Do you think we tend to glorify or even romanticize violence, conveying that only some kind of violence is wrong?

I didn’t want to write another post for this, but I need to know if I am the only one not comfortable with the way this case is being discussed in some places. Do you think modern day pressures and parenting is the cause of this crime? Did we have no juvenile crimes in the past? Also, do you think it matters that throughout history we have glorified violence making some kind of violence justified because the violent person couldn’t take it any longer? Can violence be justified except in self defense?

What did you think of the Chennai teenager from class IX stabbing a teacher for ‘being too strict’? Read more about it here.

… it was a free period at 11.30am and the teacher had volunteered to take a special class for students with Hindi as the second language. “There were just six students who were to attend the class. The boy went to the classroom with the knife before the other students reached there, and attacked her,” .

…When they tried to nab him, he brandished the knife, threatening to attack them, said an eyewitness.

… the student did not attempt to escape.

Police recovered the blood-soaked knife from the boy and arrested him on charges of murder. The student’s schoolmates said the boy was not aggressive by nature, but had been aloof. “He never mingled with others,” a student said. His neighbours too said he has been a quiet child…   [Link]

The teacher was a single mother with two daughters staying in a school hostel.

Thirty-nine-year-old Uma Maheshwari died with many dreams. She hoped to see her daughters study medicine and become doctors one day. She wanted to become a college lecturer. She was about to finish her M.Phil. Only two papers were left. [Link]

He had bought the knife he used and “chased her and stabbed her even as she tried to run out of the classroom” – where do you think so much violence came from?

Do you think we tend to glorify or even romanticize violence, conveying that only some kind of violence is wrong? And then who decides which kind of violence is not justified?

Can violence be seen as ‘sometimes justified’ by a young person who is under pressure?

Note: Post updated after reading mypunchingbag’s very relevant comment.

62 thoughts on “Do you think we tend to glorify or even romanticize violence, conveying that only some kind of violence is wrong?

    • Well, that cheered me up some. That, and John Lennon 😀

      Violence is never justified except in self-defense, but our media and movies glorify violence beyond imagination. EVERY movie has some stock footage of the hero beating up hapless villains, revenge scenes, etc.

      In the case of this incident, it wasn’t just the effect of TV acting on the teen; It was a combination of many factors , IMO.

      1. The romanticizing of violence, like mypunchingbag pointed out. The 15 year old’s frustration finding its vent in this extreme manner – Our movies need to be screened for violent content just as strictly as the censor board does sexual content.

      2. WHY was doing badly in school a cause for such extreme frustration? The immense pressure the parents (and society) put on the child to perform well in school. “Next year, you have board exams, you have to do well, or you’ll be opening a chai kadai (or insert some seemingly demeaning occupation here)”. Marks and grades are everything. For someone who is average, or genuinely struggling with their classes, this can be extremely stressful. I’ve seen the mother of a class mate emotionally abuse her when she came SECOND in class (“You’re useless, see how she’s beating you in every subject”) and I’ve seen how bitter it made the girl. And this was in a small town. You can imagine the pressure on a city student, doing IIT-coaching, school, and a zillion special classes,scuttling from one remote end of the city to another, and the stress levels they operate under.

      3. The teen was mentally ill (or at least had a breakdown) in all probability.

      School reforms are not going to be happen anytime as long as getting into medicine or engineering is the sole aim for the many years of education, like it is now for most middle-class children.

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    • @Thumbelina

      You are up to your old tricks!
      Foul!
      Not allowed.
      IHM, please censor all single word comments received in the first ten minutes after you post!
      They are all like the “hand-kerchiefs” being paced to reserve positions in queues in the good od days when we stood in line for just about everything.

      Otherwise what chance will I ever have?

      Thumbelina, your subsequent comment received 16 minutes later would still have made it to the top. Why this Hurry Hurry Hurry Di?

      Regards
      GV

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  1. I don’t know how that boy–a 9th standard student had so much anger in him. To actually follow and stab the teacher to death seems so ghastly. And to have killed her just for a remark on his school report seems somehow odd.
    I think as a society we do justify and romanticize some sorts of abuse and violence.
    Like the husband who says, “My wife was going out of control—so i had to slap her to get her in line”–society thinks–oh well she must have troubled him a lot–otherwise by nature he is a good man.Or that scene in the movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun where the wife gets pregnant after the spineless husband slaps her.
    But that apart, maybe the boy did have some psychiatric issues?

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    • Which woman from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun gets pregnant after a slap? I’ve spent the last 5 minutes wondering but can’t remember and it’s killing me!! Do you mean Bindu? When did SHE get pregnant? Wasn’t her character too old for that?

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      • Yes TWC, it was Bindu all right. Her spineless husband gets his act together towards the end of the movie and gives her a tight slap, which apparently shakes the woman up in more ways than one! Too old or not, she is shown sporting a huge baby bump in the final scenes!!

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        • Because controlling a wife with a slap or firm/harsh words is a sign of masculinity, once she was tamed and behaved like a woman (obedient, respectful, submissive) and her husband behaved like a man (violent, aggressive) she got pregnant.

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  2. Just wanted to add— while i never thought my teachers were “gods” i never wanted to stab them either–there must be lots of pressure on today’s children for sure– but that doesn’t really justify stabbing someone.

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  3. I just think the enormous social pressure to perform well in school can make or break a child’s future. I myself come from a background where i was continually told that studies was THE only thing that mattered. No extra curricular activities was ever encouraged. I grew up absolutely hating school, my teachers and my parents. But my brother on the other hand did well.

    Also, 10-15 years back, violence on TV wasnt as much in your face as it is now. I think now, kids are more or less used to watching murder and rape on TV and are numb to the gore. I’m not saying it applies to all, but it is a growing trend. Innocence is lost sooner than later, but you’re still young enough not to realize the repercussions of an act as brutal as murder, which is the case here.

    My heart really goes out to both the victims’ families. One a victim of murder, the other because he was unable to live up to societal standards of performance.

    I distinctly remember failing history (i was weird that way, i did well in math but for the life of me couldn’t pass history. And it amazes me to this day that i need to justify WHY i failed.) and my teacher made me stand up in class and said aloud ‘There are also some people here who fail history. For eg. (and pointed at me)’. I hated her then. I still don’t love her, but that is absolutely no way to deal with a child. Thankfully I did not go around brandishing a knife else I wouldn’t be here to tell my story.

    This murder cannot be justified with an excuse as meek as telling off a student for his performance. But, at the same time, how can we judge what an individual’s breaking point is even if it is only a child?

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      • I completely agree with you. It is extremely dangerous and I am definitely not trying to justify the boy’s actions. All I want to say is not every student is the same. He failed a subject, that’s bad but maybe embarrassing/scolding him in front of a class could have been avoided (of course I am now talking in retrospect and because of my past experiences).
        I’m sure this alone cannot be the snapping point. There’s got to be more. Maybe the boy was under tremendous pressure from home?
        And, like i mentioned, I see kids growing up sooner than their age but lack the maturity that comes with it.

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      • I agree that he needs psychiatric evaluation, I didnt want to say out loud that he may have mental issues for fear of calling out someone to be mentally unstable when I do not know for certain.

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  4. I guess whenever a child is aloof that should send some warning bells that he/she is going deep into him/herself and one day it will finally erupt.The cause could be anything…and it could erupt on somebody even though they might not have been the real cause but would have triggered some similiar emotions in him that he resents from a different person/situation. without the ability to distinguish it at an young age, he has taken advantage of the situation and attacked the victim. I really feel sad for the victim and her 2 daughters.

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    • Again, am not justifying the boy’s action. what he has done is so very unacceptable. If he cannot match up to the social pressures that everybody his age is facing now and also surviving it then he might become even more dangerous at the slightest provocation at a later point in his life. My point of view(earlier post) was more in terms how to identify such people who require help early on.

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  5. I’m sorry, but I completely disagree with the idea that we must feel sorry for this fellow because he was under a lot of pressure.
    Fifteen is not THAT young. In many countries, he would have been only months away from becoming a full adult (and earning the right to vote, drive and own fire arms).

    I understand that youngsters face immense pressures today. But that is no justification for stabbing someone.
    Indian media glorifies violence, but what I find worse is that it glorifies overpowering rage. In nearly every Bollywood flick, you’ll have the hero get ultra angry, which will propel him to “do something”. This is not the fault of film producers. Audiences, even conservative audiences, lap up the idea of sweeping change and revolution and everything suddenly becoming hunky-dory. What we do not emphasize is utilizing current systems to bring about change, using the existing framework to fight for an improvement in one’s life. What we do not emphasize is dialogue. What we do not emphasize is amenable discussion and debate. We want immediate resolution to our problems, we want things to go “my way or the highway”. That is why Indians are quick to demand censorship, quick to burn books, vandalize paintings, terrorize authors and writers. That is why there is talk of “outrage” over every single issue.

    And having said all of that, let me also say that I do not see this particular incident as a manifestation of any recognizable social trend. It was an isolated incident, perpetrated by an individual who was obviously not entirely rational in his thinking process. Such things have happened throughout history. It’s just that we didn’t have the media and we didn’t get to hear about it back then.

    Minimize confrontation and maximize debate in the public space.

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    • I agree that we should not feel sorry for the murderer, whatever his age.

      But this also provokes one to the thought of the way the nurturers of the future generation are pushing the kids. As a society, we never give any attention to the RESPECT that even a child or teenager ought to be given. We behave like they are there to be disciplined in any manner we like. And many parents either spoil their kids by overlooking everything they do, or they punish them for it, without discussion. How often do elders sit with their children and ask them how things were at school, and if they could help with anything? One ought not to wait till their hair is gray and teeth have fallen out to get some respect.

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  6. There are two sides to the coin here.

    There is enormous pressure on young teens, but that in itself is not enough to make them this violent. If you watch stupid Tamil soaps, many of them glorify stalking the women and hitting them to put them in their place. These soaps also send the message that young men ought to be on the jump and keep an eye out for any perceived slight to your honour, so that they can avenge it with violence. The same goes for movies. Parents of many teens do not provide the basic de-stress mechanism that is sorely required, instead urging them to study harder and place all kinds of unnecessary restrictions on them. Most kids do not even feel they can go to their parents for any help. That is bound to result in some kind of revolt.

    On the other hand, most teachers in the Indian school system seem to be sadists. I have heard horror stories of teachers pinching kids with their nails until blood seeps out and it gets infected, teachers beating one senseless, teachers being really horrible, teachers who seriously ought not to be let near any kind of authority. This would leave the teens bereft of any respect for adults or anyone else. This leads to violence again. And parents are afraid to speak up because of course, “marks” are more important. I don’t think so.

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  7. Uma Maheshwari taught at my school for a while. She was a Physics teacher and while she’d never taken class for me, she had taught substitution classes and was always around in the Physics lab. An immensely pleasant woman. This incident has sent shock waves throughout my school – its all that everyone can talk about on facebook and otherwise. I feel so bad for her children. And the terror that she must have felt when her killer was running behind to chase and stab her. This is stuff that nightmares are made of.

    I’m sorry but murder cannot be excused. It doesn’t matter what levels of stress the kid was operating under. Nothing excuses this.

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  8. We do glorify violence in many ways and in many cultures. One prime example in the west is how some people will say the victim “deserved” it. So when someone creates drama and then gets beat up, they think it was expected. In India no one seems to do much when there is an altercation and an almost riot ensues. It’s as if they feel the violence and aggression was invited because one person hit another person’s car, etc. People dismiss these types of acts thinking it was expected as well. It’s not. It’s not right either. While I don’t think that stabbing a teacher was right at all, it’s not taught to these children that they need to seek help verbally as it is in western society. They aren’t taught about trusted adults they can turn to and many times they don’t have adults that can be trusted by them because of their limited exposure to individuals outside of the home and the schools don’t supply counselors, etc. I think it’s quite possible we are going to see some shocking headlines in relation to this case and why this boy did what he did in the coming weeks/months/years. It could be any number of reasons and he may not have needed a trusted adult but something dark is inside of him that found a way out.

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  9. While the teen was definitely under mental duress and in all probability, probably has severe personality issues, his actions cannot be justified. This also brings up the whole topic of the Indian school and university system where kids have no lives and need 100% averages to get into good unis…or come from a family rich enough to send the kid abroad.

    I can’t imagine the desolation one must feel if they fall in neither camp. What if you’re a good student with an 80% average and come from a family that cannot take a loan for your education, then what? You go to some mediocre university and get a mediocre job for which there’s cut-throat competition no less–that’s a pretty bleak life to look forward to. As an outsider, I feel like India has way too many people, too few resources, and a culture that promotes money and unhealthy competition.

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  10. There is no justification for such low threshold – you cannot control all the factors surrounding a child (in this case, on verge of adulthood). So strict teachers are NO, parents refusing to let them watch TV are evil, financial status is an issue, Peer pressure should be acknowledged, TV programs are the real reason …. and the list goes on and on….. There is no end to it.

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  11. copy-pasting my previous comment:
    From what I read in the news, the boy saw agneepath (movie) and got inspired from the way hrithik roshan punishes his dad’s wrong-doers. While showing intense violence in movies is so common, I do think if the parents talk to the children after watching the movie and make them understand that such violence must not be practiced and that there are much more peaceful ways to deal with what one sees as wrong-doers. And the teacher writing a note in his book for not doing well is hardly any wrong-doing.

    And adding some more:
    And yes, violence is *never* justified, unless it is for self defense. There is nothing cool, awesome or brave about violence. By indulging in violence one does not become a hero (like they generally portray in movies). Strength lies in the mind and not in the muscle. And this, is something that I do feel needs to be taught at home. Because, one really cant control directly many things in the surrounding, like the type of movies, media etc. So, parents must talk to their children about a variety of issues. Communication is one thing that I feel is the most under-rated thing in today’s world.

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  12. Deeply shocked and disturbed at this incident.
    We boys in our time too sometimes hated some particular teachers.
    But it never reached the level where we got physically violent.
    At worst, it would result in graffiti on toilet walls or on the school compound wall.
    It might also result in ink being thrown on the teacher’s back with a jerky movement of fountain pens in vogue those days.
    Any violence during my boyhood was in the reverse direction.
    There might be cases of teachers overdoing corporal punishment.
    But this is clearly inexcusable.
    15 is not too young and I think he cannot be excused at all.
    This boy has some serious mental problems and there were enough signs to indicate that all was not well.
    The parents should have acted well in time.
    I think they too share responsibility for this tragedy.

    I agree with PT when he says :
    ” I do not see this particular incident as a manifestation of any recognizable social trend. It was an isolated incident, perpetrated by an individual who was obviously not entirely rational in his thinking process.”

    In answer to your question at the end, no violence of this sort can ever be justified, whatever the circumstances. The boy had the option of complaining to the headmaster if he had a grievance or even leaving the school if he felt the school was unfair to him.

    My heart goes out to the family of Uma Maheshwari.
    Regards
    GV

    PS: you mentioned you had edited the post after reading MyPunchingBag’s comment. I could not locate her comment.

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  13. Violence is not justified, except for self-defense.

    My heart bleeds for the unsuspecting teacher, who probably was doing her job as she has been doing over the years.. What even if she had embarrassed the student? From where does the child learn to put his/her ego ahead of other things? To what extent do the parents shield the children today that they can’t stand criticism? To the extent of defending murder in cold blood?! Agreed we need a reform in the way schools are run here! But aren’t these the same parents who want the schools to run in the same old way, and prepare the children to only ‘score’ perfect 100s and nothing less? If the goals set for a teacher is to ensure 100% PASS results for her class and not on enforcing learning to apply in real life, does she have any choice other than to be ‘strict’, whatever that now means? Will the boy murder his mother for being strict? I think he would! This act is certainly be premeditated and not done on impulse.. Which means he would have been tossing these ideas in his mind.. Why couldn’t he discuss his teacher with his parents? I’m thinking on the lines of how far can the feeling of entitlement take the children today!

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  14. I’m sure there were hundreds of other kids who were going through similar pressures at his school. Why didn’t they all pick up a knife and go around stabbing people? I don’t think we need to make any excuses for this kind of crime. If his point was to solve a problem, why would he murder her in front of six other kids? Surely, it would have struck him that he’d be in bigger trouble? Either he is mentally unhinged or he thought he’d turn into a hero and win sympathy for doing this. This was not a spontaneous act but premeditated murder. Though I believe there is too much violence and gore in our movies, we can’t lay the blame entirely on them. I mean, it’s not like we’re programmed to do everything that we watch. There is always a choice and if you make the wrong choice, you ought to face the music.

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    • I was going to say the exact same thing. Everybody does not react to the same pressures similarly, so no justifying him. Murder is a huge crime. He also definitely needs psychological help.
      We do have a few lessons to learn as a society from all this – We are a society that glorifies violence and when it does not glorify it does not condemn it enough.
      There is an amazing documentary by the totally awesome American filmmaker Michael Moore called ‘Bowling for Columbine’. He made this movie following the famous incident of this American teenager who open fired in his school canteen. The movie talks about how American society is violent and the government is violent in certain measures it takes and the environment teaches that violence is OK. Absolute must watch!
      Here is the trailer
      http://www.bowlingforcolumbine.com/flash-01.php

      Find it anyhow and Watch if you haven’t already.

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  15. That boy’s family members & parents should have sensed the “pressure” in him. I am not justifying his act but if a 15 year old gets influenced by some random movie then the need to understand his fragile & vulnerable inner self becomes important….Lots of communication with that boy could have helped him to ease out the volcano inside him…..Unfortunately it was the teacher who became the victim but it could have been the parents itself!!!

    Many parents either overlook these alert signs in their child as kids & later on with this weak persona when they grow up ….they have their own ‘low saturation point’…read a case of a man who beat his parents in Delhi…dad died, mom critical…they say he was frustrated!!!

    Felt so sad when read about that teacher’s life & kids.

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  16. Muder is never justified…what ever be the age..and 15 is no way young….like PT says…he would be an adult in most countries within a few months..

    Few things on my mind

    1) May be he had a mental problem…may be…we dont know
    2) Its sad that most of us cant go and talk to our teachers freely…respecting is one thing, but getting scared is another😦 and most kids I know are scared of their strict teachers..thats so so sad😦
    3) My heart goes out for the lady’s family..its very very sad…
    4) I wish our education system would take into account the fact that some kids learn fast and some kids dont…I have mothers of R’s class asking me if R can write A B C without tracing…does it matter at 3 years😦 we emphasize so much on passing in subjects, that we often kill the hidden talent children have in other activities and hence never let them develop
    5) I wish that parents would understand that marks in school or even college have NOTHING to do with what you do in your life..okie may be 2% and I speak from experience…I have been a topper all my life and I know of 99% of my ‘average’ friends who are doing WAY better in their life at least in monetary terms..my marks dont matter AT ALL!
    6) I hope that the Govt takes this incident as an example of introducing courses to both teachers and higher level students on how marks dont define you..what is important is learning..

    Too long a comment, IHM..delete if its irrelevant🙂

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  17. I think that our movies / tv serials glorify the use of violence in case of avenging / taking revenge. With experience, we tend to understand that even in such situations, reacting emotionally / indulging in acts of violence is not an answer.

    But when small and impressionable minds are viewing (and idolizing) movie stars, what they do on-screen obviously has an influence in their young minds. So, when these movie stars take a knife and roam about killing ‘bad’ people, ‘justification’ of their act is somehow supposed to be ingrained!

    Even the worst criminals have some kind of justification for all their acts. When movies/ serials give justifications in a platter, no wonder it is taken by a few impressionable minds. I always wonder why parents allow kids (or themselves) to watch movies with excessive violence / vulgarity. If people stopped watching such nonsensical movies, they would stop making them right?

    Destination Infinity

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    • Violence [whether it’s tv, movies, or video games] affecting children has been discussed quite a lot in the Western world. Studies generally point to the fact that while kids do tend to ‘model’ behavior they see [the bobo doll experiment, forgot the name of the psychologist]–they don’t really have a ’cause’ and ‘effect’ relationship. As in, there are many factors that influence why people get violent.

      Take the Columbine case [when two kids terrorized their school and then shot themselves]–they were bullied (check), had parents who didn’t seem to care too much about them (check), had personality issues (check), had access to firearms (check), and were interested in violent video games and movies (check). It took a combination of all of these things to lead them to make their terrible choice of shooting down students and teachers at their school. Also, it’s important to note that because they had personality issues doesn’t mean they’re not responsible for their actions–mental illness [unless it’s extremely severe] doesn’t render someone incapable of controlling their criminal actions.

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  18. very sad happening.
    Many comments suggesting the boy had mental problems. Howmany parenst/ teachers are equiped to recognise alert signs? How many are ready to accept the problem even if they recognise ? How many will take them for treatment? ‘there is nothing wrong with my kid’…another stigma in our society. same with depression

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  19. Violence in general is quite romanticised for some reason, whatever form it is in – a favourite seems to be the “guy protecting ‘poor, defenceless girl’ from a huge gang of goondas”, or, like you mentioned, the husband behaving ‘like a man’ and exerting his ‘power’ in the form of slapping. It’s not just films, even silly advertisements portray this.

    As for this case, I think the boy may have some underlying mental illness, perhaps some unexplored childhood issues, in addition to the usual academic pressures children in India face. This in no way condones his behaviour. I don’t believe even physical violence is at all justifiable, whatever the cause may seem to be, let alone going full tilt and murdering somebody. Most school-going kids have similar stressors, too – academics, social interaction, the opposite sex, puberty, etc. That is no reason to behave as this boy did.

    (I do honestly think that there might have been some indication of his mental illness at home though, and his family possibly did not recognise this or want to accept that, as there is, like the previous commenter said, a lot of stigma, still, with regard to mental illness, especially in India, and as someone who has been through and is going through one myself, I have found very few people who understand it, as opposed to people who just use the label ‘paagal’ for all such issues.)

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  20. whatever may be the reason violence can not be justified.
    only in rare times it can be justified example is War, protecting motherland.
    for such crimes media should only report it and forget it or have discussion why society made the kid to kill his teacher.

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  21. I feel this incidence has a lot to do with the stigma that we have against mental illnesses. As can be seen above, we even hesitate to suggest that this boy might have been mentally unstable. Mental illnesses are caused by less or more of chemicals and/or receptors in the brain. It is not a personality fault. It needs treatment like any other illness.

    In our culture, being mentally ill is so stigmatised that people choose to suffer and often commit suicide or murder someone rather than visit a psychiatrist. We let our own children go through this horror rather than giving them the help they require, all because of the stigma associated with mental illness and fear of what people will say.

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    • I do agree with you but we have to be careful that not all murderers are mentally ill and not all people with mental illnesses are murderers, absolutely not.

      Though I would be the first one to say that this boy needs psychological help – to undo whatever has been happening in that head of his, I would want to be careful before thinking that mental illness could be the only explanation for killing someone at the age of 15.
      If he had previously had other bouts of severe aggression, then getting him some psychological help would have done him some good.

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  22. Really don’t think anything can justify such an act…I feel sad for the children of the teacher….and yes perhaps the kid was not mentally sane! No sane kind would do such a thing.

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  23. We have become impatient for sure .. and the media does not help .. also violence in movies and all ..
    Teachers and parents unable to recognise the signs of what is going on or what might be the problem. they are too busy in their own life. Mental issues etc could be a reason in this case but too early to say till a medical examination is done.

    Violence is a GENERAL TREND these days, No respect for law or society rather anything is on the raise. WE dont like admitting but its the new trend, I remember earlier FOR example if you had a small accident in ur car or bumped into someone usually it was talked amongst each other now the first thing is argument..

    I have been working now for 8 years and there is a huge raise here to, kids as young as 9 or 10 or 11 have become more agressive, when you talk to them you can see it by thier body language ..

    This 9th class may be mentally unstable or NOT lets not go there too this is also one of the first thing people say he might be mad , No we forget that these kids are growing up watching all this blood shed in media, in the PS3 video games they play , movies they watch its all about kill kill killl killll …… When i was in 9th class i had PCMAN .. or some other video game …

    as i touched a bit parents are too busy they dont have that much time for the kids, no one to tell them whats wrong or right so a little mind has to make up its own mind and in this case he probably decided the other way round ….

    Peer pressure too , to be a hero in front of other kids, lots of reasons..

    But one that comes out the most is the complete breaking up of our society, no respect tooo ..

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  24. I believe projected make-believe violence does not affect as much as justified violence depicted in movies. e.g. the villain in the new movie Agneepath was shown evil and his violence people would just see, hate and forget as fiction, same goes for Gabbar singh. But when we start humanizing the person doing violence(like in movies Murder 2 with the serial killer, or Neeraj Grover killing movie by Ramgopal Varma) that is when people start thinking oh that violence is justified because of X reason and Y trauma and Z pressure and so on. So this kind of violence and character depictions cause a spike in the crime. And who else but a young mind is the one that is going to be easily affected

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  25. I think I should stop reading the newspaper. I read this news and feel like weeping. I think this boy needs to be given maximum possible punishment. In case he is insane, lock him for the rest of his life and spare the normal people. I don’t care if he saw 20,000 movies which gave him the idea or if God personally came down to earth and ordered him to kill his teacher. If he cannot reacognize the value of a human life, he does not belong in human society.

    I remember seeing in some Tamil movie where the hero tells a mercenary killer, “After you kill someone, go to that person’s funeral to see the full effect of what you have done. You will never again want to kill.” Do people who think of themselves as vigilante heroes ever stop to think of the repercussions of their act on others?

    How will the teacher’s daughters ever reconcile themselves to this senseless loss? My heart goes out to the family.

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  26. Okay – read some comments and have to comment on a different note. My basic beliefs: violence is not justified. And the crime that happened needs to be punished, even if her family will only get some closure and can’t ever be fully compensated for either her absence or the way in which her last hour was.

    Yet, blaming parents, television, internet, peer pressure is not a solution or even a start to understanding the problem. Every child deals with these factors and some children snap. Most parents are clueless about what to do, how to handle a complaint from school, assuming teachers know enough to highlight an issue…if they even have observed an isolated child who is quite clearly dealing with something psychological.

    Our systems are NOT geared to dealing with boys and men appropriately. Between patriarchy (strong men, can’t show vulnerability, communication and asking for help is for wimps, et al) and the school system ready to brand anyone who learns differently as useless or special needs, we have a long, long ways to go. Again, not saying this boy should go scot- free. I also don’t think he will get the help he needs to be rehabilitated. There is immense stigma related to psychological problems. Until we stop the secrecy and focus on the issues our kids face, then actually do something and push systems to include, accommodate and nurture them, we are looking down the pike at more and more of these crimes.

    IHM, in my opinion, the question to ask is not whether we had teenage crime before but what factors lead a person (esp. one so young) to commit a crime. Every criminal is not a psychopath killer who is hard wired to kill. Not that we find those any sooner in any case!

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  27. Sorry for going off topic, but IHM, this was the other piece of news today which made me want to weep: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/article2876321.ece

    I think unless rape is treated as the serious crime it is, we will continue to read such news. The boy who took poison to escape arrest, did he not think of what his actions would lead to *before* he raped the girl? Something tells me these boys will also be let off lightly (young raging hormones, no control, understandable) and girls will be given some more advice (you should never accompany any boy even if you have grown up with him and thought you could trust, because the poor boys have uncontrollable urges and you are should not give them the opportunity to indulge in those urges).

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  28. Venturing out to comment after many days.

    I agree with PT , that this is one random act. And even though I do beleive that violent movies may impact a child (which I don’t regard this boy to be) I really feel that the movie agneepath influencing him is not it. I mean, in that movie the teacher was the hero rt??? And getting remarks in the diary is no reason to kill someone as compared to a child who has seen the complete destruction of a father who was the role model of the whole village. A 15 year old is expected to know the differene rt?

    Does a movie really influence any 15 year old to this extent? Then why did he not get influenced by the movie “Lagea Raho Munnabai”??? Why not Aarakshan. I wonder how many movies are violent ,say percentage?

    I don’t know why children are resorting to violence , either killing someone or doing suicide? Is our professional college centric indian soceity (Engineering or Medicine) putting an immense pressure on parents and children? I am baffled.
    Btw why do we always blame the parents???? My parents had no idea what i was doing at that age, a teenager being moody is regarded to be normal in our society no? Ofcourse I may be wrong. We don’t know what kind of famiy he had , so i don’t want to comment on the parents.

    And did anyone notice the point that the teacher was taken to the nearby private hospital which referred her to the government hospital and she died on the way. Why is a fatally injured person being ferried across the city between hospitals when every attempt should have been made to save her?
    and…..
    Did you notice i don’t have a single smiley in my message. I read in the link that i sent you IHM, that women put smileys because they are so scared to offend others who may not think like them .And i found it to be true in my case, so trying not to put smileys….well except for now🙂

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  29. On the same day, there was another incident in Bulandshahr. It went almost unnoticed.

    Here is the link:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article2872670.ece

    “A Class III student of a school on Wednesday died allegedly after being thrashed by a teacher in Jahangirabad area in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh.

    “It was brought to our knowledge that an eight-year-old student of a school had died due to alleged canning and thrashing by a teacher,” basic shiksha adhikari Ramesh Chandra Verma said.

    A departmental team was rushed to the school, but the probe could not be completed as the teacher, Ramesh Kumar, was absconding.

    “We are investigating the matter, and our team will soon come up with the truth,” Mr.Verma said.

    The police said they had not received any on the matter.”

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  30. Parents need to accept that sometimes children will not be able to accomplish much as they want. Not all of us would end up becoming scholars or mandarins. It would be better if possible achievements were stressed instead of the improbable. We do not know how the teacher handled him. He could have been the shy, unassuming type who snapped and went berserk. I don’t understand as to why did the other students not attempt to restrain him. Did it happen too fast? He should have had friends, played sports, oogled girls and studied a bit (whichever order suits him) at his age instead of stabbing his teacher. And blaming violent movies for this is well — just wishy washy. Humans have been violent for the most part, even without movies, video games and what not. In fact, historically speaking, there has been a decrease in violence due to numerous factors. It is the threat of violence by the police which keeps the streets safe. Without the threat of violence by the State or by an agency, there is more likelihood of anarchic violence on the streets.

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  31. Pingback: Are people born evil? « perspectivesandprejudices

  32. Pingback: Is child murder their first crime or do they have a history of violence? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  33. Pingback: But is this crime really about Semi-forced Arranged marriages or Gay rights? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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