My Story: I Got A WhatsApp Message In My Family Group Of A Mob Beating A Person For Alleged Child Lifting
“In the past two years, there have been several instances of Mob lynching. Most of the lynching have happened in Jharkhand, a state considered to be far away from all the development and education. Few are reported and many don’t come to light. The Recent incident took place just 4 hours away from my home.
The last incidence of violence I got aware was through a WhatsApp video forwarded by my uncle on the family WhatsApp group. The man was being beaten by a mob of at least 50 people and when I inquired my uncle told me that the guy is a Bachcha Chor(Child thief). The video was forwarded to him by a friend.
Before that, a 17-yr-old Muslim guy was lynched just 4-5 km away from my home. He allegedly forwarded a morphed image of Goddess Saraswati.
The recent incident of mob violence where 7 people were lynched was also fueled by WhatsApp rumor-mongering. Photos showing dead children and videos of Bachcha Chor(Child Lifters) were being circulated for past few months, as authentic news, with dates and details of ‘child lifting’ incidents stating that those who do this deserve deaths and nothing else.
Most of the social media users in states like Jharkhand are totally new to these technology and smart phones. They consider all the information there as true and cannot differentiate between rumor and news. And it is easy to influence people by fear and hatred.
In the place like Jharkhand, people are impressionable and gullible. It is easy to emotionally influence them. When the videos of violence and fear are forwarded and watched by these people, they take it as truth. These rumours get escalated when police ignore these forwards and people decide to take the matter in their hand.
The WhatsApp group I am part of, most of the forward are religious in nature and that too inciting hatred, saying how their religion is getting diluted and how their rights are being taken away. At the same time, they ask them to take action to save their religion and justify violence.”
Story By – Bharat
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