Is suspension good enough?

Is suspension  good enough?

The debate over ragging in Delhi colleges resurged when the recent incident at School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) was reported by a first year student of the institute.

Naveen Kujur, from Jharkhand, was made to do 1,000 push-ups, all night long, after bricks were placed on his spine. This resulted in a fracture in his left knee leaving it permanently damaged. Subsequently, as punishment, all seven second-year Bachelor of Architecture students have been suspended and asked to vacate the hostel. But is the punishment sufficient keeping in mind the physical and mental trauma that the Naveen has suffered for the rest of his life?

Metrolife speaks to a few engineering students (where hostellers are notorious for ragging) who share personal experiences and their views on the punishment in the current case.

The reaction is mixed. Most feel that ragging is essential as it creates a special bond betw­e­en seniors and freshers and provides the latter to open up in the real world. “Ragging is essential for transforming a fresher and teaches him or her the code of conduct when it comes to conversing with seniors,” says  Subhav Sinha, a 24-year old electrical engineer. He is an alumni of Delhi College of Engineering and wasn’t spared either. “I was ragged but it wasn’t harsh. It was more sarcastic in tone. However, what this boy from SPA has gone through is extr­e­me. To me, punishment is not a solution. Banning ragging stops all communication between freshers and senior students. What can be considered as a solution is the regularisation of the act. When my friends were asked to go nude in hostels, I too felt that the limit should not be crossed,” he adds.

Though Subhav shared an amicable bond with his seniors, not many get so lucky. Rishab Sinha, a 28-year old alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering is one who feels that ragging should be ban­n­ed completely. “When I was in first year, we was asked to give reasons for dating a girl. If she said ‘no’ then we were asked to take off our clothes. I took it sportingly and enjoyed it but every student is not comfortable with this kind of ragging. A healthy introduction is good but the audacity to get physical is not justified.”

Rishab is of the view that  suspension for a few months is insufficient. “At least an year’s suspension is a must. I know what losing a year means to an engineering student but only this can set an example for
the entire community,” he remarks.

It is true that expressing an apology and regret by the college will not do much for Nav­e­en who will have to repeat his first year. But thinking of a way out is need of the ho­ur.

“In our college if a junior goes to the Dean to report ragging, then the accused is suspended from college even without cross-questioning,” says Neelabh Trivedi, an alumnus of BITS Pilani.

“Every student is aware of this on campus and thus seniors never get physical and juniors are confident that they will not be welcomed in a negative manner.”  This is called serious action! May be Delhi colleges need to learn from such institutes. 

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