"Shooting the Raggers"


I wish to endorse sentiments expressed in 'The ONLY way to STOP Ragging' by Dr. Asoka Weerakkody, The Island, March 16, 2020, and ‘Must get rid of raggers!' The Island, March 17, 2020, by Goolbai Gunasekara. In this instance, whether Lee Kwan Yew did tell Dudley Senanayake to "just shoot one or two of them" is of little consequence. Goolbai had concluded her comment stating, "not a bad idea if nothing else works, don't you think?"

Deshapriya Rajapaksha, in a short rebuttal, titled "Must get rid of the raggers," had disagreed. He has quoted German Theologian Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous "First they came for the Socialists…." It was about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy (including himself, by his admission), following the Nazis’ rise to power  and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt, repentance and responsibility.

Niemöller’s criticism primarily refers to the excesses of Nazi National Socialists.

In this instance, it is the raggers that need to be equated to Nazi thugs. Hence 'First they came for Socialists' must be understood in that context.

An Act was passed in Parliament in 1998 to eliminate ragging and other forms of violent and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment from educational institutions. Nevertheless, ragging continues in 2020, while our leaders, mostly uneducated, continue to debate.

I have no qualms like some others in advocating the most extreme measures to eliminate ragging in our universities. Raggers who are misfits in the first place should not be allowed to satisfy their perverse desires at taxpayer’s expense. Before awarding them degrees, what they need is a crash course in discipline to prepare them to live as law-abiding citizens.

Those who show empathy to raggers will understand their folly only when their children studying in universities return home, crippled, or in coffins.

It would be their turn to say, ‘when the raggers came for my child, there was no one left to speak for me.’


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