Bollywood celebs talk against lynchings, demand justice

Bollywood celebs talk against lynchings, demand justice

Javed Akhtar (file photo)

Bollywood celebrities, including lyricist Javed Akhtar and director Sudhir Mishra, today voiced their outrage over the increasing instances of lynching and pressed for justice for the victims.

Mob violence had not been justified with "such shameless audacity" even during the bleakest moments in history, said Akhtar.

"Even in the days of Ku Klux Klan and slavery in USA or at the peak of White supremacist rule in South Africa no one had justified lynching with such shameless audacity," the veteran writer-lyricist said on Twitter.

Director Sudhir Mishra added, "What do those who justify lynching say to their children?"

In the latest incident, a 28-year-old man, Rakbar Khan, was allegedly lynched to death on the suspicion of cow smuggling in Rajasthan's Alwar district. It is alleged that it took over two-and-a-half hours for the police to take the victim to a nearby hospital.

A high-level panel, set up by the state police, found four policemen guilty of dereliction in duty and suspended an assistant sub-inspector and shunted three constables to police lines.

"Cops who stand by and watch a lynching (and sometimes try to cover it up with false narratives) shouldn't they be severely punished too- instead of being just suspended or sent off to another posting. These guys are supposed to protect the innocent, not aid in their murder," filmmaker and former journalist Pritish Nandy said.

Actor-stand up comedian Vir Das tweeted, "Who does a guy have to hug to get some justice for lynching around here?"

Actor Gauahar Khan added that a dying person's statements are of no use and the accused are given a clean chit.

"The leaders of the state make loose statements about killings as if it's just a chain snatching incident, the leaders of the country stay quiet about it, but lynching is the new casual term for MURDER," she tweeted.

Actor-poet Danish Husain tagged a report about death of cows in a shelter and tweeted, "No, no - we must lynch #Muslims that's the only way to protect cows. A horrific death in a shelter is much better than being a Muslim's cattle."

Director Alankrita Srivastava said schools earlier taught students not to follow the herd and think for themselves.

" 'Mob mentality' was not a tenet to live by, but to guard ourselves against. The mob does not know reason, and is driven by anger, hatred and/or foolishness. Time to go back to school, perhaps."

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