Politics of Lynching

Two lynching incidents have occupied media space recently. One being lynching of a deputy superintendent of police in Srinagar. The other being murder of a young boy for being muslim.

Police man was killed right outside a mosque at the time to evening prayer. Killed outside abode of god at the time of his prayer! Sounds horrible, but it happened. Perpetrators this time were his fellow believers. Many theories are floating around to explain the incident, which include,

  • the officer was a police man
  •  police officer was there in the mosque to assassinate Hurriyat leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
  • police officer’s life was taken to avenge death of ISIS terrorist Zakir Musa.
  • Most sinister theory doing the round is DSP was killed because he was suspected to be a Kashmiri Pandit.

A few days later, a muslim boy was killed on a train. Incidence happened hardly 100 km away from New Delhi. Boy was out shopping, with his brother, for Eid. On his way back he was attacked. Some said dispute was over sharing a seat. The dispute spilled over and assumed communal dimension. Boy’s skull cap was thrown on the ground. His beard was pulled. He was taunted for being a muslim. Eventually he was killed. It can be argued that the incidence was more criminal than communal. It cannot be disputed that an innocent life was lost.

Of late the incidence of violence against muslim citizens is on the rise. It started with lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq on charges of storing and eating beef. Then Pehlu Khan was killed on the suspicion of being a cattle smuggler. There have been many more such instances all over India, some are reported others are not reported. Many explanations have come up to explain such tragic incidence:

  • such incidence used to happen earlier also. They are now being reported more often.
  •  such reporting is related to anti Modi and anti BJP bias of left leaning main stream media.
  • killing of Hindu Indians go unreported in media in opposition ruled states like Kerala, West Bengal etc.
  • no heart bleeds when Kashmiri pandits are thrown out of their home in Kashmir valley as part of ethnic cleansing.
  • More cynical would suggest spurt in report of minority killing has increased to defame India and to derail Modi – Trump meeting in the USA.
  •  Lynching death of DSP of Srinagar Mohammad Ayub Pandith will also find proud place in the armamentarium of arguments.

There are others, who argue that

  •  incidences, like killing of young Junaid, are direct result of propagation of pro Hindu ideology of ruling dispensation.
  • several groups, that would otherwise remain in the fringe, have become emboldened.
  • some are attacking people who are in the business of cattle trading. Some are targeting people for eating beef.
  • Killing of young boy Junaid will often be cited from now on to beat right wing politics and politicians. It would be argued that relentless discourse on Hindu persecution and muslim patronage have made average Hindus insecure.

May be there is truth to support each and all arguments. Whatever may be the theory behind the twin tragedies, it cannot be denied that two lives have been lost. The departed souls are of muslim Indians. The tragedy happened in the holy month of Ramadan just a few days before Eid. In our all encompassing hatred we forget the family members who are struck by the catasthrope. Think of helpless father, grieving mother, bereaved wife and orphaned children. A mother who lost her son just before Eid to senseless violence. Only a person devoid of any human emotion, will not have moist eyes and a heavy heart.

Can governments at the centre and state absolve themselves? There has not been one word of condemnation from our leadership. No body had tried to visit the bereaved family and share their grief. Our leaders can express grief at the loss of life in distant lands. What about tragedies at home? Does these not count? A leader who proclaims a smallest accident under his leadership, disturbs him. Why so much silence when young lives are snuffed out? God give our leaders some heart.

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