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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fwd: Teachers who Terrorize Students Deserve Harsh Punishment

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ashok T. Jaisinghani <>
Date: Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 3:42 AM
Subject: Teachers who Terrorize Students Deserve Harsh Punishment

Teachers who Terrorize Students
Deserve Harsh Punishment
    On 4 October 2010, the Principal and three other teachers of Kolkata's prestigious La Martiniere Boys' School were arrested and charged for beating a 13-year old student of 8th standard, Rouvanjit Rawla who had committed suicide on February 12 by hanging himself. They were arrested on the basis of the complaint lodged by Rouvanjit's father, Ajay Rawla, with the police, after a long period of about 8 months from the day of their committing the crime. Principal Sunirmal Chakravarthy and the three teachers, L G Gunion, David Ryan, and Partha Datta, were later released on bail by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of the Kolkata City Court.
    The Kolkata City Court must be congratulated for charging the teachers with acts of cruelty and putting them on trial. The teachers deserve very harsh sentences because corporal punishment had been declared as illegal by the Supreme Court in the year 2000.
    The example of La Martiniere Boys' School shows how the teachers can ruthlessly use their massive power to strike terror in the young minds of their students. They can easily misuse their authority to exercise complete control over those students who have no means to defend themselves. The collective actions of the Principal and the three other teachers of a prestigious school of Kolkata is an example of how the beating of students is quite common in many schools, and some colleges, in India.
    Many schools are like part-time prisons, which have tyrannical teachers who beat the underprivileged students regularly without any legitimate reason. Many teachers still commit atrocities and deliberately humiliate students due to the differences based on caste, economic status, language, region, etc.
    The associations of parents and guardians should have the right to send some of their members regularly to schools to check whether any discrimination and atrocities are taking place against any students. If such checks are allowed to be carried out on all working days of the schools, they will help in curbing the crimes of violent teachers particularly against those students who belong to the lower castes and also those who come from the poor and lower-middle class families.
Ragging is also Practised by Teachers
    We should realize that the atrocities committed by the teachers on students have close links with the practice of ragging in educational institutions. It is impossible to root out all forms of ragging especially in India. Even many teachers are involved in the practice of ragging in some forms.
    The dictionary meaning of ragging is "tormenting, scolding, teasing, taunting or subjecting to annoyance." The acts of ragging are executed in different forms of harassment, insults, defamation, humiliation and physical or mental torture. 
    Different forms of ragging are prevalent in schools, colleges, universities, and many other places like offices, factories, etc, all over India. There are many causes of ragging like the differences in caste, class, skin color, language, monetary status, etc. Prejudices of caste superiority and belief in untouchability can make the upper castes and rich classes to display hatred and contempt for the lower castes and poor classes. Such actions can be considered as forms of ragging. 
    As ragging is all-pervasive, it can never be rooted out without drastic measures being taken by all the state governments and the courts of India.
 Eradication of Ragging from Schools
    Educational institutions are secretive about the prevalence of ragging on their campuses. The managements prefer to hush up all incidences of ragging to avoid getting a bad name for their institutions. In this way, the teachers and administrative officials have been helping to perpetuate ragging in many educational institutions. There are teachers who encourage or condone ragging by the rich and strong students who belong to the higher castes and have political or union connections. So how can ragging be abolished when it is condoned by the authorities in schools, colleges and universities?
    Abusive and violent teachers set very bad examples as role models for the senior, strong and rowdy students who may copy the behavior of such teachers and resort to the practice of ragging against the junior, weak and poor students.
    Many teachers still resort to beating their students even though corporal punishment has been banned in schools and colleges. Ragging cannot be rooted out from schools and colleges so long as some teachers are themselves involved in committing the crime. A few teachers have even been involved in sexual harassment, molestation, rape and murder of their students. Such crimes can be considered as the extreme forms of ragging.
    There are teachers who terrorize their students by threatening to fail them without any legitimate reasons. By using these threats, such teachers can extort a lot of money from the students. They do not fail the rich students who agree to pay money to the teachers for passing them in the examinations, but the careers of many poor students can be completely ruined by the corrupt teachers.
    Ragging can make the students mentally disturbed, desperate and even violent.
Many students have committed suicide due to ragging by the teachers who threaten, beat and humiliate them before the other students. 
Due to the easy availability of guns, the students in advanced countries like the USA, who have been victims of ragging, are known to have suddenly turned violent and killed fellow students and even their teachers.
Teachers Strike Terror in Students of Pune
    About 30 years back, a desperate lady had mentioned to me the case of her son who was being beaten regularly by his teacher in one of the most reputed schools of Pune. Her son had become so scared and sick that he would vomit on his desk in front of all the other students merely at the sight of his violent teacher. He got beaten again and again by his teacher due to his habit of vomiting.
    The school authorities had called his mother a number of times to "complain" to her about her son's habit of vomiting. The distraught mother asked me if I knew about any psychiatric or other method of treatment that could cure her son. Her son had become so scared and abnormal that he would not even play with any other children of his age. He could neither go to play with other children nor study with concentration.
    I advised the mother to make her son leave his "reputed" school and get him admitted to another one immediately. She was reluctant to get him admitted to any other school as no other reputed school could have admitted her son in the middle of the academic year. But after some days, she came to thank me for the advice. Probably after talking to her son at home to know the small boy's own wish, she had finally decided to heed my advice. I had told her to worry about the life, health and happiness of her son more than his education in a "reputed" school, which had a teacher who was striking terror in the mind of the small boy.
    After getting her son admitted to a school with average reputation, her son had become so happy and cheerful that his parents and his new teachers faced no problem due to him. He never vomited even once in his new school. He had started playing with other children and had also become good in his studies.
    I know of many parents who have got their children removed from the prestigious schools of Pune because of the ragging practised by their abusive and violent teachers. Such parents have experienced great relief when their children felt happy and joyful after going to schools of average reputation.
Terror of Tyrannical Teachers must Stop
    Who are the worst offenders of ragging in schools, colleges and universities? Of course, many of them are the teachers and administrative officials in educational institutions who terrorize their students physically and psychologically. Together they scold, beat and harass especially those students who come from the Dalit castes or from poor and lower-middle class families.
    The prestigious schools and colleges have some teachers who practise ragging deliberately to force the poor and lower-caste students to leave their institutions. When seats become vacant in the prestigious educational institutions, they are given to students whose parents can pay huge amounts of money as capitation fees or donations for getting admissions. Many schools, colleges and universities are being run by big racketeers who are regularly making huge amounts of black money.
    The crooked teachers use ragging and harassment as one big way to get a lot of money. The rich students too can face ragging from teachers if their parents do not part with a lot of money for getting private tuitions from particular teachers. Capitation fees and donations are not the only way for making quick money by the teachers and educational institutions. The rich students may not be beaten by their teachers due to the possibility of retaliation by their influential parents, but they can be threatened with failure in the examinations. The rich students can afford to pay a lot of money to pass their examinations by any means, but what can the poor students do if their careers are ruined by the corrupt teachers?
    Atrocities by the teachers on students from poor families and lower castes must stop. That is also one of the most important ways to drastically reduce the incidence of ragging in schools, colleges and universities.
    Ashok  T. Jaisinghani.
      Editor & Publisher:    Top Nutritionist
Bhawani Peth,
Pune 411002.

Palash Biswas
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