Man hacked and burnt alive in Rajsamand will haunt India forever

This silence is screaming. Listen and act, before it's too late.

 |  3-minute read |   08-12-2017
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The prime minister is hurt because an Opposition leader has used an offensive word — "neech" — to refer to him. The main Opposition party — the Congress — on the other hand is hurt because its leader has used language which is not acceptable to the party. The channels and prime time show anchors are hurt because the dignity of the PM has been compromised. And this business of being hurt murders morality and humanity.

Silence is the new scream; the scream of the insensitivity. A man was burnt alive — the horror filmed on camera — on the roads of the same state which has, for the last few weeks, been crying over a film director's supposed insult to Padmavati, an epic queen.

However, no one felt ashamed when the coined words of religious fundamentalism became the language of justification for a murder in broad daylight in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand.

Who is the killer? We have seen him on many occasions and ignored him each time, as we still do — in our minds, we think this is not going to happen to us. We find it unnecessary to think, worry, intervene and stop him.

jihad-man_647_120717_120817092515.jpgWe saw him when he lynched milk vendors; we portrayed him as a cow vigilante. We saw him when he stripped Dalits in public and beat them up brutally.

We saw him when he was part of a mob attacking the vehicles of daily commuters in the name of “Shiv Kanwad”. We saw him when he lynched milk vendors; we portrayed him as a cow vigilante. We saw him when he stripped Dalits in public and beat them up brutally. We often saw him as a biker roving about without the helmet, molesting women on the street, holding the tricolour in his hands.

We have, very clearly, seen him on a train when he stopped few young boys returning after their Eid shopping. They were attacked and killed because they didn’t belong to the religious identity their murderers favoured. And yes, we also saw this man killing another who was accused of eating the unacceptable.

The way we are nursing violence — in the name of an ideological and religious war — for survival is really very alarming. This is worse than a riot. The riot is a planned and controlled attempt by a group of people who find their soldiers in the common crowd. Not all those who participate in riots benefit from it — they haven’t planned and orchestrated them. The toxic smoke of emotion and belief makes this majority — the mob — blind.

Crimes of cow vigilantes and the latest horror at Rajsamand in the name of love jihad are far more dangerous than riots. They are more dangerous because they are created by a group or ideology which is not directly involved in their execution and thus there is no shared responsibility of the violence.

They are more dangerous because they could happen anywhere and at any point of time; unlike riots, they are not limited to any area or constrained by time.

They are more dangerous because, here, a criminal finds reason and rhyme to justify well-planned violence. This provokes more crime and opens the forum for those who are trying to hide their violence.

They are more dangerous because they narrow the scope of voices against such violence. The justifications for the violence instil fear in those who suffer and those who find it inappropriate.

This is more dangerous because these types of trends are not easy to reverse. Especially, when we — as a nation — don’t have any strong and independent institutions to fight and defend our basic social fabric and constitutional scope.

These blood-curdling mobs are using the symbols of majority and nationality to wash their sins. The shields of Hinduism and nationalism have been used to defend the violence. And, vested interests alone matter. The society at large is at loss.

The incident of Rajsamand is very serious. More serious is the silence; the silence of the people, the silence of politicians and governments. This silence is screaming. The alarms are loud enough.

Listen, before it’s too late.

Also read: Video of Muslim man hacked and burnt alive in Rajasthan is an obnoxious Hindutva reality


Panini Anand Panini Anand @paninianand

The writer is Editor,

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