Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hindu Muslim Riots - In British India upto 1900 AD.

The differences between the Hindus and Muslims were  doubtedly accentuated by the policy of "divide and rule" systematically pursued by the British throughout the 19th century.As far back as 1821 a British officer wrote in the Asiatic Jounal : 'Divide et Impera should be the motto of our administration.' and the policy supported by the high officials. At first the policy was to favour the Hindus at the expense of the Muslims, for, as Lord Ellenborough put it, "that race is fundamentally hostile to us and therefore our true policy is to reconciliate the Hindus. But when the Hindus became politically conscious, they began to favour  Muslims.   
From about eighties it became the policy of the British to play the Muslims against the Hindusand break the unity of the people.This difference between the two communities was not the creation of the British or the Aligarh Movement.The difference was created at the very beginning of the Muslim invasion in India. They had only accelerated it.
Early in the nineteenth century there were such a violent outbreak at Varanasi (Banaras). In October,1809, the Hindu mob of the city stormed the great mosque of Aurangazeb. The city was given up to pillage and slaughter and about fifty mosques were destroyed.
In 1857, the Muslims of Broach attacked the quarters of the Parsis and killed some of them. Communal riots and tensions during the great outbreak of 1857 have been noticed. Hindu-Muslim riots with heavy casualities occurred at Bareilly and other localities in UP during 1871-2.
A series riot took place at Bombay in 1851. There was a similar riot in Bombay in 1874, of which Dafabhai Noaraji and Pherozshah Mehta were eye-witness. In 1877, a series of riot took place between Hindu and Muslim subjects of Nawab of Janjira.
Serious communal riots took place;
Lahor and Karnal -1885,
Delhi- 1886,
Ludhiana, Ambala-1889,
The riot in Bihar in 1893-4,
Thje Calcutta riots in 1897 had a quite different origin.Maharaja Sir Jatindramahon Tagore obtained by a decreeof the court a plot of land at Talla, just outside the northern limit of the city of Calcutta. There was a small hut on the piece of land which the Muhammadans claimed to be  mosque. So when the Tagore;s party

went to take possession of the land, a large number of lower class Muhammadans gatthered with a view to resisting the demolition of the hut. Though they wer dispersed by the polic, a group of them attacked  the Calcutta Water Works pumping stationin the neighbourhood and a riot took place causing casualities of 11 persons and 20 being wounded.