West Bengal colleges: Rag and be damned!

Calcutta:  Ask a freshmen to do sit ups or rub his nose against a wall, and you’ll be banned for a year!

Some colleges in West Bengal are taking tough stands on ‘ragging’, [the Indian term for ‘hazing’]. Unlike in the West, where hazing in fraternities are taken in one’s stride, several violent incidents in the past have resulted in hazing being banned by law.

Five second-year students of the state’s premier technology institute—Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu)—have been expelled from the campus and hostel for a year last Thursday for making a freshman do sit-ups and then rub his nose against a wall. They are going to lose a year of their academic career and will not be allowed to appear in any exam, said Besu vice-chancellor Ajay Ray, who has taken a tough stand against ragging ever since he took charge in February 2009.

“Their names will be blacklisted and they will not get any prize at the end of their degree course. We have asked their guardians to give an undertaking to bring them back to the campus after a year,” said Ray, adding: “This is not a punishment but a corrective measure.”

Another accused student has been expelled from the hostel for a year but isn’t barred from the campus. “Our probe found that he was present on the spot but did not take part in the ragging,” explained Ray.

This is the second time that Besu has taken such a tough step against ragging. Last year, the university had rusticated final-year mechanical engineering student Montu Prasad and expelled Rahul Tiwari and Deepak Kumar for two years.

In 2009, Jadavpur University had expelled four students for ragging freshers at the main hostel. Three of them were barred from taking admission in any other college or university for a year. Another accused was expelled for four semesters and rusticated from the hostel. Five former students were fined Rs 20,000 each. Another such ragger, a third-year mechanical engineering student at JU, was suspended for six months. Last year, the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute had suspended eight students for ragging 18 freshmen for three consecutive nights.

Action in Besu case came after the anti-ragging committee tabled its report on Monday evening, confirming the harassment and identifying the seniors responsible. All of them are from the metallurgy department.

“Five seniors took Rajiv Ranjan, a first-year metallurgy student, to the university hostel and asked him to introduce himself. The anti-ragging committee found that the fresher was made to repeat his self-introduction a number of times. The second-year students used abusive language and asked Rajiv to do sit-ups. He was not physically assaulted but the accused seniors asked him to rub his face on the walls resulting in bruises on his face,” the VC said.

“This is very appropriate action on the part of the authorities. The Supreme Court says any instance of ragging should be reported to police. I admire the Besu authorities for showing courage. This menace has reached extreme levels, particularly in private engineering colleges. But they do not complain to police because they want to earn money,” said former Presidency College principal Amal Mukhopadhyay.

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Posted by on August 28, 2013. Filed under Bengal,Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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