One year ago today anti-Muslim riots broke out in the nation’s capital New Delhi causing a lot of damage to the property and the lives of innocent people. But that was not the only time when India suffered something this brutal regarding Hindu-Muslim riots.
19 years ago on February 27th, the worst Hindu Muslim riot in the history of the country took place. This article aims at providing you a brief knowledge about what happened on the morning of February 27th,2002 which is considered a Black day for India.
This article is about Gujarat Riots.
On the dawn of 27th February, a train named Sabarmati Express pulled at a train station which was located in Godhra, a small town present in Gujarat, which was being ruled by a Hindu nationalist Government since 1995. What happened after that is still a mystery for the world but the most prominent and frequent narrative suggests what happened that morning.
After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, frequent marches and movements were conducted by the Hindu community to show their support for the construction of Ram Janam Bhumi at the place. One such march had been conducted at that time and the people from Gujarat were returning to their homes after showing their support to the temple. Sabarmati Express was the one carrying them on board. Many people narrate that the Hindu community and some Muslim boys selling tea got into a fight and the Hindu community shoved them off. As soon as the train moved ahead someone pulled off the emergency breaks of the train making it stop at a neighborhood that was a Muslim majority. The Muslim mob attacked those particular coaches of the train which consisted of the Hindu people coming from Ayodhya. The reports stated that the Mob burned two coaches of the train killing 58 people on board which mainly consisted of women and children.
The Hindus felt that it was time for revenge. Instead of following the law and letting the people who had the authority do their jobs, they started violence which turned into a bloodbath.
Hindu mobs now torched the Muslim houses and businesses whatever they could find. They killed Muslim men, women, and even children. Muslim women were raped and even slaughtered along with their children. The Government instead of capturing those Muslims responsible for the Godhra incident, let the Hindu mobs take revenge and create havoc in the country. Over 100,000 Muslims were forced to leave their houses, work everything and move towards refugee camps where even the basic necessities were minimal and the living conditions were obviously abysmal.
The Gujarat riots as it seems was much more horrifying and heart-wrenching than it can be observed from the history books. Muslim men saw their wives get raped in front of them, their children were burned alive and slaughtered in front of everyone. People lost their entire families in the blink of an eye and the blame was all on the Government of the state. The State Government fell asleep during the three-day riots. People were refused help by the police. The refugee camps were not given any kinds of help. The survivors narrate that they were not even given the minimum amount of food every day. They used to eat once in two to three days and only got to bathe once in 10 to 15 days.
Maybe the cruelty of the state Government was not enough for them as just after six months of the riots they called off the shelter camps just for the sake of their upcoming elections. People were asked to return to their villages so they could cast their votes but no one cared about them. People who were stable in their lives were destroyed. They had lost everything they preserved in their entire lifespan.
If you think that everything is back to normal after all these years then you are completely wrong. Muslim people who live in those particular areas where the riots took the worst form still prefer to leave their houses during the time of Hindu festivals because of the fear and the dreadful past they contain within themselves.
Many natives of Gujarat fled their houses back then and after all these years they still don’t have the courage to return to the place where they once used to live peacefully and happily.
According to the reports around 790, Muslims and 254 Hindus lost their lives during the riots. Thousands of people lost their livelihood and lost everything they had in their lives. Gujarat riots were indeed the most horrific and heartbreaking incidents which happened in India and the damage can never be forgotten.
May all the souls who lost their lives during the Gujarat riots rest in peace.