In our trouble prone state of Manipur, the people had often witnessed punishments and harassments meted out to innocent family members for a crime committed by a single member of that family. The state had witnessed houses being burnt, vandalized and whole families ostracized for crimes committed by their family members or near and dear ones. It is still considered a form of sanctioned social justice by a group of dim-witted mob led and provoked by few criminal minded sadistic individuals. And the most recent , is the lynching of a youth who was alleged of lifting a vehicle at Tharoijam area.
The immediate question arises out of the mob violence is the sense of justice, that how far is the act justifiable? Who are the criminals and who are the victims? Who justifies it? The mob itself is a very temporary irrational type of gathering, without any proper coordination and understanding. The logic of means and ends of an action cannot be justified by swarming up in few moments. An action in order to be justifiable needed a proper coordination of the means and the ends to be employed before steps are taken up.
For sometimes the people of the state were somewhat relieved with the Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh taking the matter seriously. Action taken report was heard for someday and the with some hopes. But disturbingly, now the trend is getting even worse. People now started blaming an entire community for a crime committed by an individual belonging to that particular community. If a person is found killed or manhandled in an area of a specific community the whole community is blamed and harassed.
Three instances still haunt the state. The death of two youths at Mayang Imphal area in 2016 in mob action nearly shattered the harmony of the small valley region. Thanks to the civil society organisations, notably the Anjuman volunteers and the police department for handling the issue with extra care and diffusing the communal tension in time. The same year, the death of another 27 year old youth who was found hanging at Lilong area had once more shattered the fragile communal harmony and understanding. The whole community of the area is being blamed for the death. As of now the absolute truth is yet to be ascertained but speculations doing the round have now provoked communal tension between the two communities. On the other hand the death of another youth at Kasom Khullen area has created similar kind of situation. He was found murdered in an area where a specific community resides and therefore, going by the social trend, people belonging to the community of the murdered youth now felt that the other community should be blamed.
Now, the case of Farooque had reminded that inhuman and uncultured practice in our state once more. But this time attempt to make it communal by some vested interested had failed. With the rised of more people who stood against any mob violence, everyone irrespective of which community the victim belong to condemn the drastic inhuman action. May be the person might have committed some crime but who are the villagers who assaulted inhumanly to him. Are they authorize to take the law in their own hand.
Point worth remembering is a quote from the writing of late Seram Mangi, former news editor of AIR Imphal. As shared through a post by his son Seram Neken on a social network site, the former editor had rightly questioned as to why a community should be blamed and crushed for a crime committed by a single individual belonging to the community. He also stated that if that is justice, then God would have killed all human beings for a wrong committed by a single human being.
It is a fact that India is a nation of multi ethnic communities so as Manipur, the erstwhile nation of South East Asia, now a state of India inhabited by over 33 distinct communities. For reasons best known to the government authorities some vital connection crucial for binding the people of every community as a cohesive single unit is sorely missing- a potent reason the people started taking due importance of their near and dear ones instead of considering themselves as the citizen of the same state or country.
Unlike India, United States of America which is home to many diverse communities from around the world such as a French, an African or an Indian etc. think that they are American first before coming to the community that they belong to. It is said that the constitution is what binds the people as Americans above everything. Communal enmity was an undeniable blot in the history for this country. Unfortunately, we the citizens of India are committing today the same blunder that happened 100 years ago in places like America.