Organizing of Hindu-Muslim “riots” became part of the British colonial strategy of “divide and rule”. This was especially the case after the Great Ghadar of 1857, in which people of all religions and castes had united to throw out the British.
Large-scale killing of Hindus and Muslims took place in Bombay in 1874, in Lahore and Karnal in 1885, Delhi in 1886, Ludhiana and Ambala in 1889, Bombay again in 1893 and Bihar in 1893-94. The 1920s also saw numerous incidents of communal violence, including in Multan, Malabar, Delhi, Nagpur, Lahore, Lucknow, Bhagalpur, Gulbarga, Shahjahanpur, Kakinada, Allahabad, Bombay, Calcutta and Aligarh.
The so-called riots which the British rulers secretly organised served to destroy the unity of the Indian people. They provided a pretext for the colonial State to unleash widespread repression in the name of restoring order.
Many Indians including the members of the Hindustan Ghadar Party saw through the cunning and criminal methods of rule adopted by the British Raj. The October 1926 issue of “The Independent Hindustan”, a monthly publication of the Hindustan Ghadar Party, carried an article which we are reproducing here. The article should make us think seriously about what has been happening in the country after independence. Are there any parallels today with the British strategy? The Spark team will welcome your comments.