Ragging in the country's colleges and universities has gone up to an ominous level. Though only a few of the ragging incidents have been reported, these are enough to expose the severity of the distorted practice. Every year, thousands of fresher have to accept the cruel and abusive treatment. Through ragging, senior students try to establish their superiority over juniors and enjoy the pain and torture faced by the juniors. The evils of mockery and teasing become a form of entertainment. It also gives them the satisfaction of exercising the power to suppress someone. Psychological disorder in some of these students also plays a role behind ragging.
A common argument given by students is that they were also ragged by their seniors. Moreover, a section of teachers and guardians support ragging by saying that it helped fresher or junior to get accustomed to the new places and environment. Some even argue that through the process, younger people take some tough lessons for their survival for the rest of their life. As a result, ragging becomes a perpetual practice and accepted norm.
Authorities of higher educational institutions are also reluctant to take any firm step to contain the disturbing practice. In most cases, they pay little heed. Those who lead the ragging mostly come from a powerful socio-political background and some other joins them to get some taste of power. Some of them even use their money and muscle power in ragging. Students especially those who come from week social background or from ordinary middle-class of poor families become the main victims of ragging. Usually they keep silent against such torture.
Things turn more dangerous when 'political backing' is there. The student wing of the political party in power usually controls the campus and dormitories of the public universities. A number of leaders, members and activists of the wing gradually become violent and aggressive in the absence of administrative control. They turn into oppressors in their limited domain. The authorities, also submissive to political loyalty, virtually surrender to the intimidators as they have strong political connection. It is unfortunate that the students-turned intimidators have little idea about their real power and limit. They are used to taking everything for granted and continue their torture.
The gruesome killing of Abrar Fahad, a second year student of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), goes far beyond the 'politically-backed' ragging culture. It has set the alarm bell ringing. It also shows that ethical standard and values are eroding fast in society. It indicates that a bunch of social monsters are emerging from the higher educational institutions. More ominous is the fact that in the near future many of them will run the state machinery. It is high time that the cause behind the rise of the monsters were removed.