Bullying vs Ragging: Difference and Comparison

Violence or aggressive behavior is detrimental in any possible way. Bullying and Ragging are the worst things that could happen to a person, it severely affects mental health and can also affect the way we look at life.

Understanding the difference between them can aid in freeing someone from the clutches of these heinous crimes.  

Key Takeaways

  1. Bullying involves aggressive behavior towards others and can happen anywhere, while ragging is a form of harassment targeting educational institution newcomers.
  2. Ragging is associated with initiation rituals, whereas bullying can occur without a specific context or purpose.
  3. Bullying and ragging can have severe psychological and emotional consequences for the victims.

Bullying vs Ragging  

Bullying is an unwanted, aggressive behavior shown by the superiors towards the inferiors. Bullies intend to harm their victims through repeated acts of harassment and humiliation. Ragging is a one-time ritual to initiate someone into a group through humiliation or embarrassment.

Bullying vs Ragging

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Bullying is an odious ritual followed by the socially superior personalities to overpower the inferiors and has many subcategories; for instance, School Bullying, to be precise ‘Peer Abuse’ is when a group of seniors constantly show aggressive and hurtful behavior towards the juniors, it is miserable since it can last for many years, unlike Ragging.  

In contrast, Ragging is a welcome ritual prevailing in most Asian Countries, it involves seniors practically harassing the newcomers in every possible way.

The mindset of the senior is that he/she owns the territory of the college and every newcomer should please the already existing seniors and pay respect or be afraid of them.

This mentally disturbs the juniors as they expect to be received with love and care in a new environment but are subjected to this distasteful behavior.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Bullying    Ragging    
Defined As     Aggressive Behavior, teasing, abuse, threatening, etc. Welcome Ritual- Humiliation, harassment, etc.  
Context    School, Home, Neighborhood, etc.  Mainly Educational Institutes  
Can Last For  Few Years    Few Days or Months  
Types/ Sub-Categories  Group, Individual, Cyberbullying, Physical, Verbal, etc.  Verbal, Dress-Code, Sexual, etc.  
Prevention Helpline/ Campaigns  Bullying Prevention Campaigns- Anti Bullying Week, Anti Bullying Day, etc.    India (Toll-Free Anti Ragging Helpline), Sri-Lanka (Anti- Ragging Movement- 1996)  

What is Bullying?  

Aforementioned, Bullying is a criminal practice prevailing all around the world, wherein the superiorly powerful people try to dominate and intimidate the inferior in the society. It carries numerous sub-categories, majorly- School or Workplace Bullying,

Parental Bullying, Cyberbullying, etc. It has many adverse side effects as these practices are recurrent and can occur to you till you are under their control.  

Bullying can range from individual to group bullying- also called mobbing. Mobbing is quite common in Schools as a group of seniors bully the juniors.

But Bullying can severely impact the way a person sees life as it leaves a lifelong distasteful experience. It can stoop to any level and get nasty for example; Physical, Sexual, or Emotional Bullying can lead to dire consequences like suicide or mental trauma.  

The most common form of Bullying is School/ Workplace Bullying which can reach the second degree of Physical Abuse.

School Bullying occurs during the lunch break or Physical Training Class, since that is the brief period where the students are distant from the teachers and supervisors.

Workplace Bullying starts with jealousy, hate from other employees, and to bring the other person down the bullies bully the employees to disturb their mental peace.  

Nowadays, Bullying is taking up a new form- Cyberbullying. Social Media- the two-edged sword, is severely negatively affecting the new generation too.

Bullies disguise themselves as anonymous and constantly bully others through messages, videos, audios, etc.

This is the worst form of Bullying as identification of the bully becomes the core problem and lack of parental supervision increase the issue and the bullies take pure advantage of this issue.   

Many countries currently are introducing campaigns, movements, and strict laws against Bullying including launching campaigns like Anti-Bullying Day, International Day of Pink, etc.

Countries like the United States have declared School Bullying as illegal.   


What is Ragging?  

As mentioned above, Ragging is a disgraceful ritual that is diligently followed by the seniors in educational institutes wherein they practically harass and insult the juniors verbally or physically to prove their dominance in the campus.

It lasts for a shorter period compared to other forms of harassment. It is quite prevalent in Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.  

Ragging, too, has many subcategories like Dress-Code ragging wherein the seniors ask the juniors to dress up in a specific dress code set up by them for a day or two.

This can embarrass some newcomers and make them feel uncomfortable as many of them won’t be comfortable in some short and skimpy dresses.   

Another subtype of Ragging is the Physical Mistreat as the seniors sometimes beat up the juniors or ask them to do push-ups, sit-ups in front of a huge crowd that can make them uncomfortable.  

The verbal form of Ragging is also one of the worst forms, as juniors are asked to sing explicit lyrics, abuse in front of the opposite gender, in some cases seniors also bombard heaps of abuses on the juniors that can even hamper their mental peace.

These forms of Ragging can even prove to be a hindrance to the newcomer’s Academic Performance.   

These forms of Ragging are prevalent in medical colleges as seniors over there find themselves as the superior doctors and they call it the welcome tradition, but active measures are taken to prevent and stop Ragging in the colleges by launching Anti-Ragging Helpline Number and by creating awareness from the junior college itself to convey that Ragging is illegal and the worst form of harassment.

Many colleges around the world have declared that anyone executing the Ragging ritual will be expelled from the college and be given a Black Mark.  


Main Differences Between Bullying and Ragging  

  1. Bullying is the aggressive behavior shown by the superiors towards the inferiors by teasing, hurting, emotionally affecting them, whereas Ragging is also referred to as a ‘Welcome Ritual’ specifically found in the Educational Institutes/ Universities.   
  2. Bullying can last for years and is a recurrent behavior, on the other hand, Ragging lasts for a few days or months.  
  3. Bullying is mainly sub-categorized into Cyberbullying, Mobbing, School Bullying, Workplace Bullying, etc., whereas Ragging is sub-categorized into Dress-Code Ragging, Verbal and Physical Abusing, etc.  
  4. Bullying severely impacts mental peace and is more detrimental than Ragging.  
  5. Bullying can get severe if done based on caste, color, position in the society, income and can even lead to suicides, in contrast, Ragging is less severe and every student is equally ragged, there are not many suicides happening due to Ragging.   
Difference Between Bullying and Ragging


  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4757-9116-7_5 
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/RajeshGarg3/publication/26671360_Ragging_A_public_health_problem_in_India/links/573d84b808aea45ee84295c8/Ragging-A-public-health-problem-in-India.pdf 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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