Raising a voice against mob lynching in India is not an easy task. Although it is a serious human rights issue, Indians have been divided on the lines of thought and ideology with many worried whether it is right or wrong to speak up for a brother lynched for actions that have supposedly hurt the sometimes unknown majority.
The videos of these beastly attacks on a helpless few, discriminated on the basis of religion and caste have been doing the rounds on social media. We are as much at fault as the people who were at the scene of the crime especially those who quietly film these atrocities when helping the victim should have been the prime responsibility. Our outrage against mob lynching and communal violence has been limited to social media.
On the one hand, the majoritarian party has become successful in injecting hatred against fellow citizens and on the other hand, it has proved that armchair activism in progressive India would help little to put an end to its schemes.
Each video passing forth and back to us is a reminder that we have not been able to confront this menace and curb it, and that we have not held the people in authority accountable for disturbing the peace and harmony of this nation. We need to get out of our comfort zones if we have to see change in its truest form! Although NGOs and celebrities have come up with campaigns against lynchings, the greater responsibility vests in the common man. The public should unite against these hate crimes.
Today, minorities feel unsafe in India which is a shame and disgrace. We are responsible for causing this distrust and for not standing courageously by our brothers when the lynching culture seeped in. Our fear and selective outrage has provided an environment for hatred to breed and grow.
The Jai Shri Ram slogan does not make a Hindu a better Hindu nor does it work like a magic wand to convert or reconvert. Instead, it is a spear pointed at the weak and vulnerable, for a moment's pride and sadistic feeling of superiority. The best part: the ones who are speaking vociferously against these acts are also practicing Hindus albeit with their head and heart in the right place.
Since 2014, Hindu extremism has emboldened. The Supreme Court of India had laid out certain guidelines to be adopted across the country to curb these shameful activities. The government has failed to follow these directions and take initiative. As a result, the right-wing leaders have become even more emboldened with their hate speeches and cow vigilantism leading to merciless attacks and bloodshed every other day.
They are unafraid of police administration and law. The assailants now speak proudly about the bloodshed they caused in front of media as if they just returned from the border.
Mob lynchings against the Muslim minority started in 2015 with Mohammad Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh who lost his life over a missing calf. But none of the murderers had tasted the bitter taste of the wrath of the law so far.
While India is the world's largest democracy, its minorities are treated as second-class citizens. It is high time the Indian government takes stern actions against mob violence.
Incidents like these should bother us enough to step on the roads to protest, knock the doors of police stations and appeal before the Courts of Justice for our fellow citizens to be able to live with dignity.
- Nehemiah Christie
@NehemiahHRD on Twitter
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the post belong solely to the author.