At The Root Of All Lynchings
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-11

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Pehlu Khan, a Muslim, was lynched by Hindu criminals, professing to be cow vigilantes. The incident fills one with grief and anger. Around the same time, Farook, a Muslim atheist in Coimbatore, was lynched by Muslim criminals, claiming to be true believers.

Search deeper and you will find the case of a Hindu doctor lynched by a mainly Muslim mob, over a cricket dispute. Hindu rail passengers lynched a Muslim youth, in what began as a dispute over seats. A Dalit man was beaten brutally and nearly killed by a Muslim mob because his son fell in love with a Muslim girl. There was a case of tribal vigilantes, lynching both Hindus and Muslims because they suspected them of being child traffickers. And this is only in the recent past.

All these cases are horrifying. And all of them reveal patterns. But sadly, many in the public debate space only find patterns which validate their biases. Therefore, many leftists cherry-pick cases where the criminals are Hindu upper castes, and the victims Muslims or Dalits; and then build a narrative of recent Hindu majoritarianism ripping India apart. Events involving cows get particular attention; with a byline that Hindus value cows more than humans.

The right-wing likes to pick cases where the criminals are Muslim, and the victims can be anyone else (Hindu upper castes, Hindu Dalits, Muslim atheists, etc), and then build a narrative of Muslims being inherently violent. Some have even given a communal colour to the horrific Delhi gang rape case, since the victim was Hindu, all the rapists caught and punished with the death penalty were Hindu, but the juvenile who got away was a Muslim.

Interestingly, when both Hindus and Muslims are victims, the events are usually ignored. When other animals, besides cows, are involved (lynchings happen over goats as well; crimes involving animals form a significant portion of property crimes in rural India), it does not excite interest.

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