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When lynching mobs are let loose


If the war lords are over with the war cries,  blatantly whipping up sentiments to further their dangerous political ploys,  then it's about time they look at the rising numbers of those getting lynched by the goon- brigades,  in the different states of the country.  Uncontrolled and unleashed, these right-wing goons are striking terror to such an extent that either they should be sent to the borders to take on the ‘enemy’, or else booked under any of the existing terror laws.

 The latest victim of lynching was reported recently from Haryana’s Rohtak district where ironically the victim, Naushad,  was portrayed as the accused and even handcuffed by the local cops!  Mind you, this isn’t one of those stray  incidents.  Activists point out that in these recent years the cow vigilante groups have been active on the Rohtak-Sonepat Highway,   forcing vehicles carrying animals to halt and then these goons loot, thrashing the victims, extracting money.

Lynching is on in our country.  Yet we are not in that mood to react fiercely enough for it to be halted.  Why this eerie quiet?  Why this thick hide on us? Why is this mad violence spreading out? Why is the government of the day not reacting to these murders taking place under those typical beef alibis?  What’s going wrong with the policing ways,  when the victims are portrayed as the accused? Do we have any right to call ourselves civilized when mobs can lynch and kill in blatantly brutal ways? Why this ongoing silence? Why  is it that a Muslim or  Dalit  or  Christian sits apprehensive of getting attacked by the  Hindutva  brigades under any of the  ploys …so  much so that he has to be extra cautious what to cook or consume or serve or store?  After all, such are these developed times that Union and State ministers can proclaim loud and clear  that yes, they are beef –eaters, but a commoner will be targeted and lynched even if he is sitting starved and side-lined.

If you were to  read this latest book of  veteran  journalist  Ziya Us  Salam -  ‘Lynch Files: The  Forgotten  Saga of  Victims of  Hate  Crime’ (Sage) - where he  focuses on  mob lynching cases in the country - you are  sure to sit all too shocked.  It is one of those well-researched books which carry crucial facts and factors on mob lynching and the dark political realities hovering in the foreground and background.

To quote Ziya from the very preface to his book, “…Then there were assaults on  Muslim  dairy  farmers and meat  merchants in states such as Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan  and  Himachal Pradesh. In each of the states, a man was killed by cow vigilantes. The script was similar: A  man would be  accused  of  cow slaughter, a  mob would  lynch him, the  police would file the  first  information report (FIR) against the victims, even the dead, and file another  one against random or  unnamed attackers who would  soon be given  bail…There was  nothing spontaneous about  lynching.  Although  apparently spontaneous, all   such actions  were well-organized  affairs, where the  perpetrators knew  beforehand  that  their  public  display of  violence  or even  its  recording  or  sharing  it   with a  large   audience  on the  social  media  was  not  going  to have  an  adverse  impact on their  life.” 

In fact,  Ziya also  focuses on  another  vital fact of mob  lynching -  “Most of  the  cases  happened in states ruled  by  the Bharatiya Janata Party and  its  associates, pointing  to political complicity  in the actions. The  niggling suspicion being  proved  right when the Union  Minister,  Mahesh Sharma, who  had  only  cursorily visited  the  family  of  Akhlaq  following  his  murder, sent  one  of  the  murder  accused  on his  last  journey  wrapped  in the  national Tricolour. Killing a   Muslim was akin to fighting on the border, and deserving of equal awards for  the ‘valour’!...Clearly, in  political lexicon, a Muslim could be  killed for no  crime  except  that  he  was  a Muslim. Amid this blatant  defence  of  the indefensible, the  number  of lynching  cases  piled up.”

After one has read through the details to the horrifying violence and killings that the various Hindutva brigades have been indulging in, one wonders why have  they been are let loose amongst us!

This is nothing short of tyranny. What else can be expected in these dark  turbulent times.

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