Well, since this is one thing that is bound to be on your (and your parents') mind, we thought we might as well clear the whole issue up.
When you come to IITB, you will be welcomed by big posters declaring that ragging is banned in IITB and assuring you that terrible things would happen to any senior that so much as lays a finger on you. This is true to a large extent, so here is the whole ragging deal, summarized in a few straightforward points. Frankly, there is not much that is there to be said about the rules themselves, but this post has information that no posters will give you.
We will tell you three things that you
can expect from us
, and three things that we
would expect from you
. You keep your part of the bargain, and we assure you we would keep ours. Savvy?What you can expect from us
The institute has laid down several rules to prevent ragging and all of them are strictly adhered to. Here's what you can expect:
What we expect from you
- Unlike many other colleges, the ragging ban is very strictly enforced in IITB. This is to ensure that you will not be ragged in public nor in private. This covers ragging in all forms—physical, mental and half a dozen other -al words you can read up in the poster. The institute is very strict about this—there are night patrols, surprise checks and what-nots.
- Most of the freshmen will be staying together in a separate hostel this year. However, even in hostels where seniors are present, senior-freshman interaction in the first few weeks is kept under control and is strictly monitored by the powers that be, with special regulations in force. This leads to quite some inconvenience to seniors but, well, we live with it. Keep this in mind and respect this.
- Despite the above, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable (apart from maybe sharing your room with a guy with smelly socks), you should—
- Walk — Away. Simple. If you don't feel comfortable with the way things are shaping, excuse yourself away. It is rare that the same senior would accost you again.
- Talk — To your mentor. If you are being repeatedly troubled by a senior, talk to your mentor about it, who, we assure you, will make it their topmost priority to sort the issue out.
All the anti-ragging rules are for your
benefit, but, in the past couple of years, it has been observed that the sense of safety that these rules provide to the freshmen often becomes a liability for seniors. So, since your safety is assured with almost ISO-type quality, we would expect you to be nice yourselves and follow the stuff that, well, follows—
- Don't be afraid: Do not panic/get cold feet/cry wolf if a senior attempts to talk to you and simply asks you your name or department or trivial stuff like that. Asking someone's name is part of a standard protocol followed in civilized societies around the world.
- Follow the rules: The relatively strict rules that will be in place in the first month of your stay here (no freshman in senior's room or vice-versa, for eg.) might cause you some inconvenience, just as they cause some to us. However, considering that they exist for you, respect them and follow them! For example, if, during that period, you have been asked to not venture out to public areas like canteens after 10 p.m., don't! If a close friend of yours (or maybe a previous batch-mate) is your senior at IITB, you may be tempted to spend a lot of time with them. In such cases, restrict your interaction to public areas and day time.
Simple stuff like this ensures that neither you nor your friend has to see the wrong side of the law.
- Be respectful: They are senior to you after all, and being polite doesn't hurt. The anti-ragging rules do not sanction rudeness on your part, and exist to give you a sense of safety and security, not of superiority. There have been instances when a few freshmen had to be told off by the Dean for their excessive rudeness to seniors. Come on! Do you want that to be done to you? Be polite and respectful. Most seniors here are very good-natured, and eager to help if approached nicely. Also, all of you start with blank slates here—everyone here has cleared the JEE, so AIRs are best forgotten at the main gate.
One final thing. All of you would be coming from different places with different social norms about how you address seniors. Like all places, IITB has a simple norm too (it or may not be different from that of your community or other colleges, but that is irrelevant). Not sticking to it will offend people; you will be labeled as rude and will miss out on a lot of interaction with seniors. Out here, we address seniors using their name and do not add tags like bhaiyya / boss / sir / anna / dada / whatever
. Also, we use aap
when talking to seniors. Depending on who you are talking to, your listener will feel anything between slightly chafed to seriously offended if you "tu-tum-abey-oye" them, so reserve these for your batch-mates and juniors (when you will have one).
As you see, we are not asking for the moon, so, as long as you stick to the straightforward stuff we've written here, you are going to be just fine and would develop very good relations with your seniors.
So, that's what we have to say about the R word. Feel free to read it up (show it to your parents too, if possible) and discuss any queries you might have in the Hostel Affairs section.