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India’s resistible violence

Hindu-Muslim violence is surprisingly small scale and geographically concentrated

By Edward Luce   May 2002

Ethnic conflict and civic life

Ashutosh Varshney

Yale University Press, ?35 

A curious thing happened in India earlier this year. While the city of Ahmedabad and other places in the state of Gujarat were undergoing a gruesome orgy of “communal” violence, the rest of India was not.

It might sound callous to attach significance to the fact that the killings did not spread on any scale to other parts of India. After all, more than 700 Indian Muslims were slaughtered in the course of five days by Hindu gangs, following the massacre by a suspected Islamist group of…

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