From december 1992 through january 1993, more than 3,000 people were killed in “communal” rioting across India, from Surat to Calcutta, from Kanpur to Bangalore. The likes of this rioting had not been seen for generations; in Bombay, for example, more than 600 people died, and the city was brought to a standstill for a week and a half. These recent events were related to but exceeded even the gruesome slaughters that took place in the last quarter of 1990, when a communal “frenzy” took hold that was then viewed as unprecedented in post-Partition India (Engineer 1991a, cf. 1991b).

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