Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Mob violence in India: Punjab in flames after attack on Sikh sect guru in Vienna

Either it's attack on North Indians in Maharashtra, the Gujjar agitation or the recent mob violence across Punjab and Haryana after the Dera leader of a Sikh sect was shot in farway Austria's Vienna--all incidents manifest the growing mobocracy in Indian society.

Property worth billions was gutted and destroyed in the mindless violence. Trains were set afire, trucks and buses torched, houses and shops stoned and people attacked by the incensed mob.

Sant Niranjan Das has survived the attack but the other guru, Sant Ramanand, was killed when he was attacked in a gurudwara in Europe. The loss is around 7,000 crores, as per industry sources. Thousands of passengers were stranded and many died in the violence. The followers of Dera Sachkhand are considerd heretic by mainstream Sikhs.

The Dera mainly has followers among Dalits and lower caste Sikhs who also believed in Raidas (or Saint Ravi Das).

Earlier, the deras had come under controversy when Dera Sacha Sauda's Baba Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim had courted controversy over his dress that resembled the Sikh guru.

Unfortunatedly, riots and mob violence are becoming more common in India. The phenomenon of lawlessness is growing and it reflects not just the failure of the administration and the state but also the citizens' apathy towards their own country.

It's time we take serious steps to discourage this mob mentality that is taking over the nation. Unfortunately we tend to let the culprits go softly as politics prevails in all such violent incidents, and every such violent reaction provokes more people to resort to such practices to show their anger.

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