Why Two Hundred Ordinary Hindus Did Not See A Dead Muslim Child On A Railway Station In North India

On 22 June 2017 fifteen-year old Hafiz Junaid was stabbed to death on a Mathura-bound train from New Delhi. He was traveling home for Eid with his brothers and two friends. A dispute over seats resulted in a group of men repeatedly assaulting and stabbing Junaid and his companions. The assailants flung their bodies onto the Asoti railway platform. A crowd gathered. At some point an ambulance was called and two bodies were taken away. Junaid is dead. His companions are in critical condition. While one person has been arrested the police investigations are running into a wall of social opacity since they have been unable to find a single eye-witness to the incident. Of the 200 hundred strong crowd that assembled on Asoti railway platform on Thursday evening, the police cannot find one person who can say what they saw. The police cannot find a witness because something very peculiar seems to have happened to those present at Junaid’s death. A report by Kaunain Sherrif M in the Indian Express provides specific details. When asked if he had seen anything that evening, Ram Sharan a corn-vendor whose daily shift coincides with the killing, Sharan said he was not present at the time of the incident. Two staffers who were sent to investigate by the station master were unavailable for comment. Neither the station-master, the post-master or the railway guards saw the event they were present at.

In this startling piece the journalist reports how the public lynching of a Muslim child becomes a social non-event in contemporary India. He shows the reconfiguring, and splitting, of a social field of vision. He reports all the ways in which people – Hindus- did not see the body of a dead – Muslim – child that lay in front of them. The Hindus on the Asoti railway platform managed to collectively not see a 15 year old Muslim boy being stabbed to death. Then they collectively, and without prior agreement, continued to not see what they had seen after the event. This is the uniquely terrifying aspect of this incident on which this report reflects: the totalising force of an unspoken, but collectively binding, agreement between Hindus to not see the dead body of a Muslim child. Hindus on this railway platform in a small station in north India instantly produced a stranger sociality, a common social bond between people who do not otherwise know each other. By mutual recognition between strangers, Hindus at this platform agreed to abide by a code of silence by which the death of a Muslim child can not be seen by 200 people in full public view on a railway platform in today’s India.

If this has happened we are far beyond the Gujarat pogroms, perhaps because the logics unleashed at that time have reached their final denouement. In 2002 we saw the clasped hands of a Muslim man pleading for his life from armed Hindu mobs. In 2017 there is nothing to see and no one to see it. One way to read this public blindness is as the breakdown of a social contract in purely descriptive terms- that of recognizing the body before you as being one to whom fundamental social obligations (such as the protection undertaken by adults towards children) are owed as a result of membership within the social body. The Hindus on this railway platform did not believe that any fundamental obligations, indeed even the most basic as an acknowledgment of his (dead)existence, were owed to Junaid. I stress this one social relation -that between adults and children -because its public disregard usually occurs in those situations (such as warfare, pogroms, genocides, lynchings) when social bonds have come asunder. When some adults refuse to see some dead bodies as dead children (the Holocaust, slavery) it means that the persons these children would have grown up to be are not deemed worthy of living on into membership in the socio-political order. The affective alienation by which a gathered crowd of Hindus can lynch, break, stab, tear into pieces a Muslim boy, and then not see what is left, is because these Hindus do not think Muslims belong in the social body.

Yet this analysis goes only so far because something much more terrifying seems to have occurred: not the breakdown of a social contract but the production of a new contract in today’s India, one from which all Muslims, even children, are now affectively felt to be outside. In this case it is not simply that those present did not intervene to save Junaid and his friends from harm. This is common in India. Most people do not stop to intervene or help in a violent situation because they are scared. We should cease lamenting the indifference of “the Indian public” and ask instead what forms of obligation to strangers can exist in a society as radically unequal as ours. In this case then it is not that those present were indifferent to the public lynching of a 15 year old Muslim boy. They were not indifferent at all. Rather they made a collective agentive decision to abide by a common sense to not see the public savaging of a Muslim boy. The blind wall behind which Junaid’s body lies reflects a positive action on the part of the Hindus present to collectively agree to refuse him the most basic recognitions humanity (that is the force by which humans recognize each other as sharing a common being and bond) demands.

What are the social logics revealed on Asoti platform? What is the nature of these principles of willed unseeing to which the ordinary Hindus on Asoti platform seem to hold?

Anthropologists identify a fundamental organizational logic of human society, that of mutual exchange. Humans living in society, i.e. in a social order, i.e. in a rule-governed order, enter into relations of exchange with other humans also living in society. Thus persons are those with whom one trades, barters, goes to war, enters into ties of mutual obligation and marries. Sometimes under extreme social torsion the principle of inter-social and inter-subjective mutuality breaks apart and certain groups are ejected out of the socio-political order. The force of the social as mutual exchange is withdrawn and they become humans with whom one does not marry, trade, go to war (since even warfare assumes negotiations) or exchange food, even what they eat ejected from the category of the edible. One does not respect their dead, revere their gods, nor recognize their marriages. In such circumstances these persons occupy a frightening new location in the social order. Towards such persons (prisoners captured in warfare, slaves, pacified populations) the forms of mutual exchange that undergird full membership in the social order are no longer operative. Instead another principle of social differentiation and interaction takes over- that of the hunter and the hunted. Social forms descend into bloody spirals of violence as former exchange partners withdraw social relations of mutuality and obligation. There is no more talking (the exchange of words), no more selling (the exchange of goods) and no more love (the exchange of kinship).

Such a notion may seem archaic, out of the pages of a yellowed structuralist text which once excelled in tracing the social logic of hunting and warfare in “non-state” (acephalic) societies. But we can discern the operations of this logic in modern polities. The hunting of black bodies that accompanied the conquest of Africa, the genocides that accompanied the founding of modern America and Australia. And a brief look at the bloody political history of the twentieth century shows us what happens when a hyper-nationalist militarized majority (as Pritam Singh points out below the anti-Sikh pogroms, Nazi Germany, Kosovo) begins hunting minorities. We saw the intimations of this logic – this experiment with open violence as a means of terrorizing Indian Muslims and Hindus into expelling Muslims from the national socio-political body in the Gujarat pogroms in 2002. At that time what struck and horrified a watching Indian public in this hyper-mediatized pogrom was the intimate and perverse nature of the violence directed at Muslim bodies. The rioting Hindus in Gujarat did not simply kill Muslims: they dismembered them with swords and knives. Pregnant women were ripped open, unborn fetuses thrown on fires. Mass rape accompanied by mutilation. The organic desecration of Muslim places of worship. North India is today Gujarat, except now the ruling dispensation does not need to incur the expense of a full blown pogrom since its organizing logics are abroad in the social body. Its operations can be discerned in the myriad ways in which vigilante Hindu meṅ are spreading across towns and villages in north India hunting Muslims for sport.

To return, we can and should locate this blindness of ordinary Hindus in the historical narrative we now know of the ascendancy of the Hindu Right as a social and political force in modern India. Yet the historical arc is what social scientists would call a necessary but insufficient explanation. Necessary because it is from out of this that what is coming will come. But it cannot explain the form it is taking- the peculiar horrifying quality by which non-pathological sane people cannot see the dead body of a child. Something more fundamental seems to have broken in today’s India.

As we have come to expect with the Narendra Modi regime and the national blindness it is imposing on the country, the central government has also refused to see Junaid’s body. The eyes of the state which see almost everything else did not see Junaid’s body as it lay on the platform and once it had been removed. The statements by functionaries of the state on what they did not see are instructive. Om Prakash, the Station Manager, managed to not see what was by his own admission a “huge crowd” gathered 200 ms away from his office. The two guards he sent to investigate this crowd which he himself could not see also did not see anything since by the time they had arrived 200 people had vanished. Bhagwat Dayal, the Post-Master, managed to be in two places at once and at none of them did he see anything: from his office he asked a railway officer to call an ambulance, while at the same time he was at home “relaxing”. And indeed the CCTV camera – that technology of unmediated sight normalized in public consciousness by the security state through the long decade of the 2000s- has by dint of being damaged no vision to offer. A field of invisibility in which it is impossible for Junaid’s body to be present is thus constructed through public agreement between the ordinary Hindus on this railway station and a state apparatus that has earned the necrotic distinction of blinding 1200 people in Kashmir within the past year. The ordinary Hindus at this station eschewed the use of their own eyes and turned them towards the purposes of the blind state.

From a purely social scientific viewpoint if we do not today as a society attend to the symptoms that reveal the ascendance of a logic of war against our own people incarnated within the social body, we are heading to mass slaughter. The public messaging by the current regime, and the silence of ordinary Hindus, has been well diagnosed by journalists. The BJP regime currently holding state power in the Sovereign Socialist Republic of India has declared through acquiescence, commission and omission that it is open hunting season on Muslims and Dalits. Two conclusions follow: 1) We are in a radical breakdown of the rule of law in BJP ruled India and in these regions mob rule now obtains. We are in the terror days of state supported goondaraj. From which flows the second conclusion: 2) On the 22nd of June 2017, the Republic effectively ended. India is no longer a secular constitutional republic but on the precipice of being transformed into a majoritarian state ruled by an ethnic and religious majority. The hunting of Muslims and Dalits in today’s India should concern every right thinking Indian because it demonstrates a prowling consuming violence aided and abetted by the Narendra Modi regime leaking through the social body. As all our public institutions erode under increasing assault, as the space of public discourse and exchange is vitiated through threat, coercion and open violence, we are teetering on the edge of becoming a country in which children are not safe on the trains. A country in which people run scared of what their neighbours think they are eating, and armed thugs patrol small town streets hunting young lovers. 15 year old Junaid’s body, the broken body of a young Muslim boy that ordinary Hindus chose to un-see, shows India the shape of things to come. We are 1.3 billion people spread over one of the largest contiguous landmasses in the world. Imagine the scale of social violence, what it will consume, what will be left, what can escape, once it begins. We should prepare for the future being put in place for us.

66 thoughts on “Why Two Hundred Ordinary Hindus Did Not See A Dead Muslim Child On A Railway Station In North India

  1. Pritam Singh

    If one is looking for a chain to link the events connected to this phenomenon, the qualitative leap in post-independence India took place in Delhi in November 1984. Right in the capital, the centre of multi-dimensional power of the republic, more than 3000 members of a minority (adult Sikh men and boys) were slaughtered and burnt alive while their women were raped, and still the media and most intellectuals, even many liberal and left-wing, called it a ‘riot’. The party that organised the ‘riot’ won such a thumping majority in the parliament no previous formation had ever won. The country paid the price for that sin. It went further in 2002 in one of the regions (Gujarat) where another party behind another ‘riot’ won a stunning victory in the state assembly. The parties behind the two massacres were different but their victory had a common denominator- mass Hindu consciousnes especially of upper castes. That unifying feature has now grown into a monster symbolised by this horrifying murder and mass Hindu silence. Mass psychology of genocide is emerging (or is being prepared).

    1. Aarti Sethi

      Thank you Pritam for that important comment. You are absolutely right, this logic began with the anti-Sikh riots and Congress goondaraj. I have now included that citation within the text. Thank you.

    2. Pritam Singh

      Aarti, we need to stop using the word ‘riots’ for the 1984 massacre even if some of us are reluctant to use the word ‘genocide’ which it was according to UN definition of genocide. Can you send me the link of the revised text that incorporates my comment (if I have understood you correctly). You may like to read, if not already read, my article on ‘Institutional Communalism in India’ in EPW to argue that majoritarian communalism in India goes beyond Hindutava organisations.

      1. Aarti Sethi

        I agree Pritam. Sorry about that. I completely agree and will be vigilant for the future. Please refer to the article now. I’ve amended it to reflect your comment.

    3. Ravi

      After reading your comment, I started feeling that Hindu Upper Cast is bigher and worst threat to humanity and largest Terrorist outfit in the world. Bigger than JM or LT or ISIS….LOL!…Nonsensical attribution of a political agenda to a particular community. If you have not see Syria or Lebanon or Iraq or your neighbours, please stay there few months. You will realise how lucky you are and safe in a Hindu dominated country.

      1. Khan

        Yes, Ibm lucky that we muslims can be lynched anytime by hindus, I hope you and your family become so lucky as junaid and others who were lucky to be lynched. Wouldnt complain at all👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 For your info ISIS kill muslims.

    1. aayeff

      When a muslim is killed for being a muslim. You expect another muslim to throw himself into the pyre. Well nice.

      1. rajat

        Maybe Udaybhanu he is mentioning that it was not all hindus who were the onlookers, unsubstantiated writign is in vogue and this is unfortunetly such a case that you caught on AAyeff
        I for one think we are impervious to others pain as a nation, car accidents, rape hardly seem to stop commuters, death on mumbai tracks hardly makes one look up from what they are doing ,

        reflects what a life is worth today, sad but true

  2. Randhir . Ravindran

    Train journeys especially in unreserved compartments are very dangerous to the irregular lone traveller , be it in Agra Mathura Delhi section or the mumbai local train. There are many unwritten rules according to the whims and fancies of the daily traveling season ticket holders, which the irregular traveller has to follow. Any disagreement with them and you could be thrown out of the running train. I as a college kid has experienced their mob fury both in Mumbai locals and when the season ticket holders forcibly occupy the reserved seats in sleeper compartments. Being a hindu is no safety in such situation.

    1. Koodali

      This is a shameful attempt to secularise what is clearly a communal incident. The boy and his brother were repeatedly abused as “beef eaters”, the principal motivation for their killing was their religion with their skull caps pointing them out. Efforts like yours are in a context like this cowardly.

    2. Nazia

      You are right on the rules of traveling in general compartment in India. Such large numbers of people packed in so less space. Still we never heard of any such incident, where anybody was ever lynched. So your argument is completely flawed at best.

    3. Reyaz Azmi

      You are right in your case. The difference here is the boys were taunted as beef eaters that means for being Muslims. The boy killed is very young. All the people including railway staff are turning a blind eye. This a worrisome trend.

  3. V Geetha

    A poem from Chennai

    Saira’s Ramzan

    After fasting, reining in flesh
    Not quite able to comprehend
    why the crescent moon that she sought for
    appeared a bloodstained white shirt
    Saira held tight in her heart
    Allah the Most Merciful
    The Most Compassionate
    And did not see the hawks
    that gathered around her pot of haleem
    Not knowing that shadows of hatred
    had lenghtened
    She covered her head and once again
    and looked up to see
    Bloodstains spread swiftly across the sky
    Having swallowed the crescent moon

    Hafiz – He who protects
    Hafiz – He who holds memory in place
    Joyous that her sons were now Hafiz
    and ready for Eid
    Barely had she ended her fast
    when instead of her child
    maimed flesh was returned home
    Saira looks for protection
    in the God of men
    Asks for protection
    for him wo held memory in place.
    – by Prema Revati,(translated from the Tamil by V Geetha)

  4. K SHESHU BABU

    Things have come to such a pass that even ‘ Muslims’ are unable to defend their counter- parts when lynched. It may be hard to believe that there were no muslims present in the compartment ( his friends or brothers were muslims ) but the onslaught of hindu fanatics is so overpowering that they are forced to look on as passive spectators while fanatics lynch and murder ….

    1. aayeff

      When a muslim is killed for being a muslim. You expect another muslim to throw himself into the pyre. Well nice.

  5. I would take this article seriously if the author could tell us how anybody could identify the religion of the bodies flung out of the train.

    The alternate hypotheses are: no one is willing to be a witness because of fear of retaliation and/or the endless hassle of court appearances.

    1. Aarti Sethi

      If you read the now several detailed reports of the incident you would know that the survivors report being repeatedly attacked on the basis of their religion. Their skull caps were thrown down, they were called beef-eaters and mullahs. On the train platform alongside Junaid his brother was also present. So it is difficult to see how anyone could have not known that Junaid was Muslim. Indeed this was the only thing the gathered crowd did know.

      1. jeet1977

        Well apparently, it did started with an argument over seats. Nobody was out hunting for muslims in skull caps. But when a scuffle broke out…(over seats), the fight probably turned in to a group fight & there probably their being a bunch of Muslims came in to picture. So it’s not exactly – some people saw a bunch of young muslim boys & men, & decided to kill them, just for being muslims.
        It seems like a minor technical point, but it totally changes perspective & conclusions.

        Having said that – you are right that social contract is being redefined in today’s India. It’s happening in many different ways, at many levels. Most of them are much more dangerous than just religious minority issue.

        1. Azhar

          So If I’m a Muslim, I’m just one argument short of death. Not a very comforting thought my friend. Need to stop thinking like a lawyer trying to defend the culprit. Also, your assumption that mobs arent looking for Muslims just so that they can kill them is dead wrong. They are doing exactly that. They just need an excuse. In this case, the excuse was the seat. All the other cases have similar excuses. The underlying hatred beneath all of these murders is the same which comes directly from the big guy at the top.

      2. I have read as many reports as I can.

        1. The fight occurred on the train – which would be difficult to witness from the platform. I have no doubt that the fight on the train turned into a religious hate crime. But how would anyone on the platform know?

        2. After the bodies were flung onto the platform, a crowd gathered – someone called ambulances (not by the railway stationmaster and other officials). Who called the ambulances? Are they willing to be a witness? Do you know? What was the religion of those who called for ambulances? Do you know?

        These killings are horrifying, and a disgrace; but your story is simply not justified on the facts available. And by politicizing it, you are ending the possibility of any real justice. Because the focus is no longer on the criminals, but on politicians – some who are out of office and want to get elected, and others who are holding on to power. People like you seem to love to throw petrol on fire.

      3. To be precise, the fight took place on a moving train, the killing occurred sometime between Ballabhgarh and Asoti.
        http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/man-stabbed-to-death-2-injured-on-mathura-train-after-fight-with-passengers-for-allegedly-carrying-beef/story-BiJyILYlUloErWASvKQ51M.html

        There was no way any of the two hundred on the platform at Asoti could have been witnesses to the fight. Nor is it clear that any of them could have known the religion of the victims.

        If you want to blame people for not standing witness, it is primarily the passengers on the train in that bogey. Not two hundred in number.

        But never let facts get in the way of a good tirade!

      4. rajat

        its easy to judge till you wear the others shoes, if you were in the mob you would have done no different, Me thinks

        what happened was wrong irrespective of who was of which religion

    2. Pat

      My thoughts exactly. Were the people in the station really able to identify the boy as Muslim? A body flung onto platform would not have a cap, how could a passerby tell a Hindu from a Muslim?

  6. Rashmi Shanbhag

    Was that Hindu witness and Muslim child was that necessary to described the chain of event or to sensationalize the chain of event. Author totally failed to bring out major concern of the society which feels astonished when such small incidences leads into death of minor. Rather report was trying to divide the people into religious ground. For me killing of child irrespective of his religion and peoples reaction to this would have been major thing of concern.

  7. Dinesh Shah

    We are seeing the wages of electing narrow minded , obscurantist forces in and as rulers vitiating entire atmosphere of public spaces in the country. One fatal mistake is going to cost the country its conscience; it has already paid by losing social harmony. The person responsible for massacre of 2001 is back with agenda to obliterate an entire culture, ethos and raison de etre of India.
    THE PRICE WE ARE ALREADY PAYING IS EXORBITANT , BUT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO SUFFER AS A CIVILISATION IS GOING TO BE “DEVASTATING FOR ENTIRE HUMANITY.”

  8. You certainly raise a very important issue. But those who ignored this unfortunate child were not just Hindus, surely there must be some Sikhs and Christians on a crowded station. My point is why bring the religion into a clearly barbaric event, unless you are interested in widening the gulf.
    Looking into the gravity of the situation and knowing India well, no one would volunteer to be an eyewitness.

    1. Nazia

      I think religion was brought here because the killing happened because of religion in the first place. If the majority was afraid to raise voice for fear of being attacked, you can imagine the fears of any minorities (if) present in the crowd. The author mentions at one place that inaction by the crowd is quite a common phenomenon in an unequal society like India, but inability to even recall the events, after it had actually happened, is what is astonishing and worrisome in this case.

    2. Goolam Dawood

      You are attempting to deflect from an obvious fact. These killings are a product of Hindu Nationalism. No more and no less.

  9. Naveen Malhotra

    This is not just the failure of the Govt or the Police. It is the failure of society at large. It is the failure of humanity.

    In our hatred towards Pakistan, we are actually fast becoming the same! Another Pakistan where minorities are constantly living in an environment of fear.

    The onlookers don’t realize that their turn will come soon if they don’t speak up now. For these politicians, we are not Hindus or Muslims – we are just vote banks. Tables can be turned almost anytime. A classic example was Jat riots in Haryana last year when even the armed forces were asked to do nothing when Jat Hindus were fighting against other Hindus. Another such riot was Thakurs vs Dalit in UP recently.

    It is best to raise our voice now. Before it is too late!

  10. Lausane

    Let us debate and debate, again and again, whether there were Muslims around or Hindus kept mum and so on. A 16 year boy was stabbed and killed in day light and in a train. People are being lynched by mobs. This is all fine, it seems! Let we intellectuals debate and find a rationale for everything and for every retaliation since 500 years. Where is law and order to prevent these things happening almost every week. Where is the government? Either there is no governance or perhaps government wants it this way! Let us bear with it for sometime till the character of the civil society is irreversibly maligned ! Till then enjoy a good debate. But then, the country will change for ever, may not be in a way comfortable to anybody.

  11. Very horrifying,terrifying and merciless stage has been started by communal forces under the supervision of most powerfull person of this nation.
    This is the result of work hard of saffron fanatic ideology working day and night since 1907 this terror group was initiated with name “Hindu Maha Sabha later changed name as”Rashtrya Swemsewak Sangh ” in 1925..
    The slaughtering and hunting season of Muslims has been started after stunning victory of 2014 parliament elections….

  12. Dr Vikas Bajpai

    Without in the least forsaking the fact that there has been an unprecedented level of communalization of the majority community in the country, I would beg that this should not call for more sweeping conclusions than deserved. In the instant case the fear of people from owning up seeing anything could very well stem from the fact that the state machinery has since long been largely, and in the present times thoroughly, communalized. The government in the state is run by a former RSS pracharak. Were any person to own up having seen the macabre sight, there is ample chance that s/he would have the same police who is now wanting people to stand witness, come in his/her tow to see to it that the person backs out at a latter date. What the report does not report is whether there were any other Muslims on sight, and mind you not all Muslims are dressed in the manner we are used to characterising them, whether they volunteered to stand witness or not? My hunch is they also would have not for the same reasons as stated above.

    It does not serve any useful purpose to characterise the crowd as Hindus, just as it does not serve the purpose to characterise fundamentalist and reactionary elements among Muslims as Muslims alone. We should identify people for what they are rather than for the region, religion, caste or creed they belong to. For example, it could well be said that – the two hundred or so crowd that had gathered around the body of Junaid would perhaps have called themselves as Hindus or claimed to have belong to the majority community. These bigoted elements of the majority community or bigoted persons who would proudly claim themselves to be Hindus did this or did that …….. This calls for using laborious phrases and obviously is less dramatic.

    Let us be mindful that this unprecedented levels of communal frenzy that is floating around would not have been possible without the sanction of the Indian State, and I am being very categorical in stating ‘Indian State’ and not ‘Modi Government’. Modi government has only further manipulated the Indian State to serve its purpose. After all the clear acquittal of the accused policemen in Hashimpura mass murders of men belonging to minority community committed by men of Provincial Armed Constabulary of UP was also on account of lack of witnesses and in that sense replicates the situation described in this article. There can be many other examples of this kind.

    The problem however is that there is hesitation on part of many otherwise well meaning persons to accept that the Indian state is a bloody Hindu communal state, because to accept this is to accept that the solution to this mayhem does not lie in supporting some rainbow secular coalition in the next election and hope that it will work wonders, that such a secular government shall take up the cudgels on behalf of the NGOized secular elite. Such a secular government shall only pave the way for another ‘Modi Government’ or perhaps even worse by being thorough bed fellows with soft Hindutva and by leveraging a communal state machinery. To acknowledge all of this would be to acknowledge the need for more rigorous, more painstaking alternative, the alternative to mobilize the working masses of India for a revolutionary transformation.

    If indeed all Hindus and all Muslims have become communal, its time that the likes of me pack up their bags, But mercifully I believe that not to be the case and that there is a good majority waiting to be mobilised for better purpose.

    Cordially,

    Dr Vikas Bajpai
    Assistant Professor
    Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health
    Jawaharlal Nehru University
    New Delhi – 67.

  13. Somnath Guha

    People are scared, pure n simple. Not that there were no sane people in the crowd, but no guts. Cant blame them bcoz anyone protesting will be the next victim. Todays telegraph has a first page report of ordinary people speaking out. A man has requested not to be named. A society under the threat of utter fear is being created, systematically, meticulously.

    1. Anindita Choudhury

      True. Ordinary people are afraid of police and government bodies’
      harassment. And as you say, the protester could be the next victim. People have no faith in our police or courts, It is impossible to get justice in a highly corrupt India. One sees so much crime around and hardly any justice. We are a land of the living dead. Soulless people!

  14. The silence of Hindus is appalling and it’s shame to see a young child losing his like that. It feels like it’s the law of the jungle with this mob culture, harking to the dark days of Gujarat pogrom.We should all be concerned what is happening and secularism is threatened where the mob doesn’t have the fear of the law or state condoning such heinous crime. This well-analysed piece throws light on the malaise in our society and it’s worrying.

  15. Lausane

    People are communal and can be, in very many ways and in many parts of the world. But this ok if the government is impartial and there is rule of law. But when a government is communal or prejudiced, then the country will nose dive into an irreversible calamity. Just wait and watch. It is not going to be ache din for anybody, because the common man will lose social discipline. Today they will lynch Muslims. Tomorrow they will fight each other. Ethnic cleansing comes with a price – characterless society.

  16. What a big discussion on the death of a young man! In fact, the discussion is about “200 Hindus” not acting when they sow the dead body. The man had skull cap so he was recognized as Muslim. Out of the 200 none had skull cap, I suppose. So, they were not Muslims, the author imagined. I have some Muslim friends who do not have any thing on their body to be identified as Muslims. So, do lot of Christian friends and Hindus. How did this author come to know all those people were Hindus? To me this author and this so-called publication’s aim is to create hate in the society by publishing such incidents with little one-sided facts and a lot of imagined stories. I just looked up and found more than ten Hindus were killed without much reason in this June so far, and this publication did not write anything about them. This makes it very clear that this so-called publication is a shame to journalism.

    By the way a I was a media person for a long time and I learned journalism mostly from Delhi University and I was instructed that we must always uphold the truth.

  17. Pingback: Why 200 Ordinary Hindus Did Not See A Dead Muslim Child On A Railway Station In North India - The Resistance News

  18. Intellectual Hindus are doing only lip service, they even scared of launching if support Muslims. People in India are acts as innocent bystanders – we are obliged to do something to stop wrongdoing# lip service# only is not going to stop the henerious crime.I strongly urge the international community to raise your voice. What is being done in Indian Muslim on the basis of a cow, every person is having right what to eat or what not. India is Hindu Rastra not to eat is not justice, simply mob lynching is killing humanity. … That’s why people still support the death sentence for these cold blooded criminals.

    1. Family of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death on board a Delhi-Mathura train on Thursday evening, has refuted claims that the boy was attacked over rumours of carrying beef, saying that the argument that ended in violence started over the availability of seats in the train, Amar Ujala has reported.

  19. The killing of Junaid has attracted attention not because it is unusual but because it is quite normal now.Such incidents have stopped raising any eye brows altogether.Perhaps that seems to be the concern of the author.There are and can be more than one explanations and interpretations of such and other happenings always.But the need is to see each one in a particular context.That perspective cannot be guaranteed without the historical background.
    In our country also the present cannot be understood without the relevant reference to the past.Definitely the present is built upon the past.Present has to be linked with the past but that also not selectively but comprehensively.Hindu-Muslim problem has also to be traced in the history of our country.It appears that it is endemic to our country. It has defied any solution so far.Even partition of the country in 1947 failed to solve it.Nor any sustainable and viable solution seems to be insight.Whst is being pleaded normally revolves around moral narrative.Obviouly this has not helped.That is why there is no “eye witness” of Junaid’s murder.To a large extent it is termed as inconsequential.However it has a every thing to do with the politics of our country
    . Here again one has to go back to at least a couple of hundred years
    There is no doubt that the current situation in the country has once again narrowed down the choices before everyone , right from the man in the street to the President of India.There is no exaggeration.Otherwise why should Pranab Da should intervene so frequently to sermonise for tolerance.
    That “Hindu Rashtra”was the aim of RSS has been known since 1925.That it has been spreading its influence through its more than hundred wings has also been known.That BJP formerly BJS is -political wing of RSS- was also known to all and sundry.Why its opponents failed to prevent it from coming into power is the main question . Secondly the the irony is that all of them have helped BJP directly or indirectly reach this culmination.Most of them have even shared power with it at one point of time or other.
    Hence this particular state of affairs in the country

    1. Family of 15-year-old Junaid Khan, who was stabbed to death on board a Delhi-Mathura train on Thursday evening, has refuted claims that the boy was attacked over rumours of carrying beef, saying that the argument that ended in violence started over the availability of seats in the train, Amar Ujala has reported.

  20. Every time an Indian whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christen losses his life because of his religion my heart bleeds. Such drastic action needs to be condemned and perpetrators to be punished by court of law in fast track courts where the lawyers should not be allowed to delay justice on flimsy grounds by worthy Judges. I understand concern of Aarti.Sethi so called social scientist may be a new invented name given by her to herself,kaul in this particular case, where was she when a DSP was killed by mod in Srinagar

  21. By our standards we denounce the groups and countries for exercising the heinous acts like this one, rightly so, but having taken up such inhuman acts by our country simply throws us into the same category which we originally denounce. Civil society needs to take note of societal divide churned up by organised groups lest we plunge in to darkness from which no friendly country can bail us out. It is such an bloody environment where people support eyes shut blood letting and vouch for it till it engulfs all and leaves no exit. Our experiences show it is a murky abyss where you have no return. We have examples of same in neighborhood. It is double edged sword first it cuts your target then it cuts you as well.

  22. Altaf

    Rape, Lynching are social issues, article is far from being true. I have seen it happen to weaker people. If you go into a Muslim majority locality, the same could happen to you..very very unsafe areas still exist in India.

  23. Zeeshan Ali Sayyed

    This article made me cry. I have been wanting to explain to my seemingly good-at-heart friends that the situation in India is dire and whatever incidents are happening are no more one-off incidents. You have articulated it very well. Thank you. I hope this melts many a heart and makes those with an iota of humanity left of themselves to use the false development agenda to vote for these monsters.

  24. Pingback: The Train to Lynchistan - Arré

  25. Arvind

    We say we are technically advance as compare to many underdeveloped countries. Why Goverment cannot install camera’s in train’s , Platforms, Roads, Highway’s and all public places to have vigil on such incidences, since public do not like to involve in other complications. Is it difficult to control any incidences? If there is will there is way.

  26. Div

    Well it’s really sad to see that none came forward to be an eyewitness. But really sensationalised reporting. We in Media needs to be more cautious with what we write and the headlines.

    Now making my point from here on-
    However should really appreciate the writer of the article, as per the write up Asoti seems to be a mini Hindu rashtra with no Muslim, Sikh, Christian brother residing there or being present on the platform. Secondly if the incident happened in the train then it was also a mini hindu rashtra on wheels with no Christian, Sikh or Muslim travellers travelling. Now that no one came forward as an eyewitness got nothing to do with any religion it’s pure fear psychosis and don’t want to be entangled in any case. Now coming to the point that no one came forward is clearly failure of police investigations.

  27. Vijji

    A poignant narrative. Frightening is the silent endorsement of the public. The surveillance state is imposing silence on people. The perpetrators are endorsed by powers that be, while those who would have resisted would have faced hostile authorities ready to pervert the good Samaritan acts. The public culture is ready to countenance violence on the deemed ‘others’; The countering narratives are yet to take shape that would mobilize and influence the public culture!

  28. Anonymous

    You’re taking away from your argument by making generalizing statements, and I think you’re aware of the effects it will have on the reading audience. This is a HUGE issue and the recent killings are indeed indicative of some problematic socialization in our global climate- take the Trump era in America as just one example. We’re seeing some very troubling social trends in recent years, which is why media coverage and reporting is so important now. Media organizations and authors with wide platforms have a responsibility to represent information based on factual evidence and not inject bias, as much as possible, into that evidence. Unless you somehow interviewed each of those 200 people you call Hindus for their religious beliefs (which I see no evidence for; where are the statistics from this hypothetical survey?), you cannot and should not be stating that they were all Hindu if you want people to take your account seriously. This rhetoric (perhaps knowingly) incites Hindu-Muslim animosity more than anything else, and doesn’t get to the heart of the issue you raise here. 200 PEOPLE walked past this heinous crime; in a country of all kinds of religious persuasions the fact that we don’t know the religions or community affiliations of these people makes the situation all the more traumatizing. There’s your ACTUAL sensational story. Let’s stop resorting to this kind of reporting; while emotional, it’s lazy and not factually-based. The facts speak for themselves, and it’s irresponsible to create contention without sufficient grounding.

  29. Pingback: Why Two Hundred Ordinary Hindus Did Not See A Dead Muslim Child On A Railway Platform In North India |

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