Lynch Files: The Forgotten Saga of Victims of Hate Crime - IAMC
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Lynch Files: The Forgotten Saga of Victims of Hate Crime

Author: Ziya Us Salam
Reviewed by: Rizwan Qaiser
Available at: SAGE Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320; Email:

Politics of lynching (Jun 21, 2019, Frontline)

…In this book, Ziya Us Salam has documented the spate of gruesome cow/beef-related lynching cases, both chronologically and by location. He has also placed in context the importance of the cow in the religio-cultural life of society in north India.

Ziya Us Salam argues that in ancient India, the cow did not have the significance that it came to acquire in later times, particularly in the late nineteenth century and twentieth century.… The cow remained a vital component of Hindutva mobilisation from the 1920s to the 1940s. In independent India, pressure began to mount, especially on Congress regimes in the States, to bring about legislation to prevent cow slaughter, and this was carried out with great public commitment. And it seemed that the cow factor was a settled matter.

But that was not to be. Many may not remember that Narendra Modi, during his electoral campaign in 2014, castigated the flourishing Pink Revolution (the technological revolution in the meat and poultry processing sector) and called for it to be curbed. It was clearly implied that the meat industry was purposely allowed to grow in order to benefit a particular community. It is not surprising at all that soon after Modi assumed power, the beef- and cow-related attacks began.…