‘PM re­marks on mob vi­o­lence lack con­vic­tion’

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Front Page - Manoj Ahuja manoj.ahuja@hin­dus­tan­times.com

PO­LIT­I­CAL PAT­TERN Rights ac­tivists Harsh Man­der says po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship has cre­ated cli­mate for hate vi­o­lence

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has the author­ity to con­trol mob vi­o­lence, but mak­ing gen­eral state­ments once ev­ery few months does not carry con­vic­tion, said ac­tivist Harsh Man­der.

He was talk­ing to HT on the side­lines of a press con­fer­ence here to mark the ar­rival of ‘Kar­wan-e-Mo­hab­bat’ (jour­ney of love) in Jaipur. Civil so­ci­ety mem­bers and hu­man rights ac­tivists have em­barked on a na­tion­wide jour­ney to ex­press sol­i­dar­ity with vic­tims of mob lynch­ing.

So-called cow pro­tec­tors have tar­geted cat­tle and meat traders -- vi­o­lence that has killed sev­eral peo­ple. On April 1, Pehlu Khan was beaten up by a mob near Al­war when he was trans­port­ing cows for his dairy farm; he died af­ter two days of the at­tack.

“We can ac­cuse our prime min­is­ter of many things but we can’t ac­cuse him of weak­ness. If he re­ally is con­vinced that this kind of mob vi­o­lence is wrong, he has the author­ity and he has the com­pe­tence to con­trol it,” Man­der said.

“Just mak­ing a gen­eral state­ment once in six months while all your of­fi­cial col­leagues – union min­is­ters, MPs, MLAs, and (state) home min­is­ters on the floor of the House – con­tinue to jus­tify and sup­port mob vi­o­lence and po­lice con­tinue to act in par­ti­san way, car­ries no con­vic­tion that the gov­ern­ment ac­tu­ally is op­posed to this vi­o­lence.”

Man­der said In­dia Spend sur­vey of re­ported cases of lynch­ing post 2010 re­vealed that 97% of them hap­pened af­ter Modi’s gov­ern­ment came to power, and 86% peo­ple killed were Mus­lims and 8% Dal­its.

“We are see­ing a pat­tern where po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship has cre­ated a per­mis­sive cli­mate for hate vi­o­lence. There was al­ways hate, but they couldn’t act upon it but now they have free­dom to act,” he said.

Mem­bers of the civil rights group de­cried that Ra­jasthan was the only state where the car­a­van was at­tacked. “The at­tack could not have hap­pened if the po­lice was not soft in its re­sponse. There is con­tin­u­ous ap­pease­ment of com­mu­nal ma­jori­tar­ian com­mu­nity,” Man­der said.

The ‘jour­ney of love’, travers­ing As­sam, Ben­gal, Bi­har, UP, Delhi, Haryana, Ra­jasthan and MP, will con­clude at Ma­hatma Gandhi’s birth­place, Por­ban­dar, in Gu­jarat on Oc­to­ber 2, said civil rights ac­tivist Kavita Shri­vas­tava.

“We think there is a dan­ger­ous poi­son of fear and hate spread­ing in so­ci­ety. We have heard of a few cases but we have come to know that such in­ci­dents have taken place in many states,” she said.

“With­out any rea­son, in­no­cent peo­ple are be­ing beaten up, some­times killed. So we want to give a mes­sage to the mi­nor­ity and Dal­its who are fear­ful. The other ob­jec­tive is to send a mes­sage that the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity can­not stay silent. We have to break our si­lence.”

Ac­tivist John Dayal said to­day one could see that the dice was loaded against Mus­lims.


Harsh Man­der

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