Humanity died a bloody death on Saturday when two youths from Guwahati, Nilotpal Das, and Abhijit Nath were brutally lynched by a barbaric mob in Karbi Anglong district of Assam. If the cold-blooded murders do not sound outrageous enough, there’s more to it. While the two of them were being mercilessly beaten up, someone in the crowd shot the entire incident on camera and shared it on social media. If you are a brave heart who has watched the footage of the mob attacking the two boys with bamboo sticks and kicking them mercilessly, you’ll hear their heart-wrenching pleas begging for their lives, screaming out the names of their parents and repeatedly declaring themselves to be Assamese.
An incident this horrific occurring in a state which boasts of being governed by the rule of law speaks volume about the law and order situation in the country. Contrary to the high and mighty claims of being a strong state, India is a country where mobs decide the fate of ‘alleged’ criminals and serve justice, mostly by lynching. Mohammad Akhlaq, anyone? In the horrendous incident occurring last weekend, the two fateful souls were suspected to be child traffickers and beaten to death by cowards disguising themselves as guardians of the society who take matters into their own hands. What is appalling in such dreadful incidents is the absence of fear of punishment. Isn’t impunity the order of the day? Haven’t we set enough examples for the world to see how criminals in this country can go scot free with just about anything?
The least we can do is to seek justice for the bereaved families of Nilotpal and Abhijit. Nothing can make up for the irreparable damage done to the parents who have lost their sons forever to the fears and prejudices of a group of misinformed people harbouring a herd mentality. We have miserably failed as a country. This is the time to show solidarity with a just cause. A crime against humanity is just that. Questions of caste, community or religious identity need not be dragged in. The question is, whether the ‘intellectuals’, celebrities and human rights activists will take up this issue with equal fervour or will there just be selective outrage on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to garner likes and comments?
It’s time for some major soul searching. If there is even a last shred of humanity left in us, such horrific tragedies should never reoccur. ‘Being human’ rather than being the fancy tagline of a celebrity NGO, should be dictum we all follow in real life.