Delhi riots offer a warning – editorials
The riots in Delhi have demonstrated the fragility of inter-community ties in India at this time. What happened in the northeastern part of the city was caused by local events, but also in a context of the general political and social polarization that has taken over the country following the approval of the Citizenship Law (Amendment). ), the decision to embark on a Review of the National Population Registry (NPR) and speculation about a possible National Registry of Citizens (NRC). But even when it is essential to get to the root of the violence in Delhi and hold the culprits accountable, it is a warning that the current state of mind can translate into problems elsewhere.
This is particularly true in three states that will witness assembly elections over the next year and a half. Bihar goes to the polls for the first time at the end of 2020. While there has been no outbreak of violence in the state so far, it has had a history of inter-community tensions. There is intense opposition to the CAA-NPR-NRC package, reflected in the mass demonstrations held in the areas dominated by the Seemanchal Muslims, in response to the young leader of the Communist Party of India, the Kanhaiya Kumar tour throughout the state, and at the Bihar assembly. resolution that requires a return to the NPR under the previous format. However, the most worrying situation is in West Bengal, home to more than 25% of Muslims and the epicenter of a fierce political battle between the incumbent, Mamata Banerjee, and the challenger, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In fact, many believe that the CAA was presented primarily with an eye on state elections here. The state also has a history of political violence, with a weak rule of law. Both the BJP and the Trinamool Congress have to walk one kilometer more calmly, although all signs indicate that as the polls approach, the competition will become more strident and possibly violent. The third state is Assam, which will also go to the polls next year, and that is where the whole problem really arose. The NRC’s faulty process in the state has already caused great disenchantment, with 1.9 million people looking towards an uncertain future; the CAA has led to an increase in Asian subnationalism; and relations between Hindi-Hindus and Bengali-speaking Muslims are tense.
Delhi has shown the dangers of inflammatory political rhetoric, especially of BJP leaders before the polls; the partisan role and incompetence of the police; and the dangerous use of social networks. Patna, Kolkata and Guwahati should avoid tensions before they escalate.