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Hindu lynch mob killing Muslim over 'beef': Is ISIS running India?

Shouldn't we be moving towards a country where the young are liberal and want to create a better life?

 |  3-minute read |   03-10-2015
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Brutal, despicable, horrific. That was his death.

Alas, poor Mohammad Akhlaq.

Surely, after his murder, the malfeasance was clearly visible: not just in the gathered mob which allowed his death, but in the cops who further demeaned his mourning family by checking the meat in the refrigerator.

"Was it mutton or beef?"

One can almost feel the shock.

As though now the death could be justified. As though any of this mattered.

Poor Mohammed Akhlaq.

He was trapped in some sort of bizarre and ghastly game.

Are we becoming like the ISIS-ruled lands where life and death are decided more or less by what you eat, what you wear, what your sexual proclivities are?

The tragedy is, if we go by this incident, it seems that the young actually believe that regulation and monitoring is essential. Any deviation from the norm, and they will use sticks and stones to send a bloody and macabre message.

Also read: Why I cried: Killing in the name of faith must end

How can this be possible? Shouldn't we be moving towards an India where the young are liberal and ambitious and want to create a better life for themselves, with a better environment all around? What sort of despair and hopelessness drives the youth to kill someone over an imaginary piece of steak? And why, for God's sake, why do they not fear the consequences ?

Do these young men, then, have no hopes, or aspirations? Do they see violence as a means through which they can establish a temporary superiority over others? And so, does violence become a means of being noticed, and for enhancing their CV? Will their employment opportunities improve if they can kill for a phantom cause?

Why are they not worried about their careers, their families and their future?

Could they be like those shooters in America who avenge themselves against an unfeeling world, in which they are misfits, and have to settle scores. We see over and over again, in the US especially, that the violence takes place in the hands of a highly disturbed individual. A lone wolf.

But out here, the frequency of mob violence appears to indicate that there is, collectively, a deep cultural and social malaise. Do they like to kill together, just like they like to eat together? What else can you imagine, when neighbours who lived peacefully for decades are prepared to watch one of their own being massacred in public? And often they even participate in the bloodletting.

Also read: Was Dadri 'beef' lynching by Hindu mob to spark another Muzaffarnagar riot?

What sport is this that helpless men and women can be publicly humiliated, and the state offers little more than lip service? Uttar Pradesh definitely needs much stricter and more prompt law enforcement. Instead of spending money on freebies, perhaps the state government should "beef" up (Am I allowed to say that?) their police force numbers and ensure that they are able to react and reach in time.

Alas , poor Mohammed Akhlaq.

How will the neighbours live with the knowledge that through their silence, they also took part in his death? How will others reconcile themselves to the fact that it could be their sons who were the killers?

And worst of all, how will the young men who killed him live with the knowledge that by this horrific act, they have broken the last taboo. For them and their families, now there is no going back.


Kishwar Desai Kishwar Desai @kishwardesai

Author/Columnist, Winner of Costa First Novel Award for Witness the Night. Her 3rd novel The Sea of Innocence is out.

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