Prime Minister NarendraModi has again sounded political while condemning the incidents of lynching by street mobs across the country. On Saturday in an interview to the news agency ANI, Prime Minister said, “Even a single incident is one too many and deeply unfortunate. Everyone should rise above politics to ensure peace and unity in our society. My party and I have spoken in clear words, on multiple occasions against such actions and such a mindset. It is all on record.” In every sense of term, the prime minister has made a general statement and it lacks the promptness and force that such criminal acts demanded. The language is that of a remotely concerned person making general observations.
Modi has condemned lynching earlier too by terming the lynch mob as anti social activists. But this had no effect on ground. It is by and large a moral position NarendraModi is taking. It, in no sense, is a binding on lynch mobs to listen to. One needed to remind NarendraModi that he is the Prime Minister of the country, not a moral preacher. Lynching is a heinous crime in every sense of term and it needs to be curbed by the strict use of law. There are laws in the country that can deal with such criminals effectively. What is needed is to pull up the law enforcing agencies and police, who in these cases turn not only as onlookers but in certain cases collaborators.
The gruesome killing of Rakbar Khan in Alwar district of Rajasthan is a case in point. It was a murder committed in style. The mob started it and police finished it. His attackers, as they do in most epidemics of lynching that have created a new band of terrorists, accused him of being a cow smuggler. As these terrorists, who in the name of cow protection are ruling the streets, were beating him with bamboo sticks and iron rods, police watched as mute spectator. The mob leaves him near-dead. The police instead of shifting him to hospital first took the cow to a shelter, washed down the battered Khan, took him to police station, stopped to have a leisurely cup of tea and three hours later take him to hospital only to be declared brought dead. One of the ring leaders of the cow terrorists revealed that police too beat him in the police station.
There are no two opinions about the fact that lynching of Muslims has official patronage. The BJP, which is ruling at the centre and in 22 states of India, is using it political card to consolidate the support of Hindu majority. That the lynching has the patronage of the state and the ruling BJP can be understood from the fact that a minister in NarendraModi’s governmentJayant Sinha garlanded and feted eight men convicted in the Ramgarh lynching case in Jharkhand after they were released on bail last month. The life sentences handed to the eight men, including a BJP functionary, was suspended by the high court and they walked out of the Jai Prakash Narain Central Jail and headed straight to the residence of Sinha, where the minister garlanded them. The convicts were led by local BJP leader AmardeepYadav, who is also the OBC Morcha president of the party.
The message is clear that cows are more valuable for them than Muslims. In fact cows too don’t matter for them. It helps them in its default mode of polarization, and of tapping the majoritarian project ahead of general election scheduled in March next year. That makes the case more worrying. The lynching is unlikely to stop in immediate future as the state looks away. It is the only bet for the BJP to make elections Hindus Vs Muslims. If the Prime Minister really feels for the incidents of lynching, in the first place he should reprimand his party leaders and governments who glamourize the killers and thereby encourage them to carry on their criminal acts. He should issue clear-cut instructions to all the state governments and agencies dealing with law and order to come heavy on these street criminals. Taking just a moral position on such crimes amounted to tactical approval.