Ghosts of the past IITB

March 24, 2009

Generally, when you listen to any prof speak about IIT in the 80s, you get a
feeling that the place was more sacrosanct with all students leading peaceful, academically obedient lives. The other day, Yogesh and I were speaking to Rathikumar, one of the mess workers from H5. Rathikumar has been working in H5 for more than 30 years now and has probably seen more students in his lifetime than any prof! He shared a few incidents from the past which gave us a glimpse of darker side of hostel life back then. Some excerpts:

”Unlike now, ragging was a major problem at that time–freshers used to get beaten up mercilessly and were left stranded without money in places like Bhandup, Mulund,… There were a lot of foreign students from places like Palestine, Sri Lanka, etc who, in their 2nd-3rd year, used to rag the locals more severely than the localite-seniors themselves. This issue had created a lot of tension among students. In 1982 or ’84–I don’t recollect correctly, the situation became so bad that the institute issued a notice to all students to vacate their rooms in 24 hours. Students who dint take the warning seriously were literally thrown out, some of them who had gone out for a day or two weren’t allowed to enter the campus–the main gate was closed for everyone. We(the mess workers) helped many students during that time to transfer their belongings from rooms here.”

“In an other case, there was this fresher from from Bihar who wasn’t allowed to eat from mess the whole day. When he couldn’t tolerate the torture any more at night he beat up 3 seniors so badly that they had to be admitted to hospital. It was a horrible sight to see everyone bleeding profusely.”

“Then there were a lot of rich brats who used to regularly supply alcohol to hostel inmates. I remember Rajiv Tandon(Raveena Tandon’s brother) regularly hand out 2 bottles everyday to mess workers”

“Being asked to strip was probably the least of the tortures the juniors had to face, once the situation was so out of control that the police had to intervene to bring things in control in H11“.


We should consider ourselves lucky to be in the institute at this time when things are so much better. What say?

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2 Responses to “Ghosts of the past IITB”

  1. you_guess_it Says:

    I would have enjoyed that IIT more. wont you too. just have a second thought on it.


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