• 14 June 2024

Understanding the Communal Riots in India: A Timeline

Aug 12, 2023

Communal Riots in India involve an intricate intermingling of historical inheritances, political strategies, and socioeconomic aspects. Although religious affiliations do have an influence, they rarely stand as the exclusive catalyst for these tumultuous confrontations. Additionally, by delving into the deeper dimensions of these incidents, we can generally attain a more comprehensive understanding of the intricate web of factors that moreover contribute to the rise of communal unrest within the nation. Furthermore, such exploration aids in grasping the holistic picture of this complex phenomenon, shedding light on its various underlying elements.

Communal riots

Communal Riots in India: A Deeper Understanding

Moreover, communal riots, which are a recurring concern in India, prominently exemplify the existence of communalism within the country. Additionally, these clashes frequently originate from disputes among distinct religious groups, further highlighting the issue. Furthermore, the intricate dynamics of such riots encompass a range of factors, including violence and confrontations that ensue between various communities identifying along religious lines. However, a closer examination reveals that the triggers for these events extend beyond mere religious animosity.

Unveiling the Roots: Beyond Religious Differences

Contrary to commonly held notions, communal riots do not simply erupt as spontaneous incidents driven solely by religious tensions. Generally, they have deeper origins intertwined with complex elements, predominantly centered around political representation, control over resources, and the quest for power. Additionally, these multifaceted factors contribute significantly to the underlying causes of such conflicts. While the clashes themselves might seem superficial or trivial, they are frequently underpinned by deeper considerations.

A Historical Perspective: From Colonial Era to Present

Over the course of history, India has generally experienced numerous occurrences of communal riots, with some dating back to the era of British colonial rule. This historical chronology sheds light on the fact that these riots seldom erupt due to religious fervor alone. Rather, they are often a manifestation of conflicting political interests, often intertwined with economic motives.

Shifting Patterns: Communal Riots in the Modern Era

In recent times, there has been a notable shift in the pattern of communal riots, particularly since the 1990s. This transformation becomes evident when examining the latter part of the historical chronology. These changes highlight the evolving nature of communal riots in India, showcasing how religion, while present, is not the sole catalyst for such violent clashes.

Evolution of Causes: Phases of Communal Violence

It’s crucial to recognize that the reasons behind communal violence have evolved over time. During the partition era, it was the collision of political interests among the elite of distinct communities that triggered communal riots. However, from the 1960s to the late 1980s, local political and economic factors emerged as significant contributors to the instigation of riots. The emergence of Hindutva politics over the last two decades has further complicated the landscape, intertwining local factors with religious ideologies.

Major Communal riots in India Post 2000

Major Communal Riots In India Post 2000

Generally, the significant points from the provided communal riots table are as follows:

2002 Gujarat Riots

  • Period: 27 February – 2 March 2002
  • Location: Gujarat, India
  • Cause: Triggered by the burning of a train in Godhra, resulting in the deaths of Hindu pilgrims.
  • Factions: RSS, Muslims
  • Deaths: Officially 1044, unofficially over 2000
  • Wounded: 2500+ official count
  • Damage: Widespread destruction and violence

2005 Mau (Uttar Pradesh) Riot

  • Period: October 13–14, 2005
  • Location: Mau, Uttar Pradesh
  • Cause: Attack on Hindus performing a Ramayana scene
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: 14 reported
  • Note: Incident involved religious tensions.

2005 Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) Riot

  • Period: March 3, 2006
  • Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • Cause: Reaction to Danish Mohammed cartoons
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: 4 reported

2006 Vadodara Riots

  • Period: May 1 – 3, 2006
  • Location: Vadodara, Gujarat
  • Cause: Removal of a dargah (shrine)
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: 8 reported, 42 wounded

2007 Christmas Violence in Kandhamal

  • Period: December 24-27, 2007
  • Location: Kandhamal district, Odisha
  • Cause: Christmas celebrations
  • Factions: Hindus, Christians
  • Deaths: Multiple sources, around 50
  • Damage: Over 100 churches and institutions burnt down, many families left homeless

2008 Kandhamal Violence

  • Period: August 25-28, 2008
  • Location: Kandhamal district, Odisha
  • Cause: Death of Lakshmanananda Saraswati
  • Factions: Hindus, Christians
  • Deaths: 39-90 reported, 18,000+ displaced
  • Damage: Over 395 churches burnt down, many left homeless

2012 Assam Violence

  • Period: July 20 – September 15, 2012
  • Location: Assam
  • Cause: Killing of 4 Bodo youths
  • Factions: Bodos, Bengali-speaking Muslims
  • Deaths: 77+ reported, 4 lakh displaced

2013 Canning Riots

  • Period: February 21, 2013
  • Location: West Bengal
  • Cause: Killing of a Muslim cleric
  • Factions: Muslims
  • Damage: Around 200 Hindu homes burnt

2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots

  • Period: August 27 – September 17, 2013
  • Location: Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: Over 600 (Hindus and Muslims combined), 93 wounded

2014 Saharanpur Riots

  • Period: July 25-26, 2014
  • Location: Saharanpur
  • Cause: Disputed land issue
  • Factions: Muslims, Sikhs
  • Deaths: 3 reported, 33 wounded

2015 Nadia Riots

  • Period: May 5, 2015
  • Location: Nadia district, West Bengal
  • Cause: Religious procession
  • Factions: Muslims, Sikhs
  • Deaths: 4 reported, 8 wounded

2016 Kaliachak Riots

  • Period: January 3, 2016
  • Location: Malda district, West Bengal
  • Cause: Protest against derogatory remarks
  • Factions: Muslims, Hindus
  • Deaths: 30+ reported, 500 homes torched

2016 Coimbatore Riots

  • Period: September 22 – 26, 2016
  • Location: Coimbatore
  • Cause: Death of Hindu Munnani leader
  • Factions: Police, BJP, Hindu Munnani supporters
  • Damage: Destruction of properties, temples

2017 Baduria Riots

  • Period: July 2, 2017
  • Location: Baduria, West Bengal
  • Cause: Facebook post by a student
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: 23+ reported

2017 Northern India Riots

  • Period: August 25, 2017
  • Location: Haryana

Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, New Delhi
Cause: Rape conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Factions: Dera Sacha Sauda followers
Deaths: 41+ reported, 300+ wounded

2018 Bihar Riots

  • Period: March 17-30, 2018
  • Location: Bihar
  • Cause: Clashes during Ram Navami processions
  • Factions: BJP, Bajrang Dal, RSS, Muslims
  • Deaths: Multiple incidents, no deaths reported

2020 Delhi Riots

  • Period: February 23-March 1, 2020
  • Location: North East Delhi
  • Cause: CAA-NRC Protests
  • Factions: Muslims, Hindus
  • Deaths: 53 reported, 200+ wounded
  • Damage: Shops, houses, vehicles, and a mosque affected

2020 Bangalore Riots

  • Period: August 11-12, 2020
  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka
  • Cause: Protest against derogatory social media post
  • Factions: Muslims
  • Deaths: 5 reported
  • Damage: Homes, shops, vehicles, police station affected

2021 Assam Eviction Violence

  • Period: September 24, 2021
  • Location: Darrang, Assam
  • Cause: Eviction drive against illegal settlers
  • Factions: Assam police, Illegal settlers
  • Deaths: 2 reported, 9 policemen injured

2022 Riots

1. Shivamogga Riots

  • Period: February 20 – 22, 2022
  • Location: Shivamogga, Karnataka
  • Cause: Murder of Bajrang Dal activist
  • Factions: Bajrang Dal workers
  • Wounded: 20 reported.

2. Kanpur Violence

  • Period: June 3, 2022
  • Location: Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
  • Cause: Insulting religious figure
  • Factions: Muslims
  • Wounded: 40+ reported

3. Ranchi Violence

  • Period: June 10, 2022
  • Location: Ranchi, Jharkhand
  • Cause: Disrespectful comment on religious figure
  • Factions: Muslims
  • Deaths: 2 reported, 24 injured

2023 Manipur Violence

  • Period: May 3, 2023- ongoing
  • Location: Manipur
  • Cause: Ethnic tensions between Meitei and Kuki people
  • Factions: Meitei , Kuki
  • Deaths: 60+ reported, 230+ wounded
  • Damage: Churches, schools, vehicles, public properties affected

2023 Haryana Riots

  • Period: July 31-August 3, 2023
  • Location: Haryana
  • Cause: Religious tensions between Hindus and Muslims
  • Factions: Hindus, Muslims
  • Deaths: 7 reported, 200+ injured
  • Damage: Mosque and public properties affected

(Note: This summary includes significant details from each listed riot while striving to provide concise information.)

Also, read https://thelogicalpie.com/in-depth-analysis-of-indias-most-successful-prime-ministers/blog/

2 thoughts on “Understanding the Communal Riots in India: A Timeline”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *