The recent spate of lynchings in India has left the country shocked. These cold-blooded murders has left us aghast, stirred our souls and has made us sit up and wonder whether is it the new normal?
Be it the bone-chilling lynching of Kashmir DSP Mohammed Ayub Pandith or the stabbing of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, India's descent into such madness is both sad and terrifying.
Deeply disturbed & condemn the brutal act at Nowhatta.Mob violence & public lynching is outside the parameters of our values & religion....— Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir) June 23, 2017
Pick up any newspaper or switch on any news channel, you will find these reports splashed almost everywhere.
And it goes on and on...
While we are at it, many are wondering whether India is hurtling towards a "mobocracy" under Modi's watch. Some have gone so far as labelling India 'lynchistan'.
Welcome to Lynchistan, welcome to Lynchistan/Yeh Lynchistan,hai meri jaan (with apologies to "Selfiestan" smartphone advert copywriter) https://t.co/Z68yLc6Cuq— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 24, 2017
The govt blames it on the media
Union Home Minister Rajiv Mehrishi has accused the media of "over reporting" the incidents.
He said, "I don't think it (hate crime) is new in India. It is feudal in nature. Today, they shake the conscience. You cannot say lynching or hate crimes are something new. I think they are over hyped and over reported."
While the nature of that comment is quite debatable, there is at least some merit to it.
Mainstream media is indeed on an overdrive while highlighting these news reports these days and that's actually a good thing. To highlight such atrocity and question the government is indeed, what the media is supposed to be doing.
But lynch mobs are not Modi's creation.
Mob lynching and hate crimes are not new to India. We have been like this for years. Else how would you explain this data?
2013. Just 1 year out of 10 under UPA. Rudimentary search reveals more than a dozen lynchings. Guess it was Hindustan then, not Lynchistan. pic.twitter.com/v3qYSTFwRu— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) June 25, 2017
As the Twitter user Anand Ranganathan (author, researcher and contributing editor for Newslaundry.com) points out, rudimentary research based on news reports show at least 14 incidents in 2013 alone under the UPA 2 government.
ScoopWhoop News carried out a similar research for 2011 and 2012, and found that the results were similar.
As per this report, more than 630 people between 1982 and 1984 alone were killed by mobs during the three-decade-long Communist rule in West Bengal.
So, the point here is that it's actually the blood-thirsty, law-breaking anonymous mobs, who are to blame. The unruly mobs who devour law, forget humanity and stoop to such demonic levels.
Final few points, on the rank perfidy of calling India Lynchistan. pic.twitter.com/TZGZuhnPyH— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) June 26, 2017
The need of the hour is to stop this blame game and time for concerned citizens to push for a law to stop such incidents. The Modi government also has to take responsibility and break its silence. Those who lynch people for eating beef or transporting cows for slaughter must be dealt with the strictest punishment and the government must contain its rabble-rousing ministers and party members from making provocative speeches.
It's indeed pathetic that with such a bloodied history, there is no particular law to deal with lynching and finds no mention in the Indian Penal Code.
And we desperately need one.