In Search of Ramrajya
Posted by Jack Stephens on March 29, 2008
V Ramaswamy writes a four part series on Muslims and Hindus in India and his own experiences as a community and grassroots organizer. Below is an excerpt from part I. Ramaswamy wrote this post for Blogbharti’s Spotlight Series.
It was only in the aftermath of 6 December 1992 that I came alive to the question of Muslims in India. I was an atheist, and a left-oriented social activist working on issues of urban poverty, low-income housing, slums and squatters. Riots had hit Calcutta too, with Muslim bastis being torched in Tangra in east Calcutta and in Metiabruz in the west. This was the first time in my life that I knew communal riots in my city. The enforced stay at home when Calcutta was under curfew in the days following 6 December 1992, led to an enforced engagement with this question, the Muslim question, something I had hardly thought about earlier. Afterwards, my friend, photographer Achinto, and I went to Tangra. The people from the burnt out slum were sheltered in the municipal slaughterhouse. I will never forget that sight, a vision of hell.