Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The dangers of mob lynching and cattle politics

... It is perhaps the time we should call Selim (the old man exhales, expressing a grief)
... Cant we make her stay a little longer? - his wife asks
... No, lets not prolong her suffering, Salim will take care of her, she cant even move! - the man replies
... but, look the way she is looking at us! - the wife continues
... yes, she is looking for mercy, her legs will start rotting soon, lets call Selim - the old man says and a stream of tears starts flowing through his eyes..

Selim comes with two of his associates

... what happened to kalapahar? She was quite fit and fine, Ashu da! - Selim asks to the old man
... Yes, Selim, she is old and you know we cannot let her die like this, you please take her - the old man cries!

Selim inspects Kalapahar, touches her head, neck and ears with tenderness, and shakes his head

The old man's wife brings some vermillion and oil to worship Kalapahar for the very last time. Selim pays his respect too. Salim's assistants do the same. The old man, his wife and many kids, including kaleidoscope pay their respect, gently touches its head and neck. Finally,  Selim and his associates takes away Kalapar to 'help' her cross the boundary of life and death.

Yes, Kalapahar was a black cow which Kaleidoscope has seen when it was in its full youth. Kaleidoscope has attempted to steal its milk along with his brothers. Has been kicked by the youthful cow and then finally watched her to be taken away by Selim.

Kaleidoscope didn't know Selim is a Muslim name. He used to call him Selim kaku and not Selim Chacha. Kaleidoscope also didn't know that one of Selim's associates was a Dom - a dalit and outcaste.

It was and Kaleidoscope still hopes is a standard and regular practice in many part of the rural Bengal. A practice which needs to be abolished for the construction of a Hindu Rashtra.

The dangerous idea of Hindu Rashtra and Gawraksha:

Lets have some statistics through one of the reliable sources:

Cow related violence in India
Victims of cow related attacks

Apart from these clear data, predictably about half of the cases are coming from BJP ruled states and about 124 people are injured (click here).

Although it does not matter, lynching is lynching, killing is killing, but it is nevertheless important to note two qualitative parameters of many of the incidents: first, a substantive number of incidents have taken place based on rumors, and second, in most of the cases such incidents have been recorded and then the videos have gone viral. Yes, Kaleidoscope is serious. He lives in a society which shares such videos of violence against people of different faith and belief systems.

Yes, Kaleidoscope hates it to report that his society is dangerously close towards a catastrophe. Such viral videos are symptomatic, killing based on rumors are indicative. The issue becomes prominent with the murder of Junaid by mob in train. A ray of hope is #NotInMyName. An urban social media based movement that actually have been successful to compel the Prime Minister to comment on the issue.

However, since there is a need for the use of symbolic means to initiate the idea of Hindu Rashtra, PM didn't say cow protection is not needed! He only said killing or taking law in one's own hand in the name of cow protection is not acceptable.

Hence the vigilance and attacks continues.

In an all party meet with Parliamentary sessions expected to be halted by the issues of Cow vigilantism PM says: "Cow vigilantism shouldn't be given a political or communal colour."

Kaleidoscope like others doesn't know how not to associate the idea of Hindu Rashtra - saffronization, BJP and its wings with cow vigilance!

He can only hope that in rural hinterland the conversations of Selim and the old man is continuing even though there are a thousand attempts of creating walls between them!