Bullying can destroy a person’s life forever
Bullying. Hazing. Ragging. Whatever be the word you choose for it, the very idea is wrong. It is a power equation where the intention is to destroy the victim. Make no mistake; this is a violation of human rights and is not ‘harmless fun’ or ‘part of childhood’ or ‘the way to grow up.’
Amnesty International (India) estimates that 70% of children experience bullying in schools. They go on to quote research that says that you never outgrow the effects of bullying.
Another study shows that every third child is bullied in school.
It is in this context that I saw with horror the recent headlines of a severe case of bullying in Noida.
‘Ragging’ in Noida school: Two Class XI students land in hospital 2 DPS Noida boys in hospital after ragging Two class XI students ragged, beaten in DPS Noida hostel Delhi Public School pupil, 15, 'hospitalised with severe injuries' after older students attacked him with metal rods and hockey sticks when he reported them for ragging
No one really could condone such violent incidents, where the immediate effect is so apparent and boys ended up in hospital. But they do. Schools, we are told, don’t speak to anyone. Teachers and counsellors say that it doesn’t happen or the specific incident didn’t. Sometimes, we are told, the victim is actually the one to blame.
In my recent book, It’s Not About You, Samaira – a single mother – has to deal with her son being bullied and beaten up in school and taken to hospital. There is a veil of silence that envelopes the school. Powerful supporters of the bully threaten and intimidate the witnesses to an extent where the biased investigation ends up blaming her son, Aksh, for what happened.
This is common. It does happen. And it must stop. Together we must say – NO MORE BULLYING.