Being a Peradeniya University Alumnus reading articles of this sort http://sundaytimes.lk/120108/News/nws_18.html makes me cringe in shame. It has been repeating over and over again and I wonder how many more lives we need to loose before people realize the severity of ragging.
I see two major factors for this menace. First factor is that ragging is the way of controlling and building a political base for certain parties. Just like the sheep to the slaughter university entrants even before courses start are systematically roped in to the ragging cult in the guise of guidance and support from the seniors. By portraying university as too big a place where a student cannot survive by him or herself these people break the confidence and the self belief of the new comers and make them rely on the seniors. Ironically most of these senior leaders cannot get through their own exams and even after four years you would see them sitting for papers. But then at this point of time due to the sheer fear psychosis they create about the system the students just surrender themselves to the senior 'butcher'. The ultimate winners in this game our the political cronies at the university and of course the losers are the students. I personally know a lot of students who entered university left after four year with their self confidence shattered, deeply frustrated and with a tainted mind. Wonder whether this is what they refer as building personalities through ragging?
The second factor is that a lot of university dons and the earlier generation who have a strong belief that a diluted version of the ragging should exist. They proudly claim that their university life is studded with interesting incidence of mild ragging and how it helped them to create life long bonds. For me this belief is very much similar to the the urban myth that "frogs fall from sky", ragging is not the only reason which has created bonding between people, for god sake come out of the dilution and remember that over the years ragging has been the main reason the deaths at our university and we are not doing anything to stop it from happening again by being paranoid about a non-existent good side of ragging.
As per the broken window hypothesis, a small disorder invites even more disorder. A small deviation from the norm has set in a cascading effect of social epidemic, which is ragging in this instance. Take the bull by the horn and make it zero tolerance in word and deed, if you honestly believe that we should not loose another life to this social menace.