I was pained and discomforted when I read the news, but I was not shocked. I didn’t jump off from my bed after reading that a man was dragged to death just for some allegations related to consumption of beef. To say that a communal lynching, like what happened in Dadri, is a new phenomenon in India – something unseen or unheard by us before – would be quite stupid and untrue. Apart from a long usual sigh and an urge to read headlines and arguments, I didn’t have much to react. I am a part of the zombified social structure in which people have become immune to such slaughters. We do ‘feel bad’ when a member of the only surviving homo sapien is brutally devoid of life, but our feelings fade away with another juicier stories.
One big reason for my coldness can be attributed to the rat-race which I am living – a hysterical game-show in which reactions and involvements in social discourses give no space to emotions. I haste to react with the insecurity that some other human may consume the space and span of my social existence. I react when I am infuriated, but somewhere in my heart, I realize the fact that my anger will subside with my office routine, household chores or a newer story; probably without yielding or finding any solution.
One other reason which directly or indirectly shaped the numbness in me is the cynicism to see someone who can act as an agent of change after a long-awaited and ebbing optimism. I am a part of the political structure in which – year after year – people are cajoled to believe that the new political alignment in the Center, in states, in municipalities, in panchayats, in the muhallas, in universities, will revive the lethargy and greed of existing systems, and then it continues – year after year – without yielding even quarter of what was promised.
I read the barbaric murder story of Mohammad Akhlaq. He didn’t murder or rape any human. He was not a part of any mob which lynched someone in the past. He was not someone who was forcing girls into prostitution. He was not even a local gunda who threatened local innocent people. He was beaten to pulp – by bricks, by stones, by sticks and probably by a sewing machine too.
When the news surfaced out, people dashed to validate the news – which, given the current state of Indian media – was not a bad idea. Very soon, the whole narrative digressed to whether he was thrashed for consuming beef or not and finally we returned to the square one of all the religious, social, political and economic arguments – ‘Is this the first time that we are seeing this?’ ‘Which political party should be held responsible?’ ‘Did we raise our voices when someone of the other religion was killed?’
As expected, Samajwadi Party has blamed it as a planned event; Arvind Kejrwial, for whatever reason, was eager to meet the victim’s family; Asaduddin Owaisi has already linked it with bhakts of the Sangh Parivar, who according to him, are attempting to convert India into a Hindu nation. However, as a BJP supporter, what disappointed me the most is the inept silence, stupidities and inaction of BJP. Union cultural minister Mahesh Sharma says that the lynching of Mohamad Akhlaq was an accident, it should not be given a “communal colour”, and at the same time, former BJP MLA from Dadri, Nawab Singh Nagar brags
If cow slaughter and its consumption is proven, they (the victim and his family) are definitely at fault. There is a ban on slaughter of cows and this concerns the faith of Hindus. It is obvious that such an incident will lead to anger among people and there will be communal tension. If this was the case, the family is in the wrong. If they have consumed beef, they are also responsible. This is a village of Thakurs and they express their sentiments in a very strong way. If they have done this, they should have kept in mind what the reaction would be
Like always, spokespersons of BJP are clueless; like always, fan-base of BJP is digging stories to prove that BJP leaders were misquoted; like always, social media is comparing events in BJP and Congress ruled states; like always, I have pacified my anger in my office routine and daily chores.
One could ask who is at fault. The State Government for alleged mishandling by the police. The Central Government because as usual it is supposed to be responsible for communal incidents. Opposition parties for stoking communal tensions.
But not everywhere can one point fingers at the world. A short-sighted regressive decision to ban Porn cannot be deflected onto others. For appointing incompetent people like Gajendra Singh too, and the following handling of the issue, which was a trivial topic, no-one can be blamed either.
I believed in a party which could act, instead of sending some baboons who blabber rhetorics and question others. I believed in a cause which promised a new India, a new outlook towards life. After seeing inappropriate actions in some places and inaction in the other, my faith is slowly receding in what I once believed.
P.S. I am also not shocked by such incidents because such things keep happening, as today we saw a father killed his 4 yr old daughter because she broke the code of his religion which was to cover her head.