Communal Violence in India – Essay

Sample essay on the Communal Violence in India of six hundred words for school and college students.

The history of communal riots goes back to pre-independence days. Our British rulers followed a policy of ‘divide and rule’. To gain their own end they divided the Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi’s call for Hindu-Muslims. Gandhi’s call for Hindu-Muslim unity was sought to be countered by creating differences between the two. Rumours were spread and communal passions were inflamed. The result was the creation of Pakistan and blood-both, sufferings and misery that preceded it. However, the creation of Pakistan did not solve the communal problem. The communal virus infected both the communities with the result that the two have been constantly at daggers drawn. 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1991, 1992, all these years have witnessed the horrors of communal riots.

Once again India was seared by religious violence. This time it was not Jammu and Kashmir, not Punjab but Gujarat. In Godhra on February 27, 2002 it looked like a partition again. On this uneventful day passengers of the Sabarmiti Express were attacked on Godhra station. In one hour time charred bodies of 57 people, including 25 women and 14 children were lying in burnt railway coach that was carrying them back a Yagna at Ayodhya. They were families of Ram Sevaks, on their way to Ahmedabad in Gujarat.


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The news spread like wild fire. The burning to death of 57 Ram Sevaks sparked religious hate across Gujarat which led to the worst rioting ever seen. Revenge attacks claimed hundreds of lives. In 26 major towns and taluks of Gujarat including Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Visnagar, Palanpur, Deesa and Khedbrahma, rioting and arson led to massive damage of lives and property. Even far off remote villages were also affected by the spiral of violence. Through curfew was imposed in places and the police turned out in strength, it could not quell the violence. At many places the police virtually became passive onlookers as they were helpless in front of the frenzied mob.

The mood in the state was militant. It was not merely a communal riot but something like a mass agitation. There was already great anger against terrorism and anti-national activities and the Godhra incident worked as fuel on fire. The police was ineffective from 2000 to 10000. At one point there were at least 25,000 people targeting the opposite groups in Ahmedabad alone. The police was chiefly expecting trouble in Ahmedabad’s walled city which has been the scene of communal violence in every riot in the past two decades. This time, however, it was not the walled city alone but whole of Gujarat was on fire.

In a week of a vengeful spree following the February 27 Godhra carnage, more than 6000 people died across the state and 20,000 rendered homeless in Ahmedabad alone. Religion places were burnt or damaged. The anger of the civilized society turned into barbarism. The fragile communal peace that held for nine years was shattered. The Hindu Muslim gulf has been widening since the 1969 Ahemedabad riots, the 1889 Rath Yatra on the Ayodhya Ram Mandir issue and has been fuelled by the Kashmir conflict. The heightening Indo-pakistan tension and Islamic terrorism in the past two years- from cross-border terrorist attacks in Kashmir to the December 13 parliament attack have given rise to Hindu militancy in India in both momentum and respectability. Consequently, the rioters seem to have a large measure of social sanction and this is ominous. The otherwise respectable middle-class person participating in the unleashed communal rage was a chilling symbol of the breakdown of social values.

Our Prime Minister Mr. Vajpayee called the Gujarat riots a ‘blot’ on the image of India. It is a shame for every Indian. It is a national tragedy and also a blazing triumph for those barbarians who set the train in Godhra on fire. It is a warning and India should never let it happen again.

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