Communal violence in India and the “Tribal” population

Old Blog Import

This is a very fascinating document about the role of Tribals” in India’s communal riots. Ganesh Devy argues that the indigenous peoples of India engaged in mob violence for very different reasons than the Hindus:

It would be completely wrong to assume that the rioting in support of Hindutva was something that the tribals wanted at any stage. The facts show that the truth is far from it. There had to be a considerable amount of coaxing before any tribal village joined in the riots. There was a free use of intimidation too. Generally, a group of 15 to 20 persons went to the sarpanch of a village to ask him to give forces’ for attacking Muslims. One or two of the ring leaders spoke. They promised protection from the law to all those who joined and threatened those who refused theinvitation’. Since the instigators belonged to the ruling party, it was intimidating to encounter such promises and threats.

It is a long article, but it is well worth reading. He has interesting things to say about the difference between Hindu communalism and Islamic Fundamentalism, etc. Also, some things that are confusing at first are explained later in the article.