[Reader-list] ragging

shivam zest_india at yahoo.co.in
Wed Jun 30 18:52:37 IST 2004

Dear Michiel,

Many thanks for your reply and for joing our mailing
list. On the net i read similarly about hazing in the
US, so is this practice in the Netherlands called
ragging or hazing, or is some other term employed? I
wonder if anyone can guide me towards the historical
origins of ragging. It's bizarre, and whoever thought
of it must certainly be abnormal. 

Can I extract the part about raagging in Netherlands
in your mail, and put it in our Dossier, under the
section 'Ragging outside India'. We cannot live in a
vaccum and it is important to understand ragging and
know about anti-ragging movements. I believe Sri Lanka
has had a successful anti-ragging movement, and I'm
trying to know about it. Ragging is educational
institutions is sometimes ludicrously justified with
the argument that even military training academies do
it. Btw, the Pakistan Air Force has banned ragging
after two men died of it.

It would be great, Michiel, if you could elaborate
about ragging in the Netherlands. For instance, does
it have a sexual element in it? Are there special
anti-ragging laws?

Thanks and regaards,

--- Michiel Baas <M.Baas2 at uva.nl> wrote:
> In reply to what Rahul wrote: "Adding to what Shivam
> and Anand have said, the Abu Gharaib brand of
> ragging is the rule rather than the exception,in
> most of the parts of North India(I cannot talk about
> other parts because I dont know)."
> I am not from India and thus have never attended a
> college there but have some friends in the South who
> did. Their stories are fairly similar to the ones
> coming from the North.
> I myself live in the Netherlands and although the
> ragging here is somewhat of a smaller scale (for
> instance: the period is shorter and is limited to
> certain students who wish to join a student club or
> frat house of some 'standing' - these students are
> hardly ever in social sciences for instance) ragging
> does lead to big problems here as well. A couple of
> years ago a student died, for instance, because he
> was forced to drink so much gin that his body gave
> up. Another example would be the student who had to
> wear a mask with a hose attached to it: the hose was
> then attached to a smoking device so that the poor
> kid was forced to inhale smoke. Naturally he died. 
> For years Dutch authorities have been trying to do
> something about ragging practices. One solution was
> to forbid frat houses, student clubs etc. to serve
> alcohol around the time when ragging takes place.
> This just solves the alcohol problem of course (and
> I wonder if, in the end, it just didn't have the
> effect that now the ragging/drinking doesn't take
> place in the open anymore). The silly thing about
> rules concerning ragging is, in my opinion, that
> while it makes certain practices illegal, it
> legalizes certain others. Indian law, just as Dutch
> law, already has rules about hurting, 'damaging'
> etc. people. School authorities should play a much
> more active role in preventing out of control
> ragging. 
> Regards,
> Michiel Baas
> Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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