Why is everyone so eager to blame priests and outsiders for "inciting" the mob that killed a man? Each and every member of that group was an adult and bears full responsibility for their actions. It's time we stopped infantalizing our citizens and started treating them as adults.

Beef Killings: “Provoked” and “Incited” my Foot!

When a mob kills a man, do you blame the mob or someone who “incited” the mob? Here in India we’ve progressed far down the road of infantalizing our citizens. This means that instead of condemning the people who actually committed the crime, we seek to blame “priests”, and mysterious “outsiders” who forced the priest to make an announcement etc.

News reports say that a mob of around 200 people stormed the victim’s house and killed him. So far, only 6 people have been arrested. Why just 6? Every last one of those buggers needs to be hunted down and jailed. But most of the news reporting and outrage and “solutions” revolve around who “incited” the mob and spread false rumors.

Some politicians have even gone so far as to label the whole thing a “misunderstanding” and an “accident”. How the hell can you “accidentally” force a man out of his house and beat him to death? What “misunderstanding” can be responsible for it?

I don’t care who “incites” me. If I murder someone, I alone am responsible.

This is bullshit. Let’s be clear. The people who murdered this guy were adults who deliberately chose to go to his house and kill him. I don’t care if they were “incited”, or if false rumors were spread or whatever. They – and they alone – need to take full responsibility for their actions.

These are not animals who were “provoked” into violence. Human beings do not have a button inside their head which when pressed, leads them to uncontrollable rampage and violence. This mob felt safe and secure in their numbers and found voluntary ethical validation in their fellow rioters. They need to be taught a lesson – that you cannot shrug away responsibility for your actions.

Indian law repeatedly absolves rioters of their actions during a rampage. It treats them like a force of nature instead of aware adults who are expected to obey the law. Instead, it searches for who “provoked” the mob. As if that person holds a remote control and the actual mob members are brainless robots.

This lack of personal responsibility encourages people during a riot to simply do as they please. And it’s not just a question of law. News discussions, opinion articles and blogs are all quick to remove focus from the mob members. Well, I’m not willing to do that.

I don’t care who “incites” me. If I murder someone, I alone am responsible. I have the choice to decide whether or not a person’s words will influence me, and if I make the wrong choice, it is my fault and not theirs.

It’s time Indian law and society stopped diluting responsibility for violence. Islamic fanatics who murder others for “disrespecting Islam” cannot claim innocence no matter how much they were “provoked”. A criminal cannot blame society, “porn”, or alcohol for their misdeeds. Vandals who destroy art cannot shift the blame onto the artist for “hurting their sentiments”, and people cannot use the blanket of “offense” to escape culpability for murder.

Stop blaming priests, outsiders, and other nefarious elements. Start placing the blame for the murder squarely where it belongs – on the individual members of the mob who are expected to obey the law and made the choice to do otherwise. No one else is responsible for their actions expect for themselves.

Stop pandering to individual religions, or pander to ALL of them. If the government bans beef for "Hindu Sentiments", then please also ban meat for "Jain sentiments". No special treatment.

Why a Beef Ban and no Meat Ban?

Let me understand this right. The Shiv Sena and MNS are against a meat ban in Maharashtra because they don't want to give in to the Jain community's demands. Fine. But when it comes to banning beef to protect "Hindu Sentiments", the same parties … [Continue reading]

It's time we stopped justifying the poor treatment of women and others in the name of tradition. We need to move on and adapt better values, better ideas, and leave old ones behind. But for that to happen, we must all get together and murder this beast called "Indian culture". As long as that remains, it will continue to hold us back. <br></br>
flickr photo by bernat... http://flickr.com/photos/bernatcg/2240653273 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

We Need to Murder “Indian Culture”

Was reading this blog post by Women's Web on what Indian women need to do right from the start of their marriage. Including: Calling your husband by his name Not being solely responsible for cooking/cleaning Not quitting their job All this … [Continue reading]

Indian parents need to learn to discipline their kids and prevent them from making a nuisance of themselves in public spaces. Compared to the other children I see around me in the US, kids here are generally well mannered and if they raise a ruckus, the parents are embarrassed and make them keep quiet. Or they remove the child from the area. Why can't we do the same?

Dear Indian Parents: Control your Annoying Kids

Disclaimer: This is merely a trend I've noticed with Indian parents and their kids. Obviously there will be exceptions. Keep that in mind before leaping on me! Recently, Anupa and I decided that it's been a long time since we had Indian food. In … [Continue reading]

Is this what we want to do to someone else? To kill innocent people and children? The Indian defense minister says he wants to use "terrorists to counter terrorists". Since when do we sanction violence against harmless people who have never hurt us in any way?<br></br>
flickr photo by aloshbennett http://flickr.com/photos/aloshbennett/3083220119 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Sorry, but we can NEVER Fight “Terror with Terror”

I can't believe what I'm hearing. Our defense minister now thinks that "You have to neutralize terrorists with terrorists"! This is a shocking statement from someone who clearly has no idea what India stands for, and whose concepts of right and wrong … [Continue reading]

When both the perpetrators and direct victims of a crime are dead, it's time to let the matter go. The children of perpetrators have clean hands - and a country is made up of people. Yes, the colonization of India was a terrible thing. But from today's perspective, it's like a natural disaster. There's no one to blame, and there are no reparations to be made.

No Tharoor – The British Don’t Owe us Anything

Two months ago, the Oxford Union held a debate on whether or not the British owe reparations to its former colonies. Sashi Tharoor took part in it claiming that yes - the British have a moral responsibility for the years of colonization and … [Continue reading]

There is nothing wrong with Jindal wanting to give up his "Indian roots". He wasn't even born in India! It's profoundly racist to insist that just because he has a particular DNA and because his parents were born somewhere else, he has to attach a certain name tag to himself. Our identities are something we create for ourselves - they are not imposed on us.

Jindal Discards His Indian Roots – So What?

I think Bobby Jindal is a joker. His remarks about gay marriage itself are enough to mark him out as a silly guy catering only to his deeply conservative GOP base - whether or not he actually believes in what he says is anyone's guess. I have no … [Continue reading]

Ready to eat food is an evolution over cooking. The debacle with Maggi simply means that processes are going to improve. Home cooking isn't inherently superior.<br></br>
flickr photo by Fatty Tuna http://flickr.com/photos/fattytuna/1987390749 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Despite Maggi, Ready to Eat is Awesome!

Ok, Maggi's been caught with its pants down. With reports of excess lead content and reports of other contaminants, it'll be a while before my favorite pre-packaged Indian fast food snack recovers. I never even used to cook it - just eat it raw … [Continue reading]

A lot of people would like to see barbaric punishments like hanging in public, stoning, etc. While this is because of India's laggy and inefficient judicial system, we must not forget who we are. Due process is what separates India from many of its neighbors.<br></br>

flickr photo by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE http://flickr.com/photos/photonquantique/5001569309 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Criminals Have Rights Too – For Our Sake, Not Theirs

Recently the Supreme Court ruled that hangings cannot be carried out secretly and without first allowing the convict to inform their family members and seek legal counsel. Makes sense right? After all, one of the pillars of the Constitution and of … [Continue reading]

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The bail applications of Jayalalitha and Salman Khan should have only been heard after those of everyone else before them. These "expedited hearings" are what allow the rich and powerful to ignore the broken legal system in India. A strict "First in First out" set up would force them to provide speedy justice for everyone.

Salman Khan Case: Make Jumping the Bail Queue Illegal

Salman Khan and Jayalalitha - two cases in one week exemplify the problem of justice in India. I'm not commenting on whether or not their getting out was right or wrong. My big problem is the fact that while they were released, lakhs of other … [Continue reading]

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