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Mob Lynching activism by celebrities: It stems from a lot of narcissism and even more stupidity

Celebrities from the entertainment industry are a special brand of idiots.

Celebrities from the entertainment industry are a special brand of idiots. However, they do have the minimum intellect required to invent new ways to be stupid. They are often talented, very creative but are found lacking in common sense. Anurag Kashyap captures this specific tendency of celebrities beautifully.

On Saturday, Kashyap tweeted that the country needs a law against lynching. According to him, if such a law is passed, lynching will magically cease to occur. This is not a joke. Anurag Kashyap actually tweeted that. And he felt pretty smart about himself while tweeting it too.

It doesn’t require great intellect to realize that laws do not prevent crimes from occurring, they only enable the government to punish specific actions. People don’t stop committing crimes merely because a law has been implemented, that is why we still have criminals in our midst. You cannot legislate away crimes. Anyone with an IQ above 50 knows that. And lynching is already a crime. If it were not, people wouldn’t have been arrested for it.

For Anurag Kashyap, the few seconds it requires to realize this obvious fact is too much time to waste when it could be much more productively spent on a pompous display of self-righteous indignation. His tweet is evidence of the fact that he isn’t concerned with finding viable solutions to the menace of lynching. If he harbored genuine concerns, he would have at least taken an hour out of his busy schedule to ponder upon the matter. And if he had done so, he wouldn’t have sent that asinine tweet.

The tweet also reveals a certain facet of the personality of activist celebrities. Their show of concern has very little to do with actual concern. The entire purpose of the charade is to enable them to feel good about themselves. The solutions they propose would destroy more lives than they would save but they don’t worry about such trivial matters. They want to convince the world of their moral superiority.

Celebrities indulge in activism because they want to show people how virtuous they are. By flaunting their virtues, they seek to bend people against their will. The whole demonstration is an elaborate exercise in capturing power. They want to tell ordinary citizens that they are superior to them in every way. They want to make morally inferior individuals kneel before them. Pesky facts cannot be allowed to get in the way. Kneel and obey, bigot.

When people are concerned about something, they make an effort to gather more information about it. They wish to have a better understanding of the phenomenon. They spend a lot of time studying the matter in great detail. They are a source of credible information on the issue. That is how we know they are interested in something. That celebrities are utterly clueless about the subject of their activism only shows that they are not really concerned about the issue at hand. It’s only activism that they care about. Because it allows depraved individuals to claim moral superiority over others.

Mob lynching is a very complicated matter. It is a manifestation of the darkest aspects of mob violence. There are only two reasons why vigilantism and mob violence occur. Firstly, when the state is unable or unwilling to enforce its laws. And secondly, when the state implements a law that goes against the cultural ethos of the populace it rules over.

In India, most lynchings occur because of the first reason. Even then, there are two broad categories. Cow Vigilantism, as it is so-called, is a consequence of the failure of the state to curb the menace of cattle smuggling. Cattle theft is a huge issue in rural India and the state machinery has failed utterly to curb it. Often, people take matters into their own hands because they believe the state will not punish the perpetrators. And unfortunately, it is often the case. Sometimes, law enforcement is even in cohorts with the smugglers. It is a sad reality.

There are other cases where thieves are lynched to death because citizens believe they will be allowed to escape scot-free by the Police after taking some bribe. Or, they will manage to get bail and walk away without consequences. All of this is a consequence of the state’s inability or unwillingness to enforce its laws.

There is another set of mob violence that can be clubbed under this category. Mob violence also occurs because a particular section of the population has no fear of the law at all. The primary reason for this is because law enforcement treats them with kid gloves due to fear of reprisal from the assorted set of propagandists who would go after them with hammer and tongs. I am, of course, referring to the ‘community crimes‘ committed by the toxic elements of the Muslim community.

For instance, Muslim mobs are known to attack the Police themselves when efforts are made to arrest criminals in their midst. Muslim mobs are known to go on a rampage over trivial matters and imagined horrors. They run riot over Facebook posts, damaging public and private property of people from other communities at will. There have been numerous occasions when Muslim mobs have run riot after their usual Friday prayers motivated largely by religious bigotry. In many cases, such incidents have resulted in the deaths of individuals.

When esteemed celebrities, like Anurag Kashyap, who want the world to acknowledge their moral superiority speak of a new law against lynching, they mean that a law ought to be implemented against mob violence of the first category, not the latter. They go to extraordinary lengths to avoid speaking of the latter.

Their intellect is so hollow that they wish to a new law only against lynching, they do not demand a new law against mob violence in general. Why should a new law focus only on lynching when mob violence in recent times has been as bad if not worse? For the great love of God, they do not bother explaining such things.

Ostensibly, Cow vigilantism is not specifically a hate crime as the motivations for it is not religious bigotry. It is a brand of vigilantism that is motivated by the theft they have suffered or the fear of it. ‘Community crimes’, however, are nearly always motivated by religious bigotry. Despite reality staring at them in their eyes, esteemed celebrities brand the former a hate crime while ignoring actual hate crimes that are committed.

When celebrities say they want a law against mob violence, they do not mean that they want a law that enables the Police to go to any extent necessary to arrest criminals despite opposition by locals, no matter how many people are injured in the process. When they say they want a new law, celebrities do not mean that they want a law that enables the Police to use any amount of force required to control an unruly mob, even pellet guns or actual bullets if necessary. When they say they want a new law, they do not mean that the Police should be given more power and more liberty to deal with unruly mobs. Oh no, if the Police does that, celebrities will be screaming Police brutality.

They do not want an actual solution to the phenomenon of mob violence. They only want to feel good about themselves. Therefore, their activism focuses entirely on a matter that’s already dealt with by existing provisions in the Indian Penal Code. When someone is lynched, the Police makes an effort to arrest the perpetrators. Cases are filed against them and they are tried in courts after their arrest. That is how our system functions, at least theoretically. A new law will not change anything.

The idea of a new law against lynching isn’t Anurag Kashyap’s brainchild. He doesn’t care enough about the matter to come up with it. He has probably picked up the idea from Tehseen Poonwaala who came up with a proposed law called MASUKA along with his comrades. The name sounds horribly like ‘Mashuka’ (lover). The MASUKA does resemble a Mashuka you had a bad break-up with. The MASUKA is only another version of the anti-Hindu Communal Violence Bill with a cuter name.

It also explains why Anurag Kashyap and his coterie of celebrities do not demand a new law against mob violence in general. They only know about the matter as much as they have read and heard about it from Poonawaala, they haven’t thought about it. So how can they talk about something which Poonawaala hasn’t?

Poonawaala has political interests, therefore, he is playing to the gallery. Celebrities are too stupid and self-centered to understand that. They only know that they are in the same camp. Therefore, they buy whatever liberal politicians are selling. It also explains why celebrities around the world are going a bit crazy.

They are engaging in political partisanship by indulging in political battles. Therefore, inevitably they end up making one faction terribly angry. When they realize they are receiving a lot of hate for their opinions, they do not understand why, partly because they are stupid and partly because they are too self-centered.

In their eyes, they have followed the textbook to the T. They have taken the high ground on a matter of great import. They have raised their voice against the ruling dispensation, they have preached vocally for a solution they claim they have already found, they are fighting for the masses, powerless and the downtrodden. And yet, they are receiving so much hate. They are doing the right thing and exactly how the textbook said they should be doing it, shouldn’t the world be falling at their feet already? It should, that’s what the textbook said. But that doesn’t appear to be happening. Instead, people are enraged with their conduct. Why?

When ordinary citizens look at the mirror, they see a slightly improved version of themselves or sometimes, slightly worse. When such esteemed celebrities look at the mirror, they see a Knight of yore, cloaked in regal garb with a sword dangling by their waist complete with a cape billowing in the air and shining white armour. They cannot find a fault with themselves if someone held a gun to their head. Therefore, they come to the obvious conclusion. It’s their critics who are evil. They are morally superior and everyone who criticizes them does so because they are inferior to them in every aspect.

Esteemed celebrities indulge in activism only because they are fully aware that they will not have to suffer the consequences of their actions. They are sowing the seeds, sure, but they are not going to eat the fruits. Someone else will, someone they have never met or couldn’t care less about. If celebrities had to suffer consequences for their actions, we will definitely see a decline in stupid celebrity activism.

Currently, they are only reaping the benefits of it. They get to feel good about themselves, they get to live in a make-believe world where they are morally superior to everyone else and the entire charade is a massive exercise in ego-inflation. If they were to suffer consequences for their actions, the bubble they are living in will burst and they will come crashing down to reality.

The same goes for politicians. They are advocating for a new law because they are fully aware that laws are for puny mortals. Politicians are beyond such trivialities. If our ruling class had to suffer consequences for the policies they advocate, they will surely be a lot more responsible they are now. The utter lack of accountability has led to a situation where risk widening deep fissures within our country for the sake of political gains.

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K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

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