Mob Lynching - Social, Political or Psychological?
As the world advances to colonize Mars, the denizens of Earth are still not free from the psychological wiring of killing the ancestors possessed. The forests have been replaced by concrete roads, yet a singular threat to public sentiments miraculously sends a mob into a frenzy of brutal dehumanised elimination of outnumbered “suspects”. Mob lynching is on the rise in an India which is ironically moving towards digitalisation. Such incidents have had a more than 4.5 fold rise since last year. Thirty three people have been killed between the time period of January, 2017 and July, 2018 according to FIRSTPOST. Moreover, around ninety nine have been injured and over sixty nine cases have been reported. Out of these sixty nine cases, 77 percent have been revealed to be cases of false rumours. It is interesting to note that digitalisation has achieved to serve as a catalyst for such events through social media platforms like Whatsapp and facebook where rapid spread of rumours are prevalent.
The corner most nooks of India have faced such incidents including the states of Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The victims are often falsely accused of being child-lifters. Illiteracy gives such false accusations a boost. Threatened, the villagers don’t hesitate to eliminate the imminent “dangers”.
Superstitious belief system, clashing of identities, the excruciatingly slow process of the Indian judiciary system and the mass population which very well outnumbers the law enforcers make India an ideal ground for these heinous acts. The different ethnic, religious and political demands and sentiments of the people are used cleverly by the leaders of different organisations who ignite the ignorant folks to mercilessly kill the suspects. The repercussions are unfortunately faced by the closed ones of these “child-lifters” and not by the mass killers.
It is interesting to note that psychological aspects intricately intertwine with these socio-political ones. The cognitive thought process of the mob allow them to dissociate themselves from the suspect and eliminate her/him as a threat. These instincts are deep seated and it is unsettling how quickly an event bring them to the surface where an average Tom, Dick and Harry can relish in the torture and killing of a fellow human being without remorse. The different political and ethnic identity and ideology only add fuel to it.
Thus, to tackle such a grave issue, analysis must be done at the roots. Merely policing social media platforms will not lead to long term results. For they only are one of the means to the event, a mere tool to propagate mob lynching and not the cause. The whole focus on Whatsapp as the main culprit is again an age old media trick to cause a divergence from the main causes and effects. It is time we all wake up from the world of hyper stimulation created by mainstream media and escape the matrix to seek the real truth. Let us be a part in the change and not mere wishers and spectators. It is time we, the masses, become sensitised towards crimes such as mob-lynching and also demand stronger enforcements against the perpetuators.