Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good essay

I entered my hostel and was given my room. Ten minutes later, I was on my knees with a leash around my neck....After so many years, I can list all these forms of ‘ragging’ dispassionately, but no one should be misled. Brutality and oppression remain just that, no matter the name used for them. Who were these seniors, and why did they humiliate us so?

From this excellent essay in Tehelka.

Not only did I find myself nodding in agreement, but found myself going down memory lane, and echoing the conclusion the author comes to -

I have never found any use for the education my seniors gave me.... Ragging is a case study for Freud, nothing more.

Do read the whole essay.


jerry said...

I read the essay, shocking isn't it? Yes. Went to a boarding school as well, I think I've yold you that I went to Mayo before. Anway, was never really ragged in this manner. But I do remember being thrashed a number of times. We took it as though it was our duty to undergo this torment, as the seniors once did. They claimed they had much worse, but I remember batchmates fainting. But I relate something to this essay, and that is the fear. Fear that crippled everyone at the end...standing in front of a senior who twisted your meaning and subjected you to violence. Crazy shit!

shivam said...

The full version, which is double the length of what you see in Tehelka, is here:

Vi said...

I go to college in the United States. There are initiation parties here, but most (or almost all) involve drugs. But this happens here too, except it's called "hazing" instead of ragging. Consists of hell night / hell week. There was one instance even in my high school.

Aishwarya said...

..and you've been tagged.


annie said...

jerry: cruel shit. have heard about mayo. most disturbing.
shivam: read. thanks for the link. have linked to the site as well.
vj: is attendance to these parties/rituals voluntary, though?
aishwarya: working on it. complex meme, this.

Vi said...

Well, for initiation into fraternaties it's a must for a lot of colleges. I don't know about other instances.

Anirudh said...

I read it in Tehelka. I didn't like it a lot though. All this has been said before. By the way, is ragging more prevalent in the north? People I know in Mumbai and Pune colleges and in the south were rarely ragged and never beaten up while in Delhi, Kanpur etc. it is very common.

Smriti said...

makes me think of college ... and i can't help laughing at some of the ragging episodes.
and thinking too that my closest friends from college are those of us who neither ragged nor got ragged.
And that bunch of loud talking seniors...ufff.
Did anyone in our batch rag at all?

annie said...

anirudh: yes, has been written about, but there is something to be said for writing well, writing clearly and honestly, and for actually setting up a campaign.
about your north vs south question - i don't know. but i do know that it is worst in hostels. after all, the Indu Anto case happened in Bombay.
smriti: yes, our batch did too. i remember one of our juniors breaking down once. as for those seniors who ragged us... they still bring out the bitch in me, but I'm actually a little sorry for them now.

ikko said...

i would disagree with one of the commentors above me when he says fear is a dominant emotion for the raggees unless its very extreme forms of ragging. as the author of the article puts across, often these actions are condoned if not supported by those who are ragged. the desire to "fit in" mostly overwhelms most other considerations and most people quickly conform to the prevelent norms and value system. it holds true for many a group practice. thats the worst part i guess, and thats why this form of opression is perpetrated.

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