New Delhi: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) suspects a larger design behind the Delhi riots and doesn’t see them simply as clashes between the supporters and opponents of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
It believes the demographic profile of certain areas is changing fast, with Hindus now constituting a minority there. This, it feels, needs to be reversed to avoid such clashes in the future. The RSS also thinks Delhi Police did their job well and need to be backed fully.
According to an informal assessment carried out by the RSS, the violence in Northeast Delhi, which killed 37 people, was a reaction to a series of steps taken by the Modi government, including the scrapping of Article 370, the introduction of a law banning triple talaq, the CAA, and the Supreme Court verdict paving the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the deity’s birthplace in Ayodhya.
“Whether it was violence at Jamia Millia Islamia and the surrounding areas or the sit-in at Shaheen Bagh, all these so-called protests against the CAA are actually a manifestation of the frustration of a section of radical Muslims, who feel politically less empowered as the present government at the Centre doesn’t indulge in the policy of appeasement,” said a senior RSS functionary.
“The radical Muslims feel slighted by the fact that most political leaders cutting across party lines are forced to opt for symbols of Hindutva,” the functionary added.
“The number of ‘iftars’ organised by political parties is going down drastically and the number of temple visits by political leaders from various parties is going up. This is an indication that, in the polity and policymaking apparatus of this country, Muslims would be treated as equals and not ‘first among the equals’,” the functionary said. “But a section of radical Muslims is not ready to accept this reality and hence you witnessed this mayhem on Delhi roads.”
Also Read: List of those killed in Delhi communal riots
‘An ultra-Left-Islamist nexus’
Based on feedback from its cadres on the ground, the RSS has arrived at an assessment that the reaction to the present government’s policies has been precipitated by a “dangerous” nexus of ultra-Leftists/Naxals and radical Islamists.
It believes a combination of Islamist radicals, backed by “urban Naxals”, planned attacks in various parts of the city. The RSS’ assessment is that the attacks were not as spontaneous as they looked, and a number of “outsiders” or “non-residents” played a role in perpetrating the violence.
“Our assessment is that this was a well-planned campaign and outsiders played an important role in instigating violence. Our cadres identified a number of such outsiders,” said a senior functionary of the Delhi RSS who is part of the team monitoring the real-time situation on the ground.
“The way police officials have been targeted, and specific residential areas, business establishments and educational institutions bore the brunt of mobs, shows that the targets had been identified much in advance,” the functionary added. “The kind of weapons that have been used also indicate how well prepared the mobs were.”
Another key factor that led to the violence, according to the RSS’ assessment is, a “change in the demographic profile of Northeast Delhi over the past few years”.
According to a third RSS functionary, the riots occurred in areas where Hindus are either not present or form a minority, namely, Jafrabad and Seelampur. The functionary also noted that Okhla and Jamia, the site of major anti-CAA demonstrations, had a similar demographic profile.
“In fact, we have been observing that there are more than three dozen places in Delhi where the demographic profile has changed, with the Hindu population moving out of the area and… replaced by Muslims,” the functionary said. “Gradually, they have turned into ghettos where radical elements find fertile ground to promote violence. Unless one addresses this core issue, one would be doing only window-dressing.”
The writer is CEO of Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra and author of two books on the RSS