“There is a method to his madness”, the lines penned by William Shakespeare in Hamlet aptly sum up the character and intent of those behind lynching of people. The recent lynching of a police officer in Srinagar and a Muslim teenager of Haryana in a train are indicators that a set of people is trying to force ugly set of values on people. The fear on the streets is palpable as a mob can suddenly appear from nowhere baying for your life. There seems to be a sinister design and pattern. First it was lynching of Swachh Bharat activist Zafar Khan of Partapgarh in Rajasthan by a group after he objected to them clicking photographs of women defecating in the open. And now there have been two more incidents in quick succession. In Nowhatta, Srinagar, the deputy superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir police, Mohammed Ayub Pandith was lynched outside Jamia Masjid where he was supervising Kashmiri separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s security. In the other incident, a minor, Hafiz Junaid, was stabbed to death and four others were injured on board a Mathura-bound train. Reason -argument over a seat turning into religious slurs, triggering a mob attack on family members returning home from Eid shopping.
The stepped lynching incidents began with the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq at Dadri in 2015 followed by hanging of a 12-year-old child, Imtiyaz Khan, along with a 32-year-old cattle trader, Majlum Ansari in Balumath block of Latehar district in Jharkhand. The virus spread in 2017 when Abu Hanifa and Riazuddin Ali from Kasomori village near Guwahati, were beaten to death for “stealing cattle”. Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer, suspected of cow smuggling, was killed in Alwar (Rajasthan).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently broke his silence on the issue, warning that killings in the name of cow protection won’t be tolerated. Sadly, on the same when he made the remark, a man was beaten to death by a mob in Jharkhand on suspicion that he was carrying beef in his vehicle. The lynching of helpless men by enraged mobs on mere suspicion of indulging in an act that went against their belief systems is illegal. Unfortunately, the law has been rather slow in apprehending the culprits. The motive and intent in all lynching cases remain the same: to sentence someone to death without a trial. The inaction on the part of
The inaction on the part of government and lackadaisical attitude of public at large against lynch mobs empowers them the most. It is high time now that we understand the serious implications of the communalization of public spaces, backed by those in power.ot? There is also a reminder- resist at your own peril!