People around the world are aware that India is a multilingual, multi-religious and multicultural nation. Every citizen has freedom of thought, faith, religion, worship and expression. One of the most important things is that in the cosmic system of India lies the "rule of law". It is expected of every citizen to not violate the law. If any person has committed a crime, then the right to punish him is with the authorities, not with the general public. No one has the right to take the law into his hands and punish a culprit himself, it is legally wrong and morally unjust too. Such incidents harm the social integrity of the nation and provide the basis for divisive powers to spread unrest in the country. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to take strict action to prevent such incidents happening across the country.
The psychology of the crowd is a small part of social science; it can be called mob psychology. This is a weird and old method. The crowd considers themselves to be above all law and narrate their violent behaviour as practical and necessary. Crowd eliminates the way to resolve issues through the conscience, understanding and ability of negotiation.
In recent times, there have been incidents of mob lynching in many places of our country to the extent that people have been caught and killed by the crowd on accusations of eating beef, or slaughtering the cattle, are rape convicted, or guilty of robbing someone. In Kashmir, a police officer was recently killed by a mob without any reason.
A civilized person will never hesitate to say that killing or violence by the mob is unfair and is a criminal act, because the crowd never gives an opportunity to the accused to be examined, understood or tell their side. Crowds allure each other and resort to violence in illogical ways. Such acts without proper process of law are violation of natural justice.
If we look at the history of the world thousands of years ago, we will find that such incidents of crowds taking the law into their hands were more often; but whoever was the ruler at that time used to take strict measures to stop such incidents. Civil society never encourages such evil traditions.
In the last few years, cases of mob lynching have surfaced in many states. Even the State Governments and the Central Government have hard time tackling the situation. The reasons cited as triggering these incidents include Gauraksha, communal or ethnic hatred, rumours of lifting a child etc. Most of the incidents of mob lynching have occurred in Assam, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir. Anxiety and panic can be considered responsible for such violence. Fake news surfacing in social media adds fuel to such incidents. So, people need to be aware and cautious about the fake news which entice the public and creates havoc. In one part of the country, news surfaced that child theft gang is active in the area. People got influenced by the viral news and killed many people in isolated incidents without confirming their innocence. Even if they were culprits, no human has the right to kill another.
People in our country migrate from one state to another for employment. Most of them belong to poorer sections of the society. It is observed that poor people are easy victims for the violent crowds. At present, a crowd decides the punishment for any person who is caught while committing or is suspected of committing an offence, instead of handing over to the law authority; they do not hesitate to take his life, which is utterly inappropriate. The biggest irony is that in most cases the crowd has taken the lives of innocent people only on the basis of suspicion.
Some anti-social elements are taking law into their own hands, which is a blot on the civilized society, which can never be erased. Recently a bullet shot by the violent mob killed an inspector who went to handle the law and order situation in Bulandshahar. It presents a horrific picture of the current Indian society. Nowadays, such violence is seen in political protests as well and is often causing huge damage to the property of the nation. Perhaps this crowd mechanism does not know that it is compensated by the tax we pay to the government. The Central Government has taken it seriously and also announced bringing forth strict rules, but no social/political team is earnestly coming forward to solve this serious problem. The common man is feeling insecure in his own country due to the increasing cases of mob lynching. In the past, the Supreme Court has taken cognizance of this problem. It is felt that all social, political and religious leaders should be united in speaking out and spreading awareness about this ill practice so that a decent and peace loving society prevails.(Published on 18th March 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 12)