Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | July 18, 2011

Raja’s Cries for Help

While in Kolkata earlier this month, I picked up a copy of the July 7 edition of The Times of India. One of the front page stories immediately caught my attention: “School bully beats classmate to death.” Raja, the victim, was beaten to death at his school in south Kolkata on the day that I arrived in India with our team of students. According to the news report, Raja was an excellent student who dreamed of becoming a doctor. According to his uncle, Raja had no other interest in life. But now, Raja will never realize his dream. This young boy loaded with potential and motivated by a noble dream lost his life at the hands of a sixteen year-old boy who had once been one of his best friends.

How does a guy who was once a good friend kill a classmate? Raja’s killer, a marginal student, was jealous because Raja was the smarter student. When I read this I was reminded of an old Cowboy Proverb that says, “Don’t get mad at somebody who knows more’n you do. It ain’t their fault” — advice that Raja’s killer should have heeded. The bullying started after Raja refused to let his friend copy his answers on a major school examination. The bullying progressively escalated until finally, on Wednesday, July 6, Raja stood up to the bully. The bully, whose name was withheld by The Times of India, became so angry that “he started kicking and punching” Raja “in the chest and banged his head repeatedly against the wall.” But, the worst part of it all is that Raja screamed for help, “but no student or teacher came to his rescue.”

The final words of the story are perhaps the saddest of all, “… no student or teacher came to his rescue.” Raja did not lose his life in some dark alley but instead at the school gates in broad daylight. For whatever reason, students and teachers who heard his cries for help failed to act. No one was willing to lift a finger or lend a hand to help stop the violence. Had anyone taken any initiative to intervene, they might have saved the lives of both boys. But now, one is dead and the other faces an uncertain future to be decided by India’s judicial system. And Raja’s mother, pictured in the article, now faces a grief-filled future without her son.

Irish statesman Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” He was right. A reader left this interesting comment on a blog I posted from Kolkata: “Don’t leave it up to someone else. You are someone else.” Simple but brilliant observation. It’s not until we realize that we are the someone else who can make a difference and then act accordingly that we will make a difference. We must do more than avoid evil, we must actively oppose it and stand up against it, even at personal risk. There is no virtue in remaining passive or ignoring the cries for help from those suffering abuse. We must act with courage and intention lest the bullies of the world triumph.


Responses

  1. This too, happens Everyday on America. When is enough going to be Enough? As the wise man has so rightly stated…” A vitiated state of Morals, a corrupted public conscience are in comparable with freedom.” We have sown the seed of Evil, Corrupt practices, & now it is harvest time. As Benjamin Rush, (The Father Of Public Schools) has warned us…..” By removing the Bible from schools, we would be wasting so much time in punishing criminals, and so little pains to prevent crimes. Take the Bible out of schools & there will be an explosion in crime.” The Founding Fathers strongly believed. ” Schools & the educational system were a proper means to encourage “The Religion, Morality, & Knowledge.” That was so Necessary to good government & the happiness of mankind.” (Eph.5:14)


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