The last time I spoke up against bullying, I was an outcast. The first time I spoke up against bullying, I was an outcast too. But what about the times in between? Do we always speak up? Or do we watch as or society punishes the blameless and the scared? What about the ‘other’ times?
When you see someone using a tubelight to threaten a guy who has torn your poster.
When you see your classmate’s chair being pulled away from under his feet.
When you call names in a group chat.
When you think you’re growing balls by abusing someone from behind a computer screen.
When you see a woman standing awkwardly between two uncompromising men in a bus.
When you hear uproars of laughter as a plus size guy walks by.
When you see a couple fighting in the public and the husband hitting his wife.
When you stay quite.
When you let the society make you a compromising conformist.
When you move ahead deaf, dumb and blind, hoping you fetch a rickshaw quickly,
You do wrong.
‘Arre masti mein kar raha tha re.’
‘Tera kaun lagta hai re?’
‘Tere baap ka kya jata hai?’
‘Kuch nahi hoega saala.’
‘Thoda royega bas’ are the sentences that they use and justify harassing someone.
Sometimes you’ll speak up. Sometimes you’ll speak up nevertheless of people accusing you of ‘creating a scene’. But what about the times we stay quite? Do we see the sky parting in the middle and saying ‘the guy is going to be okay’? Does an oracle give you a ‘Conscience Cleared‘ stamp?
‘But emotionally abuse kiya uska kya bantai?’ You’ll say while having a casual smoke with your very friend who’s also the bully. Pardon my bluntness but we all know that we do not speak up everytime. Sometimes you will write a stupid article and forget about it. Then some other piece of gossip will reach you in the canteen and you’ll move from why the guy was being bullied to ‘tera bhi wallet chori hua kya’. Sometimes you will just hope someone else speaks up. Sometimes you will unknowingly be the bully.
Bullying is not limited to physical abuse. Atleast the physical abuse is there for the world to see. What about the emotional scars no one can see? Is this what we are doing for the society? Making people live in fear, living in guilt and shame and 7 shades of its synonyms?
Telling your juniors to laugh on Arnab Goswami instead of Bigg Boss isn’t called “changing the society”. Jhaat ho raha Bharat Nirman. I’m not telling you to go on Anshan. I’m not telling you to shave your head in the support and mourning of bullying. Neither am I telling you to wear black bands and do all those meaningless demonstrations that cause no change in mindsets. But hey, listen, it’s easy to lose attention and skip from one problem to other. But shouldn’t we concentrate enough to give an attempt at changing mindsets? Stop going ‘eww’ on everything and everyone. Stop going ‘lame’ on everything someone does or says just because YOUR socially constructed idea of ‘cool’ is different than theirs. Stop JUDGING EVERY FUCKING THING. Chill, you pretty thing. Change mindsets. Change mindsets. Try, to change mindsets. It’s okay if you fail. And sometimes, be an outcast, for a change, until we don’t have to be anymore.
© Kanchi Sharma/CampusGhanta
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