June 27, 2017

India: Lynch mobs threaten this nation’s future (Edit., Economic Times)


Lynch mobs threaten this nation’s future

June 26, 2017, 11:04 pm IST 
Lynch mobs have come to threaten not just lone lives but the vitality of the nation itself. This cannot continue and the trend must be put down. Political leaders must make it absolutely clear that they themselves and the governments they lead will not tolerate mob frenzy whipped up in whatever name, and that they put the unity of the people, social peace, law and order above all other considerations. Failure to discharge this duty would vitiate the conditions required for society to function and the economy to prosper.

Last Saturday, a mob harassed four Muslim youths, all siblings, travelling on a train from Delhi to Mathura after a bit of Eid shopping, yanked off their skull caps, called them beef-eaters and anti-nationals and assaulted them with knives, resulting in the death of one and the hospitalisation of the rest.
Their village in Haryana observed Eid wearing black arm bands. A major Muslim organisation has cancelled its scheduled Eid gathering to which high-ranking members of the government had been invited. Meanwhile, in West Bengal, three youths were beaten to death on the suspicion they were involved in smuggling cattle to Bangladesh. These events follow in the wake of a series of violent attacks by armed mobs on people suspected of storing beef or transporting cattle for slaughter.
Many Indians worship the cow and abhor the thought of eating its meat. Yet many other Indians do not, including a great many Hindus. Imposing one’s own dietary preferences on others, on pain of death, violates individual liberties and democratic rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Systematic violation of such rights to target minorities would lead to schism and violence, damaging India’s multicultural tradition and robbing it of the fruits of economic reform.