The violence in Delhi is not a ‘riot’. It is targeted anti-Muslim brutality

Kenan Malik in The Guardian:

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. One policeman reported a 300-strong mob shouting: “We will kill all black bastards. Why don’t you send them home?” The attacks continued for a week before order was restored.

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, many chanting “Jai Shri Ram” (“glory to Lord Rama”) and “Hinduon ka Hindustan” (India for Hindus).

More here.