This attempts to show that in India there has been periodic, systemic pogroms of minorities with widespread tacit support of the state and the majority Hindu population. In India, these pogroms are euphemistically called ‘riots’.
Upper Caste(UC) Hindus in India have imagined historic grievances about excesses by the Muslim rulers in the past 1000 years before the British came to India. For these excesses they want to punish the present day Indian Muslims. The myths and stories that UC tell each other have made Muslims the permanent internal enemy.
Major Pogroms of minorities in India
There is a pattern here. Roughly every 10 years or so minorities are killed and raped by the thousands by the permanently aggrieved majority community. With each pogrom I list the number of people killed. The number of people who are disabled/injured is 10 times the number of dead and number of people displaced as a result of this violence is usually 100-1000 times the number killed.
- 1969 Gujarat – 430 Muslims killed
- 1980 Moradabad – 400 Muslims killed
- 1983 Nellie – 2191 Muslims killed
- 1984 Delhi – 3000+ Sikhs killed
- 1989 Bhagalpur – 900 Muslims killed
- 1992-3 Bombay – 575 Muslims killed
- 2002 Gujarat – 2000+ Muslims killed
A note on the 2002 Gujarat pogrom
This remains one of the most horrendous violence against muslims in the recent history in India. More than 2000 muslims were killed brutally, even women and children were not spared. At least 250 women and girls were gang raped, quartered and burnt to death.
Sexual violence was used as a strategy for terrorising minorities. Violence against women also included them being stripped naked, violated with objects, and then killed. Other acts of violence against women included acid attacks, beatings and the killing of pregnant women.
Children were also killed in front of their parents. Muslims were killed in police shooting. The CCT report includes testimony of the then Gujarat BJP minister Haren Pandya (since murdered), who testified about an evening meeting convened by Modi at the evening of the Godhra train burning. At this meeting, officials were instructed not to obstruct the Hindu rage following the incident. The report also highlighted a second meeting, attended by state BJP and RSS leaders, where “detailed plans were made for arson and killing“. Sanjeev Bhatt, an IPS officer who was the whistleblower for this secretive meeting was rewarded by the state for his courage by being thrown out of IPS, his house demolished by state government’s bulldozers and in mid 2019 he was imprisoned for life in a bogus case.
Guj. gov. spokesman, Bharat Pandya, told the BBC that the rioting was a spontaneous Hindu backlash fueled by widespread anger against Muslims. He said “Hindus are frustrated over the role of Muslims in the on-going violence in Indian-administered Kashmir and other parts of India.
This demonstrated ability to crush and humiliate the Muslims so completely suddenly increased Modi’s stock in the eyes of Hindu electorate. The RSS began projecting Modi as ‘Hindu Hriday Samrath’ ,ie, Ruler of Hindu hearts. Modi won election after election after this and became the PM of the country 12 years later.
2014 onwards: A shift in strategy
Since the last major riots in 2013 just before in general election that got Modi elected the RSS seems to have changed strategy. Instead of periodic mass killings they have moved onto a model of submission by a thousand cuts. Roving private militia/paramilitary bands of RSS inspired goons catch and lynch a hapless Muslim roughly every other week.
Welcome to lynchistan
2014 on after grabbing power RSS seems to have consciously shifted its strategy. It seems mass murders is now a thing of the past. In fact there can be seen a direct relationship between the rise in power of RSS and the decline in the orchestrated mass killings.
In the new model RSS now encourages and supports roving gangs on armed milita who lynch 1-2 muslims on the streets every 2 weeks or so. This has the dual benefits of not getting bad name in international press and keeps the minorities perpetually in fear every time they step out of their house. Since 2014 on there have been 1000s of mob attacks with 100s dying. People are beaten to death amid chants of ‘Jai Sri Ram‘.
The mob lynchers almost always make videos of the lynching which are widely spread on social media to send a message to the minorities.
1986 on – India’s sprint to fascism
In this year Congress, under pressure from Hindu Far Right, persuaded the Opening of Babri Masjid for Hindu prayers and rituals, and this event started a new phase of communal violence and riots.
It cannot be emphasised enough that the ghettoisation, poverty, lack of basic facilities are the direct or indirect results of these communal riots. Not many people have tried to understand the effects of the underlying fear, that a Muslim life and property is nothing but a sacrificial lamb to please the majority. The rapes, murders, burning of shops and houses of Muslims are usual during these riots, most of the times assisted by the Police and Armed Forces. It is not possible to cover all the incidents, so only major ones are covered here.
The following is an incomplete list of large scale killing/raping of minorities by the Hindu Right Wing 1986 on
1986 : Communal attacks on Muslims led to the below incidents:
- J&K – 200 injured;
- Mob attack Delhi – 1 dead, 26 injured;
- Mob attack Sehore, MP – 6 dead;
- Mob attack Nasik, Nanded, Panvel – 11 dead; Hindu procession, Anti-Muslim slogans, Shiv Sena played major part.
- Aurangabad – 21 injured
- Allahabad – 6 dead, 27 injured
- Jagannath Rath yatra Gujarat – 40 dead;
- during Gujarat Bandh Gujarat – 18 dead;
- Jagannath Rath yatra Karnataka – 4 dead;
- temple procession Gujarat – 3 dead;
- Ganpati Visarjan Amravati – 9 dead;
- Ahmedabad – 9 dead;
- Mob attack Khaira – 6 dead;
- Religious procession Shahpur – 5 dead; police firing killed 2 of these 5
PAC and Hindu Extremists killed between 400-1000 Muslims (infamous Hashimpura including). PAC entered a Muslim village, burnt and killed around 200 Muslims and threw the bodies into a canal. It was a massacre and police played an active role in mass murder.
15 Muslims killed among whom 12 were killed in shooting by police. It was Ramadan and people came out from Jama Masjid after prayers.
26 Muslims killed in the communal violence started by Shiv Sena mobs in different places.
1988 Muzaffarnagar (UP)
To control the communal tensions, a peace committee was formed at Mr. Saiduz Zaman (INC leader) house. When this peace committee took out peace procession, it was attacked by a Hindu mob. 60-200 Muslims were killed.
1989 Ram Janam Bhoomi campaign + LK Advani’s Rath Yatra
The mobilisation campaign for Kar Sevaks to construct the proposed Ram Janma Bhoomi Temple at Ayodhya on 30th October 1990 aggravated the communal atmosphere in the country. Later in 1990, Communal riots occurred in the wake of L.K.Advani’s Rath Yatra wherever it went.
These riots were led by RSS-BJP men to consolidate the ‘Hindu’ vote bank. They were widespread over almost all the states from Assam to West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.
Violence after Ram Navami procession, around 100 muslims dead.
Violence after Hindu Anant Chaturdashi procession, 22 Muslims dead. Dawoodi Bohras were the worst victimised.
More than 60 muslims killed during communal clashes. ABVP involved. 24 Killed in Kasganj.
BJP, RSS and VHP took out Ram Shila Procession, situation turned into a Police vs Muslim confrontation. 50 muslims were killed, many of them in police firing.
1989 – 1990 Bhagalpur and ~250 adjacent villages
The total Muslims killed are numbered around 900-1000, and more than 50,000 displaced. It started with Ram Shila Pujan procession. Entire Muslim villages were burnt and destroyed, trains were attacked.
The SP K. S. Dwivedi and his police team, particularly Bihar Military Police (BMP), participated actively in the killing of Muslims, later reinstated by Government. It was a massacre of large scale, assisted by the state machinery, incited by the Ram Janam Bhoomi Andolan. RSS rewarded him recently(in 2017) by making him the top cop in Patna, Bihar.
Since the Rath Yatra started from Somnath, 52 muslims killed and 144 injured. 1990 Jodhpur – VHP, BJP and Bajrang Dal called for a Jodhpur bandh to protest the arrest of L.K.Advani, 20 muslims killed and 100+ injured
After the BJP chief started the Rath Yatra, 33 muslims killed. PAC Involved. 1990 Agra – Due to the Rath Yatra by L.K.Advani. 20 to 22 similar incidents at different places. 31 muslims killed and 69 injured. PAC actively involved in the riots and murders.
The city was a victim of communal riots thrice within a year. 30 Muslims killed. PAC Involved.
1990 Colonelganj (Gonda, UP)
100-300 Muslims killed. During Durga Puja procession, provocative slogans were raised against Muslims and violence erupted. PAC Involved.
1990 Bijnor (UP)
After Kar Sevaks entered Ayodhya, a victory procession (Vijay Julus) was taken out in Bijnor, which entered the muslim area and shouted provocative slogans against Muslims. Violence erupted and around 200 muslims were killed with the help of PAC.
A Train was stopped and muslim passengers were killed. Violence in several other places in Aligarh, 150-200 Muslims killed. 1990 Delhi – Sikh and Muslim unity peace march was attacked. 6 Muslims killed.
1990 Hailakandi, Assam
Communal tension began to rise as soon as VHP, RSS and BJP organised pujas to purify the bricks for Shilayas at Ayodhya. At the time, the DM was a Muslim, a matter that RSS utilised in its favor. 37 Muslims killed.
Due to Babri Mosque demolition, the riots took place in and around Hyderabad, in which 300+ Muslims were killed and lots of properties damaged.
April 1990 to April 1991 Gujarat
Nearly 1520 communal incidents, 262 muslims killed and 945 injured. 1990 Ahmedabad (soon after the Rath Yatra started from Somnath) 41 muslims killed There are 100+ other incidents where less than 10 muslims were killed.
1991 Baroda, UP
24 Muslims killed. 1991 Benaras, UP – Kali religious procession entered a Muslim locality, slogans were shouted. Rumours spread that the idol was broken by the Muslims. More than 50 Muslims killed.
Ram Navmi procession related. 10 Muslims killed
1991 Bhadrak, Orissa
Riots occurred during the Ram Navami procession. 13 Muslims killed.
1991 Saharanpur, UP
Ram Navmi procession related. 40 Muslims killed. Some of them killed in Police firing.
1991 Baroda, Surat
Ram Navmi procession killed 46 Muslims.
1992 Sitamarhi, Bihar
A religious procession taken out, slogans shouted, violence erupted. 44 Muslims killed.
A bandh was called by a Muslim organisation BMSS. The muslim shops were attacked by Hindu groups. Around 200-300 Muslims were killed, and lots of industries of muslims were destroyed.
Jagannath Rath Yatra, violence, riots. 27 Muslims killed.
142 Muslims killed and 30,000 displaced (34 shot dead by police).
Almost 100 muslims killed in communal riots.
1992 – 1993 Mumbai
1000+ Muslims Killed. Most of the people were killed in police firing. Hindu-Muslim communal riot as an effect of Demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. 4000 Crore worth of properties damaged. It was a massacre of muslims on large scale.
175 Muslims killed in communal riots.
70 Muslims killed in communal riots.
After Urdu News is broadcast in Doordarshan. 30 Muslims killed in communal clashes.
1994 onwards, there are incidents of small scale communal riots and the number of people killed is reduced. Gujarat remains on the top in the number of incidents related with communal violence. Vajpayee became PM in 1996, and again in 1998 and remained PM till 2004.
Best bakery, Vadodara – Attacked by a mob, which burned down the bakery, killing 14 people. Ahmedabad – 790 Muslims killed, 223 reported missing. Gulbarg Society massacre – 69 Muslims killed, burnt alive. Naroda Patiya massacre – 97 Muslims killed by a mob of 5000 people.
2007 Samjhauta Express, Diwana station
68 people killed mostly Pakistani nationals and some Indians, including some Railway employees.
77 Muslims killed. Communal violence on Bengali speaking Muslims by Assamese Hindus.
2013 Muzaffarnagar, UP
42 Muslims killed. Rumour of eve-teasing of Hindu Girls, murder of a Muslim boy, then public lynching of the murderers (two Hindu boys) triggered communal riot between the Hindu and the Muslim community.