Our Voices The Orinam Blog

Different

Trigger alert: descriptions of bullying and abuse.


I. Self

Marie Kroyer Young boy in profile
Young boy in profile [Marie Kroyer, image source Wikimedia Commons]
Those who do not conform to society’s norms of ‘appropriate’ gender presentation and behaviour are subjected to harassment and bullying through much of their lives. Such gender non-conformity is a visible marker of difference, even though it may not be linked to same-sex attraction or to identification as transgender.

It started thus for me:

During school days, my teachers perceived extra grace in my dance movements and selected me to play the role of the female consort of a male deity in a stage play. They also spared me, as they did with girls, the corporal punishment they freely employed on boys.

Ever since, a series of unconnected events have kept reinforcing that I am different.

Some of these are,

Observing me walk in front of him, my uncle cautioned me to change my gait, lest people call me a ‘lady’.

Classmates started walking beside me mimicking my walk, accompanied with claps and catchy movie songs that described the gait of a young woman, “nadaiya… ithu nadaiya…” and “aiyo … mella nada mella nada … meni ennagum?”

I got called by different female nicknames. And one that tweaked the spelling of my name, Shankari.

Boys in class would re-enact movie sequences treating me as a woman and holding me in an endearing clasp or brutal grip, depending on whether they were playing hero or villain.

While removing stains in my hand, a maternal aunt wondered out loud why my palms were unusually soft.

A boy seated next to me in one of our crowded classrooms called out friends to touch me and feel the softness of my skin. I was touched and rubbed by a number of boys who vehemently agreed with the first one.

Two of my neighbours were irritated with my soft nature, and started hitting me regularly, till I broke down inconsolably one day.

A classmate started interacting with me in an overtly physical manner; nuzzling and teasing my face with his fingers and winking at me. I reacted with ignorance at first, followed by shock, and then with curiosity at what new things he might do. Finally, when I began to like the attention, he pulled away scolding me for not resisting him all these days. That left me thoroughly confused, and thereafter suspicious of the intentions of anyone who showed any signs of intimacy towards me. I was only able to speak to my mother about this twenty-five years after the incident.

My cousins suggested that I join ‘people like me’ who live in groups in some huts nearby.

A male teacher sent shivers down my spine when he subjected to me a sudden unwanted bad touch, and kiss.

The list goes on, but now all these other people have moved on in their lives leaving an indelible mark on me. Strangers still point at me on the road. Recently, a group of boys let out a peculiar sound on seeing me walk by. After the usual shock, I decided I should not let this affect me anymore. I went briskly and sat next to them, as if daring them to touch! You know what happened next?

They all fell silent.

Part II. Incident on a Train

trainIt was a day  I regretted I being at that precise location: the upper berth of an unreserved compartment of Jolarpet Express heading towards Chennai. A vantage point from where I could observe the behavior of those around me.

I was engrossed in a book, as I usually am during train journeys, when I became aware of  intermittent laughter, hustle and bustle around me. The tone of mockery in the voices was all too familiar, and my senses alerted me that something was amiss.

On the floor of the compartment, standing below me, was a short, bulky and dark-complexioned man in his twenties, wearing pants and a shirt, the fingernails on one hand painted a dark red. He was being smothered on all sides by a  group of laughing, jeering men, who addressed him as ‘Bajji’. One of the men said something in his ears in a seemingly endearing tone. Bajji rebuked the man in a way that suggested the man was known to him, and tried to push him away. Only to end up entangled in the arms  and gropes of more men.

What I saw after that was too much to bear. A tall man kept grinding  against Bajji from behind, while holding the latter’s shoulders and simultaneously engaging him in conversation. A few others made comments  that were not  audible in the noise of the moving train. At the next station, a passenger seated below got down, leaving his place vacant. Bajji’s ‘peers’ generously offered the seat to our Bajji. But wait, it was not the vacant seat they offered, but the lap of another man who had occupied it by then. The man behind him firmly  clasped Bajji by his waist, while the man who was nuzzling him called in a man with curly hair to join in the action. This curly-haired man took his position in front of Bajji. Now Bajji was captive, positioned in a such a way that he was imprisoned by male bodies—for I would not like to call them human beings, after witnessing what they next did to him. The man who had Bajji on his lap, tightened his grip around Bajji’s waist. The curly-haired man began squeezing Bajji’s chest. Bajji tried to push those fingers away but his hands were then promptly restrained by another man. It was neither affection nor curiosity. It was utterly cruel abuse!

My own prior experiences of harassment made me feel that Bajji needed help, but multiple thoughts held me back. What if I had misunderstood the situation? How could I, on my own, confront a group of passengers? What if these people were an organized gang of traffickers?

I looked at the co-passengers seated around me. Most were sleeping or completely unconcerned by what was happening.

As I hesitated, mustering the courage to intervene, I waited for a cry from Bajji, an audible confirmation of his distress, so I could also cry out loud and alert people to his predicament. But to my surprise, Bajji mustered a wan smile every time some atrocity was committed on his person. Now and then he would wipe his eyes, as if to prevent tears from rolling down. Perhaps he had learned that crying would only provoke further abuse.

The worst part was yet to come. A loud-voiced bystander asked the men surrounding Bajji what they were doing. One of them replied that they were auctioning Bajji off. A few quoted prices on him, much to the merriment of the group. One of them remarked that the auctioneer could earn a fortune through Bajji. I looked helplessly at Bajji. I noticed that he forced himself to join in the laughter, as if wanting to belong to the group! Perhaps he had been socialized to be manly and face the abuse without shrinking or running away.

The train then reached Arakkonam junction and he asked one of his ‘friends’ to help him get his bag from the luggage rack. A tall man pulled down the bag and handed it over to Bajji who then scurried away.

I am still struck by the violence of the episode.

Do such incidents happen every day? How long will Bajji, and others like him, survive these attacks and insults?

Or, was I over-reacting about something over which no other co-passenger worried?

Why did circumstances place me so close to such a harrowing event?

How should I respond if I were to find myself in such a situation again?

Comments

31 Comments. Add your own »

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  1. In specific instance you witnessed on the train, I don’t think there is much you could have done, Shankar, as the person who was the target of abuse was unwilling to seek help. Next time it happens if the situation is different, you might be able to help stop such abusive behavior.

    More broadly, I feel the cause of these instances is expecting everyone to fit into the gender assigned at birth and strictly follow gender roles based on gender binary. I think we can make a change here but promoting awareness and education. Masculinity and femininity are not fundamental identities, but roles we perform. I feel as children, both boys and girls (and other children as well) must be taught how to perform masculinity and femininity so they can freely choose how to express themselves based on the situation. More importantly, we must respect everyone for who they are not try to impose our views of gender on others.

    1. To the author Shankar. I read your piece and was moved to the core by its starkness and authenticity. It helped me reexamine some of my own pain and emotions I thought I had stashed away safely out of the reach of my consciousness.

      To the commenter Vikram. Allow me to bring to your notice that gender is NOT always only about performance and that it is dangerous to portray it thus. Yes, I am as aware as the next queer theorist that we all perform to some degree or other to fit into socially enforced archetypes of what a woman should be like, what a man should be like, or what a (non-binary) transperson should be like. I also agree that these archetypes and their enforcement need to be challenged by everyone.

      But, to imply that all of gender expression can be equated with performance that can be turned on and off like one changes one’s clothes is highly disrespectful and invalidating of those of us whose gender expression gets us teased, bullied, and even raped or killed.

      Do you really think that the author and Bajji would continue to express gender in the ways described in this essay, and incur such violence if gender was purely a matter of performance?

      I am all for pushing boundaries of gender expression, and breaking free of the oppressive structures of the gender binary. Let us all do so. But, I sincerely request that, while pushing these boundaries or asking that everyone do so, we exercise utmost sensitivity and not dismiss the reality of those of us for whom gender expression is not simply a matter of performance. Our gender permeates the way we speak, walk, emote, gesticulate and feel – and is something we express even in the knowledge it can get us ostracised or assaulted.

      Please do not trivialise this by reducing it to mere performance.

      1. Thank you, Vidya, for your observations. What we all agree on is that no one should be bullied. I feel we also agree that we need to promote awareness and education and sensitize people.

        For me personally, I think gender is performative, but I understand that this model might not work for everyone. Thank you for bringing up the point. My aim is not to argue against the use of any other model of gender if that has practical value for the concerned individual. I am still trying to understand what exactly determines gender for different people.

        Irrespective of what model of gender you want to use, I feel person who is bullied should be made aware that they don’t need to tolerate such behavior. For example, Shankar and others present could and would have done something for the person who was bullied in the train, had that person protested. I mean right from childhood, everyone should be taught how to assert their rights. Having said that, let’s not get into victim-blaming. It is also very important to educate children that they should not bully others.

  2. I’m sure we all can empathize deeply with the victim on that train journey. When you are put through embarrassment such as this, it is hard to express anything and rather just let it happen till it stops. He was probably hoping that someone would intervene and control the situation, but since that did not happen, he chose to swallow the bitter pill and let it pass until his station comes.

    It is alarming that had opposite genders been involved, the situation would have been a lot different with a lot more attention. People would immediately respond and want to help the damsel in distress; and feel like some sort of hero because they could help a woman in a messy situation. It needs to be reflected in our Educational system and public policy that emotional or physical assault/bullying is non-tolerable. Violation of physical safety in any space should be given zero tolerance. Also, if you know someone like Bajji, or someone who has to go through the pain of embarrassment and heckling on a daily basis- the least you can offer is physical company and support so they never feel that they have to deal with it alone

  3. First of all appreciate Mr.Shankar for voicing it out.
    It is about “Being Human”
    Expecting everyone to accept in the world of “non human” it will be difficult but possible. when the black hero is accepted as president then why not? when negatives can spread this far …why not positives?
    Some issues like this don’t hit the mind unless it happens to the near and dear ones so people forget it. But right expressions will make wise men think.

  4. Dear Dr. Shankar,

    Its absolutely a heart touching piece!

    I can only empathize now as it seems like a pandemic. However, there is a ray of hope – when we all can become catalysts. May be a long way to go but possible!

  5. Hi friends,

    Good to see feedback mails from people unknown to me as well as from those whom I know for years!
    I showed “Different” to my faculty colleagues and they wondered if this was autobiographical! I said it was entirely so and they were surprised. (Perhaps I have so far managed to keep most of these pains to myself).

    I have also forwarded this link to e-groups of educators, professional business managers, Social scientists and media persons who are in contact with me through other social networking sites and emails.

    Most of the readers I mentioned here have been first-time visitors to this site. I can say with conviction now that every response so far has been quite appreciative and encouraging with regard to my shared experiences.

    Like Vidya has said, no one would put up with all these problems, if they could help it. This condition is not like a shirt that can be removed and discarded in most cases. Krishna has underlined the right point about the train incident that many willing helpers would have come to the rescue of a victim, had it been attempted by men on a woman. The same sensitivity is required towards anyone who happens to be different.

    My humble acknowledgement to the persons commented in this post, such as Vidya, Vikram, Krishna, Mohanvel and Thad. And to every one who has spoken about this to me and each one who is likely to write further comments!

  6. Dr.Shankar

    I appreciate the courage and convinction that has driven you to share this with us. Being Different is not easy – it has never been easy. “Conformity” drives everyone in the society – because we want to be accepted , we want to belong somewhere , to someone….. and that comes at a cost…. even if you lose a part of your identity…. even if you have to morph yourself into something or someone that you are not very proud of …. its painful. Thinking of a society where we can love and accept everyone who is like us and not like us is a refreshing thought. But I believe society forms and changes with many single minds reflecting on this…..I am reflecting about all the different people that are around me – do I accept them unconditionally ? Do I accept the differences – the sublte ones and the vast ones ? What differences are approved by me and what are not ? – How do I treat the individuals when I don’t approve the difference ? …..In the hustle and bustle of this very busy world sometimes we forget to be what it takes to be a human being 24 hours, 365 days and nights. This is a good reminder…. the change starts at home and at heart. I will share it with your permission to others and get them to think. Thanks for being instrumental in creating that collective consiousness. Only very few people can turn pain into a platform for thinking and acting. I respect that tenacity.

  7. Hats off to you Dr. Shankar, it needs lots of guts to share this in an open forum. The other day at library when we were speaking on the topic of Diversity and Being Sensitive with reference to my research on human behaviour and then you went to give your example sharing your life story since then I was wandering with many thoughts .I have something similar to relate to you …. i being a lady with all typical physical attributes what a lady should have , it’s all in me but still I’m Not Accepted by folks at home and also at work. My question is Just because people like us who appear physically / cognitively different does it mean that just to get accepted we need to succumb to like /dislike of people. Is it necessary to be accepted??? … We are for what we are.. ..We were bold enough to share this in open forum and also should be bold enough to “accept our uniqueness” I’m proud for what I’ am. The ball is in their court i.e. I feel sympathy for the so called “normal people” or “normal thinking” I have given them the freedom to decide what they want / with whom they want to be associated with / how they want to think …. Just as I want my sovereignty so let them also have the same to choice … its they who are missing the variedness of life…
    Also reflecting on Kamali you have rightly said its high time we be more humane to our own species.

  8. Nice writeup! I am sorry that you were alone in dealing with being different. I feel badly that you had to go through the teasing and taunting in such early years. If I had not moved abroad when you were only five, as the big sister, I would have been comforting and probably helped you face those unhappy events. I am very proud the way you have handled those situations and blossomed into a high achieving student and now a professor and a fine person. You have become a wonderful writer and you should write a book to increase awareness and particularly tolerance among the general population. Lastly, I am glad you did not interfere in the disgusting behavior of those young men during the train journey. I wish, however, the other passengers had taken some action.

  9. Shankar, well written. Also conveys the angst of the victims of social “conditioning”. In the specific narrative of “Bajji”, unless he wanted out of the situation, you could not have done anything other than draw the ire of the perpetrators of the crime. Calling RPF or GRP etc would have been an equally harrowing experience: well, that is another story altogether isn’t it? Sensitisation of the police is also badly needed.

  10. Hi Senior … Glad that you found strength to voice this in a public forum. Your efforts in this regard hopefully would be a catalyst soon for many who aren’t voicing their choices.

  11. Dear Dr. Shanker,
    Though I have known you for some time, I did not think that you have held up so much with in you. I know you to be a gentle person, loving the students whom you were teaching. I did not feel such a difference in you, except your hurried walk. I realise that appearances can be very deceptive. I read somewhere that what appears always need not be the truth and there much hidden behind it all. I am happy that you have the courage to express it all.
    Regarding the second incident that you have mentioned I am not surprised that the man did not react. Some people enjoy such attention thought it may not be palatable to others who have other set of believes and values. I feel sorry for such persons as they do not experience any attention or love otherwise.

  12. Dr.Shankar, my professor with ultimate reverence, let me tell my story to the wicked world that harassed you and the Bajjis of the world. I have seen you walking, talking, smiling and teaching. In all that you did, you have always stood stronger than the male bodies; you have behaved more rationally than the cheap wicked human animals; you have cared bigger than the harassing people around; you have loved larger than the empty-hearted society; you have spoken wiser than the fools around. The ones who teased, winked, nick-named, and nuzzled are the ones who are born with abnormality. They should be labelled “Human Agrinam”. Gender is a matter of flesh and the ones who indulge in ill-treatment / harassment that prevails around flesh are lesser than flesh. Why do they indulge in this, because they are merely after flesh. They distinguish mankind simply by flesh. Your write-up triggered in me two kinds of emotion sadness & happiness. Sadness, because I read a familiar story. Happy because my son has not been taught by the society to choose his friends based on gender, caste, creed and economical status. I have hopes that the world will change… such people would be extinct when they become minority. They would soon become minority. What would lead to that is “Breeding Human Beings at home, school and society”. Everyone has a role here.

  13. It’s unfortunate that we have created so much violence around us. And humanity itself is responsible for such divisiveness. Glad that people like Shankar and community groups like Orinam are working relentlessly to abate the acute attachment to binaries and status vanities.

  14. some time ago, i had a friend who had been the target of many, many such incidents as Bajji. when i asked once how such incidents were tolerated, i was told of a well-tuned sense of personal danger, learnt with much suffering, which allowed tolerance of some pain to save larger suffering – winning a few ‘protectors’ who would safeguard from larger threats when allowed their ‘play’. “i know when it really crosses the line” i was told, but i know i was in tears for so much of life spent walking around that much-abused boundary. how i wish we grew up in a culture where there was no notion of “harmless teasing”, that we didn’t have to tolerate pain to, in such convoluted ways, to protect ourselves. i lost touch with that friend many, many years ago. thank you for helping me remember.

  15. WOW! Shanker sir, I fully agree with what your sister has mentioned. I am really saddened to know of your early experiences. It’s a cruel world, especially the children. I guess the only way, to stop bullying is to educate the children. But even then, some kids have a streak of meanness in them and they enjoy bullying others. When some students come to me with how their roommates “tease” them, I get so upset and sometimes helpless, as the victims do not want any action taken also!

    It’s soooo very shocking and apaling to know such things happen in the public places. I can very well understand how angry and frustrated you would have been. I applaud your courage and being a man!

  16. Dear Shankar

    I am touched by the sensitivity, honesty and humane call you have brought forth. I stayed reflective for quite some time.

    Nature has a great sense of accommodation, acceptance & celebration. A 2-inch blade of grass can stand next to a 20 feet coconut tree and that is beauty to watch.
    But the “intelligent-yet–stupid” human race Is so caught up with compulsive standardization, conditioning, boundaries, strict definitions and easy –type-casting of human beings, it just looses its capacity to be far more loving, reaching out, accommodating and celebrating life!

    What a tragedy!

    The bigger pain is for the excluded, the different, the not-so-typical or “strangely made”- whatever classification by which the world addresses these fellow human beings: pain of non-inclusivity, non acceptance and non-normative responses and suffering of abuses, labels and judgments- be it physical, emotional or intellectual. When you described your pain and anguish of witnessing what Bajji was going thru, it wrenched my heart.

    What could one do? About Bajji, about such a situation and about this reality in society…

    One is about the feelings towards the person affected. The other is about you doing some thing in the situation. The 3rd is about dealing with the social conditioning and making people more sensitive & responsive.

    Bajji, I guess has learnt a way of survival, on an “every day I have to deal with this reality” and living thru with the challenges- till he can sufficiently deal with them. But that is a difficult choice for him. One does not know from a distance if he has any support system at home, or in his close circles where he can seek help or assistance to deal with the brutes. If he does not have any such, he would I guess, create his survival system – till such time he can say “ buzz off” and be himself.

    As a witness, you and any sensitive human being will encounter a few hard questions. Is it a safe situation to intervene? Is the affected/victim looking for help seriously? Is there a possibility of some one supporting if I take a step forward? Or would I put my self & the victim at a greater challenge/threat as a result of the confrontation?
    Will they turn on me as the next target – for either perpetuating or punishing? How sensible is it to raise an alarm? Will the police help?

    When we are in the situation, bleeding in our heart, we do not have any “clear” answers for these questions. We do not even have probability theories to give some indication. There is only one guide.

    Go by your soul or conscience. If it indicates a way of encountering the situation and doing anything about it, then do it. If it indicates a threat to safety or security, acknowledge it and do accordingly, play it reasonably safe. If it makes more sense to extend your sensitivity, beyond the situation, then do it. For example if there is a way you can connect to Bajji and ever converse, know him, reach out, may be even offer some ideas on how to avoid/overcome the situation. Or inform the police later. Or in-spite of the fear, your conscience drives you to an action, some action…It is totally your call, a call based on your sensing, safety, security and the assessment of the environment. Do not carry any sense of guilt. It is ones’ reality. Period.

    The 3rd option is what you have really embarked upon. Educating the world- thru sharing & sensitizing, seeking Attention, Acceptance, Care and Positive action from the world around. That is a great step. WE NEED TO SHARE AND SENSITISE THE WORLD FOR MORE LOVE, MORE COMPASSION, MORE ACCEPTANCE and FOR ELIMINATING DISCRIMINATION /DISTANCE /or DE-HUMANISING ANY /ONE PART OF HUMANITY.

    You have done that and I salute you for that.

    The truth is when you respond to a deep call of conscience, it is an act of the universe, an act of “dharma”. Being able to do anything with that call is good- either during or after the incident.

    The famous Buddhist monk “Thai” says: “in life there are situations when you have to act for the sake of upholding dharma. Some times it will pose a question: Your security or Dharma?”

    Our conscience takes the call. Collective conscience becomes the one voice. The one. It is called UNI-VERSE!

    You have made me a more sensitive human being in this process. I thank you for this gift. I hope to share this in a lot more of ways, with a lot more of human beings.

    Thanks again, & we will stay in touch.

    Love & regards
    Raja

  17. Shankar Sir,

    For a fact that the article is an unadorned representation of events, as the author experiences, it is such a heartfelt expression that at places I wanted to stop as I was overwhelmed. The incapacity of people to raise their voice against injustice or to even understand “injustice” is disheartening.

    Having been a rule follower (more often than not), I would be one of the first to agree that sometimes young people are at many times swayed by what society considers to be the norm or not. You are taught as a kid that you are not to negatively discriminate against gender, age or physically capability. Conversely we are taught to stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. However, when the time comes to apply this, we forget that the rules we learned apply even when the factors are not evident.

    So when in doubt, instead of weighing it against with what we have learnt, we follow the crowd or we remain silent. Internally, there is also a fear of being different or of being the guy /girl who preaches.
    In fact in most cases, growing up helps. It is strange how the perceptions of youth change with time. You learn to apply and assess yourself against the morals that now your mind breaks down. I am not saying that we should do nothing and I am not being naïve. I am just saying that all is not lost.

    The youth of today is way ahead in maturity and fairness than the youth of yesterday. Their ability to raise their voice against injustice and their courage to be different is something we see now in everyday life.

  18. Dear Shankar sir,

    Hats off to your courage and your positive approach. It is great pain to overcome these problems. Comparing to this, the problems we face in our daily life is similar to dust. We love you and will remember you and your teaching forever.

    By Your loving student.

  19. Dear Sir,
    The day has come when education has included thoughts of orientation along with gender. People are getting more aware about words such as “masculinity and femininity” and are moving apart from stereotyping words such as “male and female”. The age of wisdom has begun. The pillars of perceptions are changing in the society. The time, I hope (and pray), is near for all to understand that: the real power of such people are more than normal humans since they are naturally endowed with more equal and unbiased form both physically and emotionally.
    Thank you for instigating a spark of thought in your teaching Sir.
    Always an admirer,

    1. Adding as an after-thought, I would like to change “Sir” to “Professor” and start being non-gender biased even at the subconscious level.

  20. it sure struck a deep chord shankar…. putting it into words, sharing them so that it sensitises and hopefully sanitises our so called’morality standards’ took so much courage.. hats off..

    unfortunately, awareness alone isn;t enough… it is attitudinal change, of the deepest kind- be it in social conditioning st home, in school, in public places, in media portayal, sit.coms, chat rooms, tea stalls, road shows.. everything and everywhere that neeeds a drastic overhaul… what better than at home… the scenario in india especially smacks of hypocrisy.. the real issues go abbeging in the quest for power as the election campaigns currently underway show….

    we forget that whatever we read… our great epics themselves eulogised abt ‘being different’ be it disability or being different in perceptions or behaviour as … who can forget arjuna that godlike hero who took the form of a transgender while living a year incognito with his brothers….what abt lord krishna, reams of pages can be devoted to this.. but to what avail?

    as long as bigotry and hypocrisy prevail and flourish, as long as the real issues are sterotyped, brushed aside as inconsequential….as long as citizens turn a blind eye , a deaf ear to all things human- not necessarily of the male or female entity wise….as long as all stakeholders view issues that are clubbed and labelled as ‘for those whom it matters’, these double standards will continue….

    sanitising our beliefs and perceptions, sensitising our children and the grown ups of all ages, to learn to accept, acknowledge and understand the realities and differences- in abilities, problems, coping mechanisms.. these are the need of the hour

    we need to include and access the differences- of the real or the imagined access and inclusion are goals for the differently challenged, differently abled; it should also be the goal for the imagined differences… NOTHING THOUGH CAN TAKE AWAY THE FACT THAT WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS FIRST AND FOREMOST, NOT MARKED BY RELIGION OR GENDER OR FAMILY BACKGROUND OR EVEN BY THE COUNTRY OF OUR BIRTH, THE LOADS OR LACK OF MONEY POWER…..

    THE SOONER SANITY RETURNS, THE HEALTHIER WILL OUR NATION AND OUR CITIZENRY BECOME….

    I DO THINK BRAINSTORMING OF THE CONSISTENT KIND WILL HELP…

    it is also my stated view fro observations that a section of transgenders do harass and are known to harass people for money at particular points of time be it in public places like shops and commercial establishements, in trains etc… they do demand money.. or hurl the choicest of abuses…their attire too make people very uncomfortable…. these i have personally witnessed and heard in conversations…

    we need to address these issues too even as the movement for greater parity of the human kind is already underway post the
    sc judgement…

    i do hope that sunshine and better sense prevails… IT’S YOUR WORK/OUTPUT THAT SHOULD BE CCOUNTED, NOT WHAT YR SEXUAL /GENDER ORIENTATION OR YR DISABILITY OR LACK OF SOMETHING THAT DEFINES A PERSON… THAT TRULY IS A MEASURE OF ONE’S REAL SELF…. AFTERALL WE ARE MOULDED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HIMSELF- TO QUOTE AN OFT REPEATED AND GROSSLY MISUSED ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CHEERS SHANKAR AND THANKS FOR HEL[ING ME TO UNDERSTAND BETTER… THOUGH I DID GUESS SO LONG AGO.. GOOD LUCK.. N COUNT ME IN AS ONE OF YR ARDENT SUPPORTERS… IN YR CAMPAIGN FOR GREATER PARITY.. ADIEU AND GOD BLESS 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. Congrats Shankar sir. Your write up was so touching. I appreciate your courageousness for expressing your feelings. Please Keep writing and make a DIFFERENCE in people’s mind.

  22. Dear Shanker
    thanks for sharing your experience there are many stories are not come out. if really we want to stop this kind of activities we have to educate our children from our home and we have teach the gender issue in the schools, most of the time the youngsters are doing with their friends without knowing the other persons feeling, we can not tolerate this kind of attitude any more. people like you are able to achieve in your life and your openly speaking about this issue, but others or not the percentage is very less. YES educating our children is very important we have to train them how to give respect to our friends.

  23. Dear Dr. Shankar,

    I appreciate you for your bold effort.
    Thanks for making me reflect on my own behaviour on how do I change my bystander’s attitude and be proactive and also to think will it be possible for me to be proactive all the time and intervene. I am reflecting on the behaviour of people around me like those you had mentioned in your write up in the train incident. I empathize with you and I wish to emphasise that all your expressions were natural to you and it came out so naturally from you and it is the understanding of others who had viewed it differently. I think you cannot do much about it as it is up to them to reflect and see what they have understood and had expressed. I have seen that people who are different like you and Bajji, do not view the world around them as different, though it is abusive, exploitative they still trust and express their deepest feelings and believe that they will understand some day. But those belong to the so called “normal” and “not different” category had lost their humane nature and have become a different being all together and the irony here is that they do not understand this. They keep calling names and condemning others that they are different.
    I appreciate and salute your courage and your contribution to the lives of people around you from students, well wishers and friends. Let us join together and work towards to bring out a change as many friends have commented lets start from ourselves and from our homes.

  24. I have no words to express but tears in my eyes and a heart which admires you shankar, for ur courage to still be different n embrace who you are than to fake yourself so the world accepts you. I hav great regard and respect for u. I know how it feels to be bullied and I can completely understand what it does to us. I am not sure wat I can do for a social change but I will surely accept and respect people for their difference, that is the little I can do for now.

  25. Thanks for writing this and sharing it Shankar. Someone, somewhere will be encouraged to resist bullying like you did; hopefully someone, somewhere will also be compelled to introspect their own bullying behaviour. But apart from personal volition, we must have a system that not just punishes bullying, but also prevents it.

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