Testimonies of the victim of ragging

It is often hard for students to raise their voice against ragging. They fear further repercussion. As a new student they have the entire campus life ahead of them. Since, in most cases, raggers are seniors affiliated with political cadres on campus with controls of allotting rooms in future and more. New Age Youth have spoken with many present and past students of public universities. To protect their identity, here we present a few testimonies intentionally withholding any personal marker from their stories.

01‘On the first class of my university life, 15-20 students from our immediate senior batch came to our class. They wrote in the blackboard ‘meet the pressure’. I thought it would be a warm reception from the seniors. But surprisingly, I noticed their intention was different. It was rather a feudal attitude what they delivered instead of warm reception. They targeted the students who came from villages and who were not so called ‘smart’ in clothes, appearance and language. They, male and female seniors both, began to insult those guys without any reason. One of my female classmates protested this attitude at first. They charged her with very abusive language. I protested and immediately became a target. After a while, they left for that day.

After that some seniors from that batch came to me and asked, ‘Don’t you know about ragging?’ I told them, ‘You have no right to insult juniors.’ They said, ‘You are making a great mistake. The people you quarreled with are the terrorists from the ruling party student wing and very powerful.’ I decided to ignore the threat. The next day 8-10 students from the two-year senior batch came in our class during recess and asked, ‘Who is this boy (mentioning my name)?’ I stood up. Then they behaved very warmly with me. Their leader told me, ‘You are a very nice guy!  Let’s go for a chat to the roof.’ I was a bit confused. But they insisted me to go. After taking me to the roof of my academic building, which had no railing at that time, their attitude dramatically changed. They began to abuse me verbally. They picked a wooden stick from a matchbox, broke that stick to make it half and told me to take a measurement of the length of the roof using that half-sized tiny stick. I calmly refused. Then they threatened me and pushed me to the edge of the roof and said that if I disagree to follow their order they would throw me down from the roof. I angrily told them, ‘If you have that much courage, proceed, but I can’t follow your abusive order.’ And immediately I shouted to my classmates who were all watching from downstairs and told them, ‘Be witness! These guys are going to throw me down from the roof.’ The seniors felt the situation was going out of hand and left me alone.

The next day the same people from the first day from our immediate senior batch caught me after my class. They were 15-20 including 5-7 female students. Except the goons from ruling party student wing, most of them came to have some fun from the insulting project. They forced me to enter in an empty class room and locked the door. There they abused me verbally, told nasty words about my mother, took my mobile phone and moneybag. After three hours of serious verbal abuse, they forced me to go with them to the Shaheed Minar area of campus. There they forced me to take off my T-shirt, and wear it inside out. I knew they were trying to get a scope to beat me. At one stage, as a part of abuse, a senior female student ordered me to kiss her like the Indian film actor Imran Hashmi! I tried to stand calmly as much as I can. But when they attempted to hang all of their side bags on my neck and ordered me to march through the campus with them, I lost my cool. I took all the bags and blindly began to hit the leaders with those heavy bags. Of course, they retaliated. They started to beat me brutally, tried to take me to the hall, so that they can beat me more. And, their intention was also to dope me so that they can frame me that I am a drug addict. A senior student was walking by and noticed what was happening, came forward and saved me. However, after that no one in the campus came to give me ragging anymore. Although I was beaten but, facing the resistance from me they were shocked. I think, to stop ragging the first step is to protest. You have to protest if you have dignity.’

‘My university life and two-day stay at the dormitory only reminded me of one thing, as though I am under a military rule. There were so many things that we were not allowed to do. The funniest thing is that they even had intelligence. Anything said against them, anything written against them will soon reach them. After experiencing these, only one thing becomes evident to me — Bangladeshi people are fond of military ruling. Whenever I go on sharing these experiences with someone, the only responses I get is —try to tolerate, it is only a matter of several years. I mean, seriously?’

‘Women are equally victim and victimisers of ragging. During my first week of university life, at a women’s dormitory, my seniors were abusive beyond belief. They tried to force some of us to go tell our breast size to senior male students waiting outside the dormitory. Or else, they will scandalise our life to the extent that we won’t be able to show our faces on campus.’




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