Suddenly in the last few years, news reports of innocent people being viciously killed by mobs have been continuously coming in. This kind of mob killing is called lynching. In order to justify the killing, the victim is falsely accused of this or that crime, like cow smuggling or cow slaughter or carrying out “love jihad”. The murderers capture the lynching on video and disseminate it widely through social media. Presently, most of the victims of lynching are Muslims or Dalits whose occupation is skinning cattle hides.
These events of lynching are neither unplanned nor spontaneous. They are indeed planned. For a period of time, lies are spread and public sentiments are provoked against some section of people that the State wants to target. This is aimed at ensuring that other sections of people do not stand up to oppose their killing. Everywhere, the administration stands behind lynching incidents. Ministers, MPs and legislators justify lynching and support the perpetrators so that they are never punished. All this goes to show that those who commit lynching have the full support of the State.
Lynching is nothing but State terror against one or another community that is targeted. State has continued to implement the policy of “divide and rule”. People are divided on the basis of religion, caste, language, nationality, etc., so that they will not unite in defence of their common rights and rise up against the State. It is a policy, under which the bourgeoisie and its political parties carry out incessant propaganda to divide people and provoke them against one another. The attempt is to create such an atmosphere that when one community is targeted and terrorized by the State, people from another community do not oppose such attacks.
What is happening at the present to the Muslims, the same was done to terrorise the Sikhs in the decade of 1980s and ‘90s. Sikhs were called terrorists, and in a very planned way other people in the country were made to hate them. Rumours were spread in order to justify the genocide of 1984, that Sikhs were distributing sweets after Indira Gandhi’s assassination or that they had poisoned the sources of drinking water in Delhi. More recently, all kinds of rumours have been spread against the people from the Northeast among people of other areas. In several places, students from the Northeast have been lynched. Similarly, several African students have been victims of racist propaganda.
The word lynching originated in the USA. Even after slavery was abolished in the US, the American ruling class wanted to continue the enslavement of African-Americans. It did not want to affirm their civil rights and treat them as equal citizens. The American State used to target African-Americans and lynch them to terrorise the whole community.
In the wake of brutal suppression of the Great Ghadar of 1857, the British colonialists murdered crores of Indians. In order to terrorise the Indian people, they hung an Indian from every tree along the highway from Kolkota to Peshawar, and left their corpses hanging for all to see.
Spreading terror through communal violence is a preferred policy of the State. Through this, it crushes the struggles of people against State oppression and breaks their unity.
People are rising above religion, caste, nationality and regions to condemn lynching and communal violence. They are laying blame on the State. People understand that “an attack on one is an attack on all.” Times are calling on all of us to unite and step up the struggle against State terror.