Two men suspected to be cattle thieves have been beaten to death by a vigilante mob in Jharkhand’s Godda district.
Nivedita Dwivedi | The New Leam
RANCHI| DUMKA: Mob lynching in the name of ‘gauraksha’ continues unabated throughout the nation, with two more ‘suspected cattle thieves’ lynched to death in Jharkhand. Following in the footsteps of the self-proclaimed cow protectors, certain other types of lynching have also been recently witnessed, with the latest being the beating to death of Nilotpal Das and Abhijit Nath in Assam, fearing misapprehensions of their being child traffickers amidst child trafficking rumors circulating on social media.
The lynching of the ‘suspected cattle thieves’ in Jharkhand followed allegations on them for stealing buffaloes from a village and sneaking out. The investigations are on to establish the veracity of the allegations.
In all such cases of mob violence leading to deaths, there are certain complex issues that need to be thoroughly understood and discussed.
Firstly, it is well-established that the foremost function of any state is to ensure the prevalence of law and order. This essentially means that the responsibility for administering justice in case of a violation of a law also lies only with the state and its legitimate institutions. Howsoever gruesome an alleged crime may appear and howsoever strong the instincts to take the law in one’s own hands in order to punish the alleged perpetrator of that crime, it still remains prohibited and an unlawful act.
However, to take this argument a little further, it also becomes the responsibility of the state to induce confidence, among the citizens, towards its law and order machinery. This would essentially mean the strengthening of and just and fair working of the organs of the state, i.e., the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary and the institutions like the police force etc. We need to closely look at the increase in the incidents of mob lynching, on extremely frivolous grounds, and understand the motivations behind the same. Such incidents cannot be brushed aside and taken in the stride, as they are a threat to the very idea of a civilized state.
Secondly, this is also the time to pay attention to another paradox. The alleged crimes for which these people are beaten to death, even if proved in a court of law, would have yielded much lesser sentences, going by the law of the land. Isn’t then the act of lynching itself much worse and much more illegal? Are namelessness, facelessness and societal sanction excuses enough to indulge in collective murder and infliction of a punishment that is much more than that prescribed in the law of the land? If not, then allowing such a state of affairs to continue is nothing but one of the biggest failures of the state.
Thirdly, in times when we have surrounded ourselves with gadgets and technology of all kinds, we need to take a moment and pause to understand the effects that these may be having on our individual minds and on the society as a whole. It is high time that we dissect and break down all the aspects of this increasing presence and effects of technology and social media, and prepare for the same.
Lastly, in the prevailing circumstances, it also becomes imperative to give a serious thought to the kind of society and culture that we would like to be a part of. India has always been a developing and growing economy and as yet has not found a place among the developed nations, economically. Yet, one aspect in which we have always prided ourselves and considered ourselves to be the leaders of the world, is the richness and the syncretic nature of our ancient civilization. We have worn our diversity and our harmonious co-existence despite this diversity, as a badge of honor. This is something that distinguishes us from the rest of the world and provides us our unique and enviable place among the comity of nations and the civilizations of this world.
Cows have as such never felt threatened in this civilization, for them to feel any need of protection, for this is the nation where they have been equated with mothers and worshipped accordingly. The sudden aggressiveness in the name of ‘cow protection’ anyway seems entirely unwarranted and unjustifiable.
Such aggressive antics are solely attempts at polarizing the nation and trying to impose a culture on it that is completely against all its natural sensibilities. On the one hand where it is well-established that no individual or nation can continue to function against its natural sensibilities for a large amount of time, it is also essential to ensure that the road towards normalization of the state of affairs does not become so long that it loses all its meaning, for that road is essentially being built by the blood of numerous legitimate, equal and innocent citizens of this nation.