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Many actions taken by students are considered to be ragging under the law. Some of the acts considered as ragging are1:
Causing psychological harm to a student is considered to be ragging under the law. This may include:
- Any written, verbal or behavioural actions by a student including teasing a student, speaking rudely, etc. For example, calling a student derogatory names.
- Rowdy or undisciplined behaviour which may annoy the student, cause hardship or psychological harm to any student. For example, stealing and throwing away the notebooks that belong to a student or threatening a student constantly.
- Asking a student to do an act which he would not ordinarily do. Such incidents may cause a sense of shame, torment or embarrassment to the student thereby affecting his psychological wellbeing. For example, making a student dance in front of the class.
- Any act that affects the mental health and self-confidence of any student. For example, making a student dance in front of the class and ridiculing him for it.
- An act or abuse, whether written, verbal or online (emails, posts, etc.), which would result in making a student uncomfortable. For example, spreading rumours on online platforms about a student or ragging for the sake of deriving pleasure out of it.
Disturbing Academic Activity
Ragging can take the form of disturbing a student’s academics. If any student prevents, disrupts or disturbs the regular academic activity of another student, it is ragging. For example, a senior student harassing a junior student into not attending classes.
Using or Exploiting a Student
Ragging can take the form of exploitation of another student. This includes:
- Exploiting the services of any student for completing the academic tasks assigned to an individual/group. For example, making a student do some other student’s homework assignments.
- Financial extortion or forceful expenditure put on any student. For example, making a student pay for another student’s expenses.
Ragging can take the form of physical abuse and violence. Ragging includes:
- Rowdy or indisciplined behaviour which is likely to cause physical harm to any student, or any act which makes one fearful/apprehensive of physical harm. For example, threatening to beat up a student.
- Asking a student to do an act which he would not ordinarily do, and which causes him a sense of shame, torment or embarrassment so as to adversely affect his physical wellbeing. For example, beating up a student because he did not comply with the orders of a senior to perform a task.
- Sexual abuse, including assaults, stripping, forcing obscene and lewd acts or gestures, etc. For example, asking a female student to strip.
- Any act which causes bodily harm or any other danger to a student. For example, mixing laxatives in a student’s food.
Discriminating against Another Student
Ragging can take the form of discrimination and prejudice against another student. Any abuse based on the colour of your skin, race, religion, caste, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, nationality, regional origins, linguistic identity, place of birth, place of residence or economic background, is considered as ragging. For example, if a student is constantly teased and called names based on her regional origins, or is ridiculed because she belongs to a lower socioeconomic status than other students, it can be considered as ragging.
The intent behind ragging does not matter. For example, to derive pleasure, for fun, to show off authority or superiority – the very act of ragging is a crime under Indian law.
If you are being ragged, you can complain to college authorities or the police.1