The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality - By Kenan Malik - IAMC
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The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality – By Kenan Malik

In August 1958, gangs of white youths began systematically attacking West Indians in London’s Notting Hill, assaulting them with iron bars and meat cleavers and milk bottles.… The incident is still referred to as the “Notting Hill riots”. It was nothing of the sort. It was a vicious week-long racist attack. Mr Justice Salmon, sentencing nine white youths at the Old Bailey, called it “nigger hunting”. There is, though, a long history of describing racist violence as a “riot”, to portray it as a general violent mayhem rather than as targeted attacks.

And so it is with the violence that over the past week has engulfed parts of the Indian capital, Delhi. Journalists and politicians have talked of “rioting” and “communal violence”. That’s no more accurate than describing the attack on Notting Hill’s black residents as a “riot”.

What Delhi witnessed over the past week is the Indian equivalent of “nigger hunting”, targeted violence against Muslims, led by mobs of Hindu nationalists, mainly supporters of the BJP, India’s governing party… What is playing out in India is not a simple religious conflict between Hindus and Muslims but a political struggle between two visions of India: between those who see it as an open, secular nation and those who wish to create a chauvinist Hindu state. Who prevails in this struggle matters not just to Muslims, or to Indians, but to all of us.


What Happened in Delhi Was a Pogrom – By Mira Kamdar (Feb 28, 2020, The Atlantic)

How the recent riots in Delhi are killing two words as well: ‘Genocide’ and ‘pogrom’ – By Abhijit Majumder (Feb 28, 2020, First Post)

Gujarat to Delhi, a common thread: Riots remained localised – By N Sathiya Moorthy (Feb 28, 2020, South Asia Journal)

Narendra Modi’s Reckless Politics Brings Mob Rule to New Delhi – By Siddharth Varadarajan (Feb 27, 2020, The Wire)