Credit for the image goes to Reuters.
Over the last six years under Narendra Modi led BJP government, there has been a constant narrative of “India being intolerant” painted by a lobby of intellectuals, known as Left-Liberals, based on the issue of lynching cases.
Lynching is definitely a serious issue but despite all the limelight this issue gets in the media and the national discourse, this inhuman problem still continues. To tackle the problem, definite ways are needed. Only framing laws will not do. However, it is the unnecessary politicisation of the issue that comes in the way. When a burning issue like lynching is politicised in this way, the focus shifts from uprooting the problem to gaining profit and loss in political terms.
Everytime a lynching happens whole the blame is passed on to the shoulders of BJP. Not to deny that cases of lynchings happened in BJP ruled states. So, obviously being the ruling party, the saffron party has to only blame itself. At the same time it is also true that in the last six years, these horrific lynching cases had taken place in states ruled by opposition parties like Congress, CPM, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashta Samiti etc.
Actually, the political parties, more or less, have failed to control lynchings in the states where they are (were) in power. But according to the Left-Liberals, BJP must share the whole blame — including the failures of the opposition controlled states. As a result, particularly lynchings of BJP controlled states get limelight while cases of opposition controlled states often don’t get the limelight they deserve.
If this politicisation isn’t enough, there is the addition of the religious angle to the cases of lynchings. Not to deny that there have been some killings due to religious divisions where victims not only belong to Muslim community but also to the Hindu community. But, the outrage is often limited for only Muslim victims.
The lynching cases happen in the country mostly due to rumours of entering of child traffickers or cow smugglers in those areas. The victim list not only includes Muslims but also the Hindus — from upper castes to OBCs to Dalits. In many cases, religion isn’t a factor. Nevertheless, this section of intellectuals over the last years have communalised these incidents by picking up only the cases where the Muslims are victims and building up a half truth narrative that “lynchings are done specifically to target the Muslims”.
But when the victim turns out to be a Hindu, either the issue isn’t raised or even before the result of investigation is out, these Left-Liberal intellectuals quickly declare that there is no religious angle. Although, when the victims are non-Hindu, the cases are quickly given a religious spin — even before the start of any investigation! Same with the case of caste issues. In many cases, the culprits belong to the same caste of the victim but here too, the Left-Liberals will only highlight those cases were the victim belongs to Dalit caste. This only creates an illusion that only Dalits are the victims of lynching in caste lines while members of other castes aren’t. This only creates more division in the society — thus keeping the caste system alive, so that it can be exploited repeatedly in the name of intellectualism.
Things are very simple. Once you start bringing the angle of religion in every case related to lynchings where it is not even involved, it will always come up — as religion is deeply weaved among the minds of Indians. Same goes with the caste angle. Basically, once the genie is out of the bottle, it becomes difficult to put it back. This only vitiates the social harmony extraneously. Every community of India has its own problems. All these issues must be addressed. But peddling politically motivated narratives by exploiting their wounds instead draw more dividing lines among different communities living in the society.
India has been a pluralistic society for the last thousand years where people belonging to different ethnic, caste and religious groups do live together. Also, it can’t be denied that some centuries old schisms do exist among various communities in parts of India. But, these issues get complicated when these Left-Liberals outrage selectively and systematically build a narrative to imply that all these problems began after May, 2014 — “only to target the Muslims and Dalits”. However, the facts say that lynching isn’t limited to a particular community. Intellectualism is not to further deepen the already dividing lines of the society but to find out ways to build bridges among the different sections to reduce the existing schisms. That’s why this section of intellectuals should avoid needless coloring of the lynching cases through lens of politics, caste and religion. This only weakens the fight against the cause.
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