THE SANER VOICES FAIL TO CURB THE INSANITY OF THE LYNCHING MOB - BY: MASOOD PESHIMAM

Hatred many a time has no basis. It’s a philosophy of dislike fomenting unrest sometimes leading to the dangerous consequences for the person or the group hated. The hatred is simply unassailable and any person or the group hated is not advised to convince the hater as the hating instincts cannot be sublimated into love or intimacy. Thus hatred is a complex phenomena many a time on the false pretexts which are created to generate the hatred and the venom is spewed to target the person hated or resented. Attuned to this phenomena the Muslims in the Country are reduced to the object of intense hatred on one pretext or the other and easily targeted as they are on the weakest turf in the true sense of the term. It’s easy to target the weak on the dubious reasons as the damaging person or the crowd feel no pressure of unsavoury consequences. The cow protection has become the new brand of hatred to target the Muslims in India. For targeting the Muslims any card can be played. This time around the card is cow protection. Had there not been cow protection there would have been some other theme.

In the circumstance it can be noted that India is the largest beef exporter. There are beef consuming states like North East States, Goa so on and so forth. No less significant it is note that bulk of the Muslims avoid the beef consumption due to hygienic and biological reasons. It is avoided as the beef is hard to digest.

The Muslims remain distances away from the beef consumption as they can’t and they don’t want to hurt the religious sentiments of others. The Muslims in India can’t afford or do not do anything which is an affront to the Hindu sentiments. Even Muslim hotels display the board of “No Beef”.
Accounting for the Muslims desisting the beef consumption the fact also remains that Emperor Babar has asked Humayun to see that no beef consumption is to be allowed.

However notwithstanding the Muslims avoiding the beef consumption there is the murderous assault over the Muslims in the name of cow vigilantism. It’s the communal atmosphere of discord and hatred against Muslims which prepared the fertile ground for the cow vigilantes to easily target the Muslims.

It is in this backdrop there occurred latest incident in which the victim was some Akbar Khan or Rakbar Khan who was allegedly attacked by a group of cow vigilantes, succumbing to his injuries. In his dying statement, Akbar or Rakbar told the police that he and his friend were walking back when they came under attack in Alwer in Rajasthan, with the mob accusing them of being smugglers taking the cattle for slaughter. Where was evidence to say that the cattle was taken for the slaughter? The cattle might have been taken for the milk business or it may be for farming or some other work. The other question is who has given the licence to the lynching mob to kill someone for the reasons of its own. What would be the use of criminal delivery justice system when the mob is allowed to take law in its own hand? What is the vitality and relevance of courts and the law enforcers when the instant justice is meted out by the violent mob.

Jumping into the fray is the U.P. C.M. Adityanath Yogi who said that his Government is committed to ensure protection to cattle from smuggling and slaughter. True, the government cannot escape its responsibility of protecting the cattle but the fact remains that the mob violence needs to be curbed which is crossing all the limits particularly in North India.

He also said that the incidents of mob lynching were also being “highlighted too much”. Does it mean that the murderous assault is to be taken lightly? What would be the plight of those whose kith and kin are killed mercilessly? Would Yogi go in to their shoes and feel magnitude of gruesome tragedy? Is the murder a minor offence ? Do the near and dear ones of the victim not to deserve the sympathy?

The Supreme Court has recently expressed its deep concern for the recurring incidents of mob lynching. In what perspective the Supreme Court’s deep concern is to be taken in the light of Yogi’s statement of incidents of mob lynching “highlighted too much”.

As this was not enough another RSS functionary Indresh Kumar said that lynching would stop if people just stopped killing cows. It is true and correct that the cows should not be killed but again the same question as to who has given the license to the murderous crowd to play havoc with the Law & Order.

No less agonising is the situation when the murderous mob killing Akbar Khan boasted that MLA was with them. The BJP MLA Gayandeo Ahuja defended the cow protectors. There are also reports that Gayandeo Ahuja even admitted that they were his men but they did not kill Akbar or Rakbar. What an audacity or the misplaced courage! Such misplaced bold statements suggest that in our Country that there is the scant regard for the Rule of Law. Are such remarks an attempt to provide legitimacy to the violation of law with impunity?

Another alleged justification for the mob violence came from the BJP leader of U.P. Hari Om Pande who attributed the mob lynching to the expansion of Muslims population. The expansion of population is a all-round phenomena. It’s not restricted to Muslims only. Why simply assailing the expansion of Muslim population. The Muslims in India are made to live below the poverty line and the scourge of poverty saps all the vitality including the birth and growth of the children. There is the family planning irrespective of any consideration. Are we allowed to murder the people in the name of curbing the population growth of some community? By this logic even the murderer can justify his criminal act. The statement of BJP leader from U.P. has brought the cat out of bag.
The incendiary statements of BJP leaders can’t reduce the magnitude of the menace of the mob violence. The magnitude of the menace even attracted the attention of the Supreme Court recently. The Supreme Court said “Horrendous acts of Mobocracy can’t be permitted to inundate the law of the land. Earnest action and concrete steps have to be taken to protect Cities from recurrent pattern of violence which can’t be allowed to become the new normal”.

The supreme Court recommended that the parliament create a “separate Offence” for the crime to instil the fear of law into offenders and preserve Rule Of Law in a pluralistic society.
The Court asked the Centre and States to discharge Constitutional duty of maintaining Law & Order to ensure peace and protect secular ethos. Governments were duty bound to ensure Rule Of Law prevailing in a democratic setup and treat those indulging in violence as criminals who needed stern action.
The Supreme Court further observed that the state can’t turn a deaf ear to growing rumblings of the people, since its concern, to quote Woodrow Wilson, “must ring with the voices of the people” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said.
The Court stated in no uncertain terms that vigilante groups could only report a crime but would be sternly punished if they took the law into their hands.

While the supreme Court expressed its deep concern over the growing incidents of mob violence which has drawn a lot of appreciation and accolades the situation failed to witness any alteration. It was subsequent to the Supreme Court observations that the Alwar incident in Rajasthan took place.
The Home Minister Rajnath Singh while replying the No Confidence motion in Parliament took note of the lynching incidents. He quoted the 1984 mob violence against Sikhs in the wake of brutal murder of Indira Gandhi. Drawing the parallel of Anti Sikh violence of 1984 does not reduce the impact of the sever crime targeting of the people particularly Muslims and sometimes victimizing the Dalits. The 1984 incident was an isolated but Muslim bashing is the regular phenomena and much damage has been done and continues to be done.

It is the atmosphere of diversion and the absence of the strong deterrent that even the Rajasthan police took the matter lightly which took a lot of time in taking the lynching victim to the hospital very late. The police took at least three hours to take the victim to hospital. The police had their own priorities. The police took the situation lightly as it is quite well known that in the case of Muslims the accountability factor is not that serious.

The ugly situation of killing the people in the name of cow protection even drew the ire of the Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackrey.

However notwithstanding all the vociferous dissenting voices the billion dollar question is about the efficacy of the those saner voices. The incidents of mob violence continue to occur at the periodic interval. The countervailing forces against the mob violence have failed to restrain the barbaric violence in the name of cow protection which makes it appear that the responses against the cow vigilantism are cosmetic and lack the required credibility and seriousness. The bitter reality is that Saner voices have failed to curb the insanity of the lynching mob.

Posted on Jul 31, 18 | 7:05 am