...desire driven imagination
The days leading up to the first day in college are days of turmoil and preparation not only for the fresher but also for the seniors. Both of them have to think of innovative ways- the junior has to hide from the seniors and the senior has to devise new ways of searching and ragging the fresher ('fuchha' and 'fuchhi'). The more innovative and new the way, the more chances of it being successful. The ragging season has started...
I want to shake off this illusion and want people to understand that ragging is much more harsh, inhuman and socially unacceptable than they believe. And they may never know what happened with their ward or what he did with his juniors, because he will never tell it out of shame.
Ragging takes place in every college and in some schools also. The major chunk of the severest form of raging is found in residential colleges. We will look at the problem by classifying it into two broad categories:
- Ragging of non-residential students
- Ragging of residential students
Ragging of non-residential students
This form of ragging may sound humorous and generally almost everyone is expected to take such ragging in his/her stride but someone who is at the receiving end of such treatment may have some emotional or ethical problems coping up with it.
A typical ragging session of non-residential freshers starts with the senior catching hold of them in the canteen, in the classroom or almost anywhere where there is no one from the anti-ragging squad of the college (if it is functional at all).
Dress barriers: If you are not in the 'prescribed' college dress code you lose the favor of the senior. And you are in for bearing the consequences. For the layman, the dress code for the juniors is decided by the seniors which is sometimes like no jeans, only pants, no T-shirt or half sleeves shirt, no belts, oily hair, etc.
Verbal torture: You are asked to give your 'intro' (introduction) which includes your name, school, marks, rank (in case of competitive exams), hobbies, about your family, and many personal questions. The whole thing is interspersed with some foolish and silly remarks by the senior. Misinterpretation of answers is common and a worthy tool for the senior. For example: The senior asks the junior about his 'PCM'. The junior gives his aggregate of marks in physics, chemistry and maths, according to the common terminology. Then the senior tells him he actually meant 'Percent Male Character'. Verbal torture always has an aspect of sex talks, which is discussed later.
Acts to be performed: The senior asks you to do various silly acts like climbing trees and shouting, propose and 'marry' someone of the opposite or same sex. You might also be asked to go around the college shouting for help as if Mars has attacked, etc. The whole idea is to make you do things which are illogical and then laugh. Also, laughing is prohibited for the freshman.
Sex oriented ragging: This is the worst kind of campus ragging. You are asked questions regarding various body parts, boyfriends, girlfriends etc. The seniors are mainly interested in the 'juicy' details such as the anatomical description of your mate. They want to satisfy their sexual desires by imagining things at your cost. The senior may ask you to give personal details and ask various embarrassing questions. The senior is good at twisting and turning your answer, giving it a new direction and bring in sex into it. You might be asked to scream out the same. It becomes more embarrassing when the senior asks you to tell this things to a person of the opposite sex. At places, where ragging is on peak, one might be asked to smooch a statue or a person of the same sex. And on top of it, such acts have to be preformed publicly.
Change yourself: This is what the seniors call grow up tonic. According to them, learning abusive words and sexual knowledge are a necessity at this stage. Therefore, You may also be asked to say a few abusive words and if you hesitate then you might end up being kicked and jeered into insanity.
Physical work element: One might be asked to get the bus pass made for the senior from the bus depot, do his assignments, carry his bag from the college gate, copy the timetable for him, etc. But, many a times the senior might treat the junior for doing his work. Depends on the senior and his attitude.
Ego hurting: One has to call his senior 'Sir' and be called 'fuchcha' in return which means 'fresher bachcha'. Then bending in front of the senior at 90o and wishing whenever you meet the senior is another common practice.
Financial Abuse: You are required to ask him to join you if you are having something to eat and pay the bill yourself (How can you refuse? He will help you in the days to come!!).
Mass ragging sessions are organized in the garb of getting familiar with juniors in hostels. In the end you are given instructions to follow for about a month or so. All this is mere tip of the iceberg. A lot more goes about in the name of interaction with the juniors. It is impossible to incorporate all that in this article.
The question that instantly crops up is that what benefit does one derive from making someone go through all this? Nothing more than misery for some and FUN for others. The fresher cannot concentrate on what he is there for in the college-his studies for the first few months because of all this.
Ragging in hostels (residential students)
The hostels are a witness to the most infamous and inhuman form of ragging. It consists of anything under the sun that you can make a person do. The ragging here has two main forms: Sex Oriented and Overworking.
The bitter thing about ragging in hostels is that the freshman has no freedom. The senior who either comes to his room or calls him to his own, constantly monitors him. And one can imagine, if you were kept like a prisoner the whole day around for a month, with no verbal freedom, no freedom to smile or laugh, no freedom to go outside, no freedom to talk to friends at will, no freedom to dress at will, together with constant fear of some unconventional demand of the senior, what will happen to you?
Sex oriented ragging is carried out in many unimaginable forms. Some examples are given afterwards. Secondly, the person might be made to do a lot of work. Doing work for the senior, washing his clothes, doing his assignments, making electrical drawing for the senior whole night, etc. are things one might have to do. Though overworking may seem fine while you read about it, but the victims only understand this trauma.
Mass ragging sessions are organized with the juniors. The hostel and college authorities are under the impression that the ways of living in the hostels are being taught to the juniors wherein every freshie is made to stand on a table in the middle of a room and fired with questions about everything in life. He is made to do silly antics to amuse the seniors. The sexual turn can really be crude in this mass ragging when the junior is made to recite his fantasies and if he doesn't oblige he is embarrassed to the limit.
There have been incidents wherein boys have been made to dress up as girls and participate in `Miss Freshie ' contests . Another common way to trouble the freshers is to call him to the seniors' rooms and troubling them the whole night. Stripping and sexual abuse has become common in hostels.
The tough and someone with a very stern mind can tolerate all the above forms of ragging, but what follows next is the height. I will tell you a true account of one of my friends who studied in a residential college. He was very nervous about going to the college, as he had never been away from his family for even a week at a stretch. But he still went to the college hundreds of miles away from home. His father dropped him in his college and as the hostels were insufficient in number to accommodate all the freshers, he along with a few other batchmates rented a flat and began to attend college. They thought that being away from college, they were virtually in the ragging free zone but then they came to know that many of their seniors were also living in the residential locality.
Their ordeal began when they were called on the rooftop of one such building and asked to dance to lewd Hindi film songs. Then they were asked to abuse each other, pick up pens with their buttocks, strip and many more sex oriented acts. They were then made to sit on beer bottles with the mouth of the bottle upwards. Then one senior got irritated with one of the 'fuchhas' asked for a condom and took him to his flat, bolted the room from inside and asked him to strip. Meanwhile, another senior ordered a 'fuchha' to stand up on the railing of the roof.
Many people commit suicide and many leave the college, gaining admission to which was their long cherished dream? But still many more, just keep quiet, they just bear and try to forget…
By Mohit Garg