Daily Takes: The Spectre of Mob Lynching In India

The past few months have been troubling for those who follow the Indian socio-political situation closely. Mob lynching in the name of cow-protection has morphed into a Frankenstein’s monster. The state of Jharkhand in Eastern India is now turning out to be the epicenter of mob-justice & utter lawlessness. The ruling party including the incumbent PM & others continue to maintain their deafening silence as violence spreads across India. It’s common knowledge by now that this silence is actually a sign of their complicity. 

With India’s economy still recovering from the double-whammy of the PM’s fiats of demonetization & hastily implemented GST, it’s safe to say the present regime has lost significant political capital in mere months.

The ruling party known for Hindu nationalism & its anti-Muslim proclivities may very well resort to the time-tested formula of religious polarisation as 2019 general elections approach.

A few days back as rumors of an alleged cow-slaughter spread, a Muslim man was brutally lynched by a frenzied mob near Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut.  Policemen & the mob dragged the lifeless body as if it were some animal. Social media was outraged at the naked display of this insensitivity. As readers of this blog would remember, the author had predicted that such incidents would become even more frequent as we move closer to the next parliamentary elections.

Screen grab of the viral video; An elderly Samayadeen thrashed by a mob.

This reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with a fairly educated man on train to Delhi three years back. This was the aftermath of Dadri mob lynching in 2015. If I recall correctly, the man made it a point to remind me that incidents like these are stray occurrences. We should ignore them lest it brings disrepute to the nation. Also, he added “these people” deserve such fate unaware that I was very much one among “these people”. It took me a moment to process what I was hearing so, here was a bigot sitting right next to me justifying such dastardly acts of violence under the pretext that speaking against it disgraces India especially in the comity of nations. Presumably, instead of addressing the ills in our society people prefer to brush it under the rug as long as they’re not on the receiving end.

This gives us an insight into what we’ve become as a society. That we’ve little compassion for fellow human beings, that our society has degenerated to the point where endless cycles of violence are now a norm. That we would condone violence as long as “they” suffer.
Lynch mobs call the shots across towns from Haryana to Jharkhand knowing well that police & the administration is on their side. They run amok knowing that the present ruling dispensation is the fountainhead of their ideological moorings.

There’s a chilling pattern in each cycle of violence; a WhatsApp rumor spreads, an irate mob gathers egged by “gau-goons” lynches anyone suspected of possessing beef, the police is either a mute spectator or arrives theatrically late as if it were a Hindi movie only to book the dead under the reprehensible anti-beef law & allowing the mob & their leaders to walk scot-free.

I grew up hearing, India would be reaping its demographic dividend pretty soon. Sad to see an entire generation bogged down by hatred, anger & utter disdain for diversity.


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