Mohammad Akhlaq of Dadri was dragged out of his house as his son lay brutally beaten up. Once outside, the 52 year old was then beaten up by some 200 people. There was religious fervour there. Akhlaq’s death was justified. He had, or so it was said, beef in his house. Beef was not food; not in a Hindu populated area at least. When you live in a setting that is foreign to you, you must abide by their rules. That’s the right modus operandi to living in a multicultural society or at least one that’s dictated by a religious hegemony.

There is outcry at his death and there should be. The problem is, it never should have happened in the first place. Statistics and chances make sense. At times, you’re just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s bad luck. Even then, tragedy makes sense.

But, when something bad happens out of conscious decision making that is tragedy in true sense. The fact that people justified a death, out of whatever reason, is something that is very alarming. Religion is often used to justify such killings. We do this with our blasphemy claims. Taliban did that with their regime and ISIS is doing that, well, to spread terror.

So, what’s the problem here? I contest, that it’s this belief that it’s okay to get hurt. We have trained ourselves to accept people’s otherwise intolerable actions as mere reactions to them getting hurt. Hence we train people to be expressive in their forms of exasperations. When it’s venting out in the form of punching the wall and breaking your knuckles, it’s okay. But, exasperation or its venting out can never be allowed at the expense of others. That just common sense.

And yet, it’s not that common.

Any philosophy, spiritual or otherwise, cannot be allowed to undermine what are otherwise widely accepted human ethics. One for example is the freedom of choice. Everyone has their personal places in the world and most enjoy the individuality that comes with freedom.

Freedom is an important part of one’s personal evolution. It gives the space to breathe, to think, to challenge preconceived notions and norms and to discover one’s strengths and yet, there are these societies in the world where the freedom is harnessed with strings pulled by religious zealots. I emphasise on the religious segment of this society because unlike other things like culture, history, societal norms or even familial dictations, you can’t argue against anything religious. This, in itself, is suffocating and causes much harm to the structuring of one’s existence.

As an individual, such harnesses harm the person. Alone, the person would, at times, feel depressed over their predicament. In the loneliness, they might even sit down, procrastinate and, the rebellious amongst them, might even wonder if all this is worth it. However, when the person meets another one and sees that the two share this philosophy that pushes them to forego what is otherwise their preference, the choice becomes a fashion of living. It is then when this gets harmful.

People who share such set of beliefs tend to live in illusionary circumstances. They live in mirages that are repeatedly painted with ideas that are most comforting to them. In this setting of false belief hence, they find themselves at their most comfortable. The comfort gives in to affirmation, to a resolute conformity even. The person becomes confident as he/she becomes part of the crowd. For them, the lone them, a mere sentence otherwise, make a lot more sense being part of a group that talks sense to them. Then comes the dictation and forceful implementation.

There is no running away from the fact that we are victims of our weaknesses. We obsesses over them and allow them to consume us in sometimes not very subtle ways. We spend much time both pointing them out and hiding them from others' eyes. It is these weaknesses that are the hooks to the menacing grip of an overpowering group philosophy. As a group, we are made to believe that our problems subside when in actuality, they just go underground. As a group of delusional people hence, the delusion finds solace in affirmation of their belief. He understands that what he thought otherwise as delusions, were in fact a philosophy shared by someone else. In that respect, the delusion becomes a truth and the weakness becomes a strength. Such strengths cause harm to the society and need to be checked while they’re still at their infancy. Otherwise, as has been stated above, the wrong answers could very well become the ultimate truths. In the same manner, Akhlaq’s cases would be justified; after all, it was never a lone man’s misadventure.