Mob lynching in India are manufactured communal violence by Irfan Engineer

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Mob lynching has drastically increased in recent years, particularly since the election of the BJP government. There has been fourfold increase in cow related violent incidents from less than 5% of incidents communal violence in 2010 to 20% in 2017 (Subramanya, 2017). IndiaSpend web portal claimed that 25 persons were killed in 60 incidents of cow related mob violence between 2010 and 25th June 2017 and 97% of the incidents occurred after the BJP took over reigns of the Central Government in 2014 (Abraham & Rao, 2017). 84% of those killed in cow related mob lynching incidents were Muslims. The remaining 16% lynched on accusation of cow slaughter are dalits and other marginalised sections. While most cases of mob violence are related to cow vigilantism, the other triggers have been rumours of child lifting and allegation of being a witch. In the latter case, victims are women.

Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS) has observed in its monitoring of communal violence in India that after the BJP Government came to power, there has been no incidence of major communal violence as witnessed in Ahmedabad (1969, 1984-85, 2002) Bhiwandi (1970 and 1984), Nellie, Assam, (1983) Delhi anti-Sikh riots (1984), Bhagalpur (1989), Kandhamal anti-Christian riots, (2007 & 2008), Muzaffarnagar (2013). In the year 2014 the incidents of communal violence were lesser compared to previous year. However, the communal attitudes were more heightened on account of hate speeches by leaders of ruling party (Engineer, 2015). The incidence of communal violence increased marginally in the year 2015. However, the number of people killed in communal violence in 2015 decreased from 90 to 84. After the present government came in power, there has been a change of pattern in communal violence. Rather than increase in number of spectacular incidence of communal violence, there has been increase in communal incidences which are of low intensity with no or lesser number of deaths (Dabhade, 2016).


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Disclaimer: Mob lynching in India are manufactured communal violence by Irfan Engineer - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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