Increasing Mob Lynching Incidents in India

Chandni Asnani | August 26th, 2019 . 12:22 am






“The mob is the mother of tyrants.” -Diogenes

It is upsetting to note that this holds for today’s India. Every other day, we come across incidents of mob lynching happening across the country. The term ‘Lynching‘ has gained a lot of fame in the past few years and can be found all over newspapers, television, and social media. You all must have heard of it too! So what is Mob Lynching? Why does it happen? What can we do about it? Let’s get into the details.

What is Mob Lynching?

Mob refers to a large group of angry people that can become violent very easily. Lynching refers to killing somebody whom people assume to be guilty, without following the proper legal trial.

Thus, Mob Lynching is physically assaulting or killing someone by an enraged crowd for an offense that the person might have committed. The mob takes the law in its own hands and punishes the supposed offender without any legal procedure. Sometimes, they also take action based on false rumours like cow slaughter, theft, child lifting, etc.

Causes of Mob Lynching

False Information and Rumors

With the dominance of social media in today’s world, it has become very easy to spread false rumours among the people. Every other day, WhatsApp messages are being circulated all over India regarding child lifters and beef eaters, etc. This has led to a lot of mob lynching in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in the past few weeks. Many people have been a victim of these lynching.

Increase in Cow Vigilantes

In May 2017, under the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Law, a ban was imposed on the purchase and sale of cattle in Indian markets. Right after this, Cow Protectors came up from all over the country. They suspected people of slaughtering cows. Dozens of Muslims were accused of eating beef and were brutally killed in these mob attacks.

Decline in the Public’s Morality

Some people want to remain in the news by hook or by crook, so they don’t let go of any opportunity to indulge themselves in such inhuman activities. They are not afraid to take law in their own hands and punish people as per their wishes. We Indians are very sensitive people. It is easy to enrage us by providing fake information about religion and other sensitive topics. Why don’t we understand that we are free to prosecute, and not persecute? A great decline in the public’s morality is seen. The mob doesn’t understand the severity of what it does. All kinds of immoral behaviour being acceptable is the root cause of the decay of society and culture.

 Lack of Concrete Laws

Because there are no laws against mob lynching, people have become fearless. They don’t hesitate to take law in their own hands, unconcerned of what the consequences might be. There should be some strict laws to punish such offenders. Political parties even make use of these kinds of incidents for their benefits these days.

Mob Lynching Cases in India

These are some of the major incidents of Mob Lynching in India. There have been countless more.

Slaughter Incident (Dadri, 2015)

On September 28, 2015, people of Bisara village near Dadri accused Akhlaq of stealing and slaughtering a cow on the occasion of Eid. A mob was gathered in front of their house, the fridge was raided and meat curry was found. Though Akhlaq claimed it to be goat meat, it was all the proof the mob needed. Akhlaq and his son, Danish were badly beaten with rods and sticks, after which Danish was severely injured, while Akhlaq succumbed to his injuries and died.

Child Lifting Incident (Gujarat, 2018)

June 2018, a 40-year-old woman in Ahmedabad was beaten to death by a mob of around 30-40 people, based on a suspicion of her being a child-lifter. She belonged to the beggar community and was traveling in an auto with her four accomplices when the mob overturned the auto and attacked them with kicks and punches. They have filed a case of murder against 30 unidentified people.

Cattle Theft Incident (New Delhi, 2019)

July 2019, a mob in New Delhi beat 3 men to death that were suspected of trying to steal cattle. The men were caught by villagers when they were seen trying to load a buffalo and a calf on a pickup truck. The police filed the case of theft on those men and a murder case was filed by the victims’ families on 3 villagers who were involved.

People’s Opinions

I had a talk with Mrs Rajni Asnani, Lecturer and HOD (Mathematics) at Central India Academy, Dewas, regarding the increasing cases of mob lynching. She raised a very striking and fair point. Have a look!

The real question is, where does the mob come from? Who are these people? Have you ever noticed that when there’s an accident, a majority of people do not even stop by to help? But when someone’s suspected for child lifting or theft, suddenly a mob appears out of nowhere! These are essentially unemployed people, and as is said, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop! Thus, measures should be taken to teach and employ people so that they can progress in the right direction.

I also had a talk with Abhishek Pathania, a blogger and political enthusiast, currently working at TCS, Gandhinagar as an Assistant System Engineer. Let’s have a look at what today’s youth has got to say about these incidents.

Mob lynching has been prevalent in India from a long time. Previously, most Indians didn’t have access to Internet or cable TV, so such incidents didn’t come to limelight through media attention. But today, with access to cheaper internet, news like these become national headlines within a few hours. Mostly, media hypes the cases involving beef trading and “cow-brigade” in which a particular minority is targeted. As responsible individuals, we should condemn such acts and try bringing out awareness to curb such ill-practices.

What Steps Should Be Taken?

According to me, the following actions must be taken to decrease these kinds of cases in India:

  • Strict laws should be made against Mob Lynching as soon as possible.
  • It should be broadcasted on Social Media, TV and Newspapers that indulging in mob lynching can have severe consequences.
  • FIR should be filed against people spreading false rumors.
  • The should be provided relief and compensation amount should be charged from the assaulters.
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