Thursday, December 27, 2018

Ban ‘barbarous’ practice of ragging, Gujarat HC tells state govt

Upholds IITRAM’s Punishment For 25 Students

The Gujarat high court has termed ragging in education institutes as a “barbarous practice” and called for banning it. It told the state government to enact a law like few other states have done, making it a cognizable offence.
The high court quoted ancient texts eulogizing “lofty ideals” of education in the Indian tradition and condemned ragging as means “to satiate sadistic instincts”. The court said: “Students get mental shock and depression by ragging and there are instances of the victims of ragging committing suicide.”
Justice J B Pardiwala observed, “Ragging is a barbarous practice and should be totally banned. If anybody is found guilty of ragging, he shall be immediately expelled from the institution and shall be debarred from entering any other educational institution thereafter.”
The court said that ragging originated from foreign shores and was “imported” to India and has been in vogue for the past few decades, especially in professional colleges and hostels.
“It causes deep sorrow and anguish that in a country which had very lofty university ideals expounded in the Vedas this shameful and disgusting evil of ragging degenerating into bestiality should come to stay in the educational institutions, which are intended for imparting knowledge to future rulers of this country,” the court said.
The HC so observed while rejecting a petition filed by a student from Institute of Infrastructure, Technology, Research and Management (IITRAM), who along with 25 other students, was suspended for a year and expelled from the hostel permanently for ragging students of a new batch on September 25.
Justice Pardiwala refused to interfere with IITRAM’s order suspending the student and upheld the institute’s disciplinary action. He said that if the student has any remorse for his conduct, he may express his regret and seek forgiveness from the new students.
It is up to the institute and victim-students to pardon him, he said.
The HC quoted Taittiriyopanishad and Tiruvalluvar to say that academic traditions in India laid down rules for the good behaviour of a student so that he can have “able and active body, sweet tongue and listen abundantly through his ears and learn”.
After citing ancient texts, the court lamented the recent phenomenon of ragging.
“How can anyone conceive of more ennobling thoughts and better ideals than that prevailed in our ancient universities?” the court said. “But alas! what a fall from that high peak of virtuous principles to the murky depths of a dirty mire named ‘ragging’. Any person with a little sense of decency would abhor even to think of indulging in it.”

Court insists on the need for law

The high court said that a number of states have enacted laws making ragging a cognizable offence and prescribing the types of punishment to be awarded. “Why is there no such legislation in the State of Gujarat? It is high time that such legislation was passed by the legislature of Gujarat also,” the court said and expressed hope that the government will take steps to bring about legislation preventing ragging and making it a cognizable offence.

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