Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2006 Indian religious riots in review

En route to looking up something else, I found this Indian Muslim website, which has a quite detailed and seemingly objective account of India's religious and communal riots for the past year. According to the site, it was a pretty mild year, all things considered. That's not to say that what actually happened wasn't appalling enough, of course. In addition to the bloodletting itself, there were archaeological atrocities like this:

Baroda, communally highly inflammable place since early eighties, once again was in flames on May 1st when a three hundred year old dargah of Chishti Rashiduddin was demolished by Vadodara Municipal Corporation which sparked riots in which 4 persons were killed and more than 12 were injured in police firing. Two of the dead had bullet injuries while other two were stabbed. It was demolished as an ‘illegal structure’. How can a three hundred year old dargah be declared as illegal?

A dargah is a shrine over a gravesite, and Chishti refers to an order of Sufism. Just awful. I felt the same way when Iraqi Sunni extremists blew up the Shia shrine in Samarra, and earlier when the Saudis knocked down an Ottoman castle in Mecca, to make way for a hotel.

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