Torture; mental, physical and sexual in our universities is disguised as ‘ragging’. And it is advancing in perversity and planning. The latest is a torture house on rent. Are these raggers, carrying sacks of bricks on their shoulders, the ones who are ‘going to take the country forward’ politicians keep yapping about? Up to now, government intervention has been only air and fiddle in correcting a situation that is a disgrace to the country.
Engrossed in the Daily Dodger newspaper after breakfast, Shelton Perera, the proprietor of the Wallside Restaurant and Bar observed,” Cha, cha, this university ragging has really gone out of control.”
“But aren’t there university rules and government rules regarding the inhuman university ragging we keep hearing about? And what about university security and the police?” asked Shelton’s wife Joy sipping a cup of tea.
Sir Donald the rag master
“Inhuman, that’s the right word for our university style of ragging, Darlo. We too had ragging but that was mild get-to-know-each-other things that never hurt anybody; not the animalistic varieties we hear about now.” (Shelton Perera was an Arts graduate from the University of Peradeniya). “Oh yes, I remember those days when Donald the rag master headed the rag team. We had to address him as ‘Sir Donald’. It was funny when you think of those days,” Shelton laughed. “As a hosteler and a fresher I had to endure some ragging during ‘rag weeks’. The ragging involved singing a song on demand, wearing a torn shirt and a tie when attending lectures, not shaving or shaving half the beard, offering flowers to girl students, making proposals of marriage to the plainest girl in the batch, buying tea and cigarettes for everyone in the rag team at the canteen, washing seniors’ clothes and polishing their shoes with or without polish and things like that. They were not inhuman by any stretch of imagination. But I found the morning drill uncomfortable.”
“Morning drill; what on earth for Shelley?”
“That was the only mass ragging we had. Early in the morning freshmen in their underwear had to line up in the compound outside our hall and wait for commands to begin a drill.. I remember it was very cold and misty. After making us freeze awhile, the rag leader, Sir Donald appears on the balcony wearing a towel which he used to whip off before yelling ‘Hail the Lord!’ thrice and each time we had be bow down in acknowledgment. After that he shouts commands for exercises. ‘Heels raise, knees bend, touch your toes, raise arms, bend left, bend right’ you know school-day stuff. The duration of the drill depended on how cold Sir Donald in his birthday suit felt.”
“Must have been a fine sight,” giggled Joy.
“It was, but such rags built a good sense of comradeship among juniors and seniors. Sir Donald and his rag team turned out to be OK guys in university. Many did very well in Civil Service and corporate sector. Girls too ragged juniors. I don’t know what went on in their halls, but I heard some were asked to hang brinjals round their necks, crawl on their knees, sing songs, write love letters to a male student she liked; things like that. But over the years ragging has changed and made hell for university entrants. It has turned so bad it’s on record that thousands of students chucked up university and had gone home; they couldn’t stand the ragging. So, they lost higher education and careers. About a dozen had died, some were disabled for life and a few others have committed suicide. Their parents and families must have undergone the terrible shock of losing someone dear to them because of sick ragging.”
“Good heavens, can’t something be done about such madness?” cried Joy.
“What do you expect Mrs Shelton?” It was Tommo a pussycat employed as a vermin controller in Shelton Perera’s business that purred a response. “What indeed,” hooted pussy’s pal and working companion Ooty, an owl. “Mrs Shelton sounds somewhat out of date, doesn’t she?” The two pals were hanging around the dining room of the Perera house that morning.
“Meeoowwohsure (Oh sure). Do you know this country takes first place in the world for university ragging? Not just raging but dirty, psycho ragging by young pups just out of school who rag other pups junior to them in university. What the media has reported is nothing when compared to some outlandish ragging episodes that make ordinary governors wonder whether the rag mongers were ‘all there’; the ragging had been of a brutal sexual nature. Just imagine the trauma of those who bore the brunt of such lunacy. They would be scarred for life.”
"Over the years ragging has changed and made hell for university entrants. It has turned so bad thousands of students have chucked up university and had gone home; they couldn’t stand the ragging"
The exclaimed the owl, “Oh my gosh!”
“I’ll give an example’” hissed pussy. “Some sick seniors had held a lighted candle under a fresher’s things– testicles. The victim went sterile and remained sterile; he couldn’t even return home because of the shame. The case went to courts but a top lawyer appeared for the raggers and they won. There have been several cases of severe sexual abuse amounting to homosexual acts that included sodomy. And not only male freshers had been victims; even new female students had suffered sexual deviations. University ragging has become a sex fiesta.”
“Has anyone explained why university students get sadistic sex perverts when they see fresh faces in campuses?” The bird raised a pertinent question.
“Ha-ha-haaaa,” pussy laughed the way pussies do. “Heaps of governors have put forward theory after theory. Then there are reels of anti-ragging laws, anti-ragging set-ups and even an anti ragging Act of Parliament. But ragging goes on like wild fire.”
“You mean it can’t be stopped?” The bird hooted inquiringly.
“No, not yet. And it’s getting alarmingly sicker. Recently raggers had the gall to rent a house especially for ragging. I can think of one major reason for this type of ragging: inferiority complexes. In university students of lower-income classes make use of their position to take revenge from fellows from well-to-do higher classes. The howls against privatized higher education spring from a platform of plain economics. Hostility, thoughts of revenge and jealousy that burned in pre-university days come out flaming in universities when large numbers of low-income students strengthen ragging. So as far as I can see the ragging sickness will continue despite the taboos.”
“Hooot! That’s not a happy situ at all.”
Out- of- university ragging
“There is another thing,” purred pussy. “Young governors who enter universities are the best brains of the country. After they pass out, they would end up as docs, lawyers, teachers, lecturers, and other professionals, managers and administrators in public service, the private sector and in politics. You can clearly see the deterioration of these groups from ‘those days’ ‘to these days’.” “But, compared to ‘these days’ lots, Sir Donald types of ‘those days’ were angels. “Our governors are now saddled with ‘these days’ types who as public figures are ragging governors even in their imagination. Think of the demeanor of the majority of government employees from top to bottom; you’ll get the idea. Some politiccas, graduates, are also in this sick-in-the head ‘these days’ lot. Together they rag our governors painfully, shamefully and relentlessly; they carry sacks of chips on their shoulders.”
Only a Yama remedy would work
“Whoooom. So what’s the answer?”
“Purshsh! No Yaha style administration can handle this university hydrophobia…
“Thuhooom; then who and how?”
“My grandpa who was the boss of our pussy clan, was a strong believer of unorthodox answers to chronic gang wars, collection of protection money and ant type of extreme pussy style ragging. And his approach worked.”
“Huh, what did he do?”
“As a copycat of our governors, grandpa copied the Yama approach of a Yama government during his time. So, whenever any pussy or a gang of pussies were found doing perverted things like our governor’s ragging thingy, he used his hatchet teams to scratch and bite them beyond recognition, jail ring leaders on diets of water and bread in secret hideouts until the meowed, ‘Enough enough, Oh King Tom, we promise to be good pussies from now on’. You see, by that time they were hallucinating,” explained pussy. “Grandpa also went to an extreme: he made incorrigible pussies disappear with all nine lives.”
“Hoot, and his methods worked, aah?”
“Purrrr. Of course, but then he lost the next election to a moderate.”