Battling the Shadows: Jadavpur University’s Persistent Struggle Against Menacing Hostel Ragging

The recurring nightmare of hostel ragging continues to haunt Jadavpur University, revealing a grim reality that the institution has failed to quell over time. A former student’s harrowing account sheds light on the torment that persisted under the watchful eyes of university authorities. The distressing episode underscores a systemic failure that endangers the well-being of students.

Subhajit Ghosh, a postgraduate final year student in the Bangla department, recounts his ordeal, where he endured physical and mental torture in the university’s main hostel. Seniors subjected him to degrading tasks and sleep deprivation, and he was even thrown out of his room in the middle of the night. Shockingly, these atrocities happened with full knowledge of the university authorities who offered little protection or intervention.

Subhajit’s experiences reflect the broader issue of ragging, which has persisted despite efforts to curtail it. Tragically, this culture claimed the life of Swapnadip Mondal, a freshman who met a violent end after allegedly jumping from a building following just two days of attending classes. The presence of anti-ragging billboards across the campus seemingly had little impact on preventing such tragic outcomes.

The victims of this sadistic power dynamic are often economically underprivileged students who cannot afford alternate accommodation. With monthly hostel costs as low as Rs 25, many students have no choice but to endure the torment to secure a place to stay.

Swapnadip’s heartbreaking fate has spurred conversations about the entrenched culture of ragging within the university. The distressing accounts of survivors point to a disturbing pattern of abuse that persists unchecked due to lack of proper infrastructure and enforcement from authorities. Despite numerous complaints, little action is taken against the perpetrators, leaving victims vulnerable and traumatized.

The tragedy has prompted the university to temporarily relocate first-year students to a new boys’ hostel within the campus and evict outsiders and former students. However, this reactive response highlights the authorities’ failure to address the issue proactively.

As investigations continue and protests mount, the Jadavpur University community faces a critical juncture. The focus must shift from superficial remedies to a comprehensive overhaul of the system, including transparent allocation processes and stringent anti-ragging measures. Only then can the specter of hostel ragging be banished from the halls of higher education, ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for all students.

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