Opinion: The Delhi Riots Were Not Spontaneous, They Built-Up Slowly Over Time

The aftermath of the riots in North East Delhi, February 2020.

Delhi witnessed hate speeches and firing incidents during and after the elections too. I am quoting some of them here because it is necessary for the people to know the perpetrators behind the large scale violence in the National capital where 42 people have lost their lives while more than 200 have been injured, till now.

The people who gave hate speeches were the leaders of BJP and AIMIM. None of them is behind the bars, except an FIR was lodged against Waris Pathan.

It all started on 15th December 2019, when Delhi police mishandled the Jamia Milia university students strike (against CAA)  by entering the campus and brutally beating the students; many are seriously injured while one student has lost his eye permanently.

After a month, the JMCC released a video which clearly showed that the police entered the library and have broken the CCTV cameras. This video has been fact-checked by Alt news.

Calling the anti-CAA protesters traitors, a BJP leader took out a Pro-CAA rally on 20th December 2019 in which his supporters were marching with the slogan “Desh ke Gaddaron ko …”. In spite of this hateful slogan, Delhi Police remained silent and didn’t take any action.

On 5th January 2020, a group of masked men with iron rods illegally entered the JNU Campus and allegedly brutally assaulted the teachers, students and the JNUSU President Aishe Ghosh.

Delhi police are still in investigation mode after two months of the violence. This ignorance of the Delhi Police has given us the wrong impression about its reputation. On 23rd January the same Kapil Mishra Tweeted that “on 8 February (voting day of Delhi elections) it will be India vs Pakistan competition on the roads of Delhi”.

I believe he was intentionally pointing towards Shaheen Bagh where many people are protesting against the CAA.  It seems like, according to BJP leaders, anyone who criticises the Government policies is anti-national and should go to Pakistan. This India-Pakistan narrative created a communal divide in Delhi.

On 27th January, Anurag Thakur (State Finance Minister) chanted the same “Desh ke Gaddaron ko….” slogan in an election rally, in Delhi, after which he was banned from rallying.

On the same day, a BJP MP, Pravesh Verma in an interview, warned: “Shaheen Bagh Protesters will rape and kill your sisters”. He also promised people that all mosques in west Delhi will be removed if BJP is voted to power.

A very shameful incident happened on Martyr’s day (30th January) when a gunman opened fire outside Jamia University and said ” yeh lo azaadi “. A student was injured in this firing.

A very shameful incident happened on Martyr’s day (30th January) when a gunman opened fire outside Jamia University and said ” yeh lo azaadi “. A student was injured in this firing.

The Police appeared to be mute spectators when he was walking freely with a gun in hand and arrested him only after he fired a shot.

On 1st February, another shooting incident happened near Shaheen Bagh where a man opened fire and said ” Only Hindus will prevail in this country. This country is ours”.

On the next day i.e 2nd February, two people on a bike opened fire at Gate No.5 at Jamia University and fled away.

On 19th February AIMIM leader, Waris Pathan said in a public meeting; “We have to move together. We have to take Azadi (freedom), things that we don’t get by asking, we have to take it by force, remember it…(We maybe) 15 crore, but are heavy on 100 (crore), remember it”. 

Finally, on 23 February, Kapil Mishra, who lost the assembly election, gave 3-day ultimatum to Delhi Police to clear the roads, where people were doing 24/7 protests and threatened to disobey police if anti CAA protesters were not evicted.

Surprisingly, a DCP of Delhi Police was standing next to him while he (Kapil Mishra) was addressing the crowd. The next day was dreadful for Delhites. The rioters took over the Northeast Delhi area.

The fire of hate spread too fast. A question should definitely be raised on the action of the Delhi Police. Why did this riot take place? There is no one-line answer.

The above statements fueled the hate which was growing day by day. Delhi witnessed a 3-day assault on its integrity and unity. Not a single political party was on the road, appealing for peace.

AAP party leaders went to Rajghat instead of Maujpuri, which was a highly affected area. During Partition, when Noakhali was burning and there were dead bodies everywhere, Gandhiji himself was on the roads of Noakhali, to calm the tense situation. But unfortunately, our present leaders were busy blaming each other when people were killed.

While all this was happening, USA President, Donald Trump was in India, along with a US Delegation. While our PM was listening to praise from Trump about our culture of unity in diversity, North East Delhi was burning in a Hindu-Muslim Riot.

Similar Posts

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 Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’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