Ragging Culture in Universities
The toxicity that goes by the veil of ‘ragging’ and sometimes ‘ice breaking’, has had a massive impact on our education system and everyone affiliated. It has stirred a lot of notions and raised storms in tea cups, more so recently. A sophomore student named Abrar from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), was abused both mentally and physically in such an inexplicable manner that the brutality of the story made even the coldest of hearts burst into tears. This was a cold-blooded murder done by no other than his fellow batchmates and seniors, who were driven by the sheer notion that, ‘’they possess the right to do so’’. Abrar’s tragic death was not an accident, but a ramification of a tacit approval of this atrocious practice. Ragging, as a social norm, has deeply been engrained in the culture of our educational institutions for years and no such rule exists against the accomplice of this cataclysmic systematic oppression. But as technology has become the voice of the voiceless for many oppressed in the form of social media, people are now seriously taking this issue into account. Since the death of Abrar, many public universities, where ragging seemed to be more prevalent, have taken initiatives to completely ban this culture. Students, guardians and the respective authorities are becoming more adamant to the whole concept of ragging in general. To make sure that no pleas fall into deaf ears like it did for Abrar, the concept of ragging should be uprooted from the core of its genesis. Our generation has to understand that there are better ways to connect, cope and even bond, without inflicting any mental or in cases, physical abuses on new coming students. Right off the bat, the perpetrators should be dealt with strong punishment as well. However, this is a long way road and certainly, not an easy one. The culture of ragging cannot be changed overnight. But to determine the current mindset of our generation, a survey has been conducted on the students of different public universities around the country. What do the numbers suggest?
It’s the right of the seniors – is it, really?
While the majority of our audience hold the belief that seniors don’t hold any right to unnerve his/her respective juniors in any way, surprisingly a lot voted in favor of the seniority complex, validating some of the interaction seniors are involved in, with their juniors. The number shows that, around 70.3% of the respondents are against this notion, whereas, quite surprisingly, the rest 29.7%, somewhat moderately and strongly believe that, the seniors actually possess such right to do so. In the light of recent events, this jaw dropping number poses a serious concern about whether the effects of the anti-ragging campaign are actually making any differences or not.
Ice-breaking sessions, a nuance or requisite?
With the advent of one’s university life, ice-breaking sessions are supposed to be the gateway to a subtle and smooth bonding with seniors. But here’s where it gets a bit awry – almost 78.9% of our respondents claimed that ice-breaking sessions aren’t held properly at their respective institutions, which serve as an enormous barrier between students of different age-levels to have a good relationship with each other. In many scenario, ice-breaking sessions take a malignant form where these newbies are subjected to mental and physical torture.
Let’s put this interpretation into perspective: where nearly 80% of the students find the ice-breaking sessions taking place in an improper manner, it’s very likely to be the case that, these students find themselves to be the subject of ragging, which delicately gets covered under these fancy words ‘’Ice-breaking sessions’’.
One of our respondents, Ainan, currently a student in Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) opined, “If ice-breaking sessions were conducted in an appropriate and acceptable manner, the barrier between juniors and seniors would’ve been burned down on the very first day.”
‘Ragging’ – are you in favour?
In response to one of the most fundamental questions pertaining to the whole idea and concept of ragging, around 24.7% of our respondents opted in favor of this menace, which did not fail to procreate a controversial response. In terms of openly supporting the idea of ragging, 25% of the total suggests a myriad of active ragging perpetrators which was astonishing to say the least.
Number of victims of this calamity to any extent
Not surprisingly, more than half of our respondents claimed that they had been victims of ragging at some point of their university period, which justifies the fact that they’ve been sufferers of this diabolical act before. Keeping the previous responses in mind, where nearly 79% of the students think seniors do not possess any right to put their juniors in any sort of uncomfortable situation and where nearly 75% of the respondents opted against ragging in general, it is very much unlikely to find still a more than 50% students directly being a victim of ragging.
Almost 90.5% of our respondents strongly or moderately think that politics of any sort have an impact on ragging. This proves that the scenario isn’t really different for different institutions. Almost in all universities, politics has emerged as a decisive factor in ragging.
Although Bashar, a final year student from Jagannath University (JnU) did have an interesting say in this matter, “Politics did have an effect on ragging previously, but situations have started changing recently as student politics is being gradually rubbed off from universities after recent occurrences.”
Ragging and mental health
The fact that 85.1% voted for a single option shows that this is a front on which almost all our answerers agreed on. The mental health of students is a burning issue nowadays and that being said, a huge chunk of the prospects of an individual relies on their mental state. But the numbers suggest that ragging, to be completely honest, vilifies the mental peace and makes it tough for the students to blend in with their seniors and their study pressure.
Anti-ragging laws – are they necessary?
Similar to the previous notion, a landslide of about 90.5% voted in favor of anti ragging laws. And it’s safe to say that if ragging was legally banished from this land, none of these alarming news wouldn’t have come up. Laws should be constructed and enacted as soon as possible. As they say, it’s never too late!
To be fair, the current situation involved isn’t completely favorable to the aspirants pursuing quality education and expecting a jolly and exciting university life where they can actually learn the importance of values and morals of life. Seniors have to stand outside of their insecurities and welcome the juniors with open arms and love. That way, the bond they forge will not be upon intimidation and fear, but will be upon respect, kindness and love. That being said, with the Generation Alpha fast approaching, it’s high time we all stood together disregarding this atrocious concept entirely. Authorities also need to step up and enact multiple laws in order to put an end to this, because contributions from all fronts are absolutely vital to abolish ragging once and for all.