From word to commonplace: The trajectory of mob lynching

Palghar Lynchings

Palghar incident again reminds me of my first encounter with the word mob lynching. How far we have come but the mob still looks and sound the same in its form and execution. When I was doing my masters. After the completion of the course I confronted a job interview in placement cell in Aligarh Muslim University. I wanted to work with an NGO so I decided to face an interview of Cancer Aid Society, which was working for cancer patients.  After a brief introduction the interviewer asked me to tell me something about the Dimaapur incident of Nagaland. I had read about the incident and told him the incident in Hindi but he was not satisfied and asked for the exact English word for the incident but I could not recall that word. Interviewer said interview was over asked me to leave the chamber. They selected six or seven students. I got one waiting in job interview. The exact word was mob lynching which I could not tell him at the time of the interview. A college student was raped by a Muslim man in Nagaland. The culprit got punished by the law and got jail but the people of Nagaland were not satisfied. They decided that they will deliver justice in their own way. Initially, the rumour was that culprit was a Bangladeshi migrant and these two identities are enough evidence to be lynched in our country. But he was from Assam.

That incident was probably the first mob lynching in BJP Led Rule. If the government had taken proper action against the goons, Junaid, Pehlu khan Shamiuddin  Tabrez Ansari and many more innocent people would be alive today. Mob had gathered around the central jail of Dhimapur and broke the gate of the jail. They lynched and paraded naked the culprit about seven kilometres. Mob completed its job and the police could not provide security even in jail. Mob delivered justice and opened the way for others to do the same. This mob was a politically instigated crowd.

People are losing faith in judiciary, law and order and somewhere administration of India is responsible for this situation, political parties brain wash the people in the name of religion and nationalism. There is no individual rationality among the people. Now people are getting motivation from the incident of Dhimapur and many more. Now mob lynching word is normal for everyone. Today no interviewer will ask for the word lynching. How difficult was this word for me at that time. Now this word is common for everyone. My villagers recently organised a protest; they are all almost illiterate but they also used the word “moob lynching” instead of mob lynching. Now my country has changed’ if any interviewer would ask the question regarding the lynching an illiterate man can answer the question of lynching very confidently and get the job. They are literate now. I could not get a job due to my ignorance.  Should I be ashamed for this.

Thanks to government and media to give such names like lynch, hate communalism, Hindu Muslim, Mandir masjid cow-dung, intolerance Hindu rashtra, jai shree ram. These words are being heard more often than development, poverty, unemployment, health, education. Now our country is changing with the pace of light in this regard. We are Indian people living in the largest democracy in the worl but people are being lynched over the suspense of cattle theft, petty crime bachachori, theft etc. People have no fear of government and law, they are taking law in their own hand. Government should reassure the protection of its citizens.

Political parties might have their vested interests but criminals must not be protected in the name of religion, caste, creed and political affiliation. Criminals must be treated as criminals. They are dangerous for everyone in the society. Some exemplary measures should be taken by the government to punish the culprits. Today everyone is under threat irrespective of the community. New incident of mob lynching happened in Palgarh district of maharashra. Two sadhus and accompanied by a driver have been killed by the mob. The rumour was that they were from the child lifting gang. This is the result of the past incidents. Mob culture is normal in our country

This mob will target everyone. It is a very dangerous thing that people commit crime and disappear around us. This is like a cancer cells growing in multiple numbers and after some time it will be incurable.

Tehzeeb Alam, Research Scholar, Centre for women’s studies, Aligarh Muslim University




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