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YKA Campaign: Aman Kachru… Lest We Forget

Posted on March 20, 2010 in Society

Sandeep Dasika:

One of the most serious problem faced by youth’s today is ragging. Wikipedia defines ragging as ‘a form of abuse on newcomers to educational institutions in India and Sri Lanka’. So why is it that the most reputed online encyclopedia has put it so clearly that it is prominent in India?

Ragging includes all those acts by oneself to physically or psychologically abuse his peer or his subordinate to shame or embarrass the same. It is a practice that has incorporated into almost every student citizen of our country. Today, it is a shame that it is none but the fresh entrants to educational institutions that are being curbed of their freedom. As far as the report from 2007 by the Indian anti-ragging group Coalition to uproot ragging from education is concerned, there were 64 ragging complaints, 60%of which were physical in nature and 20% sexual in nature.

Apart from this the Society Against Violence in Education (SAVE), India’s only registered anti-ragging NGO has noted 7 reported ragging deaths in the year 2007 alone and 31 reported deaths in the period 2000-2007. This is what the Indian student community has given to a country which has seen the birth of individuals like Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

One of the tragedies in recent times that infuriated me was the news of the death of a student named AMAN KACHROO due to ragging.

AMAN, an alumnus of the DPS international, DELHI and a resident of Gurgaon, had died on Sunday night in a hospital in Tanda due to several injuries. His family alleged that he was slapped, punched and kicked many times on the head and chest by his seniors who also shaved off his head. The four seniors in connection with the cause of AMAN’s death were arrested and charged with culpable homicide as the Himachal Pradesh government ordered a magisterial probe into the shocking incident.

A new report released on Monday revealed that during the past 12 months, the country witnessed 88 cases of ragging of which 12 were fatal, and among these 12 ragging deaths 5 were suicides; Andhra Pradesh being the worst affected state.

Ragging poses a serious problem not only in India but in other countries as well. Recently in china, a female student of the Anglo-Chinese Junior college was tortured by her friends as a part of her birthday celebrations and finally the girl was wheeled around and thrown into the dust bin. Adding to the injury, the video was made out of it and was posted on YouTube! How ridiculous, isn’t it?

In many colleges like IIT Bombay and IIT Hyderabad and the IIITs, ragging has been strictly banned. This ban however has not been very effective as the number of cases keep on rising.

Recently there was a case in which 19 IIIT students were fined Rs. 50,000 each for ragging. As per the reports, a few girl students of the BTech first year who lived in the hostel at IIIT-A, were reportedly harassed by senior hostel girls on the night of July 19.

And what more than this! Over 140 students of the Gandhi medical college in Bhopal had stopped attending classes a few days ago fearing that they might be ragged by their seniors.

This happened since there were college reports of beating up of three first year students the week before. A first year student said that “he was afraid of being tortured”; and guess what! He didn’t want to be named by the media as well!!

It is very unfortunate that students are being tortured and ridiculed by their own college mates and peers.

Ragging definitely poses a very serious problem in india today, where a student prefers missing classes in the fear of being ragged by his mates. This is a shame to the entire nation as there were reportedly 31 ragging deaths in the last 7 years. In addition a number of freshmen to educational institutions were so seriously traumatized that they had to be admitted to mental institutions.

It is high-time that the legislature takes a serious stand on this burning issue of ragging, else India’s going to top the ragging deaths’ list.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.