The Science of Bullying: The Manipal Manual

In 1864, a man named Charles Darwin expanded on the theory of natural selection and derived a hypothesis named ‘survival of the fittest’. Little did he know that he was, in reality, concocting a formula for greatness.  Since then we have witnessed an array of world leaders who have moulded this biological theory into a socio-political tool and carved a niche for themselves. The question, for us: where do we start? Is it possible for us to implement this principle sitting in a small university town? What is the practical application for this concept, specifically in Manipal? Bullying.

A common phenomenon in most Indian households, where calibre is measured in the number of people you have successfully oppressed in your lifetime, bullying is the first step towards becoming a Social Darwinist. You plant the sapling in school (think social ostracism and body shaming) and then water it to develop your very own tree of defensive narcissism. So let me take you through a brief crash course on how to effectively disregard the anti-ragging form you sign at the beginning of your course and scar your peers to camouflage your own insecurities.


Newton’s first law states that an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an external force. A bully is that very external force who acts upon your peace of mind and shapes you into the person you become. Because, let’s face it, mental and physical torture by a person who won’t remember your name in five years is of paradigm importance in building your future, right?

Let us now direct our attention to the local setup and introduce a few formulae (based on real incidents and extensive research) used by professional bullies to corrupt the pleasant environment of a cosmopolitan campus. (Note: The following trials are performed under expert supervision. Please do not try them at home.)


  1. A hostel is essentially the safe haven for students who just want to unwind at the end of a long, tiring day. But more importantly it is a location for intimidators to hone their skills of coercion. Preferably choose people who like to keep to themselves, carefully analyse your target and select a vantage point for attack. It’d be your lucky day if you could dig out additional information (think insecurities, serious health issues, anxiety, depression, or even religious beliefs). Now, use this data in your favour to leave a lasting effect on your guinea pig.


  1. The first requirement for this experiment is a group of over-enthusiastic young adults (in case of dearth, visit the MIT Food Court after 8:00 P.M.) and a motive for a skirmish. It absolutely does not matter whether you are in any way related to this fight or not. Arm yourself to attack someone as a favour to a friend (even if he did not ask for it and even if you can’t recall his last name properly). If a physical fight isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to judge people who choose to sit alone. After all, if you don’t have friends to sit with, why are you even here?


  1. Bored on a Saturday evening? Track down that one friend who does not drink and offer him a peg. Wait what, he refused? (: is consent a thing now?). Pressurize him into doing exactly what he does not want to (alcohol is not the only ingredient you can use) with threats of isolation and social rejection.


  1. Remember that you shall always find new ways to exploit Zuckerberg’s invention. An important note here, you don’t need to be outgoing to become a bully. Just hide behind a computer screen, create innovative hate messages and post them on the n number of confession pages available. Use pictures of people without their approval because is privacy really ‘fundamental’ in our country? Even if it is, at least we’re making memes, not war.

The above deductions have been derived from observing a sample set of just about 28,000 students in the Manipal Campus. Hence, keep in mind that bullying is not limited to just these processes. Innovation knows no bounds. 


Make yourself believe that this is all for fun and that bullying someone is but a source of entertainment. Ignore the voices in your head that try to stop you in a chaotic chorus. Above all, make sure you disguise all those internal conflicts that have led you here. Embed the fact that hurting someone else will heal your broken, damaged parts.

Because years from now, you won’t stay awake at 3:00 A.M. haunted by the terrified face of the freshman you ragged in college. Will you?

– Drishti Sanyal, for MTTN. 

– Cover Art by Angad Gummaraju

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