This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The UK Riots And What India Could Learn From Them

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Namrata Nadkarni:

When one of the most prime cities in the world, London, falls prey to the cacophony and dissonance of riots, it makes one but wonder about what could possibly have been done to tranquilize the wrath of the insurgence.

With a country like India, which has had certain sudden occurrences of riots amongst other infuriated acts, we have a lot to learn from the London mutiny to ease the fury that follows such an act.

The British Government along with their police force seem to be in a state of complete denial to the basic causes that led to the violence. However, there are lessons veiled in it for India as well as for other nations of South Asia which are, or will soon be, forced to think about the after-effects of an entirely unregulated march of global capital under the guise of liberal economic policies, and the refusal of the Government to play its role as a nurturer and protector in a welfare state. With six thousand communal riots, and hundreds of other incidents of mass violence, India must do some thinking.

One of the major complains heard from across the globe were “the BBC coverage of the London riots is terrible”. The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on the other hand did a much better job in circulating videos via internet to make them viral within minutes of their occurrences. Hence, having well established media coverage is highly essential during times like the riots. The reporting allows the rational spectator to be well aware of the proceedings. It also keeps those in the city or town well informed about the status at hand. Especially in a city like India, where communal strains already exist, a sudden misconception about those involved in the riots can set off larger problems, ablaze.

British social scientist and author Ron Boyd-Macmillan said:

“Inner city deprivation has led to the violence. In the economic policies followed by a succession of Governments, the people living in the inner cities — people of Caribbean origin as much as poor among the Whites — had been totally ignored. There was no investment in their education. They felt they had been disowned by society, if partly by their own choice. A lot of the urban youth were angry that they did not belong to society.”

One of the major facts brought to light by the London riots is that elements of subclasses are being criminalized in recent times. It speaks for the real quality of the Police, that they had little intelligence on these developments, focused as they were on the political watch on Islam.

There is also emerging evidence that the riots were very well organised, either in deliberate outside organisations or through contemporary social networks.

The strong foothold of social networks in the lives of the youth today is required to be monitored closely. Drives, awareness and campaigns are seen to take place every day on these online platforms. Being well aware of what is brewing via these media shall keep the authorities well acquainted on future thought-processes that might be instrumental in infuriating such rebellions.

The awareness of the police force is also a major aspect, which even the Indian scenario can relate to. Concentrating on the prospective regional uprisings, have led them to overlook the physical poverty augmenting in the by-lanes of the country. This poverty serves to be the very fuse that sets off a conflagration on the scales of the London riots. Hence paying immediate attention to the calls of the poor and understanding their needs is the requirement of the hour, so that the Government, long on rabblerousing rhetoric and short on political acumen will be able to set up policies and structures to not just defuse the tension, but provide that long-term growth and human dignity which the people, in their twin identities as arsonists and victims are seeking.

You must be to comment.
  1. Sankalp Kulshrestha

    Nice article. Truly India has lots of lessons to learn from the UK riots.

    Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. When it comes to India, which has indeed become the playground of rioters, the role of government has either been towards taking the lime light through media announcing their grief or prejudicing towards one of the sides of the fight.

    As far as the role of social networking websites and BBM are concerned, I wouldn’t regard them to be good. With twitter transforming into a pandemonium of terrible news and comments and citing pictures of burning police cars and various other scenes & BBM helping in organizing the riots, their role aided the spread of the fire, exciting more crowd and instilling more anger among the youth.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By Shilpa S


By Akansha Singh

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below