Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"The Punishment", strong short film on ragging

The Punishment”, by Samudra Guba (and Blue Ocean media, 21 minutes, in Hindi with subtitles), is a fictitious reenactment of a “ragging” scene in a college in India, comparable to hazing in the U.S.   

 The practice is more common in countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. It often starts out “quietly”.

The opening scene shows some quasi-military drills (marching with their pants down to their feet), and then the film shows some freshmen reporting hazing to campus police.

Soon the upper classmen knock on their door and take them to the roof for a hazing session. The young men are, of course, accused of “snitching”.

Some of the activity becomes a bit homoerotic, as two of the men have shirts slowly unbuttoned and then ordered to drop their pants.  Hot wax is poured onto the back of  one man.

The film has a brief epilogue showing the men a few years later, when the tables are turned. The film also, in the closing credits, lists statistics on deaths from ragging.

At William and Mary in the fall of 1961, probably the second Friday night of classes in September, some freshmen were herded into the basement of a dorm where upperclassmen held “tribunals”.  I skipped out on it and played hooky, but I heard that “they” shaved the boys’ legs. I cover that in Chapter 1 of the DADT 1 book. 
By Regunathan Umapathy - Vavuniya, KaliKovil, GFDL, Link

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