What proves that bullying appeared long time ago and still taking its place till these days, is that it was given a definition since 1978 when Olweus originally defined it as “the systematic use of physical and/or mental violence by one boy or several boys against another boy” and then Olweus has redefined his original definition and concluded that “bully chronically harasses somebody else either physically or psychologically”. Bullying has been long ago apparent in India, whether in schools, over the internet or in work places, and it was even stated to be the third highest rank in cyber bullying. Learn about Bullying In India.
Cyber bullying in India:
Cyber bullying has been defined as any act from one person or a group of people towards another person that only takes place over the technological devices whether mobile phones or the usage of computers in accessing the internet. These harmful acts might include sending text messages, e-mails, sharing the victim’s personal information or any photos or videos that they might have taken of them before on social media or other blogs, in addition to sending the victim some audio messages. Cyber bullying is usually considered an act of violence that might cause the person being bullied to feel uncomfortable, powerless, or yet threatened. In India, after it was considered the third highest country in the cyber bullying acts and that was among the 25 other countries included in the study, only after China and Singapore, it was also found according to a survey done by Microsoft about the Global Youth Online Behavior, that 53% of children have been bullied online in India.
This survey showed that cyber bullying is not received by all cultures in the same way, on the contrary it was found that each country see cyber bullying differently, and it also differs from one individual to the other. Cyber bullying is not a term that is recognized among everybody and that’s why the survey was done to ask people about what they know, or if they know anything about what cyber bullying is all about, and to ask them what negative attitudes they might take in as some kind of harmful act. It was found that in India 70% of the children said that they know a lot or something about cyber bullying, where 79% said that they are worried about such acts. It was also found that from the children’s point of view, they might consider name calling and being teased an act of online harmful act, where 29% were being teased and 25% were being called names. India is also one of the rare countries where the rates of online and offline bullying are the same, in which 77% of the children reported that they were being bullied online and offline.
Bullying is not only the responsibility of the children, but rather it is the role of everybody in the community because it might start at an early age when the child is still unaware of what the internet and the online life is all about. So it is always the responsibility of the parents, teachers, government and enforcement law to take steps in order to prevent such acts. In India 29% of the children said that their parents have already talked to them about the dangers of the online life and how they should prevent themselves online, and it is a low percentage since almost all the children wanted to talk to their parents about this issue.
Like the other forms of bullying whether the verbal or the physical, cyber bullying also have its effects on the victim whether causing him/her depression, losing their interest in attending schools or having any social interactivity, low self esteem and it might also cause the person to think if ending his/her life and committing suicide. The problem in India is that there aren’t any laws that ban the act of bullying; it might be that schools can take actions towards the acts that only take place inside the school, let online the online bullying that might take place at any hour during the day. But later on offences of bullying in India, harassment, stalking, terrorism, or breach of confidentiality that are committed on the internet are considered the same as the one committed in real life. The Information Technology Act of 2000 was responsible for dealing with e-commerce and electronic records and to also punish any e-commerce offences. According to this Act cyber bullying might include:
- Making statements to hurt, annoy or harm the victim.
- Violate the victim’s privacy by sharing and posting their personal information without their permission.
- Morphing the victim’s pictures or making colorful remarks.
There is a section in the Information and Technology Act that is responsible for the actions taken of the computer devices that might include offensive, annoying, inconvenient, insult, or causing ill to the victim although these acts are not well defined among the Indian society due to the vast majority among the socio, economic, regional, and cultural disparity, and that’s why sometimes they are being left for the judicial determination. In India, if a picture of the victim is shown in a comical or sexually suggestive way, like showing a girl’s picture in morphed or sexually marked colors that might insult her modesty, it might attract one year of imprisonment and a fine or either one of them, and that is not including indecent representation of males.
When children start using the internet, they should know how they should use it, behave and interact through it. And they should be well informed and understandable that any deviant, aggressive, obscene, malicious material that is shared on the social media over the internet or sent through e-mails will be taken seriously and might cause serious sanctions that do not differ from the real world.
School bullying in India:
School bullying is present at almost all the schools, it appears in different settings that depends mainly of what happens inside the school itself, it might be face to face, which takes the shapes of verbal and physical or it might be cyber bullying, but talking about inside the school itself it is usually the face to face type of bullying. Parents, students and teachers should know well that bullying is not an act of growing up, it is not an act to show that boys are boys, but rather it is serious, not a kind of joke that might cause lasting harm for the victim, or even the bullies themselves.
Bullying which is considered an act that is done by one person or a group of people against another person causing them to feel powerless, harmful or threatened and it comes in different kinds, such as:
- Verbal bullying: that include name calling and teasing
- Physical bullying: that might include hitting, shoving, punching and spitting, and this form of bullying might be apparent if the child comes back home with bruises or torn out clothes. This kind of bullying forms 5% of bullying in the Indian schools.
- Social bullying: this kind of bullying is done by breaking up friendships without any reasonable reasons, spreading rumors about the victims to create a hateful atmosphere towards them in school, or by leaving victims out of groups on purpose and disengaging them from any activities.
Bullying in the schools of India is reported to be one of the serious problems appearing lately, it was stated that 31.4% of the children surveyed in a study among 500 from the age 8 to the age 12, were being bullied both verbally and physically in their rural schools in Maharashtra. According to another study that was published by the Indian Pediatrics in 2007, teasing and calling names were the most common forms of bullying in the schools of India, while the type that include physical interactions where reported to take place by 16% of the students that were involved in the survey.
Bullying in Indian schools might occur due to some differences in the victim that the bully might consider attractive to use, such as shyness, being clever or on the other hand scoring low grades, being the “wrong” color, sex or religion. And even after a survey that was done by the Indian Journal of Pediatrics in 2011 that showed that 60.4% of the students were being bullied, it also showed other shocking kind of statistics which showed that only 39% of the victim’s parents know about the incidents.
Bullying stories in India:
Bullying has took its place in India and among its schools, one of the stories that happened in an Indian school was the story of Anand, who was a young boy studying in a school that consisted only of boys, Anand was not aggressive like the rest of the boys in his school, he didn’t like football but rather he liked dancing and studying, and for that his classmates started bullying him because he was quite and soft spoken. They started calling him names like “girly” and “Anandita” instead of Anand, they were teasing him and making fun of him almost on a daily basis. This caused Anand to feel depressed and he was always crying himself out until he sleeps.
Another bullying incident in an Indian school, was the incident of the 7 year old Chirag at his new school, he was always openly taunted because he was speaking a foreign accent since he and his family just relocated from abroad. Chirag was also hyperactive which caused him to be inattentive in the class which made the matter worse and caused other children to call him “Dopey”. After some prodding that Chirag was subjected to, he started skipping some swimming classes although he was enthusiastic about it, and over time he started skipping school itself pretending that he has “stomach pains”.
One of the incidents that took place in a school in Delhi lately and was recorded by a mobile video, has gone viral in India showing that bullying is spreading like an epidemic in India. The video showed a group of students circling around another student in the playground of the school, throwing some verbal sexual Indian invectives at him. The victim as it turned out was a year older school student than the bullies, but he was with a lower economical level, he is one of the 5% poor students who are given seats in Delhi schools.
Another case that caused a widespread anger in the Eastern Indian society, exactly in the city of Calcutta after the death of a student who was subjected to school bullying, was the case of Oindrella Das, the 11 year old girl who was traumatized after she was locked for hours in the toilet of the school by a group of senior girls in her school. Oindrella died after she was sent to a local hospital for treatment.
Workplace bullying in India:
Workplace bullying differs according to the country, its cultures and the company that the person is working in. But workplace bullying is usually referred to an act that might cause harm for the person, it might come out from the employee or the employer, some companies don’t have specific rules for bullying but deal with it as some kind of harassment. In India, there are some laws that govern harassment at the work place, sexual harassment results in the violation of the fundamental right of “gender equality” and “the right to life and liberty”, in addition to the right under the article 15 in the constitution that prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, creed, or sex. The Supreme Court has passed twelve guidelines that have the force of the law, some of these guidelines are:
- It should be the duty of the employer or other responsible persons in the workplace or other institutions to prevent or deter the commission of acts of sexual harassment and to provide the procedure for the resolution, settlement or prosecution of the acts of sexual harassment.
- The employer should initiate an action in accordance with the law by making a complaint with the appropriate authority. Victims should have an option to seek their own transfer or that of the perpetrator.
- The committee must submit an annual report to the government. Employees must be allowed to raise the issue of sexual harassment.
Workplace bullying cases in India:
One of the workplace bullying acts that took place in India was the case of the gutsy woman named Shehnaz Mudbhatkal who worked as a hostess for Saudi Arabian airlines. Her services were terminated because she refused to surrender to sexual demands made by her superior. But the woman didn’t give up, she fought for her right and in 1997 she was awarded full wages and continuity of her services and that was after 11 years.