As shocking as the outburst of hatred in Delhi has been, with the deadliest religious violence the capital has seen in decades, it cannot be understood either as an unforeseen eruption, nor as the ineluctable expression of centuries-old intercommunal hostility. Instead, the 24 [now 49] deaths and hundreds of injuries seen as mobs set fire to mosques and businesses and invaded Muslim homes result from the slow accretion of loathing, indulged and fostered by political leaders. They are the latest step along India’s path away from its founding ideals of pluralism and equality, towards intolerance and hate.
The immediate causes of events are the fallout from Narendra Modi’s unjust Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the dangerous rhetoric employed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata party in Delhi’s city elections this month, and the mob incitement by BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, to violently remove a group of Muslims who were blocking a road in the capital’s north-west to protest against the legislation. Scuffles quickly escalated. But it is clear that many defenceless Muslims were the primary targets and victims.
Witnesses described the police simply standing by, joining crowds chanting nationalist slogans, or firing indiscriminately. BJP leaders were reportedly recorded encouraging crowds to chant “shoot the traitors” and accusing the peaceful protestors of being “rapists and murderers”. This is awful but unsurprising. The BJP’s Hindu nationalism is a politics that rose to power by fomenting violence against vulnerable religious minorities.…
Narendra Modi Looks the Other Way as New Delhi Burns – By Rana Ayyub (Feb 28, 2020, Time)
How the Indian Government Watched Delhi Burn – By Samanth Subramanian (Feb 27, 2020, New Yorker)
Shah Of Delhi’s Misery – By Aijaz Ashraf (Mar 2, 2020, Mid-Day)
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah harvest hate in India: The bumper crop is blood – By Swati Chaturvedi (Mar 1, 2020, Gulf News)