2020 Delhi riots
series of riots and violent incidents in North East Delhi, India
The 2020 Delhi riots, or North East Delhi riots, were multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting in North East Delhi, beginning on 23 February and caused mainly by clashes between Muslims and Hindus.
- It is noteworthy that at the time of eruption of communal riots in the area(s) of northeast Delhi, the applicant(Tahir Hussain) has been in a powerful position and it is prima facie apparent that he used his muscle power and political clout to act as a kingpin in planning, instigating and fanning the flames of the communal conflagration," the court observed.
- There could not be a more grisly method, even when it involves no violence, to cover up ghastly crimes committed by a people than to indulge in the fallacy of false equivalence. In this fallacy, two incomparable things are compared and declared to be equal because there are always two sides to the story. What is going on in the aftermath of the worst communal violence in Delhi since 1984, in which 34 Muslims and 15 Hindus have died, is precisely this fallacy. Thus, here, both Hindus and Muslims are at fault for the violence; hence the refusal to call it a pogrom or state-backed violence against Muslims despite all the evidence. Moral equivalence completely obscures the root causes of a problem. It instead focuses on the immediate and the superficial, and is employed by well-intentioned observers as well as Hindutva supporters when on the defensive. Thus, six years of relentless hate-mongering against Muslims is seen to be of no consequence in creating an absolutely inflammable social sphere.
- To place the responsibility of violence on the illiterate, poor and unemployed mobs is to completely miss the pathologies amongst us, the privileged and the powerful, which are the greatest enablers of violence.
- The narrative of moral equivalence is persisted with regard to the Delhi violence, despite the overwhelming evidence of the police acting emphatically in favour of one side. A wide swathe of retired police officers has opined that it is impossible for riots to go on beyond a few hours, especially in the capital of India, with a relatively better-equipped and 80,000-strong police force, without police complicity and sanction.
- This is when false equivalence fails to recognise not only the unbridled state-backed violent majoritarianism but also its farcical nature. To counter false equivalence and to assert what happened in Delhi was an anti-Muslim pogrom, we do not have to take the morally dubious position of denying that there has been the loss of innocent lives among Hindus as well (after all, what can be more heartbreaking than losing a 15-year old boy – the youngest victim of the violence, Nitin Kumar – who was killed while stepping out to buy food), or that the victims are not capable of brutality. But to remain at the level of a statistical apportioning of grief, or false equivalence is to fundamentally misread the nature of the beast which has succeeded in replacing every critical problem in India with the narrative of a Hindu-Muslim war, and which has produced suffering even among the oppressors.
- There are some events in the history of a people that get etched in the memory like no other. The Delhi Riots and the cycle of fake news, blatant lies, misrepresentations, fear-mongering and carnage that was unleashed against Hindus is one such. CAA was the fulfilling of a foundational promise of the Republic of India. Providing refuge to the persecuted minorities in the Islamic countries of our immediate neighbourhood was a sacred oath that was sworn by the first leaders of our Republic in the immediate years of the partition of our country. It took us decades to fulfill that promise but better late than never. Under normal circumstances, it should have been a cause for celebration, a moment of euphoria for the nation as a whole but the times we live in, while the tears of joy in the faces of the refugees was still evident, the nation could not unite to share in their moment of bliss as Radical Islam reared its ugly head. Even so, it was truly a historic moment and the relevance of it could never be exaggerated. Since December, the entire ecosystem that comprises of Islamists, the Left, India’s traditional cabal of intelligentsia and media not only vilified Hindus, but also shielded the ones who were unleashing violence against the unsuspecting victims. The cycle of carnage started when the government of India decided to ease the process of getting citizenship of India for the persecuted religious minorities of naighbouring Islamic nations.
- Nupur J. Sharma, Delhi Anti-Hindu Riots 2020 (2020)
- Anti-CAA, anti-NRC, anti- NPR protests eventually became a protest against all other religions of the country, anti-police, anti-government and anti-India.
- Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story (2020), by Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra