Lately, a lot of incidents involving violence among University and school students have made headlines across the globe.
Last year it was the Virginia Tech massacre, where a South Korean student killed 32 students in cold blood, and then it was the Gurgaon school shooting incident involving two thirteen-year-olds, who gunned down a classmate. More recently, there was another incident of an alumni opening fire on the students in his University Auditorium. All these incidents have one thing in common: the accused are youth, who are reportedly under acute stress or victims of violence themselves.
There has been a recent spate of similar incidents in India as well. A shooting case involving a Kendriya Vidyalaya student who stabbed his senior with a paper cutter was also in the news recently.
A few years back, group fights in schools were not uncommon, however, slowly, the punches have been replaced by gunshots. Campus shootings are not an unusual phenomenon in the west, but what is more shocking is that now they have become frequent here as well. Like all other “copying” acts, we are not leaving any stone unturned in aping this practice too.
The accused in the Virginia University case took the extreme step as he was really frustrated with the ‘rich’ students. In the Gurgaon school incident, the accused had a fight with the victim which led to the unfortunate incident. In the most recent case, the accused was mentally stressed as his girlfriend had dumped him as a result of which, he had stopped taking his medicines. The accused in all these cases didn’t give any hint about their plans to anyone and hence, their crimes came as a shock to their family and friends.
Is stress the reason behind these atrocious crimes, or are these well planned cold-blooded murders? These questions remain unanswered, but we must realize that for us, the common people, media plays a really pivotal role. Whether its violent films, TV shows or video games, they all unconsciously encourage young people to resort to such extreme steps. Most of them are unable to differentiate between reel and real life. This confusion leads them towards violence. Reduced parent-child interaction is another crucial reason due to which the youth becomes frustrated and stressed. They are unable to tackle the everyday challenges of life. The support system which they require to tackle these problems is missing from their lives due to lack of adequate love, attention and most importantly, understanding. As a responsible society, we need to ensure that at this crucial age they don’t feel neglected and resort to violence to vent their anger and frustration.