By Vijay Darda
The killing of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh of Syana Kotwali police station in Bulandshahr is not just an accident. This incident conjures up a horrifying picture of bloodthirsty mob going crazy. The mob lynching throws up multiple questions. The biggest question that arises is whether our political system has become so weak that it can not control the fanatic mob?
Any rumour regarding cow slaughter spreads like wildfire and hundreds of people hit the streets and start vandalising and indulging in arson. A police inspector accompanied by a few constables goes to assure the mobsters that the incident of cow slaughter will be fully investigated and that tough action will be taken against the guilty. Instead of listening to the inspector, the mob attacks him. He is dragged, thrashed and then someone in the mob shoots him! The terrified constables flee for life. Will you consider this as an accident? Not at all! This is the result of the craze that is spreading rapidly in our society. And yes, one more thing should be kept in mind that the initial investigation of the mob-lynching of Akhlaq was conducted only by Subodh Kumar Singh.
There is no doubt that it is our responsibility to protect the mother cow. I am using the word ‘our’ which means our political system. We have created this system of power. People in our government have been elected by our votes. If the administration and police are accountable to the people, we should trust them. The police could have investigated cow slaughter, caught the guilty and punished them according to the law, but here the mob became law unto itself and geared up to punish on its own!
How can anyone be allowed to violate the rule of law in such a manner? The Bulandshahr incident is not the first of its kind. Dozens of people have become victims of cow vigilantism. They have been mob-lynched for their alleged acts of cow slaughter or cow smuggling. The Supreme Court has also made a strong comment on this mobocracy and has warned the states against growing tide of lawlessness but the situation does not seem to have improved. The mob has challenged the whole system by killing a police officer. It is natural for the society to be gripped with fear. When the police can also become victim of the mob violence, what about the common man? The hysteric mob always wants to spread panic in the society!
Now the moot question is whether this mob gathers suddenly or there is someone behind it? If you look at the events, it clearly shows that there is some reason behind the existence of a particular kind of ideology which is not only mobilising the mob but also making it go berserk. Such a mob gets support from those leaders the base of whose politics is religion. Obviously, it is very easy to instigate some people on the basis of religion. Those who do not have discretion, they get easily instigated. They don’t care if their acts lead to the destruction of the fabric of the society.
Intolerance is increasing rapidly in society and even art and music have also been threatened by this perspective. What a hue and cry was created on the film Padmavat and how some states supported the miscreants and made the announcement of banning the film! Now the film Kedarnath is being opposed in Uttarakhand. All this is the result of intolerance and insensitivity within us. For, there will be no art if you try to shackle art in ideology.
After Bulandshahr incident, there is no harm in saying that the lumpen elements of the society are getting emboldened. This situation has turned extremely dangerous. Our society has always been tolerant and this is also the biggest reason for diversity of our culture and the resilience to survive. We belong to that culture which believes in the motto ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. To maintain its diversity and culture, India has adopted democracy. Today things are going out of hand. These mobs want to instill so much fear that no one would be able to raise their voice of protest. This mobocracy can not be allowed to replace democracy.
Vijay Darda has been the chief visionary and driving force behind Lokmat, a leading multi-platform media company. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Feroze Gandhi Memorial Award for excellence in journalism in 1990-91.
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