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Welcome to the Lynch Republic

Poem by an Indian student.

By Aishwarya Bhuta

India has witnessed, albeit silently, an alarming rise in mob lynching as a hate crime since the present right-wing government came to power in 2014. More than one hundred instances have been recorded in the four years up to mid-2018. A majority of the victims are Muslims, Dalits (lower castes), or tribal populations, who belong to marginalized sections of the society. Divisive, extremist and communal forces are getting stronger with political support. This has resulted in a growing rise in intolerance, curbing of dissent, violence and hatred. These social evils are to be constantly fought and resisted.

If you follow a different religion
And pray to a different God
If you consume an animal they have deified
Or sell it for a living
If you love someone of a different faith
Or marry someone from another caste

If you are of lower caste and hence polluted
Or being a Dalit you tread into a Brahmin domain
If being a woman you want to step into a temple
Or if the honour of your family lies in your vagina
If there is a rumour that you are an abductor
Or that you smuggle ‘holy’ cows

Where mobocracy displaces democracy
and mobs take law in their hands
Where goons become extremists
And vigilants become killers
Where hatred breeds instead of harmony
And humanity dies along with democracy

Welcome to the lynch republic
Where the ‘other’ is considered an enemy and threat
Where people are killed in the name of religion
Where violence is normalized in the name of nationalism
Where the politics of fear unleashes a reign of terror
Welcome to 21st century India.

Photo credit: taken by Asmita Ghosh for Feminism in India.


About the Author

Aishwarya Bhuta is an alumna of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur campus. She is currently pursuing her MA in Development Studies at Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India.

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