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Friday, August 7, 2009

"Student dismissed for ragging"

Ever since the recent supreme court ruling, headlines like these are a common sight in newspapers. Often, we don't give as much as a second thought it and conclude that the concerned students must have done something seriously wrong to have attracted such a penalty. But recently when three second year students were suspended for a whole semester for ragging in my college, I began to think. The said action was taken due to two separate incidents. I'll concentrate on one incident (for that's the one that set me thinking). And for protecting the privacy of those involved I won't be naming anyone.

As far as I know, all the accused did was to ask the junior not to wear shoes or to tuck in his shirt. I'm not writing this to argue that this doesn't amount to ragging, for deep down I've got a nagging feeling that it does. But what I'd like to highlight is that the punishment that has been awarded can hardly be justified. In my opinion the said "crime" didn't deserve anything more than a warning, or at most a suspension for a short time coupled with a public apology and intimation to the accused's parents. If the fellow ( or someone else) was found to be involved in ragging again, then a stronger punishment should be awarded. On the contrary awarding a severe punishment to one person even if the crime didn't deserve it, only so that it may deter others from doing the same doesn't seem to be the right thing to do.

I don't support ragging, the fact is I'm vehemently opposed to it. Not because it is a punishable crime, but because it is a crime that you commit against your conscience. At the same time I find the aforementioned punishment an overkill. Especially considering the fact that all this mayhem ensued only after the supreme court declared ragging a punishable offense, and that the the concerned people could be held responsible.

I understand that ragging is a social evil and it must be dealt with properly so that no one falls victim to it anymore. But there's the trouble. You see, I don't find the present approach very convincing.

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