The Ragging Theory

Posted by Sreedev Narayanan in Campus Watch, Society
September 27, 2017

Despite the stringent measures to stop ragging in colleges, it still persists in myriad forms. Ragging happens not because the laws aren’t strict, it’s a problem of the mind. According to my experience, analysis and research on the concept, I present before you – The Ragging Theory.

Whenever we start an argument on ragging, it’s obvious that most people won’t put up with hard, intense means of ragging – but a lot of people will be in favour of ‘mild ragging’. What is this so-called mild ragging? Where is the limit?

We all know the threshold of tolerance for ragging by a senior differs from person to person. For some students, even mild ridicule may result in depression. The limit is a variable. Does any senior assess the threshold levels of a junior before ragging? No. I don’t think so. Ragging is almost uniform for everybody. There’s no such thing as ‘mild ragging’.

What is The Ragging Theory?

There is a set of assumptions supporting the act of mild to moderate ragging in colleges, which is continuously disseminated by seniors and planted into the heads of juniors. The theory is popular among college students, and it legitimises ragging for the perpetrator. The theory explains why ragging is good and why it is necessary.

The theory states the purposes of ragging, and the following seem to be the main ones:

• Making juniors greet, wish and respect seniors,

• Friendly interaction,

• Teaching them manners,

• Making them bold,

• Finding talented juniors,

• Making them academically better by forcing them to study,

• Making them smart and ready to handle the real world.

So the theory says that without ragging, the aforementioned purposes cannot be achieved. It argues that ragging is the only way. And it is not only students who believe in such concepts. I happen to know many teachers from different colleges, and people who’ve never been to college, believe in such myths.

They say ragging is a familiarization course. Does friendship require an artificial mechanism? The friends that we already have: are they here because of ragging?

Did our parents rag us every day to make us smart, bold and academically better?

Is there no other way of making friends with juniors? You don’t have to consult a psychologist to find better methods to fraternize with juniors.

Ragging is one of the worst ways to achieve these, and The Ragging Theory is just a hoax invented by us when tour unconscious questions the morality of the irrational act of ragging.

What is the rationality behind respecting seniors? Is it just because you joined the college one or two years before a junior did? What is wrong when a junior walks beside you without respecting you or wishing you?

A famous quote says “Respect is for those who deserve it, not for those who demand it.” I love to read it like this: “Those who demand respect don’t deserve respect.” The demand for respect can be direct or indirect. What did you do for them to earn their respect?

When do we respect our teachers? When they teach us well, when they put an effort into making us understand things properly, when they help us. That respect comes from the heart.

Some say seniors don’t like it because their senior ego is hurt. Where does that irrational senior ego come from?

Now let me tell you the real ragging theory.

Ragging follows a vicious, cyclical pattern. Even after going through the horrible experience of ragging, a survivor can become a perpetrator of the same crime next year.

Why is it so? Why can’t they recall their experience and stop this act?

Territoriality is a behaviour exhibited by animals when other animals of the same species, or different species, try to occupy their territories or settle close to their homes. It leads to conflict. Animals like apes are said to attack those who intrude into their territory. Animals, after staying in their territory for some time, the animals start defending their space.

Isn’t this similar to ragging?

Staying in the hostel for a long time leads to a connection with the hostel atmosphere and the college, creating a sense of home or territory. A certain hostel or college ‘culture’ is also developed alongside this.

After a year, new juniors come to the college breaking into this territory. They laugh in front of the old residents. They may not even pay attention to them. This provokes the animal instincts in the seniors, who, until then, were the undisputed masters of the territory.

Territoriality helps animals survive.

We aren’t animals anymore. We have human rights and duties, and we are a part of a complex social system. What we have to do is fight these fallacious instincts and be human.

We should stop the vicious cycle by uprooting the misconceptions about ragging and the ragging theory.

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.