Bullying in the oxford dictionary means to seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable), which means genuinely harm someone with words or actions. We have always seen bullies in Hollywood movies which mostly bully the protagonists of the movie in school. Well, I have also seen a lot of people say that bullying is a foreign concept and our kids are brought up under a cultured, traditional upbringing that it’s not in our country.
One of the reasons that bullying in India isn’t noticeable. It’s so widespread that people don’t spot it commonly, like a cannibal doesn’t feel that his or her society, doing cannibalism wrong.
Just like that people in India think bullying, body shaming, gender based discrimination etc are common everyday stuff. I can categorise bullying in India as being so integrated into society that we cannot point it out so easily.
The start of bullying
Just like education, bullying starts at home. At one’s own home, most Indian couples fight like street dogs in front of their kids, in which the mom mostly takes all the blame or is made quiet by the father. The child grows up seeing this and starts bullying or scolding their mother for no reason or wrong cause. There might be families, who are different but this is the common pattern I have seen.
Even the child is being constantly judged by their uncles or aunts, relatives etc on their skin colour, weight or height, even their grades are openly judged by random strangers.This constant judging makes a child conscious about themselves as well as the idea of ‘how one should be in the society’, also how one’s so-called ‘ defects’ are made seen as one’s defect or bad feature, rather than looking at them as their individualistic feature. When kids grow up they’re judged according to their gender, if your girl. Then, it’s all about how good looking you are, how fair your skin is, how fat or thin your body is, and so much more! For guys, they will be mostly judged by their grades, scores, etc. The kids also don’t get to socialize because parents don’t want them to talk to other kids and spoil them or their behaviour. Most kids grow up introverts and parents blame them for being introverts, which isn’t quite right at all. This constant judgment makes the kid and teenagers very conscious of oneself, about their image in society. One of the ways to increase one’s social image without changing oneself, is bullying and fake rumours.
The Problem with Normalisation of Bullying
In school, as bullying is a different aspect, kids get bullied for being different. Some kids who grew up extremely caged. It is hard to socialize with other kids if you don’t know how to approach them and talk to them. For me it was like the same, my parents never wanted me to get spoiled via interaction with other kids. Add that with the unconventional hobby of collecting ladybugs, beetles, caterpillars and plants that look cool with the looks of a chubby kid. I was the major target of the bullies in my school. My only safe house was the library and reading books, the place where kids used to park their cycles during the lunch break. I think there was this constant commentary by strangers like random auto-rickshaw drivers commenting on how shy or quiet I was or just like random women calling me fat.
My problems were two things , bullying and how I got bullied in every peer group I ever was a part of. One of the major lessons I learnt was that bullying happens when you’re not accepted by the said group. Second was that judging people was a bad thing and our society in general was a judgemental one, which created a more complex environment for children.
Well, though life was hard as a kid when you don’t look so great or don’t have much social skills. I think bullying made me humble and mature than my peers, even though it did give me a lot of inferiority complex. It also taught me a weird and useful lesson, while my bullies were having trouble with interacting with people and character development. I was seemingly easy to talk to, and was talented as I had time to develop my talents rather than being busy playing ‘I’m the best’. I think some kids had to grow through the bullying face to develop some characteristics.
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