1985 Gujarat riots

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The 1985 Gujarat riots began in February and lasted till October 1986, in the city of Ahmedabad. The violence caused an estimated death toll of 275, thousands of injuries and tens of thousands displaced.[1] According to Asghar Ali Engineer, the riots were organized by the Bharatiya Janata Party to cause the downfall of the government of Madhav Singh Solanki.[2] Initially the riots were an intra Hindu caste issue over the reservations policy of the state government but this turned into a communal riot between Hindus and Muslims. The rioters had initially targeted state property but within a month[3] began to target Muslims and Muslim owned property.[4]

Solanki having won the elections in March formed a government which out of twenty ministers had fourteen Kshatriyas serving. The upper castes reacted violently, as they felt they had made their feelings clear regarding quotas during the riots in 1981. The state announced an increase from ten percent to twenty eight percent in the reserved quotas for lower castes for state employment.[3] A stay was issued by the high court on implementing the quotas and following the derailment of a train on 5 July Solanki stepped down.[5]

There were attacks on Dalits and Muslim neighborhoods in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.[6] According to testimony from Dalits, members of the BJP legislative assembly who during the riots in 1981 had assaulted them gave them aid during the 1985 violence. The Congress and other Naxalite groups provided the Dalits with weapons, legal help and money.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spodek, Howard (2008). "From Gandhi to Violence: Ahmedabad's 1985 Riots in Historical Perspective". Modern Asian Studies. 23 (4): 765–795. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00010209.
  2. ^ Engineer, Asgharali (2003). The Gujarat Carnage. Orient Blackswan. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-8125024965. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b Fuller, C. J. (2011). A Companion to the Anthropology of India. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 2004. ISBN 978-1405198929.
  4. ^ a b Shani, Ornit (2007). Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat. Cambridge University Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0521727532.
  5. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of the Lower Castes in North India. C Hurst & Co. pp. 325–326. ISBN 978-1850653981. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
  6. ^ Sheth, Suchitra; Acyuta Yājñika (2005). The Shaping of Modern Gujarat: Plurality, Hindutva, and Beyond. Penguin. p. 256. ISBN 978-0144000388.