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Halt 'vulgar, discourteous' Rag Day practices across Bangladesh: HC

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2022-04-17 17:17:11 BdST


A High Court bench on Sunday ordered authorities to put a stop to “DJ parties" and other morally reprehensible practices in the name of 'Rag Day' on university campuses within the next 30 days.

On Sunday, the bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Khizir Hayat ruled on a petition filed by Supreme Court Advocate Mohammad Kamrul Hassan and asked a number of respondents to explain within four weeks why such practices should not be banned on all campuses.

The bench asked the secretaries to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, chairman of the Universities Grant Commission, vice-chancellors of Dhaka University, Jahangirnagar University, Rajshahi University, Khulna University, Barishal University, National University, inspector general of police and director-general of the Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education to respond to the rule.

Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar and Assistant Attorney General Selim Azad represented the state during the hearing.

Lawyer Mohammad Kamrul Hassan had filed the petition on Apr 7, attaching a number of newspaper clippings covering a number of incidents that took place at different higher education institutions during “Rag Day” celebrations.

The petitioner had urged the court to issue directions to ban “vulgarity, unwanted, discourteous and undisciplined behaviour in the name of Rag Day celebrations.”

In the petition, Kamrul said the current practices of Rag Day celebrations, which are contradictory to our social and cultural ideals, have been eroding the moral and ethical codes of today’s youth.

“Such vile practices need to be stopped,” reads the petition.

Kamrul also mentioned in the petition that he had filed the petition after failing to get any response to a series of legal notices the lawyer sent to authorities concerning such practices.

On Sept 2 last year, Dhaka University banned Rag Day celebrations on campus.

According to a hand-out issued after a meeting of the Academic Council, the university imposed the ban on “the so-called Rag Day” and termed it as an inhumane, cruel and unethical celebration.

The council also formed a committee to make guidelines on Rag Day parades as part of celebrations on the completion of courses.

But the very next day, the university had retracted its statement and issued a “corrected” statement, in which the authorities apologised for “inadvertently misrepresenting” the Academic Council’s decision and said the council “asked the authorities to be alert and thwart unwanted, inhumane, discourteous and undisciplined behaviour in the name of Rag Day celebrations on the campus, including in the residential halls”.