Fatal blow to the idea of India
Just a feeling of pain or sadness would not do. Mere verbal expression of such personal emotion by Narendra Modi will not alter the situation a bit for the better. Since 2014, this menace of lynching absolute innocent individuals in the name of "Gomata" is going on in various parts of India(specially in BJP-ruled/influenced states) at atrociously regular intervals, many of the victims meeting their gory death as well. Far from decrease of the menace, it is increasing at cancerous pace. Previously such lynching was based on "protection of cow"; but since a month it has attained another new dimension also with "nationalism" of the hapless ones being tested through the acceptance/refusal of slogans like "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" "Jai Shri Ram" "Jai Hanuman"! Even an alleged thief will have to utter those Hindutva slogans! Else meet the fate of Tabrez Ansari!
In this highly vitiated cruel violent perspective, can mere expression of "sadness" or "pain" be enough!
Why won't the "baritone" be used to sternly warn the criminals that such lynching in the name of "Gomata" "nationalism" or Hindutva would not be tolerated! Why aren't the concerned authorities specially Chief Ministers of the concerned states directed to promptly nab the culprits and take necessary steps to award exemplary punishment to them so that the "cow-worshippers" and "nationalists" do not dare to take law in their hands in future!
Advisories and warnings are being delivered at the drop of a hat to West Bengal if a political killing takes place! Central and BJP teams are being despatched instantly! Allegations of "collapse of law and order in Bengal" are being hurled liberally with shameless hint of imposition of President's Rule in the state! But when series of lynching with blatant communal tones plague Haryana to Uttar Pradesh to Jharkgand to Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh to Assam to many other parts of the country; Centre does not ask for any sort of report from the concerned states! What a shameless specimen of double standards and launch of political vendetta against West Bengal!
Also we are all aware that neither Communist ideology nor that of Congress/TMC are at play here in case of lynching! Rather it is saffron ideology which is displaying it's worst muscular colours. So isn't it high time that fellow saffronites are directly asked to mend their ways and stop lynching fellow citizens whose human rights in Indian soil are not an iota lesser than any self-declared pious Hindu!
As far as Narendra Modi's advice of "not putting entire Jharkhand in the dock" or not calling the state an "adda of lynch mobs"; may I humbly ask then by which gem of logic, can the entire state of West Bengal be put in the dock for stray political killings here and there! May I know why during polling phase, the whole state of Bengal had been dubbed as "land of miscreants looters infiltrators terrorists and traffickers" by the Who's Who of BJP including Narendra Modi! Do there exist separate yardsticks for evaluation --- one for TMC/Bengal and another for BJP/Rest of India! Modi feels very very pained and get sentimentally hurt when failures and scandals in his own state Gujarat or BJP-led states like Jharkhand get protested; but if slightest opportunity comes to denigrate opposition parties or Bengal, his ferocious comments are heard to be believed! Yes all sentiments form the monopoly of BJP and Gujaratis only, but no such luck for Bengalis or supporters of TMC/Congress!
And attempt to treat all kinds of violence, registered in Jharkhand Bengal or Kerala, as "equal" is again another attempt to divert the attention of media public and international community from the menace of lynching based on crude communal angle. Political violence is a pan-India phenomenon going on since decades. It is nothing but a law and order problem which get flared up during drastic change in political equation and subside thereafter. But lynching in the name of "Gomata" "nationalism" "Jai Shri Ram" is an absolutely new concept(after the advent of "Good Days"!) and nothing but a cold-blooded violent attempt to show particular religious communities their "entitled place" in this land of all as guaranteed by the Constitution. So lynching is not only a grave assault on the idea of India, it also serves as a fatal blow to the ethics of Constitution with a direct bearing on the communal harmony and future of the country as well. Trying to equalise political killings and communal ones is akin to comparing chalk with cheese!
The writer is based in Kolkata