On July 20 night, 28-year-old Khan was walking home with a friend along with the two cows, which he had bought for Rs. 60,000 across the border in Alwar, Rajasthan.

The reason he was walking, his wife says, was because he had no money to hire a tempo. Just before he crossed the state border, he was attacked by a large mob that accused him of cow smuggling and proceeded to brutally beat him. His friend escaped into the fields.

According to the FIR, ‘a member of the mob, Naval Kishore Sharma, called the police at about 12:41 am and help arrived at about 1:25 am on Saturday morning. Khan was reportedly transported on the floor of a police van to a nearby home and washed up. Meanwhile, the police arranged a vehicle to transport the cows to a gaushala’.

Khan was finally brought to a hospital at 4 am, where he was declared dead on arrival. The autopsy report states he died of shock as a result of 13 injuries caused by a blunt object.

What disturbs us most today, and has been happening over and over again in India since 2014? Yes, that same thing that BJP-RSS leaders keep claiming is not such a big deal after all; in fact, it’s nothing more than a sign of the prime minister’s ever-increasing popularity.

One of two things must be true. Either all the gentlemen quoted above are speaking with Modi’s consent, or Modi no longer has control over his party. For a man who barely five days ago won a no-confidence motion on the floor of the Lower House 325-126, it is unlikely that the latter is the case.

The advent of stringent anti-hate and anti-racism laws in Europe and the US did not mean all white people stopped hating people of color, it just meant they couldn’t talk about it in public, much less act on it. There will still be Hindus in India who may not like the idea of their daughter marrying a Muslim man and vice versa. That is different. One man cannot control what prejudices and biases human beings have against others who may look, dress or eat differently. But what Modi and his government can control are institutions that make it unacceptable, nay impossible, to air these prejudices in public, far less act upon them.

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