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Hazing News

Ragging Update: COH

December 12, 2007

Indian Universities Warned to Take Action Against Hazing

New Delhi — India’s Supreme Court this week ordered the country’s higher-education institutions to make clear to students that anyone found guilty of hazing — called “ragging” in India — would be expelled, The Times of India reported.

This year a court-appointed committee found that nearly 200 instances of serious hazing had been reported in the past nine years. Hazing, the committee wrote in May, has allegedly been the reason for many student suicides. Some students allegedly died while being tortured during hazing, and others were beaten so badly that they suffered severe injuries.

The situation “has only worsened both in terms of the incidence of the menace as well as in terms of the intensity or degree of brutality associated with it,” the report said.

The court issued a similar directive after the report was released in May, but this month said universities had not taken effective action. So it ordered all institutions to place a warning in their admissions brochures that hazing would result in immediate expulsion.

The problem of hazing came to the court’s attention after a case was filed in 2005 by a student who had allegedly been sexually assaulted by a number of other students.

The court has also asked other government agencies and academic associations to help eliminate hazing in higher-education institutions. —Shailaja Neelakantan

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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