The New Face of India?

mob.jpgA 7 year old boy beaten up brutally by a mob for a petty theft in Bangalore

As this news bulletin flashes across the 24×7 news channels, one cannot help but feel outraged and disgusted at the mere thought of it. Is this the new India,where children get beaten up for a petty theft? And that too by a ‘MOB’ of people!If an individual alone commits such heinous crime, an alarm may not be raised. However, when the number of participants increases, it is clearly a problem. What adds to this case is the fact that, here, it is a juvenile we are talking about. How can elders, who are by tradition and by virtue of being more experienced are said to be ‘sensible and rational’, engage in such a brutal form of punishment? I believe that if a child does commit a theft, it must be seen as a mistake and not as a crime. A small child is yet to learn of the full extent of the consequences of his actions. Instead, his action should force us to think about the motivation; was it because of a lack of learning or was it out of sheer need and desperation?The ‘Mob culture’ is becoming a growing menace for the society. This problem exists not just in India, but is prevalent worldwide. The Mumbai molestation case is a stark example of the problem. How are we to protect ourselves from such people who have no understanding of Human Rights or Dignity of Life? Small children, women and minorities seem to be their easy and prime targets.Such instances make one wonder as to what has exactly happened to Gandhi’s cradle of non-violence. Tolerance seems an ellucid idea now. A petty theft is enough to validate harsh and ridiculous punishments. Furthermore, the sensibilities of the bystanders should also be questioned. Why didn’t anyone have the courage to stop what was going on?It brings us to a frantic search for an answer for this problem of declining sensitivity and sensibility. Be it grown-ups or small children, I feel that the sensitivity has certainly declined. Our schools are churning out individuals or, rather let us say products, adept at not handling life but merely making a living. A large number of students and adults alike are, beyond doubt, a part of the social change initiative. But exactly how many of them actually feel the need for a change? We call for equality amongst people but how many of us would practice it in our day-to-day life? The answer, obviously, is that very few would. This very trend is one of the reasons why such incidents are still a common occurring in our society. In remote villages especially, where the caste culture still dominates, mob violence is a commonality. Several fights for justice will continue to happen but their purpose will fail until we target the root of it all. Coupled with having a tragedy system in place of education, especially considering its reach, it is a very gloomy state.The way sensitization is a key ingredient of the HIV/AIDS programes worldwide, it is also a need for a society like ours, which is ailing with problems. Proper approach to Education and Equality will catalyze the efforts of not just the Government, but also the people.Kirandeep Virdi[Image taken from :]