Youngsters should know bullying is a crime

Published: 28 May, 2019 06:01 IST | mid-day correspondent | Mumbai

The girl, a doctor who was a postgraduate student of gynaecology, was ragged by her three seniors and repeatedly faced taunts because of her caste identity. She is a tribal

Parents of the medical student who killed herself following abuse for her caste identity say their complaints to Nair officials went unheeded, according to a report in this paper, shining the spotlight on the ragging issue.

The girl, a doctor who was a postgraduate student of gynaecology, was ragged by her three seniors and repeatedly faced taunts because of her caste identity. She is a tribal.

There are a number of valid points and red flags one must raise. The most prominent of course is why the authorities did not take complaints seriously. The student's parents reportedly had complained to teachers in the college that their daughter was being harassed. Some ineffective action followed like a reprimand, which was not enough for serious harassment.

Secondly, it is important for a medical institution to recognise that a person may not overtly show signs of depression. There are many who will not show that they are depressed. She had though, spoken out about her ordeal and heed should have been paid.

Finally, the ragging culture, celebrated and thought to make men out of boys and women out of girls needs to end. Ragging has moved from physical spaces to cyber space. Social media is used to denigrate, taunt and bully. This is as intimidating and humiliating as ragging in the 'real' world, in fact, it can be more so.

A young life has been lost. The three perpetrators need to be brought to book. The institution has to work towards finding out why its response to complaints was tepid. Young persons have to be taught it is not funny to bully, it is cowardly and criminal. Make this case an example for punishment towards those who pushed this person to take her life, and for seniors to be more accountable.

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