Mass media reports several incidents of ragging
in some universities when a new batch of students is enrolled.
The term RAG, short for Royal Admission Game, originated in
higher education institutes of Great Britain and came to Sri
Lanka with British customs. However, in the past few decades, it
has occurred in Sri Lankan Universities in sinister and brutal
ways with the killing and handicapping of students. Ragging has
caused splits among university students called Raggers and Anti-raggers
and leading to dreadful clashes.
In different universities different ragging
procedures are available. Whether more severe or less severe it
is a method of delivering harmful effects to the students.
Letís see if university students have any right
to rag. The Government spends a lot of money on a graduate.
These are not the money of politicians, students or student
unions. Tax payments of public are expended for the education.
So, no university student has a right to behave according to
their wish in university premises violating the freedom of other
What are the reasons for ragging? When a batch
of students is ragged they will try to do the same thing to the
next batch in the same way to get their revenge. In some
universities, some politically based student unions try to use
ragging to give their political theories to students by ragging
and brain washing. Some student groups use ragging to convert
students to their student unions. But students who favour
ragging try to give new values to ragging stating that ragging
is an essential component in university sub culture.
According to fundamentalists who strongly
favours ragging there is some kind of good value for each and
every component in ragging procedures.
Some university students strongly adhere to
university sub culture and donít like it to be changed. What is
a value of being a university student if you canít change
disastrous things in sub culture? Is it a good thing to protect
university sub culture by sacrificing human rights of newly
According to the some student groups who favour
ragging, there is no ragging in universities. They give new
Ďinnocent" names to ragging. One of those names is "Freshersí
awareness programme". Though mentioned in different names
ragging is ragging. It is torturous and makes students alarm
going to universities. Anyhow students who are able to growl and
scowl at their juniors can only participate in these awareness
programs. This is very unfair because all the senior students
and all the student unions have a right to make awareness of
freshers. Canít students create meaningful friendly awareness
programmes where all the senior students can participate?
Students stick posters about free education,
student rights and perhaps they do not respect the rights of the
new students of universities. Some students donít go to the
universities due to ragging. Who is violating their rights?
Student groups in favour of ragging? Yes. Is this the free
education University students are talking about? Arenít these
people violating human rights?
Actually, this is the time students should think
twice about ragging. As university students should we violate
studentsí rights? Should we make universities fearful places for
new students? Should we disturb their education by giving mental
and physical stresses? Should we just stick posters about
student rights not knowing what are the student rights? As
university students canít we stop any level of ragging and
introduce another harmless friendly ways to welcome new
Shameera Anuruddha Mahawattage.
Wayamba University of Sri Lanka