Something is badly wrong when two major universities have to apologise for the activities of their students within a single week. First came the apology from Chulalongkorn University over the disgraceful mural depicting Adolf Hitler among comic book superheroes. It created a sense of global outrage that was not diminished by the sight of a female graduate giving the mural a Nazi salute.
This prompted one rabbi from a Holocaust memorial organisation to question whether "a genocidal hate monger" was an appropriate role model for young Thai people.
Two days later, Rangsit University was the one apologising for the extreme humiliation inflicted on a group of its students during a hazing ceremony. While neither the unhealthy preoccupation with Hitler nor the practice of hazing are a new phenomenon, they show that the lessons of the past have not been learned. Human rights activists will be particularly disappointed that their efforts to create awareness of why such behaviour is wrong appear to have failed. And Rangsit university authorities should be angry that their campus code requiring students to respect the dignity of fellow humans and refrain from lewd acts is blatantly ignored. Blaming the natural rebelliousness of youth is too simple an explanation.
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