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Globalizing the practice of Bullying

We all know who a bully is!

“Is bullying intentional?”

“Or is it just an instinctive act?”

“Or Is it a person with physical and emotional behaviors that are intentional, controlling and hurtful?”

There are many thing, many factors that may contribute to a bully’s nature. However, one specific thing I feel makes one a bully is the sheer lack of empathy.

“Do you think you left it in school?”

Back in school the kids who used to group together to bully other kids, have now grown up to become part of bully communities and continuously contribute to mobbing.

This is where it all gets interesting. You know why?

Homo-sapiens have always been a social species and hence the people (even the people who were once victims of bullying as a kid) tend to feel attracted to the winning side. These people have “a severe desperation” to feel associated with the stronger or the winning side. And guess what, looking at history a bully community always looks like a winning side. Or at least for a short term it does!

They often even mask their acts with a sense of social responsibility, discipline or even culture. While they are following simple same old bully principles of

  • harassing,
  • molesting,
  • abusing,
  • delivering hate speech,
  • isolating a person or a group of people with similar ideologies.

And we the Generation X and Y love to exploit the power vested upon us by the social media and spread this noble message across the media with a single post.

“Don’t you feel proud about it?”

You better not be sacrilegious with us!

If a person doesn’t speak what we want to listen, then that person becomes blasphemous/non-patriot/anti-national or even anti social at times based on our own definition itself. And once this happens, oh boy!! We do not stop from making an example out of that person. We can and will:

  • report your profile in groups hoping that the social media platform blocks your profile.
  • send you threats and abuses hoping you will cry when you read them
  • even stalk you in physical world and assault or harass you as per our wish.

No you cannot escape us. We are the society, we have a complete community or group of people who love to hate just like us, we are frustrated and tired. We are also ready to channel all our anger on one person just for the sake of gathering more followers and sounding responsible in this society as it gives satisfaction to our own God Complex.

“Sounds cruel to you? Look around. Is this not what we are becoming?”

Some particular cases

In 2014, A 31-year-old female anchor, working with a private news channel tried to commit suicide by consuming poison because of workplace mobbing.

In February 2017, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attacked students at a literary event in Delhi’s Ramjas College.

In November 2017, an MBBS student in Kerala jumped to her death from the highest floor of her college building. An examination of her Facebook profile showed her displeasure over the nasty comments made one of her peers.

In December 2017, 23-year-old August Ames committed suicide after being cyber-bullied on Twitter

Cyberbullying is defined by PK Smith as an “aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend himself or herself.”

Jon Ronson says – “Every time we tear someone apart on Twitter, we are willfully ignorant of the context. We don’t want to think about what else is going on in that person’s life.”

Similarly we now have political bullying

In 2018, Rachna Khaira was mobbed and a police complaint was filed against her only because she wrote a story that exposed a major privacy breach in a nationwide database of more than 1 billion Indians. The country’s editors guild condemned Khaira’s treatment, protesters marched in the streets,.

While all this happened, former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden sent a tweet supporting the new whistleblower, saying she deserved “an award, not an investigation.”

Political bullying is when a person with a strong opinion about everything political shames or bullies other people. The political bully posts offensive, political articles, and memes, videos, and statements that are meant to get a reaction. You can’t have a logical conversation with the person because the political bully is locked into a tribal belief that can’t be changed. It’s not just about being stubborn. It’s a “I’m right and you’re wrong” attitude. A belief that can’t and won’t be changed.

This is a pressing issue in front of us

Last month a survey revealed that cyber-bullying reports increased significantly, from 11.5% to 15.3% in US.

This is not a small issue we are talking about here. Look around once again.

You will see, people form volatile groups to bully and harass people from other groups by putting everything on basis of political or religious ideologies

It is no more battle of sexes. It has become a battle of ideologies. Almost every day I see at least 7 people in my Facebook list bashing others on basis of their tweets or comments.

As I said earlier – “Sheer Lack of Empathy”

Empathy is not an easy thing to achieve. It means getting out of your skin, knowing and feeling what it is to be in the shoes of the person taking all the punches you are throwing relentlessly. Its the ability to understand the consequence that smallest and simplest of your post may cause on the life of the victim. No I will not explain butterfly theory here!

I believe we are good and mature enough to understand how childish we all are turning into.

Its time to act!

If you are a bully, then try to find a logical reason behind your actions against your victims. Try to feel their pain and distress that they would suffer based on your initial acts.

If you are a victim, please speak out. No I don’t want you to put up a fight. I want you to connect. I want you to let people know that you are hurting. The more you keep it inside the more you will suffer.

If you know a bully or a victim, hear them out and ask them to think rationally. We are not a Gods, none of us is a superior species.

Having money, being supporter of a majority religion or being supporter of a political party, do not give us a slightest of the right to harass someone for just speaking their own thoughts. Victims have the same amount of right to speak and act that any bully has.

But my questions to you are:

  • “Do you really need to be a jerk?”
  • “Or do you really need to be a bully?”
  • “Do you need to create more and more victims for just a sense of satisfaction and popularity?”

About Utkarsh Kaushik

Take an avid reader, implement the concepts of programming and git init the repository of software engineering. Merge the branches of application development, data science and data modelling to the master. Now push the commits related to product management and project architecture. Pour some love for comics. Finally sprinkle the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial snippets with some ambitions and attitude. Bake for 20 minutes. Then take another 15 minutes to prepare some espresso with enough steamed milk and milk foam. The resultant delicious and extravagant cake along with superb latte is what you would know as Utkarsh Kaushik! Read more about me @ utkarsh-kaushik.com
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