Mob Justice and Lynching: The Human Path to Terror?

| March 11, 2015

How would you react if I told you that ‘Lynch Mobs’, like the one that brutally killed a man recently at Nagaland, are not new in India?  What if I told you that the conservative patriarchs of the country are responsible for this growing lynch mob tendency among Indian youth? How well can you take it when I say that you have the roots of lynching inside your heart?

Example – 1

A group of African youth were fatally beaten using pieces of glass, broken chairs and leather belts by an angry mob of Indian public at a Delhi Metro station last year. They got brutal cuts on their heads and arms.  Why did the Indian public attack these guys?  You have rightly guessed the answer: They were accused of molesting a girl in the train and hence the public outrage.

In the video, you can see a lot of people videotaping the incident using their phones.  You can also notice the police laughing covertly about the plight of the harassed youth.

Example – 2

In another incident, a Bengaluru man was stripped, tied to a pole and thrashed bloody by the public until he fell unconscious.  This incident also happened last year.

Bengaluru Lynch MobSource: http://www.thenewsminute.com/karnatakas/433

The guy was admitted into a hospital, his condition quite bad.  The onlookers made sure that the pictures and videos of the attack were posted on the social media, claiming that the guy was harassing some girls passing by.

Example – 3

A lynch mob at Ganganagar, Rajasthan dragged Suresh Kumar, aged about 40, to a butcher’s shop and cut off his penis using a meat cleaver. He was ceremoniously stripped naked and beaten black and blue by the public.

Rajasthan Lynch Mob
Source: http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/who-we-are/lynch-mob-strikes-again-and-castrates-alleged-rapist-in-rajasthan-227943.html

His body parts were left on the road so that onlookers would know that he was a sex offender and hence would not care to help him, while he was fighting with the pain and shock.  Needless to say, he ‘allegedly’ tried to rape a girl.

Example – 4

This one is very well-known because of the wide social-media and mainstream media coverage of the issue.  An angry mob at Nagaland invaded a prison and kidnapped a rape accused from the jail.  They proceeded to strip him naked, pelted stones at him, hooked him up with insanely barbaric tongs and dragged him on the street for about seven kilometers, leaving him dead!

Nagaland Lynching

Here too, the theme is very similar.  The guy was accused of rape.  Later investigations revealed shocking truth that he was jailed for a false rape case.

Psychology of Lynching

In all the above incidents, a common theme evolves.  A man is accused of crime against women and the public lynches him.  Have you ever wondered what must have been going on in the minds of the attackers when they were doing this barbaric act?  Come!  Let us take a peek into their minds.

Any attacker in the above incidents can be clearly seen as having one or more of the following intentions:

  1. It is my responsibility to protect women in this country. If this guy offends women and gets away with it, it would mean that I am not doing my job properly. Let me give my share of beatings to this guy so that I can sleep peacefully, knowing that I have not been irresponsible.
  2. The woman in my life will see me as a ‘hero’ if I attack this guy. I do not care if this guy sees me as a villain, because, after all, he is a sinner.  Let me give my share of beatings to this guy so that I can prove my love for my woman.
  3. Let me beat this guy and upload the pictures in social media. This would get more likes. This will get me some attention.  I will get a pro-women image.
  4. The laws are not helpful at all. The rapes are not stopping.  Let me chop off this guy’s penis and show the world how strict should the law be, so that no one dares to touch a woman.
  5. The society is calling me a male chauvinist. Let me thrash this guy and take this opportunity to prove that I am not a male chauvinist.

Very evidently, all the above intentions revolve around the responsibility of ‘protection’ of women.  This is what we call as ‘protection syndrome’, where, a male discards his rational thinking in the act of protecting a woman.  The world, at large, is affected by the protection syndrome and hence this syndrome can be treated as a global disease.

How to identify people with Protection Syndrome?

As rational thinking goes for a toss when ‘protection syndrome’ manifests itself, you can observe the people with this syndrome displaying one or more of the following behaviors:

  1. The person would treat the words of a woman as “Gospel Truth”. In the lynch mob incidents, every individual truly believed the woman’s allegations, even without an iota of proof.
  2. Without any proof, he would proceed into action against the “alleged” offender, either verbally or physically and sometimes, psychologically. In case of lynch mobs, the offence is more physical.  I will talk about non-physical lynch mobs sometime later.
  3. The person is prone to display a strongly one-sided opinion favoring the woman’s side of the story in any news that he comes across. He often shows this off in the social media, to his favor.
  4. The person is hypocritical at his best as he constantly claims “Not all Indians are rapists” – the meaning being that he himself is not a rapist, where he instantly launches physical abuse against anyone who is just accused of rape or molestation.

What leads to Protection Syndrome?

The protection syndrome is an offshoot of a conservative, patriarchal, pre-historic and unfounded belief that women cannot take care of themselves and hence, it is a man who has to protect her.  In other words, for all practical purposes, you can think of Protection Syndrome as a deep rooted foolish belief that women are incapable.  The individuals in the lynch mob strongly believed that they needed to come forward to protect the women of their society.  Lynch mobbers are the people who work against gender equality.

Protection syndrome also has its roots in longing for intimacy and attention from the female sex, a primal instinct of a man to seek out his female partner for procreation.  It is sometimes referred to as Chivalry, where a man overwhelms a woman to his bedroom.

Are you a potential lynch mobber?

Now that the tendencies behind the above lynch mobbing are clear, retrospect yourself and decide if you are a potential lynch mobber.  If you think you are, don’t you think it is high time you changed your partial attitudes?  Conservatism hurts modern society, particularly men, in multitude of ways.  This is one of the blatant and horrific manifestation of the fact.

Points to Ponder

  1. Look at each of the following pictures and state if it is a form of lynch mobbing. If yes, is it physical, psychological or social?

Picture – 1

ginger

Picture – 2
DV

Picture – 3
HeForShe

  1. Recollect an incident where you attacked a man verbally/physically for allegedly hurting a woman. Think how you would have felt if you were on the receiving side of the attack.

On one hand, intellectuals are shouting over the top of lungs criticizing Talibanism but are silent over these barbaric incidents of horrifying violence against men. Till the time we do not overcome our double standards, Talibanism is here to stay much as we condemn it.

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  1. MRAVirag says:

    Brilliant compilation of facts to highlight a social crime against men.