27 October, 2020

Trouble On The Roads

Mumbai’s communal violence examined: the simmer and spurt of past unrest; the open wounds of the last 20 years

Sherwin Crasto
Trouble On The Roads
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

One gets an extremely eerie feeling while reading Meena Menon’s treatise, Riots and After in Mumbai—Chronicles of Truth and Reconciliation. I have lived most of my life in this fascinating and frustrating city and yet can’t claim to know why it throbs and thrives. Life in this maniacal megapolis has degenerated and has become so dangerous in the last two decades that it is really difficult to understand the amazing nonchalance of Mumbaikars.

It is this depressing dialectic of the ‘maximum city’ that is chronicled by Menon with all its terror and tenacity. She has researched not only the bizarre violence that enveloped Mumbai in 1992-93, but has also excavated the divisive (as well as inclusive) socio-cultural fabric and its embroidery from the British days to today. Indeed, one is alarmed to learn that life here has been psychologically (and also physically) partitioned all through. It is not pleasant to learn that one was living on tenterhooks all the time, sometimes in imagined security and...

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