Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

History of Communal Riots In Ahmedabad

Posted by jagoindia on October 17, 2008

History of Communal Riots In Ahmedabad

If we take the history of Ahmedabad for last five centuries, the city was ruled by Muslims and Mughals for about 340 years the rest by Marathas & The British coming to the incidents of communal riots during this era of five centuries, the major incidences are:

(1) 1714: Holi Riots:
A Hindu named Hari Ram while celebrating Holi with his friends at his residence sprinkled ‘Gulal’ a red powder on one muslim, which was strongly protested by Muslims. A mob got assembled near Jumma Masjid under the leadership of Sunni Bohra Mulla Abdul Aziz. Afghan soldiers of the Muslim viceroy also joined the mob seeing the situation. A Kazi interfered for cooling down the angry mob.  But the mob set on fire the house of this Kazi. The rioteers thereafter looted the shops of Hindu Mohalla, Shops and set their houses to fire. The rioters could be controlled only by armed guards of a Hindu, Kapurchand Bhanshali.

(2) 1715: Another Communal Riot:
The 1715 communal riots were due to looting of shops of Hindus by Muslim soldiers. The riot came to an end with replacement of Muslim viceroy Daudkhan.

(3) 1716:  Id riots:
Consequently during the third year also, communal disturbances broke out during id in 1716.

Bohra community Muslims gathered cows and buffallows for id celebration. A Muslim Havaldar just out of pity released one of such gathered cows. The Muslim protested before the Kazi Khairullakhan seeing no outcome to their expectation, the Muslims resorted to riots arson and mass looting of Hindu establishments. The situation could come to normally with Hindu viceroy Ajitsinh’s concerted efforts.

(4) 1750: Temple Demolition:
1750 riots by Muslims were provoked simply with an excuse that their Namaz was being disturbed due to noise of ringing of bell in the adjoining temple. The Muslims while returning from Masjid after Namaz, totally destroyed the temple and thus played with the Hindu sentiments.

(5) 1941: Riots:
Communal disturbances broke out on 18th April 1941. The Muslims diverted to Muslim league programmes after incidence of these riots.

(6) 1946: Rath Yatra Riots:
1st July, 1946, was a Rath Yatra day. Rath Yatra as usual was passing through Shaher Kotda Police Station Area, on this auspicious day. There took a hut exchange between a Hindu Akhada man and a Muslim watching the procession. The incidence turned into breaking out of communal violence, viz. arson, stone throwing, stabbing etc. There was also a police firing and curfew was finally imposed, to control the situation.

(7) 1965: Shikh incidence:
The 1965 riots were resulted out of murder of two Shikh Rickshaw drivers by Muslims. The agrieved Sikhs took out funeral procession of both these dead bodies. The situation got disturbed at Delhi Darwaja and got converted into a communal riot soon.

(8) 1969: Historic Communal Riots:
These riots were biggest of its type having taken lives of about 560 persons.

It was 18th Sept. 1969, the last day of Urs. The violence crept up in the evening time on the ground that Jagannath Mandir cows going back to temple premises disturbed the URS. It may be mentioned that movement of cows was a daily routine irrespective of URS celebration taking place simultaneously. A hot discussion took place which provoked communal tension with a series of violent, incidences killing, linking, and soon in various parts of the city.

4 Responses to “History of Communal Riots In Ahmedabad”

  1. Anon E. Moss said

    This is in regard to 1969 riots. I was one of the officers from the Indian Armed Forces called to restore peace in Ahmedabad with my troops. The information made available to us at that time was that the incident of ‘returning cows’ happened AFTER the occurrence of the root cause of the riots. It was on the previous night when in the area of Jamalpur (people in Ahmedabad have given it the name of our neighbouring country)an off duty Inspector of Police from the minority community returning from work took exception to the Ramayana Katha going on in the street. He asked the Kathakar to stop immediately. The latter pleaded that he should be allowed to complete the chapter. This police officer was livid with anger at this ‘disobedience’. He kicked the Ramayana and the paraphernalia to the horror of a large group of worshippers.

    The news spread to areas where there were large settlements of migrant textile workers for whom the Ramayana is the most sacred book. They were angry and wanted to retaliate. To add fuel to fire, the ‘cow incident’ happened the following day. It was rumoured that the Holy Mahant of Jagannath temple was assaulted by the people from the Urs. Inflammatory pamphlets inciting majority community to pick up any weapon that came to their hands were distributed urging violent retaliation for all the rapes and murders that had been perpetrated by the powerful minority community over centuries. I read it myself and it was indeed horrifyingly vitriolic. The result is a history. Unofficial figures of deaths on both sides were in the excess of 2000. By the way, there was President’s Rule in Gujarat at that time, and the Government in the Centre was – Congress (I).

    After the riots in 1969, when peace was restored, I did some research in the history of riots in Ahmedabad. It transpired that the main causes have been when religious intolerance coupled with violent actions (arson, murder, etc.) was perpetrated on the peaceful local population. Before 1969, there never was retaliatory action from the mainstream community. I do believe that what happened in 1969 and later was the result of injustices and sufferings of the past and inhuman insensitive and intolerable actions on part of some people. The case in point was an incident in 1948. To quell the riots in the same Jamalpur area, two unarmed Congress workers, one Hindu and the other Shia Muslim went on a peace mission. Both were brutally murdered in front of a mosque. Photographs in the Congress House showed that their bodies were completely covered with knife wounds. That was the lowest point in the history of riots in Ahmedabad. In the same riots, a Jain doctor was falsely called out to visit a patient, and when he stepped out of his house, his throat was slit. He died in pain. People bore these incidents without retaliation. These reports were archived in local newspapers when I did my study.
    The 1969 riots gave vent to age old fury, elicited grave and sudden provocation and resulted in large scale killings. I cannot condone the violence, however, it did happen. The violence then, to say the least, displayed the nadir of human values. No one has a right to take the life of another human and that kind of violence must be abhorred.

    The point I wish to make is simple: even after coexisting for centuries, people of some faiths cannot respect the faiths of the other communities, label them as pagans, idolaters, “unbelievers”, fundamentalists, and punish them – or try to convert them to “enlightened” faith, how long can people go on tolerating? There is a limit to internalizing injustice, grief and violence. When, as the cliche goes, enough is enough, the result is like the eruption of a volcano. What happened in the past and is happening now in India is this eruption. It is up to the religious leaders of ALL faiths to have a dialogue and eliminate the battle lines of hatred and generate respect for each others’ faiths. The religious leaders should ask their ‘flocks’ to leave each other alone as far as their faiths are concerned. Human lives are more important than the propagation of a faith or establish a faith as the only acceptable one in the universe.

  2. brazen drushart said

    Hindus and Muslims co-existed, not as a way of love and understanding, but as a way of an understood arrangement/ agreement – Hindus were a defeated lot, and wanted peace then(as they are naturally less violent), while Muslims were the winners-rulers, who wanted to keep a superior socio-religious position. So, Hindus didn’t challenge the Muslim authority and Muslims let Hindus to continue living peacefully, with certain restrictions like Jiziya tax.

    Now, Hindus remember how they had to insultingly adjust to Muslim rule in their own land and Muslims remember how they once used to be the rulers of the land. This is the point which gives rise to this civilizational struggle in the subcontinent.

    And to be honest, it’s the former point which seems to be more logical. Even VS Naipaul understands it.

  3. MOHIT said


  4. Umesh said

    I was posted at Ghari village in Prantij Taluka of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat when the riots took place in 1969 at Ahmedabad, A few days after the city was disturbed two of the students from St. Xaviers College, Ahmedabad managed to return to their village in spite of curfew at Ahmedabad. They were so furious that in a rage of anger they broke a part of the wall of so-called masjit in the village. At the same time they threatened to burn a petrol pump and a dry-cleaner’s shop belonging to a muslim. Owners of both the establishment gave identical reply by saying that only hindus of the village will suffer by this act and not they, as it was a hindu village. Nothing beyond this happened as an influential hindu businessman had already told the young boys not to disturb the peace of the village.
    But look at the sinister move of the muslim petrol pump owner, who was known to have a transmitter at his home in Prantij, conveyed a message to Pakistan that a petrol pump and a dry-cleaner shop had been burnt to ashes by hindu fundamentalits. This Pakistan Radio news was heard by me and several others on the same day, the boys were to go in for their misadventure.
    I am not a fundamentalist, but would like Indian muslims be behave like true Indian.

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