Lynching is the sad reality of India today. The country lately witnessed an unexpected surge in deadly mob attacks on couples, beef-eaters, cattle traders, and dairy farmers in the last couple of months. It started after a few states imposed a ban on illegal cattle trading this year.
Local Hindu groups allegedly lined the streets and attacked ‘innocent’ suspects, in a bid to control cattle smuggling. It resulted in the death of dairy farmer Pahlu Khan in Alwar, Rajasthan. It’s surprising that the crowd didn’t just attack innocent commoners, but also the police, the death of on-duty officer Mohammed Ayub Pandith being a fresh example of this case!
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning mob attacks on Muslims, the violence continued to rise. Falling into the footsteps of the PM, the chief minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje, took it upon herself to change the ‘unruly’ mob mentality. Expressing concern on this alarming situation, the CM sent a strong message to readers, commoners, self-styled leaders and the opposition. A blog post by the chief minister strongly quoted, “Mob violence is unacceptable: The notion that anybody or any political party supports lynchings is prejudice.”
Referring to some cases in Rajasthan, the CM explained 3 major considerations in the case of mob violence: story vs. data, allegation vs. conviction and group prejudice vs. individual motivation. These factors must be considered when reporting such incidents to the public.
She did a sincere job, putting ‘paid media reporters’ into their place. Recently, the media has developed a habit of glamorizing incidents for the sake of publicity. This practice needs to be stopped! Allegations are not necessarily convictions, and one needs to remember it! Unless the police collect evidence, presents it to the court, and the court pronounces its verdict, neither the media nor the public has the right to pass their own judgment.
The CM defended her political ideologies, saying that neither her party nor other the state heads condone violence. As the elected representatives of the state, she put in sincere efforts to prevent such incidents. The public aspires to live in a crime-free society, but the reality is totally different from aspirations. While the law makers and police can’t eradicate crimes from the society, they would do everything in power to control it. Public support is needed to accomplish this aim!