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Story Publication logo May 24, 2019

The Hour of Lynching: Vigilante Violence in India


Image courtesy of Amit Madheshiya and Shirley Abraham.

Returning home after buying two milch cows, dairy farmer Rakbar Khan was lynched by a mob of “cow...

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Image by Amit Madheshiya. India, 2019.
Image by Amit Madheshiya. India, 2019.

Rakbar, a Muslim dairy farmer, was murdered by a Hindu mob who thought he was taking a cow to be slaughtered for meat. His wife, Asmeena, must undergo an intense iddat, which means "mourning" in purdah, and their daughter, Sahila, is now forced to abandon school to take care of the household. While the family falls apart, the hate machinery of right-wing Hindu nationalists—politicians and lynch mobs—works overtime to legitimize the killing. Set in a remote village in India, The Hour of Lynching sheds light on a global problem: communities turning on "the other"—sometimes with extreme violence.


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