WhatsApp: The New Adda for India’s Lynch Mobs

Social Commentary

WhatsApp: The New Adda for India’s Lynch Mobs

Illustration: Akshita Monga


n July 1, a mob of what is claimed to be 3,500 men, gathered outside a house in Maharashtra’s Dhule town united by a common purpose. It wasn’t celebratory, it wasn’t even a protest. It was enmity and a virtual cue to enact justice on their own that had brought these people together. Hours later, five men were lynched based on the suspicion that they might have kidnapped children from the area.

The Dhule lynching was one of 14 such incidents of mob justice, in the state of Maharashtra in the month of June alone. Increasingly, the ones who are on the receiving end of mob justice feel like its least troubling aspects – it is the frequency and ease with which these groups turn violent, and treat the loss of human life as a mere fallout of their collective traumatic catharsis that has now become scary.