oppn parties Delhi Riots: Mindless Violence That Could Have Never Happened If Signals Were Heeded

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
Gangster Vikas Dubey's 'encounter' raises several questions and the Yogi government is under fire for allegedly getting him killed in a 'staged' encounter to prevent the exposure of the nexus between criminals and the administration in the state
oppn parties
Delhi Riots: Mindless Violence That Could Have Never Happened If Signals Were Heeded

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-28 12:44:15

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

If one analyses the way the Delhi riots panned out over three days and how they were controlled when the powers-that-be stirred into action, it definitely seems that there was an idea to let the two sides give vent to pent up emotions that started building up ever since the police entered the Jamia Millia library and beat up students, the mob entered the JNU and beat up hostel residents and inflammatory speeches were made during the Delhi elections to polarize the electorate.

In the build-up to the situation, not a single person, entity or organization came forward to diffuse the tensions. But the Delhi Police deserve the worst censure. Supposedly the most modern police force in India and pampered accordingly, it stands accused of being overactive when the situation did not demand and remaining a bystander when its intervention was most needed. It is also guilty of not acting on Intel inputs (reports say that it was warned no less than 6 times) that warned of imminent clashes in the capital. It needs to be condemned for not heeding to distress calls, even from Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral, and often taking sides when facing rioters.

The Aam Aadmi Party and Arvind Kejriwal won a handsome mandate from the people just a month ago. They won the second term with over 50% of Delhiites voting for them. An analysis clearly showed that Muslims had deserted the Congress and voted for the AAP. Yet, when it was required that the newly elected legislators of the party remain on the ground and be with their constituents, they were nowhere to be seen. The AAP had the confidence of the people of Delhi. If its legislators had been on the ground with their party workers, they could have prevented many of the clashes. But party councilor Tahir Hussain has been booked by the police for having a hand in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Verma and for instigating violence in his area. AAP stands accused of abdicating its duty towards its constituents.

The Congress, although a spent force politically with an insignificant presence in Delhi, spent most of the time accusing AAP, the BJP and the Delhi police through tweets and press statements. None of its leaders went to the affected areas or try to hold peace meetings. It was characteristic of a party that is down and out and has yet to figure out how to how to bounce back. There was an opportunity for the party to be proactive and show both the AAP and the BJP in a bad light and win huge brownie points. It could have helped in the party winning over many voters. Yet, its leaders chose the easy way out by just commenting from their plush pads and not being with the people when they were needed. Their inaction proved the fact that the party is sadly out of touch with present realities.

Of the BJP, the least said the better. Delhi Police could have acted on the first day itself, in a professional and non-partisan manner, if the political masters had ordered it to do so. But the Centre, which looks after Delhi's law and order and controls the police, let things drift. The party stands accused of allowing the likes of Kapil Mishra to do the damage through his incendiary speeches in Jafrabad. The BJP was the only party that had its cadre on the streets in full strength but for the wrong reasons. Who is Kapil Mishra to order the police to clear the roads by removing the anti-CAA protestors? The matter is being heard by the Supreme Court (admittedly for the Shaheen Bagh protests and the roads there but the order will have jurisdiction over all protests and blocking of roads all over India) and its order should be awaited.

But Mishra wanted a confrontation from day one. By extension, and considering the fact that the party top brass did nothing to muzzle him, the BJP also wanted the same. The BJP was amazed at how the protests had remained peaceful despite extreme provocation from its side. It could not figure out why the alleged anti-nationals and terrorists among the Muslims were not coming out of the woodwork to take over the protests and why it was being left to the women. In the end, they managed to start the fight. But at what cost? More than 40 people are reportedly dead and more than 200 injured. The cost of damaged public and private property is yet to be ascertained. But the damage to the social and communal fabric of Delhi is immense and irreparable. The home ministry needs to be commended for moving in quickly on Tuesday and bringing things under control in a jiffy. The question is what prevented it from doing so on Sunday night itself, or even on Monday?