Modern Asian Studies

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From Gandhi to Violence: Ahmedabad's 1985 Riots in Historical Perspective

Howard Spodeka1

a1 Temple University, Philadelphia

In 1985 riots racked the western Indian city of Ahmedabad, continuing for a period of almost half a year, form February through July, leaving some 275 people dead, thousands injured, tens of thousands homeless, and a loss of property and trade estimated at Rs 2,200 crores (US$1.75 thousand million) (India Today, 13 August 1985, pp. 60 and 119), in ‘the most alarmingly sustained bout of rioting (as opposed to the sort of terrorism Punjab suffered…) since India's independence’ (Manor 1986: 102).

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