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Politics of Communal Violence in Delhi

The calculated failure of the government machinery has led to colossal loss of life and property.


The violence that has engulfed parts of Delhi is a severe human tragedy and signifies the acute moral and political crises that our republic is facing. Thus far, there are reports of 38 lives being lost and hundreds being critically injured in different parts of north-east Delhi. While the human and material losses suffered by a particular community are incalculable, the sufferings of the other community is used by the ruling party to sharpen its divisive rhetoric.

While the incendiary speech by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in Jaffrabad, where he brazenly threated violence against anti-CAA (Citizenship [Amendment] Act) protestors is seen as the immediate trigger for the violence, the generalised atmosphere of hate created by the BJP’s election campaign in Delhi had all the portents of fomenting such a situation. Is it a coincidence that the campaign speech by the BJP president and union home minister, where he stooped to using communally charged insinuations, was made in the areas that are worst affected? Also, one cannot miss the fact that five of the eight constituencies won by the BJP are from the same area, thus indicating the extent of receptivity to its divisive campaign. How can one gloss over the link between the “goli maaro” sloganeering and the fact that every third injured person has bullet wounds? It is unmistakable that the continuous efforts by the leaders of the ruling party to vilify the peaceful protestors against the CAA–National Population Register (NPR)–National Register of Citizens (NRC), specifically targeting the Muslim community, have created sanction for the targeted violence. This political–ideological sanction that has been coupled with administrative–juridical impunity raises serious questions over the role of the central government as the Delhi police is controlled by the union home ministry.

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Updated On : 3rd Mar, 2020


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