TODAY -

Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy

Sira Kharay *



"Ole, ole! (thief, thief!) is all that needs to be shouted in Nigeria before large crowds gather to beat, and often burn, the accused to death."

Modi's adversarial idea of "India" seems rapidly turning into a form of "ochlocracy", a mob rule. Mob vigilantism and lynch-mob-justice behaviour have become a new approved pattern of majoritarian social control.

The lynching of two youths in Assam's Karbi Anglong and another two in Maharashtra's Aurangabad is a clear depiction of this emerging social pattern. Data suggests that mob vigilantism and lynching are on the rise at 97% since Modi came to power.

The news has sparked a national outrage for the first time. The condemnation is loud and clear. The debate is still raging accross the web of social media. A friend of one of the victims of Assam's Karbi Anglong lynching tweets, "I have lost faith in humanity". Some went to the racist extent of equating it with a characteristic of the "junglee".

Mob lynching is not a characteristic of tribal society. It is lawless. But it is not manufactured at Karbi Anglong. It is traceable to the biblical Mosaic era of the Old Testament. It was prevalent in the Americas. It is still prevalent in Nigeria and now in Modi's credal idea of India.

From "ghar wabsi" to "cow vigilantism" of the Sangh, the highest number of such cases is being reported in India's Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

"Crowds are attractive because of their egalitarian promise. The mob is a form of utopia. Justice arrives now, to right what has for too long been wrong with the world", argued Teju Cole.

Every mob lynching typically involves a tacit social approval. It operates only in a social prejudice. The victim is first conceived as a disposable "human misfit" through acceptable social labeling and the ensuing violence is thereby invoked by projecting the victim as an antagonist "outsider". The social psychology involved in actuating such mob neurosis is always thus pathological, dehumanising and prejudicial.

Modi's basest brand of Hindu nationalism based on the antagonistic idea of defining what is not "Hindu" as "foreign" is already destroying "India". In this theocratic attempt at redefining "India" within the creed of extreme Hinduism, hate and mad rhetoricism have become the approved political discourse of the day.

Sadly, the ruling dispensation has rejected the plea for an anti-lynching legislation. Whereas, it has forgotten that the existing law has too many technical loopholes in dealing with the pattern of mob lynching and almost all such cases ended up in acquital.

In the end, the investiture of power of maintaining rule of law in the state has miserably failed. The police are corrupt. The judiciary is slow and archaic. Citizens have lost faith in the certainty of justice.

In England, a magistrate's court normally takes 149 days to complete a case and in its Furness and Cumbria, the average is typically just 37 days. In America, the average duration of a civil case is just about a year. Whereas, in India, it normally takes 5 to 10 years to decide a case.

Lynch mob is a social terrorism, it is worst than murder - it is a crime against humanity. It deserves the sternest punishment of all irrespective of the motive behind. To put an end to this menace, the whole system of jurisprudence needs an urgent overhaul.


* Sira Kharay wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an Advocate based at New Delhi and can be contacted at sirakharaypeh(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on June 12, 2018.


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