Ragging: Good or Bad


What is ragging? It’s just an enjoyment for few days among juniors and seniors in a college or any institution as well as development of cordial and friendly relationship amongst them. But in many situations, this sometimes turns and takes the form of mental, physical and sexual abuses which should not be done by anyone and should be banned forever.

Usually the juniors get scared when they face these sorts of ragging and always try to resist these organized groups of tormentors. This type of torture often runs for months on innocent students and they sometimes couldn’t even get rid of that totally as they always face the same thing by the students of other batches too over and over again. Due to this there were many incidents of suicide too. Anti Ragging Organization, SAVE, stated in their recent publication that in some institutions it has been reported that this has turned into a tool or habit of extorting money from the juniors. Ragging is different from other crimes because the motive is solely to get perverse pleasure without harming others.

With the increase in privatization, academic institutions in India have been experiencing increasing number of ragging-related excesses day by day. A report of 2007 highlights 42 instances of physical injury and ten deaths which is purportedly the result of ragging. In many colleges, like IIT Bombay and IIT Hyderabad, ragging has been strictly banned. However, this ban has not yet been very effective, as is seen by the number of ragging cases still reported by the media. Today in India, ragging is just like a threat to others and involves gross violations of basic human rights. The seniors used to torture their juniors and by this they get some kind of sadistic pleasures. It is almost true that the nature of ragging in most of the hostels & institutions in India is as severe as what we know about the famous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. You can’t even believe about an incident where a student was asked to bath with his own urine.


Discrimination based on caste, religion, language, class, etc plays a vital role in influencing this, especially in small cities and towns. Ragging can also be defined as a measuring rod to test the courage of the seniors who generally do that. Many seniors, who are reluctant to rag, finally succumb to peer pressure. Many seniors rag just to stay in their group of friends. In most of the cases, it starts with a healthy interaction but due to adrenaline rush and excitement in the group, the seniors get carried away and ragging turns into ugly. Most of the students also consider ragging as an old ritual of having social acceptance.


There should be more accountability of the college staffs in case of any ragging incident. There should also be surprise checks by the hostel warden especially during the nights. The system of complaint for ragging should be made friendlier and safer for the fresher. Faculty members should stay close to the freshers and instill them with the sense of confidence. It’s really necessary to create a massive nationwide awareness against ragging. In an event of severe ragging, victim must be given an option to change the college. Efforts should be made to make ragging a social evil, by highlighting its ill-effects and thereby establishing public opinion against it. Alternative methods of interactions e.g. dramas, community work, adventurous sports, and short trips, evening games as well as gathering should be there. In the presence of hostel warden, dance, competitions and various other activities devised by human behavior experts could & should be promoted.