Where To, After The Delhi Nightmare?

As riots in Delhi continued for the fourth day, I wondered whether those affected found a roof over their heads to sleep, or those carrying out the rampage on the streets felt tired and got any sleep. Or was the madness overpowering enough to make them insomniacs?

TOPSHOT – A resident look at burnt-out and damaged residential premises and shops following clashes between people supporting and opposing a contentious amendment to India’s citizenship law, in New Delhi on February 26, 2020. – Riot police patrolled the streets of India’s capital on February 26 following battles between Hindus and Muslims that claimed at least 20 lives, with fears of more violent clashes. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

How compelling can one’s blood lust be, how indoctrinated can one be with religious venom, I wonder. It is still not the best time to blame one or the other side for initiating the riots, but what is absolutely clear is the sadist pleasure which goons found in beating, burning, thrashing and killing anyone who passes by.

As the riots unfolded,  social media including Twitter and Facebook deluged with video clips from both sides.

The rioters went thrashing people, ransacking and blazing houses and shops, burning property, mostly belonging of the Muslim community. As many as 22 people, including a constable of the Delhi Police, have reportedly died in violent clashes.

People lost their loved ones, their hard-earned businesses and property, and are left hopeless staring at their future in ugly apprehension. But why has the police not taken strict action against those who spilt venom against a community?

Why did the simple matter of referring the seriously injured to better hospitals reach the court? Why did the Prime Minister not speak until the fourth day?

Why did the police not act in the best way, while the violence continued?

These are questions that hint towards a serious misfortune the country has been facing for the past few years. As one of my friends, earlier a Sangh-Pracharak, in a conversation told me; they would always be asked if they were ready to wait for 400 years for their dream of a Hindu Rashtra to come to reality, to which they would answer in the affirmative.

When there is so much of perseverance to reach the otherwise dreadful goal, what do you do? Through this event, India is being pushed along the path of hateful majoritarianism towards the aspired Hindu Rashtra.

What is most distressing, however, is the fact the both, the participants in the crime, as well as the sufferers, were the poorest people, those who could barely make a living. A female fruit seller, a tailor, a garment shop owner, a daily wager, a bakery owner to name just a few.

It is saddening how, for mere political gains, few leaders holding positions don’t bother to think twice before giving vitriolic speeches. People have been beaten and killed for protesting against a law in the world’s largest democracy.

One of the rioters, while talking to a reporter of the Wire reporter, was heard saying that India was ‘their country, and others cannot sit on their streets to protest against the laws made by the Parliament.

Although it doesn’t surprise me because this is just the manifestation of the narrative that has been built over the years, that Muslims must go to Pakistan, Muslims are against India and so on.

The phrase ‘ Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikaas’ if examined closely, calls the Muslims ‘others’, and Hindus ‘apne‘, or else they wouldn’t have used the word ‘ sabka’.

India, for now, will have to stop dreaming of becoming an economic powerhouse, or a global leader, for the crisis facing the country internally is too gigantic to be tackled. Unless and until we deal with the existing havoc of religious majoritarianism we can only sign memorandums and deals with nations, without taking a single step forward.

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