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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
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Delhi Riots 2020: Of Love, Longing And Broken Hearts, The Long Journey To Mind Healing

The erosion of trust among communities that peacefully co-existed for decades will have much wider and deeper effects given the way the riots became a bitter Hindu-Muslim imbroglio

Delhi Riots 2020: Of Love, Longing And Broken Hearts, The Long Journey To Mind Healing
The Last Journey | Photo by Tribhuvan Tiwari
Delhi Riots 2020: Of Love, Longing And Broken Hearts, The Long Journey To Mind Healing
outlookindia.com
2020-03-06T11:44:30+05:30

The boy, barely 10, drags a suitcase through the street strewn with brickbats; a few adults walk ahead of him, holding bags and household items that can be carried. One of them, a woman, looks back at the lane, at a soot-blackened house that had been their home for the past 10 years.  She feels a lump in their throat, but the eyes are dry—they had shed tears nonstop over the past couple of days, their house burnt and their small shop looted by rioters.  They are not sure if they will ever return to Shiv Vihar, which was their home after the family of five migrated from Bihar a decade ago.

As the smoke clears and dust settles on the riot-hit localities of Northeast Delhi and the nation counts the dead—47 and rising—stories of families leaving their homes to “safer places” begin to emerge. More than 3,000 people are believed to have migrated to their relatives’ homes or privately-managed reh­abilitation camps in nearby colonies. Many have left for their home states. But no official estimation of loss of private property and commercial est­ablishments due to large-scale arson, sabotage and destruction is available as of now. Similarly, the psychological effects on the riot-hit and erosion of trust among the communities that peacefully co-existed for decades will have much wider and deeper consequences.

A walk down the deserted lanes shows that the rioters had done their homework: target core business to achieve their purpose, which was to loot and create a sense of fear psychosis. And they succeeded. Take the case of Shiv Vihar, a colony with a mixed population of both Hindus and Muslims. One part with over 200 houses, belonging mainly to Muslims, is completely deserted. Though there was no loss of lives here, yet the damage to property is staggering. One of the questions that have emerged is: Why...

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