Lynching: A Threat to Democracy

10 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2020

See all articles by Kalyani Abhyankar

Kalyani Abhyankar

National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS)

Date Written: May 29, 2020


Indian Constitution is a majestic document which has provided this country the status of being sovereign, democratic and republic. In a democratic country, the people have right to live freely, eat freely, trade freely and have their own privacy. But today these fundamental rights are at stake for certain religious and caste based minority. The Muslims, The Dalits and The Tribals who add to the secular and diverse nature of this country are under constant threat. They fear being beaten up and killed for what they eat or trade in. The principle of unity and integrity of the nation which is incorporated in the Preamble of our Constitution just seems to have vanished into thin air in the present scenario.

Recently India has fallen prey to rising number of lynching incidents. A large number of incidents have been reported since 2014. Cow vigilantism has led to communal unrest in the society and has further induced fear in the minds of the people for what they consume. The right to life and liberty which are paramount for the democratic society have weakened today for the largest democracy in the world as right to livelihood, right to eat and right to privacy are at stake for certain religious and caste based society in the Northern part of India.

The executive has further failed to curb this violence by not investigating and prosecuting properly in majority of incidents reported. These targeted victims have been denied their basic human rights and even their right to life enshrined in our Constitution

The author through this paper aims to understand the underlying cause of lynching and its paralyzing effect on the constitutional rights of religious and caste based minorities in India. The author further critically examines the current law and goes on to recommend steps to bridge the gap between law and its effective implementation.

Suggested Citation

Abhyankar, Kalyani, Lynching: A Threat to Democracy (May 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Kalyani Abhyankar (Contact Author)

National University of Advanced Legal Studies (NUALS) ( email )

Kochi, Kerala, 683503

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