.
I completed by Graduation and came to a new Institute to do my higher-studies. I was in the perception that having gone through the phase of so called ragging in my graduation; hopefully I will not have to go through again. Also I believed that this being a post-graduation/MBA Institute, a professional levels shall be maintain. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

To be really honest, I found surprisingly some of my seniors acting immature. May be it was an excitement to see juniors. This time I was staying first time far from my parents, in the hostel. There was 24/7 interaction with the seniors. Many of the seniors had not arrived back to Institute after undergone their Summer Training. Everyday, one senior would hop into the institute, and then at night call us in the room for the Intro-Round. This phase continued till all our seniors one by one arrived. Honestly giving intro is not tiring, but saying the same thing everyday, one to one is quite an irritating task.

Many of my friends used to feel sleepy, some felt tired and some felt irritated, but our seniors would not allow us let go off. I remember well, when we actually objected to any of our seniors act, they would all together rhyme a statement that Till now, we have asked you to do nothing, OUR seniors were very cruel and asked for infinite things, but WE never questioned them back and so how dare YOU do object.. Now tell me, isn’t it immature to hear this.

One day our seniors asked us the girls to wear the Mix n Match dress for consecutive three days. When my roommates including me decided not to act foolish, we were indirectly forced by our own classmates to follow the instruction of seniors as they dint wanted to suffer because of us. That was one of the first major mistake we made by being emotional for the people who would never understand our emotions.

Certainly, WE should have been a little bolder and learn to say straight No, to certain things.
Wearing mix-n-match is a simple concept, and there is nothing to feel shy about it but I wonder, how does it help us in our studies or our daily life..? The oily hair, pigtails accompanying the mix-n-match dress was the symbols of ragging.
Just in case if one does not have that dress-code,
...then Buy, Borrow or Steal! Why should there be dress codes?
Why should a fresher bow to seniors?
Is this how our culture teaches us to interact?

Some of the seniors created a post-induction sessions for us. Those were interesting to do, despite of the busy schedule. Definitely, I feel to thank seniors for all those activities arranged.

Many a times, I was asked by my classmates to follow our seniors as they will help us in our studies and placement. So agree with them at any cost. Well I thought it was the senior’s prime duty to do so if they really could, isn’t it? So why ask for favor. Such were some of the seniors who emotionally blackmailed us, if we did not listen them, they would not help us in any case.

I believe any interaction which is aggressive and assymetric (not on equal footing) is ragging. There were always a few cases where we the fresher were having some interaction with the seniors which was intolerable and hence we often suffered loss of self esteem. I remember very well, one of senior ones was asking our hobbies, to this one of our batchmate boy, replied that he liked gardening. To this our senior laughed and made fun of him and his choice of hobby. So now you understand their philosophy, Seniors are always Right.

I wonder why seniors have this perception that over night, they will change our point of view or attitude. Especially, when we are already adults and have our own strong opinions. After all what is wrong in having a way of thought as they also posses some!

As I always had difficulty in remembering the names, I ones asked one of my senior, their name and to no surprise the reply came back “Pata karo (Find Out by Yourself)”. Even the mightiest celebrities are so much down to earth and are so humble. But I forgot that the Seniors, are the big personified people, who are no less than any celebrity, hence orders us to find out. And just in case if you are not able to do, they might end up punishing you to write there name thousand times to remember.

Again there is a myth that seniors have, that is they think they are supreme and posses some ultimate magic powers to mould the juniors/fresher for the difficult world ahead. I remember, whenever we denied following something that seniors asked to, they would instantly say, In Industry, one has to do many things despite of the disagreement, so listen to us and get used to it.

For them ragging was the effort to make us bold and indirectly taught us the `reality' of the harsh life ahead. Certainly, a person just one year senior to me can reform my life in a positive way through such acts!

I wonder, why our parents never tell us or teach us to do certain thing in a certain way. They never ask us to learn in advance how to act or behave in the harsh world ahead. Instead, they tell us what is right and what is wrong, now you decide what is good for you.
Our parents want us to start from scratch so that we develop our own ideas and creativity. They act like this, despite of their long experiences and knowledge.
On the contrarily, our seniors act smart, and too intelligent to handle. They believe that ragging shall increase our smartness or makes a fresher bold. But in the reality ground the world is so different. The fresher goes through a loss of individuality, suppresses talent and reduces self-worth. Who will make them understand that the life has its own ways of letting us know that we need to get stronger and smarter?

It does not take any senior to hurt my pride, my self-respect for me to understand that simple philosophy of life. Infact, such attempt of the seniors to break the self esteem of a newcomer and revel in their shame and fear engenders feelings of bitterness and revengefulness, which is often taken out on juniors next year. I think this is what; My seniors must have gone through.

One of my friend ones told me one day that Every person have a counselor in him/her.Right! Like if one fresher have a problem and somehow asks his seniors for the advice, the senior starts rambling everything from the beginning. What are his thoughts, experiences, ideas and different ways to tackle the situation and so on? Until this, everything is good. But the worst comes lately when, not only he gives the advice but also makes sure that one tackles the situation only by his way told. Just doing the otherwise round might make him feel disrespected.

I am sure just incase if my seniors read this post of mine, would not appreciate my free minded thoughts. Well, then I have got used to this behavior just as they have got to mine.

Now, having passed through many stages in life, I have never found any use for the education my seniors tried to gave me.

But, of course, they had no inkling of the real world themselves. Humiliating and harassing somebody to boost up the confidence are the false keys some seniors believe in. And again it strikes hard, what use was their education if they have no values in life?

Perhaps some people/my classmate/friends might argue, saying that ragging helped them to open up or to become extrovert. Then, I guess you are lucky to have changed your attitude over night. Sometimes, miracles do happen. Ironically, after all these shock-effects from seniors, our batch came close and much caring.

Some might even end up saying; I did not go much through the worst part of ragging and despite that I’m writing so much negative. Then, I would like to kindly question them, “Why should have I or anybody would have to go through all that nonsense?”
But we could not find out any solution to the heritage, the legacy which carried behind many rotten-old thoughts and acts. The ‘tradition’ continues unabated. ‘Tradition' over a time have been used to defend the actions. But shouldn't traditions be changed and modified depending on the needs of the people? Should Sati still continue? Shouldn't Dowry be abolished? Then why get rigid to Ragging terms?
is not required
the ice..
Humiliation is not the requirement for breaking the ice.
No one knows how one crosses the line and their limits.
Each person has their own aura of dignity. For one person it might look like a simple thing but on the other hand some might feel very much hurt. Hence, everyone have their own bar of handling and limiting the suffering experience.

It is difficult and painful phase through the juniors go. I believe, that is the high time when a helping hand of the seniors must come to juniors to overcome all the fear and anxiety and help them to navigate the turbulent time of staying far away from home to hostel. Just to show their super intelligent brains and fulfill the hungry appetite of ego, the fresher/juniors must not be used as gunny-pigs to test and experiment on. Let ragging leave happy memories as indeed it is a social function but not to be used to bully someone’s feelings.

The best of friendships are cultivated through self-respect and mutual respect, sustained through love and care. One cannot get respect on demand rather; one has to earn it. To get respect one has to be helpful and humble.

Interaction with juniors at an equal level in the right manner and within limits of decency is today’s call. So join hands to abolish Ragging.

  • This post is purely on the personal thoughts of expressions.
  • This blog is not to offend any particular of my senior/person.
I have been lucky to have also come across to some of the best people as seniors and I salute them for believing in me, enhancing and appreciating my skills.
  • Just in any way, if being a senior I have hurt the feeling of my juniors, I would heartily like to apologize for it.

Kindly go through this post too...for this post 'Blissful
blunder - Juniors and Seniors Bond'
completes the above


  1. Hey! Ragging is something i didnt have to undergo, inspite of staying in a hostel and being in a colg once upon a time ultra famous for ragging. Yeah, it does still prevail as far the guys go, but the scenario isnt dat bad these days (Miraculously so)

  2. @ Abhu

    Thank you for going through this sensitive post.
    I am glad that you did'nt go through the ragging in ur college time, despite that you manage to understand the pulse of it.

    Keep the spark Alive!

  3. i went thru d entire write up... n u knw wt..? i bacame nostalgic..
    i still remember d first year days wen our so called sirs and ma'ams used to humiliate us till d topmost limit...
    one of d 'sirs' used 2 shower dat all sweet "i adore u" smile evrytime he saw me.. i latr realised he ws keepin a watch on me n my boyfriend...in fact one of our seniors came up 2 me wd his proposal full of all sorts of cheesy talk..!! i'v nevr felt anythn 4 a girl lyk i do for u... i ws thinkin, "watever d hell u felt for other girls... plz jst spare me d horror.." but den he ws a nice guy... n we continued being frends aftr dat... but i had a row wd one of my ma'ams (d guy's batchmate) latr coz he proposed to me n not to her...
    interesting topic...

  4. @ Rooplin

    Thank u for reading this post. Ragging haunts everybody.

    I would wish to read your-end full story/experience, which u hinted in comment. Seems, you got some of the funniest moments of ragging;)


  5. ok...first things first...another piece well written...

    tried hard but couldn't refrain from puttin it down that its strange (and definitely definitely hurtful) that we'd been taken so wrong...our intentions were never to hurt you people or show you guys down..just like your disclaimer each one of us had one...only if you could see it!

    The idea behind those "light session" (or maybe not so light) was always to break the ice and have a little fun...at anybody's expense..sometime yours and sometime ours!

    Everyone (yes! even we) hated our seniors during those "ragging" days but then do we really carry our crosses this far!!??!!

    All said and done, its a personal prerogative...never knew we "tortured" you so much! Sorry :(

    Once again...good piece of literary work... :)

  6. Ira Maam
    Ira mam..I just got your concern comment in that post...I know u know wht I'm refering to...trust me...I had no intentions to hurt U or just anybody with those lines,(though I knew I might just spoin certain bonds with that free-thought post)..
    But as you said..."you gone thru the same..at some point"...it just we were... or should I say..."I" could not manage the best of moments so welll!
    + "Sure no one tries to do it over the top...yet sometimes..we are nt sure when we actually cross the line of expectations!!!" (applies to all and me too )
    ~ Seriously...No hurt feelings now...or ever for those days...it's an experience..and I take it along...!! And expect the same from you too!!
    B/n It is really wonderful to see how you take up the views so gracefully...!

    ~ Hope you maintain the same positive spark!


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