Caste-based ragging in Bihar

Caste-based ragging in Bihar

‘Phylum’ in loose medical parlance denotes caste. The ‘degree of ragging’ will depend on your caste, notwithstanding the official claim that no ragging takes place in Bihar colleges.

Barely 17, Sunny Kumar Roshan, a first year MBBS student in Patna Medical College (PMC), learnt it the hard way. Only when the ordeal became unbearable, he committed suicide in the state capital when the nation was celebrating Republic Day.

Though the college authorities and his seniors deny the ragging theory, his father Kameshwar Rai insists that Sunny was upset because of his seniors. “He had told me about ragging incidents, and also that some senior medicos had asked him to cough up Rs 1,200 as chanda (donation) for Saraswati Puja,” said the distraught father.

“Though the apex court has put a blanket ban on ragging, it’s still prevalent in the state,” admitted a senior medico, refusing to be identified.

“If you belong to the upper strata of the society, you may be let off. But in case you are an OBC or extremely backward class, then you may have to bear the brunt of ragging,” he said, but clarified further, “No one gets physical. That is for sure.”

Sunny, from a backward community, could possibly have been a victim of this system. This is precisely why Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has taken up the issue seriously and asked the PMC principal Dr N P Yadav to get to the bottom of the matter.

Dr Yadav, however, denies that Sunny was ragged and hence committed suicide. “Sunny had joined the college seven months back. If at all he was ragged, how could it continue for so long,” said the principal.

But since Nitish is personally monitoring the case, the principal has set up a seven-member inquiry committee. The probe panel will find out whether the boy was ragged. If yes, who were the culprits? Thirdly, it will also identify which senior medicos had asked for Rs 1,200 as donation for puja. 

The inquiry committee has been asked to submit its findings within ten days.

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