On 17 July the supreme court of India condemned the epidemic of mob lynching in India, and asked the Indian parliament to draft legislation that would stop people from taking the law into their own hands. But as the lynching continues unabatedly and with impunity, it appears that the people in power have little respect for the highest seat of justice in the country. Only last week, a 28-year old Muslim youth Rakbar Khan was lynched to death by a Hindu extremist mob in Rajasthan’s Alwar district. It was a murder committed in style. The Hindu 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 the Hindu 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 lynch has the patronage of the state and the ruling BJP can be understood from the fact that a minister in Narendra Modi’s government Jayant 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 Amardeep Yadav, 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.
In UP assembly elections, last year, BJP effectively disenfranchised Muslims by not giving a single ticket to a candidate in a state where Muslims form 20 percent of the population. Amit Shah is repeating the same model in 2019 general elections too. As the elections approach, The BJP strategists are flexing majoritarian muscles. It may benefit BJP electorally but India, as a state and nation, is losing its face in the eyes of international community. It is now being looked at as a country that has descended to medieval madness in targeting Muslims in particular and Dalits in general. A report released by US Commission for International Religious Freedom that monitors violation of religious freedom abroad, some months back had stunning revelations about religious persecution in India. The report had recommended the US Government to put religious freedom and human rights at the heart of all trade, aid, and diplomatic interactions with India.