20 March, 2010

Mobocracy - The Shame of Gujarat

Last month in Azad Society, a posh suburb of Ahmedabad, a Hindu tribal driving a tractor hit a local scooterist. Almost instantly a Hindu upper-caste crowd gathered and lynched the hapless man, a la Haryana.
Last week the former home minister, Haren Pandya was shot dead by a gangster in the parking of a famous garden in mid-city where hundreds were taking their morning walk. Some witnessed the crime personally and several more saw the injured Pandya collapse in his car, where he lay for a good one and half hour. None bothered to resist the crime, chase the criminal, report the incident to police or reach medical relief to the injured.

Today's papers report that a "ten thousand strong mob of parents" stormed an examination center in Fatehpura, Dahod to facilitate mass copying at the ongoing secondary examinations. The police had to fire 24 rounds and lob 12 shells to evacuate supervisors to safety.

Sounds like tales from a forlorn region of the dark continent? Sadly this is happening in one of our richest provinces. Around this time a year ago blood thirsty mobs lynched hundreds of innocents, looted and burnt freely while the police looked the other way. As a benumbed Gujarat is shorn of its Gaurav, its only minority, the conscientious, concerned citizen, is lost in the midst of the mobs.

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