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The After Effects of Bullying by Nanditha B Biju

Today morning I woke up to read a news article about a 16-year-old committing suicide because of bullying. Arvey a 10th-standard student of Delhi public school committed suicide 4 months ago. On the suicide note, he wrote “The school killed me.” The reason for the bullying was his sexuality. The students in his school used to call him “Gay, chhakka ladkiyon jaisa” Even though many times he complained about this to the higher authorities including the principal they all said he was taking advantage of the fact that his mother was also a teacher there. The school denied all the allegations. They said the school is very “supportive and sensitive”

Arvey committed suicide because of constant bullying. In our society bullying is often normalized. I remember when I was in school I had to face a lot of bullying for being disabled. And I’ve seen many kids in my school running to the principal's office to complain about the continuous bullying they had to face from seniors and the teachers saying “That’s because they’re teenagers”

Bullying is not acceptable. When you bully someone thinking it's all a "joke," it's never a joke to the person who is the target. Bullying destroys people. When you tell your peers, "don't sit on that chair, you're a fatty elephant," or "you're so black that even light can't pass through you," or "why are you wearing nail polish?" "Are you a gay man?" or when you silently laugh at that disabled kid at school because you think she's mentally ill, you're shattering them into a million pieces. you are denying their rights to live and love their own life. You are taking the other person's right to enjoy life to the fullest! Constantly lowering their self-esteem and will to live. Being depressed is not enjoyable. Anxiety is unpleasant. It's not fun to not feel loved in your own body. It's not fun not to be able to live your life the way you want

Everybody has the right to live here. What that 16-year-old went through still dehumanises me. He would have lived if action had been taken against the bullies at the appropriate time. He would have lived if the teachers had stood by him. He would have lived if those people had stopped bullying him. I recall a line from the Malayalam film Premam where Malar Miss says, "Raging is Normal in College, which will force you to face situations outside your comfort zone." NO raging, or the more formal term teasing, is acceptable. It will not make anyone stronger.

Have the basic decency to recognise that every life is valuable and that your words can cause harm. Bullying is not funny, and your jokes about body-shaming, being racist or homophobic or making any other hateful comments are NOT NORMAL. Grow up, it's 2022. Don't be foolish enough to teach your children life lessons through traumas and harassment. TRAUMA IS NOT AMUSING. DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE ARE NOT COOL. TRAUMA IS NOT Entertaining. DON'T BE DUMB ENOUGH TO DRAG KIDS INTO DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE. That is not as cool as you assume.

- An article by Nanditha B Biju