Muslim minority groups organised the violence to butcher the Hindu community to uphold political-religious dominance and by taking part in this Hindu genocide, the minority community proved they could violently dominate over the majority Hindus.
India has had a long history of Hindu-Muslim violence since the colonial time. They have already fought several times over religious matters, which have been characterised as “institutionalised communal violence” by political scientists. But what kind of violence was Delhi violence 2020? What was the nature and structure of Delhi violence? In fact, it is different from the previous violence. The nature and structure of Delhi violence has not been properly studied and defined by political scientists. Delhi violence should be studied from a different political perspective to explore the changing contours of communal violence. It was not simply Hindu-Muslim communal violence but was violence that had several rounds of political conspiracies.
It had many objectives: first, it was violence perpetrated by a separatist group in the national capital against the political sovereignty of our country and to defame the country during the visit of the US President; second, it was violence which a Muslim minority group organised to butcher the Hindu community to uphold political-religious dominance and, finally, Delhi violence was planned to retain power in Delhi Assembly.
All these objectives were manifested in the Delhi violence 2020. That is how Delhi violence has to be studied methodologically. The article intends to examine the nature and structure of Delhi violence.
The riot broke out in Northeast Delhi on the occasion of the Anti-CAA movement. More than 53 people have lost their lives in the violence, over 200 people were left injured, and 400 people left their homes. Houses, shops and temples were burnt down and attacked by Muslim mobs. The violence developed a gun culture as a man named Shahrukh was openly threatening common people and the police personnel. He was arrested later from the Shamli district of UP. Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal lost his life while controlling the protestors. Section 144 was imposed in the violence-hit areas, which had no effect.
Who were the attackers, and who provoked the Muslim community? Attackers were mainly outsiders stationed in schools to execute the violence. Many of them were goons and also students from JNU and Jamia. Umar Khalid incited violence in the region. Several goons, including Umar Khalid, had been arrested, and a judicial proceeding is going on against them. The ‘urban naxals’ from academic institutions like JNU and Jamia had prepared the plot to instigate violence against the Hindu community. Northeast Delhi violence was a clear manifestation of planned genocide against Hindu people living in Muslim dominated areas.
The Delhi High Court has already called the violence a conspiracy and planned. While denying the bail request of an accused Mohammad Ibrahim, Justice Subramanium Prasad strongly said, “The Delhi riots of 2020 were a conspiracy, planned and executed. They evidently did not take place in a spur of the moment”. Further, the court said in the video footage submitted by the prosecution, “The systematic disconnection and destruction of the CCTV cameras also confirms the existence of a pre- planned and pre-meditated conspiracy to disturb law and order in the city. This is also evident from the fact that innumerable rioters ruthlessly descended with sticks, dandas, bats etc., upon a hopelessly outnumbered cohort of police officials”.
In addition, Justice Prasad said, “Individual liberty cannot be used to threaten the fabric of civilised society. Ibrahim was seen on CCTV clips threatening the crowds with a sword”. Ibrahim was accused of killing the head constable Ratan Lal on February 24. Ibrahim had admitted in the court that “he was carrying the sword only to protect himself and his family”.
The structure and nature of Delhi violence state that it has developed new trends in Hindu-Muslim violence. It was the first time that Left-Wing professors from prestigious universities plotted the violence and played an active role in the Hindu genocide. Muslim mobs used schools to target Hindu temples and belongingness. It was a political conspiracy to challenge the political sovereignty of India and defame the nation in a global society. The open gun culture was another important feature of the violence.
By taking part in this Hindu genocide, the minority community proved they could violently dominate over the majority Hindus. The politically vested interest groups who have miserably failed to defeat prime minister Modi in elections had planned genocide of Hindus in the national capital. They did not even think for a while that India is also their motherland and how can they break the unity and sovereignty. These attitudes of a separatist group give birth to the changing contours of communal violence in contemporary India.
(The writer teaches political science at the University of Delhi. He can be contacted at [email protected])