AB is a kid who gets ready for school. He goes to his bus stop to wait for the
bus. When he gets onto the bus, he sees that the seats are full, and the empty
ones are reserved for someone else. He pleads with his peers, juniors, and his
seniors for a seat, only for them to hurl abuses at him. He complains to his
teacher but the teacher is either too incompetent to care, or even if they step
up, they'll only take minor action.
The day is not over for AB though, because
the environment of the school campus is even worse. One day, a senior snatched
his glasses just because AB giggled a bit for not making a basketball shot. On
another day, he is forced to run errands for his so-called "friends" who
threaten to beat him or rat him out to the principal if he doesn't comply. It's
a rinse and repeat process that AB has to go through. Sometimes he wondered if
he wants to end it all by taking tragic and drastic measures like suicide or
even a school shooting.
On April 20th, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold laid siege in the Columbine
High School. They killed twelve school students and injured more. Though they
killed themselves during their war against the police officers, the whole
incident sparked a series of debates. Many people suspect that bullying was one
of the primary sources of Columbine High School. But this happened in the United
In India, gun laws are stricter juxtaposed to the US where getting
weapons is a right under the Second Amendment. But just because getting guns are
harder, it doesn't mean it's not impossible. If we don't handle the case of
bullying, sooner or later students would take drastic steps, or we might even
have the Columbine incident in India.
What is bullying and what are its legal implications?
Definition: Bullying can be defined as an act of aggressive behavior by one
person against another which is common in school.
Bullying is done for many
- Unable to channel their emotions and they extract them out to others.
- To imitate the people they respect the most.
- To show their dominance and popularity in school
- They are unhappy with their lives
- They bully the victims to get what they want.
Bullying can be repetitive over time, and there are times when it could have
physical, mental, and psychological impacts on the bully and the bullied.
In India, there are no legal policies that could handle bullying in school. In
other words, bullying is not technically illegal. However, if the person commits
the act of bullying and then the victim committed suicide, then the bullied will
be liable for the abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal
In other words, the laws will act only at the consequences of the action.
The severe flaw in the legal system makes bullying a recurrent theme in school
and how the place that was supposed to make a child into an adequate member of
society ironically hates the latter because the place itself was toxic.
Effect of bullying on a person:
- The victim would isolate themself or would resort to self-harm.
- Bullying disrupts any chance to learn new things and form new
- A person would suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive
disorder, and other social phobias.
- A person's self-esteem and self-confidence would damage beyond repair.
- A person who gets bullied would often have anti-social behavior,
substance abuse, and even become aggressive.
- The person would become depressed and would want to avoid going to
Steps were taken by the CBSE to tackle bullying
The Ministry of Human Resources Development told the CBSE schools to create
anti-ragging committees at the school level. Furthermore, they told the schools
to take serious actions against the students who commit acts of bullying. The
most severe punishment is rustication in special cases. The ministry even told
them to adopt the use of notice boards that warns students of bullying.
A report by the Raghavan Committee suggested that school teachers and principals
must be held accountable for the acts of bullying on the school premises. The
school system must take steps like the UGC which takes stricter actions against
ragging on college campuses.
In the University of Kerela vs. Council, Principal's colleges, Kerela & others:
"Now the question arises, why should the Indian penal laws not apply to a
school? You may say that the schoolboys are only in their late teens but do not
forget that there are several crimes in various cities including murders which
are committed by teenagers today"
In other words, bullying endangers the lives of the youth in India.
Vishaka vs. The State of Rajasthan:The first time, the Supreme Court
faced the issue f bullying. It laid several guidelines for the protection of
female workers in the workplace. They believe that they need to consider all
types of bullying in several cases.
Consumer Education and Research Center vs. The Union of India:"Right to
life includes protection of the health and strength of the worker is a minimum
requirement to enable a person to live with human dignity. The right to human
dignity, development of personality, social protection, right to rest, and
leisure are fundamental human rights to a workman assured by the Charter of
Human Rights, in the Preamble and Arts.38 and 39 of the Constitution."
Bullying represents everything wrong with the modern schooling system in India.
It makes the school environment unhealthy and toxic. The students who go there
often face the wrath of bullies who lack any empathy and sympathy just because
their egos are in their prime. They want to make themselves "cool" in front of
their friends and peer. In actuality, they don't see the consequences of
bullying and how they would get into trouble if the victims do something
The apathy shown by the school authorities also makes many students give up
their faith in school and society in general. If the schools aren't sensitized
about this and then they question why would a victim take drastic steps like
suicide or cruel retaliation. One author at Youth Ki Awaaz states that a victim
of bullying is like a volcano. They don't know when they'll erupt.
Unless the school is willing to see Columbine in India, they need to start
taking stricter measures against bullying.
Harsher punishments must be taken
against students who indulge the acts of bullying which could affect the victim
physically or mentally. Our laws should now bring policies that could arrest
anyone who could endanger the lives of the victims of bullying. Article 21 of
the Indian Constitution ensures the right to life and personal liberty. The said
article also ensures the dignity of individuals. Our schools must now become
individual-centric which could focus on the lives of children on a personal
level. That way we could avoid bullying en masse.
- Why Bullying Turned My Relationship With School Sour
- Effects of Bullying on Mental Health
- Mental Health and Bullying
- Who Can Get Gun Licence In India?
- All you need to know about Anti-Bullying laws in India
- Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
- Juvenile Crimes in India
- What Is Bullying
- Columbine and the Anti-Bullying Movement: 20 Years Later
- Columbine High School massacre
My name is Anish Bachchan and I'm a 5th Year Law Student at Amity
Law School, Noida. I have published my various writings in The Los Angeles
Times, The Times of India, Live Wire, Youth Ki Awaaz, Legal Service India, and
Law Corner. I have also published two books i.e.
- Patent 101 Level 1: Understanding Patent of Aggressive Monetization of
- Contempt of Court with References to Media Trials