What is ragging and why should it be prevented

The Supreme Court defined ragging as "any disorderly conduct, whether by words spoken or written, or by any act that has the effect of teasing, treating with rudeness any other student indulging in rowdy or indisciplined activities that causes or is likely to cause annoyance, hardship, or psychological harm, or to raise fear of apprehension thereof ill a fresher or a junior student, or asking the students to do any act or perform something which such students. The apex court has taken into consideration while defining ragging all kinds of acts faced by a fresher or a junior while subjecting to ragging by the seniors. Ragging has become a threat, a source of fear and surprise not only for freshmen but also for their parents, who are sending their children to pursue higher education with their hard-earned money. Several intellectual youths have become ragging martyrs, some have had nervous breakdowns, some have left institutes after being subjected to ragging, some have committed suicide, and some have been murdered by seniors under the guise of ragging. The court, the authorities, the principal, and every concern have all condemned ragging as a heinous practice, but it persists despite all of the rules, regulations, and directives of courts and authorities. Nobody could claim to have completely stopped it. The most heinous case of ragging was revealed in November 1986, when Navarasu, a 17-year-old first-year medical student at Annamalai University in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, was brutally murdered by a senior named "David," who was said to be a Karate expert. He murdered Navarasu because he refused to submit to his ragging whims. 

In August 2003, an engineering student at Engineering College Jalpaiguri in West Bengal was admitted to hospital after enduring a night of brutal ragging by his seniors. For refusing to strip in front of the seniors, the victim was beaten with iron rods and bicycle chains. The governments, both central and state, have taken positive steps to put an end to this practice. Mr S.R. Bommai, the HRD Minister at the time, informed the Rajya Sabha that steps were being taken to ensure that those found guilty of ragging were treated as guilty of gross misconduct and that the penalty of rustication or removal from the rolls of the universities could be imposed on the offenders. He also informed the House that instructions have been issued to universities, institutions, and state governments to take firm action to combat this threat and to invoke the necessary legal provisions. In a public interest case in 2001, the Supreme Court stated that "failure to prevent ragging by management would be an act of negligence in maintaining discipline in the institution." If a student is subjected to ragging, the Principal and other authorities may face consequences. The Supreme Court also stated that "if an institution fails to curb ragging, the UGC/ fun 'agency may consider discontinuing financial assistance to such an institution until it implements the anti-ragging norms." A university may consider disaffiliating a college or institution that does not comply with the court's clear warning.

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