The northeast Delhi riots that began on Sunday, February 23, threw Delhi on the edge for over a week leaving at least 45 dead and over 200 injured.
However, even as the violent mob armed with rods and sticks, went on a rampage in Delhi, the country's Union Home Minister failed to act.
Slamming Shah's inability to control the riots, several political parties have demanded his resignation. The Delhi Police, which is directly under the Union Home Ministry's control, also failed to restrain the situation. In several videos that have since surfaced online, the police personnel can be seen watching the stone-pelting as mute spectators. In other videos, the officers can be seen attacking the crowd on the other side with stones.
In the national capital, where the elected government has no control over the police, the onus lies on the Shah-led Home Ministry to ensure law and order in the affected areas. Thus, it comes as no surprise that many are demanding the Home Minister's resignation, something he should have done much before on the grounds of morality.
Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, February 26, said, "After reviewing the situation, the CWC(Congress Working Committee) is of firm opinion that what has happened in Delhi is a colossal failure of duty for which the entire responsibility must be borne by the Central government, particularly the Home Minister, and calls upon the Home Minister to tender his resignation immediately."
The same day, NCP MP Supriya Sule also demanded Shah's resignation. "The Centre should be held responsible for what has happened in Delhi. Union Home Minister Amit Shah must resign owning moral responsibility," Sule had told reporters.
"It is a huge security lapse during US President Donald Trump's visit. The home minister is responsible for it," she added.
Leaders Who Owned Up and Resigned
Within hours after the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh stepped down taking moral responsibility of the incident. As the CM, Singh had assured security of the mosque, his promises had turned futile.
In 2003, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal resigned after a group of workers from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) attacked the office of Alpha Marathi, a TV news channel owned by the Zee group in Mumbai
The attack happened as the group was upset with a satire the channel had aired on Bhujbal. While Bhujbal had no direct involvement in the attack, he resigned on the grounds of moral responsibility, as it was his sympathisers who were responsible for the crime.
After the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Home Minister Shivraj Patil had resigned in November. He had faced largescale criticism of his handling of the Home Ministry and his inability to curb a series of terrorist attacks that had occurred in the country.
"Yes, he (Patil) has taken the moral responsibility and has decided to quit," the then Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan had told reporters. Soon after Patil's resignation, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil also stepped down from their positions due to the Mumbai terror attacks.
Taking full responsibility after the Indian Railways witnessed two derailments days apart in August 2017, the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had offered to resign. However, PM Modi had asked him to wait.
CM Narendra Modi
In his biography written by British author and TV producer Andy Marino in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that he no longer wanted to be the Gujarat CM after the 2002 Godhra riots. The author further says that he had decided it was "unfair on the people of the state who had been subjected to extreme abuse because of him." He was widely criticised for his failure in controlling the situation as the then CM of the state.
While he did not resign as the CM, about a month after the riots, he had stepped down as the BJP National Executive in Panaji.
While Amit Shah himself had resigned over the controversial Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in 2010, his decision came only after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the special CBI court in Ahmedabad. He never took moral responsibility and he was discharged from the case in 2014.
The Logical Indian Take
The Delhi riots are only one among a line-up of horrific incidents that have shaken the country in recent times under the watch of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. From mercilessly thrashing students of Jamia Millia Islamia to being mute spectators as a masked mob attacked students in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi Police has been accused of dereliction of its duties.
While Delhi was burning, once again the police didn't act on time and were seen abetting the perpetrators. It took a High Court order for the Delhi Police to safely escort victims to hospitals. For three days, the national capital went up in flames as mobs wreaked havoc.
The BJP leaders, while in opposition, had on several occasions demanded the resignation of those in power in times of crisis. Shah failed to take timely and effective measures to control the situation in Delhi. Till date, the Home Minister hasn't addressed a single press conference over the loss of at least 45 live. Instead, he is busy attending political rallies in West Bengal.
If the BJP ministers in the past have taken responsibility and resigned in the times of crisis, what is stopping Amit Shah from doing the same? This the time to take moral responsibility for the upheaval in Delhi rather than clinging on to the seat of power.