Religious fault lines deepen in India

Violence in Delhi raises questions over Modi govt's focus on its so-called Hindu agenda

Indian security personnel standing guard in a riot-affected area in New Delhi last Sunday, after communal riots broke out in India's capital late last month, leaving at least 53 people dead. In north-east Delhi, police have been accused of both inact
Indian security personnel standing guard in a riot-affected area in New Delhi last Sunday, after communal riots broke out in India's capital late last month, leaving at least 53 people dead. In north-east Delhi, police have been accused of both inaction as well as complicity in the riots.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Indian security personnel standing guard in a riot-affected area in New Delhi last Sunday, after communal riots broke out in India's capital late last month, leaving at least 53 people dead. In north-east Delhi, police have been accused of both inact
Muslim men checking the interior of a partially burnt mosque in New Delhi last Sunday. Muslim homes and establishments suffered major damage in the communal riots sparked by a controversial citizenship law. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Indian security personnel standing guard in a riot-affected area in New Delhi last Sunday, after communal riots broke out in India's capital late last month, leaving at least 53 people dead. In north-east Delhi, police have been accused of both inact
A rooftop scattered with stones in New Delhi last Sunday following the riots, which ruptured a fragile coexistence between Hindu and Muslim neighbours in lower-middle-class Delhi neighbourhoods.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

In the aftermath of communal riots in India's capital, in which at least 53 people were killed, questions are being raised over whether the Narendra Modi government's focus on its so-called Hindu agenda has opened up religious fault lines in the country.

The violence in north-east Delhi began as a clash between supporters and opponents of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), but subsequently turned communal. The CAA allows for fast-tracked citizenship for non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 08, 2020, with the headline 'Religious fault lines deepen in India'. Subscribe