MOB LYNCHING – AN ERRONEOUS ACT By Abhishek Kumar from Campus Law Centre, Delhi
With the coming into the 21st century, India has grown into one of the most competitive markets. India launched record breaking 104 satellites from a single rocket into orbit. India is now known to the world as leaders in producing engineers, doctors, scientists yet the killings in the name of religion and caste in India still keep on happening. The term “mob lynching” originates from the Mark Twain’s descriptions of the dangers of mob violence in Missouri in 1901. In India however, mob has the license to kill anyone if the act of the victim is against their so called “customs” and “culture”.
There are lynching deaths of 10 Muslim men by Hindu mobs over suspicion of transporting cows. The most infamous incident of lynching in the name of cow and beef was Dadri incident in 2015 where two Muslim men who were father and son were attacked by a village mob with sticks and bricks, accusing them of stealing and slaughtering a cow calf and storing and consuming beef. Son was severely injured in the attack while Father was thrashed till he died. In another incident, two Dalit men were lynched on suspicion that they were thieves. There are lynching deaths based on witch hunting. According to a report, 2,097 such murders were committed between 2000 and 2012 in at least 12 states. There are lynching incidents during riots. Capital city Delhi also encounter lynching when an e-rickshaw driver Ravindra Kumar who was having lunch near the GTB Metro station stopped two drunk Delhi University students from urinating in public and faced their wrath the same evening. The two youngsters returned to the spot with a group of at least 20 and lynched him. Ravindra was repeatedly hit with stones and bricks.
These incidents keep on happening. The politics of lynching is the new normal. The government machinery, as well as the law enforcement agencies, collude or remain silent and encourage this. Social networks such as Twitter and Facebook also play a huge role in spreading hate and anger toward certain communities and religion. The anger is fuelled on a daily basis. Merely a spat over a train seat in Haryana ends up with a 16-year-old being lynched because he was a Muslim. India has a society that lynches a boy for wearing a skull cap and carrying food that is thought to be beef.
There is something really wrong with our mindset. How many more deaths will occur just because we think our religion, race or culture is superior from others. The victim’s family is the only one who remembers the event. Lynching has become a part of our paranoid society where mob and state share a division of power. The two together create a balance of violence we call law and order. The mob is the new rule of law. The situation in India has become so bad that even without a second thought; a mob may lynch a person. Even worse, they could charge someone with sedition by accusing them of supporting the wrong cricket team. We have mobs that can lynch people merely on suspicions. In a society where norms do not work, lynching becomes a desired mode of control. The mob disappears, the memory fades till the next event. Hindu mobs were behind most of the lynchings and it is often the poor who get thrashed to death. On one side of a coin we are proud to have the largest democracy in the world, we have the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, we are the future market leaders of the world while on the other side we are surrounded by these age old crimes against a particular caste and religion. These incidents need to be condemned strongly not only in India but throughout the world, so that we could save the lives of many innocent people. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need both the Internal and External control methods to free our society from the clutches of these horrific incidents because if we even after so many incidents of mob lynching still remain silent then these incidents will continue to stain our country's character for a long time.
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