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Millennium Post

Chronicling our shamed Capital

The national capital’s increasing deterioration into the crime capital of the country, with sexist, racist and other forms of deadly violence rooted in systemic discrimination becoming order of the day, is a deeply disturbing phenomenon. Whether it’s women, people from the northeastern states or from the African countries, rampant and routine brutality, often resulting in deaths of the victims, is exactly the reason why Delhi is making headlines. The ritual racism and sexism of our people has attained a crescendo of sort, giving a new ugly dimension to prejudice and resembling a latent, unacknowledged apartheid within the social fabric. If the unprecedented rate of rape and gruesome violence against women was not enough, minorities of every kind are having a difficult time living in this city, whose rich history of cosmopolitan intermixing is being gradually usurped to define it along class, regional, religious and linguistic fault lines. Delhi, which was until a few years back an urbane succor for migrants from every corner of the country and beyond, is turning into a den of belligerent majoritarianism, spewing venom and hatred for anyone who doesn’t fall within an artificial construct of a Delhiite. This is character assassination of a city that has seen civilisations rise and fall before its rowdy dust settled and before history blinked its squinted eye.

Much like the proposal to bring in 90 per cent reservation for Delhi-domicile students in select colleges of Delhi University, the string of assaults on northeastern people points towards the latent animosity that has surfaced of late. Delhi, which has reveled in an old churn of people, human currents of traders and scholars from China, South East Asia, Africa, Europe, England and America punctuating its centennial streets and skinny alleys, is now losing its charm. It is becoming a disgusting doppelganger of its plural and multifarious self, its historically produced ‘settler’ nature. Delhi, constitutionally, integrally, intuitionally has steered clear of  narrow and limiting definitions of a city and its people. However, the recent spate of unfathomably violent excesses of Delhi, its marauding majoritarianism targeting its imagined ‘others,’ is a failure of its present to live up to its history.
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