Iran’s unequivocal condemnation of the Delhi communal riots in calling them out as “organised violence against Indian Muslims” carries a clear message on how the four-day mayhem in the capital is being viewed beyond our shores. The Iranian foreign minister’s tweet also reminded India that Iran has been a friend for centuries, further conveying how much the orchestrated violence could strain civilisational ties with the West Asian country. A reminder on the importance of the well-being of “ALL Indians” and the use of the stinging phrase “senseless thuggery” should help drive home the underlying nature of the confrontation that descended into virtual civil war between communities.
Messages regarding international perceptions of apprehensions regarding the safety of India’s biggest minority community in the wake of the riots have come from near and far, from the UN, USA, Indonesia, and so on. The perpetrators may feel smug after their role in igniting the flames in northeast Delhi but they may have no idea of what repercussions their violent behaviour entail. As a nation, only the realisation of what communal tensions can do to destroy peace and harmony in a society in which people of different religions have co-existed in a secular and pluralist democracy would help undo the damage. The Shia-majority Iran must be appreciated for speaking the truth to power in India.
Only an impartial inquiry into the Delhi riots, which brought about a recrudescence of communal violence not seen for a couple of decades, would help dispel the notion that the instigators would get away.
Majoritarianism would be seen to prevail once again prevail if those who spewed inflammatory speeches go scot-free. The Delhi police, seen to be a passive spectator while the flames were lit, are in charge of the investigation and the charge sheets. Truth to tell, a court-monitored SIT would be the ideal vehicle to bring out what happened and punish the perpetrators. There will be closure on blot on Indian history only if those responsible are brought to book.