Murder Over a T-shirt

Though these sort of news reports are becoming increasingly commonplace, this news from Guwahati still shocked me today.

A college student was burnt to death by three of his friends after they had an altercation over a T-shirt, police said here today.

Nitumoni Das, a first-year student of Dimoria College, was staying in rented accomodations near the college. Three of his college friends had an argument with him over a t-shirt, and subsequently poured kerosene over him and set him on fire.

His father stated,

Before he expired, Nitumoni narrated the incident and said three of his friends set him on fire after he refused to give them his T-shirt.”

Just yesterday, there was this news that nine students of Agartala Government Medical College were expelled from the boys’ hostel after they grievously injured a first year student. It appears though, that they have not been expelled from the college, nor disciplined otherwise.

“This boy allegedly stole a laptop from a second year student and was subjected to nightlong physical torture. It was so vicious that a hot iron was pressed against his back,”

 an official source said.

This entire second year batch ( fourteen students) had earlier also been expelled from the hostel for a month for ‘physically abusing first year students as part of the “ragging” process.

There was also this recent news report from Delhi

Police officers said the 17-year-old victim ( a fresher student of the Industrial Training Institute in Vivek Vihar in East Delhi ) was made to strip, forced to dance naked, and beaten up when he resisted. The victim has injuries on his genitals and needed three stitches, said the police’.

What is wrong with today’s youngsters that these type of incidents have become so commonplace? Student violence against fellow students- whether ragging or otherwise- have become everyday events. Most people are not even shocked by them any more, and just shrug and forget about them.

Are today’s youth so used to instant gratification of demands that they cannot ever take no for an answer? So much that they can kill a fellow student over a t-shirt?

Is torturing fellow students so much fun for them, that they do not care even if someone dies for their ‘fun’? Has a human life no value at all for today’s students?

I can only repeat what I wrote in an earlier post-

Having destroyed earlier ideals, we have failed to give our children any new ones that they can look up to.
We have allowed them- no- taught them, to despise any sort of regulations. So they feel that they are free to do whatever they feel like doing. They want freedom without responsibility.

We are now reaping the harvest of what we have sowed.

Earlier posts on ‘ragging’:-

1. Things Fall Apart
2. Nurturing the Roots



  1. You are right. There are no ideals that young people can look up to. In addition, I also think it is about parents making time for their children, and braving the "burapan" in calling a wrong , a wrong.In the big hurry to earn more and more,this doesnt happen, and the children may acquire degrees, but learn very little. Actually, where are people in public life that anyone can look up to ? So Goondas up there, generate goondas at all lower levels. Raja tashi praja…


  2. You are absolutely right.We have destroyed our ideals and replaced them not with the best the West has taught to the world but the worst from which it is too is suffering.This need for instant gratification and violent reaction if it is not met is going to play out its course. There is no way that it is going to be checked till it spends itself, considering how we are bombarded 24/7 through all forms of communication.


  3. Time, space and civilisation is changing. And the young are driving it. And the change thats coming our way has both sides of it. The palatable and the distasteful. This obviously falls on the latter. Its completely a disgrace to civilsation per se. And all the years of progress that we have made is set aside with such acts…Its appalling. To say the least


  4. Ugich Konitari– I agree, many parents do not have time for their children. And yes, some parents are scared to point out a wrong. With good reason, too! Who knows what today's children will do in reaction?Vinodji– This is something I feel very strongly about. We call Netaji Subhashchandra and Veer Savarkar antinational, we call Chatrapati Shivaji communal- whom do we want children to look up to?As you have pointed out, even from the West, we take what are negative influences and not the beneficial ones.


  5. Kavi– Yes, the young are driving the change. And yes, this change has both palatable and distasteful sides.I hope these young drivers learn to recognise the right direction before it is too late!Pradeep Biswas– Yes, this could be one reason. They need some outlet for their emotions. I read somewhere that another reason could be that youngsters spend too little time playing sports (on the grounds) and too much time in front of the television or computer screen.


  6. One is the slow drift away from our roots to a situation where we are without an anchor. This leaves us vulnerable to various stresses of modern life.This is especially true for metropolitan cities. If you closely and dispassionately analyse the way children are brought up or grow up…..With both parents working they have no time for themselves leave alone children. Children would be with grand parents or a maid or at a creche.There is very little emotional bonding that happens. In the limited time at home or on week ends, after chores there is no energy left for emotional bonding leave alone guidance in education or anything else.This is also accompanied by high pressure on children for achieving high ranks / grades.Coupled with this is the guilt complex faced by parents for this neglect. Spending money and pampering children is one way of dealing with this guilt.You have children who have grown up to be lonely in an emotional vacuum, subjected to high performance pressure, probably rarely appreciated and given a lot of money / gadgets or whatever….The result is a young person who is selfish, greedy, emotionally bankrupt, and violent…. What surprised me is the cruel bent of mind is not a metro – big city phenomenon.


  7. That's sad!I feel the main cause of violence is also about having too much free time. With both parents working and kids getting enough of everything..all perks, it leads to boredom and the idle mind becomes devil's workshop.


  8. You are so right, I lament the same fact all the time in my poist that parents never admonish their children when they do any wrong…. we are making them materialistic where they cherish the things more than the people. Unless we go back to the value system where character was given more honour than riches, where the ways of earning were important than the earnings itself, nothing will change.we dont need to generate icons, rather behave like one with our children.


  9. Mavin– Yes, I suppose our whole changed lifestyle today is responsible for the changed mindset of children. With both urban and rural students having access to television, computers and the internet, I don't suppose we can expect much difference in their attitudes.Solilo– Yes, I agree, many children do have a lot of free time. And if parents are not at home the greater part of the day, and interaction with relatives and neighbours very little- it must have an adverse effect. Renu– Yes, I agree- the value system where character was given more importance, molded the minds of children in a beneficial way.Yes, we should be the ideal for our children. But I feel they also need great personalities to look up to.


  10. Sure,this generation has lost basic values of life.Problem is due to materialist approach.Blame also lies with the parents for making the children so intolerant and not making them aware of values of life.


  11. Material goods are becoming very important in the life of the young. In this case, it was a T-shirt. The modern day gadgets are a cause of envy for those who do not possess them. And it seems they would go to any length to get it! As for ragging. It should be done away with. The very purpose of breaking ice is not valid any more. And the activity seems to be taking an ugly turn wherever practised.


  12. It is unbelievable! The incidents that you have listed here – is terrifying to say the least.'Having destroyed earlier ideals, we have failed to give our children any new ones that they can look up to. ' – This is so true! I keep reading of these here, in the UK, how people end up killing/hurting each other in drunken brawls.. Looks like we are picking up all the wrong things from the west – rather quickly! Freedom without responsibility and parents substituting time and affection with money and material goods…


  13. Fast life of parents and children is the main problem with our society, which leads to so much intolerance. I see this view is already there, in the comment section. And the children are not allowed to involve in sports or any other physical activity. Just study, go for tutions and get good marks. They need some entertainment and the cinemas and TV shows show so much violence that everyone is immuned and become insensitive. They never realize the consequences or don't bother about it. I am sure the boys won't even say 'sorry' to the parents of the deceased boy.The future looks very scary, Manju.


  14. Chowlaji– I agree that one problem is increasing materialism. But as to intolerance- I have seen that sometimes children are more angry towards life in general than their parents. They see that others in society have privileges and they want them too, immediately.I do not think it is always the parents' fault.Radha– Yes, I think that envy of others who 'have' gadgets, or sport shoes or whatever, is a cause of this increasing violence.As for ragging- no one in the educational institutes seem to be taking it seriously!


  15. Smitha– Yes is terrifying, and almost every day we read this sort of news report!Sandhya– I agree, the future does seem scary- but if we try to understand what why this change in society is taking place, we can begin to find some remedies.


  16. I will tell you Manju… only when the punishments get severe these kind of things will reduce…Whats this…. 2 day suspension from college… its like leave… they will take that… once its found that a student indulges in ragging then a criminal case must be filed on that student and must be dismissed from college permanently…didn't he/she know what they are doing in the name of fun…??? is torturing one person is equal to have fun?? then they should be in mental hospitals..and I believe this kind of thing passed on from one year to another… a first year student gets ragged wants to do the same to his juniors…all the college institutions and govt has to do is implement the strict rule for some 5 years.. then this will be curbed automatically…I didn't read the full post and I couldn't :(((its hard to see a student torturing other :((


  17. and another thing I have to say now is, ragging is not kind of thing exists now…it has existed for atleast 20 to 25 years until now and it went unnoticed until a medical college student was killed in Chennai by 1997: only students started to complain about ragging as the rules become somewhat strict…it existed and will exist until some strict rules are implemented


  18. Kanagu– You are right, we have been hearing about incidents of ragging for many years. But increasingly, ragging, even in its extreme forms, is seen as justifiable. And children of influential parents go free, whatever they may do.No doubt, punishment is certainly needed. People always find ways to get around rules and laws, though. The long-term remedy can only be to change the mindset of students.


  19. How many parents really 'parent'?? Most don't have time and they either give in to their children's whims or repress them. Very few choose the middle path and give them enough attention that they need. The easy way out is what most parents choose. When children grow up and turn into little monsters is not the time to lament, but each time a child rolls on the ground and throws a tantrum or screams till blue in the face for something, is the time to discipline and teach. Sad to say most parents do not know how to handle such situations at all. And those around make it worse by their interference and advice.Recently I heard a mother (who is an educated young engineer well placed in a reputed company) reprimand her 3-year old who threw a tantrum at a crowded family function that she was going to throw her and get a more "beautiful" and "better" girl from the market. That's "unconditional" love for you! It is not the child's misdemenour the mother is targetting! It is easy to imagine what such a remark does to a kid of 3!! Can the truama ever be erased?? People think its harmless talking in this manner. A child's sense of security is shattered. But in my long life I have seen enough parents who totally undermine their children's self worth and care too hoots about it too. Then they go to the other extreme and shower the same child with material things to assuage their own guilt! should a parents tell the child who has fallen and hurt his knee that they would 'beat' the ground that caused the child pain when it fell?? Isn't it giving the child the impression that it is alright to hit someone who has hurt you?? Why not just ask the child to be careful and walk with care?? Here the parent wants the 'crying' to stop 'instatntly' So the parents also want everything 'instantly'!! What harm wil a little bit of crying do other than grate your nerves a little longer? I have read news item that says Tom and Jerry has lots of violence. But what about this tacit aproval for violence taught children from the time they are babies?? What messages are we sending such children?? Perhaps parenting does need a license! Of course however much parents try individuality does surface and confound them and everyone around. But we cannot deny that we, the previous generation have a big role in how todays generation has turned out is what I believe.


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