Leicester Riots


One could never expect the middle of England, of all places, to erupt into a bloodied chaos synonymous with the valleys of Kashmir. But going by the wave of communal riots fast tearing apart an otherwise peaceful hotpot of cultures in Leicester, anything is possible when men get blinded by bigotry. The troubles that had started on a cricket field thousands of miles away in an Asia Cup match have managed to take on the controversial Hindutva-inspired chord.
From chanting “death to Pakistan” over an ultrazealously waged cricket war to shouts of “Jai Shri Ram” (notoriously known as a murder cry in India), there is little that has not transpired in the last weeks. However, New Delhi is getting more than its fair share of communal pedalling by focusing on how Muslims have been the ones actually fanning the Dischord flames.
By a targeted campaign that revolves around the vandalised temple as well as factual but incomplete descriptions of the events, the world is being primarily led to interpret the questions about who committed violence against whom as per their own underlying beliefs. There’s no denying that it takes two to tango and giving in to the natural instinct to hit back when attacked was not an ideal course of action for Muslims. Calls for calm have failed to disperse crowds while ordinary people are frightened beyond imagination.
Anyone whose been to this spectacular county knows that with its 70 languages and a minority white population, Leicester is every immigrant’s dream. As already validated by police reports, over half of those arrested amid clashes have been outsiders; stirring up trouble to air their own grievances. This is precisely what Muslims living in the neighbourhood have repeatedly tried to point out: the influx of those infused with the Hindu nationalist ideology. Wasn’t it only this year that a Muslim youth was attacked with baseball bats by a large group of ruffians affiliated with the RSS?
This hush-hush behaviour can no longer do, and the British law enforcement agencies would be better off by steering away from misleading language and coy attitudes. After all, the United Kingdom takes great pride in the diversity of its cultures and languages. The Indian disease of bigotry should not be allowed to propagate its biases here.