Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Intolerance Related Lynching in India: Role of BJP Government At The Centre

One of the major allegations against the BJP and the BJP led government in India is its insensitiveness and apparent non-action against numerous incidents of mob lynching – be it because of cow vigilantism, communal or caste hatred, or rumours of child-lifting, etc, ever since it assumed power at the Centre.  Analysts and experts claim that these are results of an environment of gross intolerance prevailing in the country over the last few years. 

According to data presented by the Union Home Ministry to the Lok Sabha on lynching incidents reported in the country, between 2014 and 3 March, 2018, there were 40 cases of mob lynching in 9 states of the country which resulted in the death of 45 people. At least 217 people were arrested in those cases. These are data however did not differentiate the motive of the incidents which would have been related to cow vigilantism, communal or caste hatred, or rumours of child-lifting, etc.

According to IndiaSpend, a data journalism initiative in Indi, that makes use of open data for analyzing a range of issues with the broader objective of fostering better governance, transparency and accountability in the Indian government, between 2010 and 2017, 52 per cent Muslims were victims of incidents of mob lynching around issues related to cows and those incidents led to the death of 80 per cent of the 25 deaths in 60 incidents of lynching throughout the country. This calculation was made on the basis of content analysis of the English media in India.

Reports further stated that almost all of the lynching related to cows took place after May 2014 when the BNJP government came to power in eth country. Additionally, more than half the cow-related lynching –30 of 60 incidents, took place in states governed by the BJP. 

It was not until July this year that the Rajya Sabha was informed by Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked the state governments to take strong action against cow vigilantes involved in violent incidents. 

The BJP had always put the onus on the state governments because law and order is a state subject.  According to the written statement read out by Mr Ahir in the Rajya Sabha, “'police' and 'public order' are state subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and state governments are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and for prosecuting the criminals through their law enforcement agencies.”

In an earlier statement in March of 2018 by Mr Ahir in the upper house of parliament, the government official accepted that no data is maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) with relation to lynching incident in the country. NCRB is the national level data collector for all incidents of crime that take place in the country. According to many experts, this also illustrates the apparent lack of interest in the current BJP government at the centre to tackle lynching related to intolerance – be it related to cow vigilante, communal or caste hatred, or rumours of child-lifting.  
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Item Reviewed: Intolerance Related Lynching in India: Role of BJP Government At The Centre Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Farhan Rasheed
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