India is a country known for its secularism and communal diversity, with people of different religions living together in peace and harmony. But time and again, evil forces have raised their heads to instigate people of different communities to get engaged in violent struggles and riots.
Here is the list of top 10 worst communal riots in Indian history:
10. Calcutta Riots 1946
The heinous communal riots of Calcutta took place in Calcutta in 1946, before independence. A large number of Hindus and Muslims were killed in the great manslaughter on this fateful day, which came to be known as the Direct Action Day.
9. Sikh Riots of 1984
Next among the top 10 worst communal riots in Indian history are the Sikh Riots of Delhi, which took place after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi. As many as 800 innocent victims were brutally murdered during the riots.
8. Kashmir Riots 1986
In 1986, the state of Kashmir witnessed one of the worst events in its history, when thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to migrate from their homes in the state, because of the violence afflicted on them by the Muslims of the state. Anantnag was the most affected area of the state.
7. Varanasi Riots 1989
Varanasi, which is a major pilgrimage for the Hindus, has repeatedly fallen prey to communal violence between 1989 and 1992. The first Hindu Muslim riots took place in the city in 1989 and left a large number affected.
6. Bhagalpur Riots 1989
1989 proved to be one of the worst years in the communal history of India as it was marked by the Hindu Muslim riots in Bhagalpur, followed by those in Varanasi. The violent bloodshed claimed as many as 1000 lives and left countless injured.
5. Bombay Riots 1992
Next among the worst communal riots in Indian history were the Bombay Riots of 1992, which have been the worst in the history of the country. The riots involved violence between Hindus and Muslims, who fought with each other over the Babri Masjid issue. Nearly 1000 people were killed and the blasts which came in the wake of the riots killed many more.
4. Gujarat Riots 2002
Humanity was ashamed during the brutal riots which hit various parts of the state of Gujarat in the year 2002. A Muslim mob burnt the Sabarmati Express killing a large number of Hindus, which escalated into violent attacks on the Muslims in Godhra. Ahmedabad and Naroda were also affected by the violence.
3. Deganga Riots 2010
Featuring next in the list of top 10 worst communal riots in the country are the riots which affected Deganga in West Bengal in 2010. The riots came in the wake of loot and destruction of Hindu temples by Muslim mobs, followed by a violent retaliation by the Hindus.
2. Assam Riots 2012
A more recent communal riot which the country had to face in 2012 was in Assam, when the Indian Bodos were engaged in horrid struggle against Muslim migrants from Bangladesh. Nearly 80 people lost their lives while lakhs had to suffer because of the inhuman incident.
1. Muzaffarnagar Riots 2013
The most recent communal riots in India occurred in 2013 in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Religious clashed between Hindus and Muslims left 48 people dead and 93 more injured in one of the worst riots in the country’s history.
The people of the country should join hands and show that they will not be separated due to religion, nor will they ever again indulge in communal violence.