How Mob ‘Justice’ Seems To Have Become A Substitute For Relieving Personal Frustration

Posted on March 9, 2016

By Sarthak Chaure:

A mob of people overturns a police car after hearing news of the death of veteran Indian film actor Rajkumar in the southern Indian city Bangalore April 12, 2006. An icon of south Indian cinema and star of more than 200 films, Rajkumar, died on Wednesday, sparking widespread violence as distraught fans torched buses and ripped up hoardings in the country's hi-tech hub. REUTERS/Jagadeesh Nv - RTR1CGDJ
Representation only. Credit: Reuters/Jagadeesh Nv.

India, these days, has been making quite a buzz over issues ranging from intolerance, caste, moral policing and what not. And then there is an occurrence which frequently keeps showing up–mob justice–where a mob present at the spot of any incident take it to the next level by delivering ‘justice’ themselves. Maybe this happens because of the shattered faith in the judiciary which makes the public impatient. Of course, the public has lost the faith in the judiciary due to its prolonged process of delivering verdicts.

The courts have become sluggish as the number of cases filed are high in number. This is due to its commitment to hear every case no matter how pointless it may be, otherwise its commitment to justice might be questioned. And this makes the public impatient and they take it to the extreme level. The increase in crimes also outrages the public making them feel that they ought to do something. There are many shortcomings in the judicial system too but it is not always the court that is at fault. The sluggishness is due to certain people who file cases that are not worthy of the court’s precious time. For instance, a case filed against Lord Ram and Lakshman in Bihar. The courts should dismiss such cases and utilise this time for delivering justice on crucial cases. This will gradually resurrect the shattered faith in the judiciary.

Whatever the reason may be, it ultimately harms the occasional innocent victim trapped in the mob system of delivering justice. This form of justice, or something that just seems like justice, appears to be the only viable option to the public and is accepted as the apt punishment for the guilty. Wait. How is the victim proven guilty when you just start beating that person without any dialogue. Maybe s/he’s not guilty. This is countered by the evergreen phrase, “gehun ke saath ghun bhi pista hai.” But if that were to happen in a court, people would go crazy. Isn’t that hypocrisy?

The incidents of mob justice from Nagaland, where a boy was beaten to death over a false rape allegation, from Bengaluru, where a girl was stripped and paraded naked, appall me. Where any person is beaten up without any authenticity of the crime they’re alleged to have committed, it appalls me.

Mob justice has another side to it. People can be violent and often tend to relieve their frustrations violently. In our daily life, when someone is angry, that person may sometimes act violently. Be it on the road or anywhere else. We get to see enough instances of it. Mob justice is an opportunity for such people. You get a body to smash all your frustrations (due to boss, wife, colleagues) on and you do it. Who’s the person? Why’s s/he being beaten? Fuck that. Let’s go with the flow. The real face of the latent inhumanity and violence behind sympathetic faces shows up.

The advantage of this method is that you don’t get caught. It is the safest way for indulging in physical abuse. The most recent Bengaluru case, where the victim was a woman, added more shame to the nation. It can be aptly summed up as lustful morons relieving their sexual lust over a woman by stripping her and assaulting her sexually, for something she didn’t do. The woman had no connection with the guy who had hit a woman with his car and run away. They had just one apparent similarity – race. And this similarity made the lustful morons assault her, giving it the face of mob ‘justice’, leaving the 21-year-old with a lifelong trauma and shattering the notion of India being a peaceful country.

This is sick. Also, this may even give some people an opportunity to shed their personal grudge against someone, accuse them of something and get them beaten by the eager public.

What makes me say that mob justice is a way for people to relieve their frustrations are the petty issues people act violently on. Like in Mumbai, a guy from Delhi was beaten up just because he uttered a slang in frustration. Not at someone in particular, but a man misunderstood it and started beating him and others joined in.

Mob justice, in my opinion, has become a new substitute for the public to just relieve their personal frustration, or maybe sexual lust (in the case of the victim being a woman) over some poor innocent victim with the security of never being caught. And all this is disguised as justice.

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