Murder is no ordinary issue by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (October 29, 2015)

The Dussehra address of the RSS chief is by now an established ritual to which Hindutva votaries look forward with great excitement and expectation. Even common Indians, not affiliated to the Sangh, are interested in it as it shows the Sangh mind and its prospective targets among religious minorities. This year’s address was no different as it subtly hinted at the Sangh’s attitude towards the victims of its myriads of secondary organisations.

Under the NDA government different kinds of attacks on Muslims and Christians have grown tremendously. With the Sangh propaganda against Muslims and Christians at peak, functionaries of Sangh’s affiliate organisations have created havoc. Anti-minorities venom has been spread all over the country and riots have become a common occurrence.

On one hand, over the last 16 months or so, the Sangh has brainwashed Dalits against Muslims and used them in anti-Muslim violence, on the other, Dalit women have been publicly and routinely raped and subjected to violence. The recent murder of Dalit children in Haryana has brought the cruelty against the weak to a new height. The Haryana chief minister, a hardened RSS man, does not think much of the murder. In an extraordinary show of cruelty the children were burnt to death as others were subjected to grotesque violence.

This case of insane barbarity followed in the wake of the Dadri murder, in which a man was killed on the mere suspicion of keeping beef in his fridge. The unlucky man, Akhlaq, in his, 50s, was lynched by a Hindu mob which also attacked his 20-year old son, who had been battling for his life in ICU of a hospital in the national capital for days when we heard the last of him. Preliminary police reports said the animal flesh in his fridge was mutton, not beef. Samples of the flesh were sent by the UP government to a forensic laboratory to determine whether it was beef.

Now, the point is, if it was beef, does the law prescribe death by lynching for keeping or eating beef? If not, who are these Sangh-trained goraksha (cow protection) volunteers to lynch someone? Who are they to take the law in their hands? This year Sangh men created great violence countrywide over this issue against Muslims. Does the law permit it? If not, what has the law done to contain this mischief? The plain answer is: nothing, which shows that it will grow in years ahead.

In his Dussehra address the RSS chief, who heads the family of Hindutva organisations, complained that the media had blown non-issues out of proportion. That forces one to ask, “Is mob justice and lynching an ordinary issue? Is murder a non-issue? Is the public burning of Dalits a day-to-day, petty event? What scale of barbarity will satisfy you and fulfill your criteria for a major issue?

We must keep it in mind that trivialising a heinous crime and anaesthetising people to it is a more serious crime than murder itself. Claiming that a barbaric lynching by a criminal mob, or burning Dalits to death is a non-issue is an attempt at normalising extreme violence against the weak. Once we normalise murder, it will become routine. Even law enforcement agencies will take it as something ordinary which does not need attention, much less protest, not to talk of justice.

By trying to normalise violence against the weak, Shri Mohan Bhagwat has done a great disservice to India.


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