‘My death will bring about a change’. And it did.
These were the words of Amman Satya Kachroo, a student of Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, in his suicide note. He had ended his life after being traumatised and depressed due to continuous ragging by his seniors. It was his case that made headlines across the media – and made the world look at ragging as a grave issue that needed immediate action.
Following Kachroo’s death, a religious and cultural organisation called Vishwa Jagriti Mission filed a public interest litigation. The case Vishwa Jagriti Mission versus Central Government through cabinet secretary & others started before the Supreme Court of India. The bench comprising two judges, Justice RC Lohati and Justice Brijesh Kumar, took a remarkable step by constituting a committee headed by Dr RK Raghwan, former director of CBI, to look into the matter and prepare a report. The report was presented before the Supreme Court.
Following the report, the court noted: “Ragging can be stopped by creating awareness amongst students, teachers and parents that it is a reprehensible act which does no good to any one, and by simultaneously generating an atmosphere of discipline by sending a clear message that no act of ragging shall be tolerated and any act of ragging shall not go unnoticed and unpunished.’’
The mandatory guidelines were created by the UGC after this observation by the Supreme Court.