The video of college students brandishing machetes, chasing and taking a swing at each other that went viral this week triggered panic among Chennaiites. A fight between two groups of students of Pachaiyappa’s College over who would be the route thala had led to this violence. Clashes have happened in the past over the route thala issue as the notorious culture has been passed down over the years by students.
Students taking buses to ransom has its origin in the annual Bus Day celebrations. Despite bus crew’s warning, students usually barge into city buses, ride on top of them and trouble other passengers. Their unruly behavior disrupts traffic flow on arterial roads, besides causing damage to public property.
Fed up with this public nuisance, the Madras high court in 2011 imposed a ban on Bus Day celebrations owing to threat to road users. Despite the ban, students continue to celebrate it.
Last month, police arrested several students for pulling a dangerous stunt atop a bus, as part of their bus day celebrations. The video of students standing on the roof of the bus and a few seated on it with their feet dangling over the windscreen, went viral. In yet another video, students were seen falling off the roof of an overcrowded bus. In 2018, students were seen hanging off footboards and brandishing knives. They also dragged the knives on the road to make sparks fly.
While Pachaiyappa’s college suspended two students for the Tuesday incident, city cops warned of stringent action including detaining them under the Goondas Act if they continued to indulge in such violence/crime repeatedly.
While Bus Day was originally meant to celebrate buses and their crew for ferrying students to colleges, students of a few colleges in the city had brought disrepute to the goodwill gesture.
Whenever such incidents happen, college heads and top police officers meet and decide to rein in such unruly students.
At the same time, bus passengers also must not be silent spectators. They should stand up against such violent behaviour and ensure those students are handed over to cops.
It all boils down to discipline practised at home, school and college. Parents and teachers must keep their children positively disciplined from an early age so that when they grow up they understand their responsibility towards family and society....