16/3/2020 : The Hindu Editorials Summary Notes : Mains Sure Shot 

Question – Discuss the various short term and long term effects that take place as a result of rioting.

Context – The riots in Delhi recently.

  • Recent riots that shook Delhi experienced vandalisation of schools and other public property. This has affected the life of people residing in that area along with creating a deep impact in the mind of children which last throughout their life. Some loss is observed just after the riots but some are long term impacts that led to society go back several decades.
  • Let us look at both short term and long term effects of riots in different sphere :

Social impacts –

  • Increase in citizens’ perception of insecurity
  • Women are more vulnerable.
  • fear of crime
  • avoiding of the places of the riots
  • urban space becoming increasingly more attractive for rioters.

Economic impact –

Riots lead to considerable costs in both a direct and an indirect way. Direct costs of destruction by riots come in the form of:

  • Preventive costs in anticipation of riots (e.g. security measures, insurance)
  • Material and immaterial costs as a consequence of rioting (e.g. physical damage, repairs, medical costs, mental harm); and
  • Responsive costs to riots (e.g. the costs of detection and prevention, prosecution, support trial, etc.
  • In addition, the indirect economic impact of crime has to be considered:
  • Riots make investors nervous.
  • Impact on tourism, not even at the time of riots but in future also as the threat continues to remain in the mind of people.

Mobility impact

  • Since riots take place at open and civic spaces, the mobility function of those areas might be seriously hampered.
  • Accessibility might be reduced when, for example, roads are blocked.
  • With traffic management measures one can attempt to concentrate the riot at a location with little impact on mobility and to reduce the negative consequences for mobility, for example by rerouting traffic around the riot location.
  • Access control can ensure only flows of the intended people enter or exit the area and can enforce and intended separation of crowds.

Safety impact

  • Riots can do massive physical and/or bodily damage.
  • A rioting crowd has very little attention for the consequences of their actions.


Potential measures that can mitigate the likelihood or impact of destruction by riots include:

  • directing traffic flows or access control can prevent a riot getting out of hand.
  • Surveillance may have some effect on deindividuation if spectators know they are there.
  • Intervention force is needed to make detection measures, such as alarms or surveillance, effective.
  • By providing clear and logical access and exit routes and/or transportation through an area, unnecessary provocation can be avoided.
  • Also one could consider levels of permeability if it would facilitate natural crowd dispersion
  • Removing means can contribute to a more secure environment by making sure any materials that might be helpful for riots are unavailable, e.g. by designing a road in asphalt instead of throwable bricks.
  • Avoid long stretches of blank walls where the space is located near a public throughway. Where this cannot be avoided access to buildings / blank walls should be made difficult through the planting of trees, bushes or shrubs.
  • Controlling inhibitors such as alcohol can directly decrease the problem.
  • Removal of crime motivators can sometimes be affected by moving a riot-prone activity to a less vulnerable area.
  • Access control can ensure only flows of the intended people enter or exit the area and can enforce and intended separation of crowds.
  • Screening can sometimes be applied for examples at stadiums at high-risk matches to ensure the nature of the visitors, such as scanning for a restraining order or for the presence of forbidden materials, such as fireworks or weapons.

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