Although the Indian Government has banned it from all colleges across the nation with strict implications if found guilty, only an ignorant fool would think that it has become completely non – existent.
Ragging has always been the conversation material across all age groups and if you are a fresher to a college you would hear “Were you ragged?” questions put out to you more than 10 times a day in the first few weeks of college. And if you were able to answer “No.” to that (truthfully of course), you would be greeted to a pair of raised eyebrows and incredulous eyes as if you have just started stripping in broad daylight.
College ragging has been a sort of tradition in various Western Universities where the juniors (not freshman necessarily) are actually ragged to raise money (in some universities at least) .But while in its transition to the Indian shores it has become an exclusively freshers only ordeal and has been twisted around to something completely different from the actual sense of the word. Furthermore, it gets its strength from the fact that freshers look at ragging as a legacy thing and savor the fact that next year, it would be them in the “driver’s seat”.
One thing that all freshers should keep in mind that RAGGING is NOT the same as BULLYING and almost all seniors are generally looking to rag you, not bully you. It is only a means of breaking the ice (so to speak) between the seniors and the juniors and have all the persons involved on the social map.
There are all kinds of freshers who come to college every year and quite incredibly you will find a certain sets of people in all colleges, no matter which campus you decide to check on Planet Earth. They can be quite simply classified into following categories:
1. ”Please Sir/Ma’m, Can you rag me?”
2. ”Sir/Ma’m, Me? Are you calling me? … Ok.. My name is … ”
3. ”Oh! Canteen? There will be seniors there. I don’t want to go there. Are you kidding me? See that senior. If he catches me, I’m a dead man! I will stay in my room for the first few weeks. Thank You.”
Well, if you belong to the first group, then you might as well change your name to “SuicideMan” or better still “SoonToBeDeadMan”. And if you belong to the third group, then you should just sit at home and be home-tuitioned or something. Because, frankly getting ragged by seniors does form quite an integral part of your budding college life and it gives all the more stories to share and, by and along, you do end up making a few senior friends who can always come useful when you least expect it. So the best way to deal with seniors who are looking to rag you is to take it in your stride and play along with them. The idea behind ragging is for the seniors to have some fun, but that in NO way means that you can’t enjoy it yourself. So just behave and keep your head down and you should do fine.
The ragging scene in Manipal is not bad at all. The main idea is not to provoke any of the seniors and you should do fine. You might be called up to a senior’s hostel room (which is NOW extremely rare thanks to Campus Patrol) there is absolutely nothing to be scared of. Answer only what is asked of you and do not try to be over-smart and try to keep the mood light by answering whatever is asked in a humorous way without becoming cocky. If you are asked to sing/dance or anything of the sort, do not seem to be eager to do it otherwise you might find yourself dancing even after an hour. Physical abuse during ragging is non-existent and hardly anyone has ever complained of forced abuse during ragging.
The University has gone so far on eliminating ragging that in the first 2 months of College no interaction is allowed between seniors and juniors even through clubs/organizations etc. So the old excuse of “I had them for club work” is also out.
Ragging in Manipal has gone down considerably in last few years and is almost non-existent. With strict laws in place, there is very little to be afraid of. The college has taken strict action against students ragging or for that matter, seniors even found in junior’s room etc. Try and stay clear of seniors who call you to their apartments (outside hostel campus). If you do find yourself stuck in the situation, don’t panic. It’s not going to be anything like what you have heard or imagining. Just try not being over smart and again “keep you head down!” and do not provoke anyone.
As a fuccha to Manipal, you should keep the following in mind:
– Do not dress snazzy, it will catch attention.
– Keep a low profile (especially in areas like canteen, food courts, library etc.)
– Make contact with any senior(bother/friend/sister) you know in Manipal. If things start to go out of hand while getting ragged, make sure to mention “your” seniors name (keep in mind that you don’t start threatening the senior ragging you using “your” senior’s name).
– If things go way out-of-bounds, report to the authorities. Remember law prohibits ragging.
All this is just precautionary; you would be fine even without doing all of this due to the effective Anti Ragging Squad of the University. As “freshies” we didn’t have any of these guidelines and still managed fine. I’d recommend you learn a Hindi Introduction with your Name/Town/Branch (this is the difficult one) etc. So if you do hear a “Oye Freshie, Intro de” this will get you through easily. Also learn a few very good jokes.
Don’t worry too much or waste your time by reading through such articles, it’s your first year. Enjoy it! You are gonna cherish the memories forever.