How does a junior win self confidence, strength, poise and the unconditional love of his seniors along with the added pro of free bones? How does a senior repay the debt of the sacred historic incidents of getting bullied by his own predecessors, get a sense of strength, a feeling of power? Seniors, juniors, administration, manipal anthem, teasing, fear, strength, tears, love, bonding blah blah… Only seven letters flooded in one word labeled RAGGING can animate all these, formulate them vibrant and carve them in our organ of thinking. What a colossal difference did the British rule make in the Indian educational system! What began as a mode meant for civilizing the relations between students slowly deepened, lengthened, heightened, thickened and begot children which were transferred from generation to generation even as many gentlemen thought over it, pondered over it, to an extent of submitting their lives! All this would make sense only when I back them with some tangible references which I am sure I would, as the article proceeds.
The juniors monitor a blush of nature giving way to a shower as if it were a celestial omen predicting an infamous love story ahead which would make even Romeo Juliet an understatement. They twirl their keys in their new locks and head on from their hostel only to find their “lovers” misshapen as “seniors” (of their own gender), madly awaiting their arrival as though with telescopes in their hands. Resting high on the clouds would be the surprised love god, taken aback at the faultless love notes that strike when juniors meet seniors.
Succinct introductory discourses, shearing the mane, good day wishes, perspiration and handkerchiefs act as good catalysts to the already thrilling love chronicle. They are then ushered to the Venugopal temple and cajoled into straight rows for a solemn twilight assembly. “Yeh manipal ki basti hai………” they sing the Manipal anthem in a synchronized pitch, as the proud seniors watch them with divine contentment. “My seniors are my best guides. The gravest offense one can commit is to complain against his senior. If I commit it I shall be banished for a year and then I will be punished for four years in Nehru. May peace prevail? Love thy senior” they end the sacred vow.
Ragging is a way of life, much higher than the ‘live and let live’ principle for some. For those with a more eccentric notion, this becomes a taut burr depicting a senior as a jobless Stone Age freak. Not very palatable facts either way. Why ragging is beneficial to the college you ask? I would say it cuts short the over confidence in a junior. For example when I was a junior, I had hard time differentiating between these two incorrigible twin seniors whom I met. Just when I was about to praise this God made wonder, I was told that one of the twins was actually a shadow. The basic rule of sport says that a person who takes pride in hurting a helpless/weaker/younger person is to be equated with eunuchs. And ragging provides them ample scope to sculpt this tenet into a reality. Isn’t it amazing that there still exist such social activists who want to enact the behavioral scale of the downtrodden third gender? If you seriously believe that it is only expensive scientific lab experimentation that can prove the Darwinian Theory then step back! Evolution has its say that apes sinking under paltry squabbles slowly sublimed into human beings. Chimpanzees, which are just a few chromosomes away from homosapiens, happen to bully the weaker ones of their clan! By ragging, a person cost-effectively proves this theory and also provides a proof of his pedigree. What might be acceptable to you as an efficient reception of the gene miracle?
J.K.Rowling weaves tales and a godmother narrates tales. Here we have a combination where in some seniors supply endless fables to their juniors like how they became single after having 10 breakups, how the staff cannot even pluck a hair out of them though they can draw their weight up to fifty five kg, how they are still 20 even though their certificates say 26. Well, as the teachers of juniors, they are just attesting the existence of anatomical exceptions where the blood vessels to the mouth would be thicker than the vessels to the brain. By halting the entry of juniors to the library (and thus taking notes) they contribute to save our national expenditure on paper production and concurrently save our forests. And then there are these perennial bullies whose overwhelming aptitude at stuffing patriotism through rustic Hindi rhetoric and skimpy usage of the British national language masks their more apparent brownie points like potty oral cavities, blonde teeth etc. Whether their ambition is to act in the sequel of OMKARA or whether they want to pompously campaign for the modest use of precious grey matter is yet to be decoded. There goes the cerebral rigor for a toss.
Ragging also furnishes attractive paybacks for the juniors as well. By shedding their locks they are preventing epidemic typhus due to head lice. By mouthing good day wishes they are actually exercising their jaws and everyone knows the benefits of exercise. By weeping, they are at the pinnacle of abolishing the sovereignty of women over men in terms of tear quotient and this also gets handy during times of water shortage. This also, is a more generic response to adversity which incidentally distracts us from their parallel attempts to wink at their senior counterparts from the Venus. The most invaluable session of ragging however, is the ‘smile-cut’ which sensitizes the juniors to a butt-friendly rectal examination, a procedure that is rarely entertained in our hospital.
Ragging makes a disillusioned junior “strong”, because he expands his “free sprit”, opens his inhibitory wings, tutors his seniors about the un-exhibit portions of the female anatomy and throws some light upon his own parts, their dilated dimensions(no offense meant to blood vessels), the number of times he tries to expand their horizons and so on. In the mean time he also gets to imbibe the techniques for soliciting condoms from a medical shop owner. Also the fresher gets the socially inaccessible chance of getting doused in the vast and varied channels of the special expletives in the vocabulary of our national language. Expletives, whose claim to fame would go much beyond the depths of what our Forensic text books term as incest. That way, the junior becomes a sure shot contender for a 10/10 in the forensic viva from the first year itself (bearing in mind the weight age that the sexual offences chapter holds).
Evening walk with seniors to the endpoint is a high-quality work out that thwarts constipation, which, am sure, every newcomer must have experienced after eating in the college mess. Singing the manipal anthem and other songs at the food court not only improves their vocal efficiency but also sends panic signals to the crows and keeps them at bay. If a boy wants to pursue modeling after Mbbs then this is it. Ragging offers a training course in modeling wherein a fresher gets to bare his body, catwalks in the rooms of Nehru along with his co models, the proportions of exhibition ranging from being shirtless to becoming a male version of Mallika Sherawat.
You must have heard about a smoke free environment but did you ever hear of a population free environment? Ragging lends its hand in launching this exclusive trend in Manipal. (A student from Orissa apparently fled the very next day he was ragged last year). And do you know that ragging allows a person to exercise the hallowed and blessed qualities of “sacrifice” and “renunciation”? Which even the holy sages of ancient India found it difficult to? Puzzled? Ragging is an utterance jam-packed with sensitivity, choking with sentiment for which millions of seniors have “sacrificed” their lives, self respect, shame, morality and made the juniors “renounce” pride, decorum and dignity(and hair of course). Cool isn’t it? Summarizing my whole point I would say that, our administration, instead of rebuking bullies, should in fact be touched by the sincerity and foresights of such noble souls who painstakingly work their brains off on such meticulous ideas that uplift both the fresher and their hunger at one go. What say?
Disclaimer1: Criticism is an art form. Like they say, the path to the critic in you, if the critic in you is lost, is to sit like a critic, think like a critic, write like a critic and watch a fellow critic as though the critic was already there and this was what I exactly did to get the critic in me to compose this critical stuff.
Disclaimer2: The incidents and characters mentioned above are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead is highly coincidental and regretted. Incase you are still stuck to that silly bubble of contempt towards me then let me assure you that this doesn’t augur well on your honesty in terms of civility.
Disclaimer 3: Please take this as a piece of sick humor written when I was slightly disillusioned with the way things are ;)