INDIA IS reeling from the worst communal violence for ten years. On Wednesday 27 February in the town of Godhra in Gujarat, a train carrying Hindu nationalists was attacked with petrol bombs. The train caught fire and 58 people were killed. On Thursday, Hindu nationalists across Gujarat responded with violent riots which have so far left around 70 dead. The epicentre of the violence has been Ahmedabad, state capital of Gujarat, where 35 Muslims have been burned in their own homes, and at least 150 have been injured.
The unabated communal carnage going on in the State of Gujarat in particular and the communal tension all over the country in general, is in a way the logical conclusion of the chauvinistic build up that was going on for several months in the recent period.
IN THE worst ever earthquake that India has seen in the last two centuries, Ahemadabad, Bhuj, Bhachau and the entire Kutch district have been devastated.
Ten days after the disaster the most conservative estimate puts the body count at 100,000. The final toll will be at least four times that number as the day of the earthquake was a holiday and people mostly remained home.