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Corporal Punishment Drives Thirteen Year Old to Death

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There are times one needs to walk out from their glass cabins and look at the world outside. Well that is the ideal situation not that it ever happens, especially when you are running one of the exclusive private schools in Kolkata.
The recent news of thirteen year old Rouvanjit Rawla’s suicide  shocked the entire city and sent shockwaves down the school communities. Why did he die? Why did he kill himself? Did he do badly in his last exams? Did his parents beat him? Actually it was the four walls of his school that drove him to do this. It’s been a decade since the High Court has banned corporal punishment but has that ever stopped anyone. I don’t think so. It’s so difficult to think that the teachers who are meant to be there to guide the students are wielding this authoritative power to inflict mortal (?) pain on those very pupils for whom they are the beacon of trust.
Corporal punishment has gained a certain sense of legitimacy as a certain person recently exclaimed on facebook ‘ In the good old days we all used to be caned’ as if this is something that is a part of our heritage that needs to preserved. His words reminds of a patriarchal structure which screams out : for a boy to turn a man he needs to be caned.
This is not the first instance that something like this has happened. In 2008 Rinki Kaushik died after being in coma for three months after being assaulted by a class teacher. Also who can forget Babli Ghosh who was hit with a duster and then repeatedly slapped till she fell down unconscious and was declared dead and the teachers tried to hush the matter up. It s not just the district schools which have been lax about adhering to the corporal punishment regulations. Rouvanjit is just another case in point, but this is the time when we can do something, when we can stand up and not allow him to be just another tragic case in the police file. La Martinere, the school where this incident took place has been under investigation and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPR) has found them guilty of driving the teenager to suicide. It is now up to the judiciary how they plan to
handle the case.
The incident has sparked off a heated debate and some of the ex students have decided to hold a candle light ceremony to show support towards the school. This has of course outraged other students who feel by trying to protect the school’s name one was doing great disservice to cause of humanity and the values the school has taught them.
Pujarini Sen a former student of La Martinere exclaimed ‘Flashes of injustices done to me while in LM keep flashing in my head, as do fantastical images of protests against this cruelty.. But right now, I feel immobile and blank.. I just don't understand.. Especially because some students and ex-students are choosing to support the school!!? WHAT?! Whyyyyyyyyy pray tell WHY? Can anything get more elitist and whatever the school equivalent of being violently ultra-nationalistic is!? It's madness. It's wrong. And I cannot be a part of it.’
Support what's right. Stand up for the school's values and not just it's "name". DON'T light a candle to save it from bad press, light one for Rouvanjit -- and make a statement! We of La Martiniere, want to drain out the evil that poisons our legacy, and we stand united to counter it, Pujarini urges all Martinians and signs off. Its not just about La Martinere today, its about our beliefs and what we stand for. This is the time for the student community to actually stand up and assert what is right.
Rohit K Dasgupta

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maybe a corporal punishment shud be given to teachers for every corporal punishment they give to innocent kids........ i know tit for tat doesnt work... but if parents treat teachers in that way they treated their school kids.. maybe it wil be a WAKEUP CALL TO ALLLLLLLLLL TEACHERS ThAT Such BEHeaviour IS BANNED outRight.

wat laws in india that are banned and being followed by its nation? NONE - ie dowry for one! wen no one follows the law......wat use is it............ if teachers take matters into their hands.. then parents of those innocent children wil have every right to take matters into their hands against such teachers, when the authorities have not jailed those teachers..then why get the authorities involved AFTER the damage is done. when they were not there before, why bother with them.....after all children are the future and every teacher who destroy pupils shud never be allowed to teach again and be struck off.

bkhush reader.

Nothing new...

aks2008's picture

This is nothing new to have happened in this country. There are countless examples of the same. Its pity that we haven't learnt anything from the past incidents. Innocent students are made to pay a heavy price at such tender age. I think its high time to raise voices against this so called corporal punishments and make sure that it doesn't get repeated again anytime, anywhere..People practicing these things should be punished severely.


I really dont know which side to take

Death of a child is a horrific incident - whatever be the circumstances.

However,in case of La Marts,which is one of the premier schools in Cal, there seems to be spate of rising media driven cases in the recent past, which makes me wonder,whether it is actually the arrogance / stone heartedness of the management or the angst, the accumulated hatred over the past many decades among Calcutta dwellers who eyed,but could not get thru this celebrated institution. I may be wrong, but maybe it needs a deeper introspection.
I however repeat - I mourn the loss of a child from this world,whatever be the circumstances.

From an alumna

I went to La Martiniere Girls', Lucknow, and was shocked and deeply saddened by this news. I empathize with those that want to preserve the name of the school based on their positive experiences and cherished memories (I certainly have no bad ones myself), but at the same time they need to understand that times have changed; the teachers they put on pedestals are no longer there, the values they were taught are no longer upheld...and one life lost because of incidents like this is a life too many. It's not a simple black and white situation, but overriding emotions, whether for or against the school, are only going to worsen the situation.

Severe punishment never does

Haresh's picture

Severe punishment never does anything good.

Unfortunately situation is much worse in rural India compared to the urban one.

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