Delhi Is Burning And As Someone Who Has Grown Up Here, I Am Shaken, Scared And Irate, All At Once
Over the course of past few years, when I tell people I am from Delhi, I get a variety of reactions – but in the general radius of nice although I always know there is a question looming. You see, Delhi has garnered a reputation as the rape capital, a sobriquet we are trying to scrub off and so everyone is waiting to ask you if it’s safe. Being Delhi, the capital of India, it always evoked an emotion. From first being famous for inhabiting rich spooky brats that went around throwing the phrase “tu jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai” to anyone who would listen to this point, where belonging to this place is almost shameful. We talk about the emotions it evokes, Delhi was a contrast yesterday.
On one side, Trump was there and everything was spic and span. On the other, a dreary prediction was coming to life – the anti-CAA protests had turned violent and the city was lapsing into a riot-like situation.
For someone who has been born and raised in Delhi, no matter how notoriously infamous it has been, it will always hold a special place in my heart. After all, it’s the city that has taught me most of I know, from class to vigilance and everything in between. And perhaps that is why, today as I step out of my house, I feel deeply disturbed and saddened over seeing the city I have grown up in go up in flames. For the hatred that’s spilling out onto the streets is becoming dangerous and that’s not my Delhi.
I was always cautious, it may be my city, my home, but women are always at a risk. Even so, today, it was different. The air is singed with hate. I am cautious but I am also wary. How did we come down to this? It is as though, all of a sudden the earth below our feet has started quaking and in middle of this calamity, Delhi is the epicentre of this mass dissent, a war front and collateral damage, all the same.
Delhi: Police disperse the people who had gathered outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence demanding action against #DelhiViolence and seeking restoration of peace. https://t.co/NWz03HQkQT pic.twitter.com/ybGwIw0cqo
— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2020
Also Read : Amulya Leona Is The Girl Who Chanted Pakistan Zindabad At An Anti-CAA Rally. Being Passionate Is Good But This Was Silly
What is funny is that I hadn’t stepped out of my home without fear in the longest time anyway. First it would be about getting assaulted in broad daylight and now it’s accompanied with the fear of being detained or finding myself in the middle of a protest outbreak gone violent. The fear, perhaps is the only familiar thing that this city has to offer anymore.
The city burns as people pelt stones, torch cars, shoot at innocent people and the police all the while, sits and observes as man turns against man and all humanity is reduced to shambles. At this point I realised, it doesn’t matter who you voted for, what your politics are. We’re need to rise against this. This mindless killing, the gory images that are emerging, it’s gut-wrenching. And I am watching as #DelhiBurns.
Of course, there will always be the people who share and comment on things that suit their narrative. It’s only in pockets, they say. The rest of Delhi is fine. Yes, but we are in the same city. The ripples of the violence may not have reached out feet but we know it’s out there and it’s scary.
— Javier Quijote Ⓐ (@intlibecosoc) February 26, 2020
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 25, 2020
Almost 18 people including a head constable have been reported dead midst the political chaos that is only getting worse by the second. Section 144 has been imposed for a month in Northeast Delhi, while women who had been braving this danger, madness and Delhi cold have evacuated the Jafrabad area temporarily in light of these riots.
From incidents of arson, to getting down to hurling petrol bombs, over 200 people, including 48 from police personnel, have been injured while half the civilians have suffered gunshot wounds and have been admitted to the nearby hospitals. And I, even while reporting updates on the matter, feel a sense of fear and unsettlement take permanent refuge in my chest, for this is the most woke and unsafe we have been. Till now. But the authorities are eerily silent and this is tough.
As the intensity of such protests and resistance increase, with the authorities making zero efforts to preempt the situation, the future of Delhi seems as bleak as ever. Whether there will be light at the end of this tunnel, we are yet to find out, but until then, being a Delhite means that I witness India in its most raw and gruesome form, and I am not sure how much more of it we’d be able to take.