Recently, ’eminent’ journalists have decided to start another campaign to save the country. Unfortunately, it is again based on half-truths and lies to create another ‘India at risk under Modi’ narrative. This latest campaign involving usual suspects – motley of journalists and activists – claims that mob violence, especially the acts of lynching, have started to spring up at an alarming rate only recently.
Welcome to Lynchistan, welcome to Lynchistan/Yeh Lynchistan,hai meri jaan (with apologies to “Selfiestan” smartphone advert copywriter) https://t.co/Z68yLc6Cuq
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) June 24, 2017
— Sankarshan Thakur (@SankarshanT) June 24, 2017
The above case incidentally seems to have been falsely attributed to beef as other reports suggest that the argument primarily started over seats in a train, and it was not exactly a ‘mob’ but a small group of criminals who are now being tracked by the police.
Another journalist decided to list out the instances of alleged lynchings while conveniently forgetting to mention the incidents like senior Kashmiri cop being lynched because he was suspected to be a non-Muslim, and RSS members being openly killed by left-wing criminals:
Here, updated list of all those who were lynched in India from April onwards. Names/incidents can be verified via a simple Google search. pic.twitter.com/BNx3Rcnklt
— Arnav Das Sharma (@arnav_d) June 25, 2017
The tone of the narrative clearly insinuates that the lynchings have suddenly cropped up in recent months. There is no genuine concern for any law in order problem, before if it was there, these suddenly concerned individuals should have woken up much earlier.
This aspect is backed by a small sample of data that scientist and author Anand Ranganathan came up on Twitter. As it happens, currently Anand is being attacked and abused for sticking to data than narrative.
In a tweet posted yesterday, Anand listed 13 instances of mob lynchings that took place in just one year, which was 2013 when the UPA was in power. The lynchings in 2013 contained instances like:
- Furious Mob burning a railway staff alive
- 2 dying as hundreds fled their homes following Hindu-Muslim clashes
- A mother getting killed by a mob because her daughter refused to stop wearing jeans
- Mob beating a train driver to death after an accident
- Mob burning 200 homes to protest the death of a cleric
This data-set put out by Anand Ranganathan listed out a total 18 deaths in 2013 due to mob lynching. He also stated that he had he had found the data just by doing a rudimentary search. Hence there can very well be more instances, which an in-depth search might reveal.
Essentially, the problem of mob violence, which we have seen more so often thanks to bad policing and fault-lines in our society, is now being branded as some new problem in the “New India”. From selective listing of lynchings where only Muslim victims died (and leaving out two Muslims – an army man and a DSP in Kashmir killed by Islamist mobs) and giving communal spins to the incidents such as those witnessed in Jharkand, it becomes clear that the agenda of those appearing ‘concerned’ is not to save India, but to save their power of pushing a narrative.
This isn’t the only time the narrative being peddled by the media had no backing of facts or data. We had reported how the media had decided to create an outright slanderous “Christians/Churches under attack” campaign, where even a theft by a disgruntled employee of Church was presented as a hate crime.
The journalists have earlier been caught red handed while outright inventing figures to spread an “atrocity against Dalits” narrative. The editor of Telegraph, whose tweet is listed above, was spreading a fictitious data to create caste-based hatred and division. When caught, he claimed that his data was purely “metaphorical”.
A similar trait was witnessed during the “growing intolerance” campaign by the media, which was found a weak narrative when the data was dug up and analysed. Afraid of this trend of data trumping the narrative, a journalist had come up with extraordinary defence claiming that ‘Mahul’ (mood; set by narrative, which they don’t want to lose hold over) was more important than data.
While no one can deny that mob violence is an evidence of administrative failure and weak law enforcement, and that it warrants all the concern, the desperation by these journalists and activists to find a caste or religion angle in every such incident – and deliberately leaving out incidents where the social identify of victims doesn’t suit the narrative – hint at yet another partisan campaign in making. The concerns are fake, the agenda is real.