Posted on March 7, 2020

More ‘Apartheid Cities’ Seen in India After Deadly Delhi Riots

Rina Chandran, Reuters, March 5, 2020

India risks greater segregation in its cities after deadly riots in Delhi last week, with minority and poor people likely to be blocked from accessing housing in desirable neighbourhoods. {snip}

The Hindu-Muslim clashes in the city’s northeast – the worst communal riots in Delhi for several decades – killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds. Thousands have been displaced after their homes were torched.


The capital city of more than 20 million people is likely to now see greater segmentation along religious lines as has happened in other Indian cities, such as Mumbai and Ahmedabad, said Miloon Kothari, a housing and human rights expert.

“We generally see greater ghettoisation in a city after a riot because of fear and insecurity, with city authorities themselves sometimes reorganising neighbourhoods that entrench that segregation,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Apartheid cities are being created due to political, planning and gentrification processes that divide communities further, impoverish the poor, and makes it easier to target vulnerable communities again.”


Like in other Indian cities, Delhi’s informal rules and deep-rooted biases also discriminate against religious minorities and even unmarried people. {snip}

Deadly communal clashes in Mumbai in 1992-93 and in the western city of Ahmedabad in 2002, led to Muslims being pushed out of mixed neighbourhoods to the fringes of the city, said Darshani Mahadevia, a professor at Ahmedabad University.


“Segregation keeps the communal pot boiling for political reasons also,” she said. {snip}