Put the bullies in their places

Boys are bullied too – probably much more than girls; but the prize for essays on the topic of ‘Bullying’ have all been won by girls. [See Nicholas Kristof’s most recent column in the New York Times here.

Perhaps, boys are more reticent, more cautious about baring their hurt. Or, perhaps, the essays by boys did not evoke the emotions and feelings that the girls’ did. Nevertheless, the key to beating bullies – or at least one solution – is to make an example of the bullies who traverse the public stage: the prominent people, who use their power and pelf to cow down all opposition. Push them off their pedestals so that the ordinary citizens can take courage to stand up to their bullying. And bullies will be shaken into submission.

Consider the example of the recent action taken in India against a front-ranking film hero, who has had a string of spats with authority and got away with them thus far. The ‘hero’ got into a spat with the officials of a sports stadium who tried to get his daughter to move off the ground, in keeping with the rules. Instead of succumbing, as is usually the case, the officials have banned the actor from entering the stadium for five years for having been abusive.

If only power can stand up to power, so be it. Let those with authority [read media] take cognisance of the bullying that goes on at all levels: from the humble school to global politics. Let the bullies be put in their places.


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