[Answered] “Fight against social evils like mob lynching and honour killings demands state’s and community efforts.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Facts of these crimes in India. Importance of state and community action to prevent these crimes.
Conclusion. Way forward.

Mob lynching and honour killings in India has increased in recent past. Crime against minority especially religious minority and killing of girls in the name of honour is not only a serious crime but a malaise that threaten our social fabric.

Malaise of these crimes in India:

  1. Honour killings: In the Past five years in the state, 71 cases of Khap Panchayats (caste councils which function like kangaroo courts) were registered and 10 cases of honour killing occurred in which four men and eight women were killed.
    • Such cases have increased in the past few years and have become hurdle in societal development.
    • Sections of the IPC and the CrPc were not adequate in dealing with such cases.
    • Such crimes are in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women which provide that women should have the right to freely choose a spouse.
    • These actions of honour killing are also violative of certain fundamental rights in the Constitution of India, including the right to life, and liberty which includes the right to bodily integrity, and the right to choose whom to associate with.
  2. Mob lynching:  Mob Lynching means killing of someone by a mob for an alleged offence without following any principles of jurisprudence or due process of law.
    • In 21% of the cases, the police filed cases against the victims/survivors. (India spend report).
    • According to ‘India spend’ 52% of attacks in last 8 years is based on rumors.

Why state’s and community’s efforts are critical?

  1. Implementation of law: An act of lynching reflects failure of law to protect minorities and punish the culprits. State action is important in strict enforcement of law and punishing the culprits.
  2. Lack of accountability and conviction: Mob has no face. This impunity leads mob to take extreme steps. Thus community and state role increase to stop such crimes. Active participation of civil society against such crimes and helping state and law enforcement agencies in nabbing the criminal is critical.
  3. Vote-bank politics: Sometimes, political mobilisation that uses violence as a tool of politics, support such elements in society. Here community awareness and action against such politicians become necessary to prevent such vote bank politics.
  4. Police failure: Indifferent attitude of Police leads people to take law in their own hands. Also police delays and inability to catch the criminals lead to more such incidents. State should be more proactive in police reforms. Strict action should be taken against any police officials who do not record such incidents in criminal records.
  5. Social media menace: Rise in penetration of Social media and its usage to spread rumours and hatred has exaggerated such incidents. A vigil community with state action on taking action against cyber criminals is must to prevent fake news and rumours.
  6. High Unemployment rates: High unemployment leave millions of youth unengaged. These young brains are often misguided and brainwashed through various ideologies and agendas. State action is important to provide more employment opportunities to youth with focus on economic development of the region.
  7. Against social peace: These crimes impact solidarity of society and idea of Unity in diversity. This create an atmosphere of majority v/s minority. It could aggravate caste, class and communal hatred. Thus community and state need to work together to stop such crimes. Programs especially focused on teaching values of tolerance and secularism is important.
  8. Managing anxieties: There is need of continued responsiveness on part of the local administration in dealing with anxiety and suspicion in local communities. Community Sensitisation and awareness through multi-media campaigns is important. Counter-information campaign to check fear-mongering and fake news.

Government has launched Ek bharat Shrestha bharat for sustained and structured cultural connect between citizens of different regions. There is need of proactive role played by community and state governments. Government should criminalises the act of mob violence. Awarding of penalties on public servants for failing to investigate properly due to neglect of their duties is important. For a demographically diverse country such as India, such crimes are a disaster.

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