People who want to understand what transpired during the 1992-93 Mumbai riots and the impact of the incident on Mumbai’s psyche can now log on to a website to check what occurred in the city during the 63 days of the worst rioting in Mumbai’s history.
The website, http://mumbairiots.tiss.edu, created by the School of Media and Cultural Studies of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) contains not only the timeline of the incidents that occurred in Mumbai after the razing of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 but also contains documentaries around the incident and analysis of how the turbulent period affected Mumbai’s psyche.
The initial interface of the website catalogues every event that transpired in the city between December 6 and February 7 leading to the death of over 900 Mumbaikars. Every event of 1992-93 riots, documented in the Justice Srikrishna report, has been cataloged and mapped on this site. A person can select a date from the timeline to see where events took place on that day.
The website also has links to over five documentaries which explore the events of the 1992-93 riots and their effect on the psyche of the city. Some of the films include Framing ’92 which explores how the riots have been and continue to be represented – in the realms of art and photojournalism and Aman ki Khoj, which explores the efforts of activists in mobilising people and starting a dialogue between them.
“There is so little awareness about what actually happened during those days. Many people still believe that the riots were retaliation to the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts. This website was an attempt on our part to make people understand what transpired in those days,” TISS Prof Anjali Monteiro who was instrumental in launching the project said. Monteiro and Professor K P Jayasankar along with the a team of nearly 30 students from TISS have been instrumental in taking up the project.
The online narrative also works on various themes which were an immediate result of the 92-93 riots. It discusses issues of dislocation of people from their homes, the growing chasm between communities, and the struggle of individuals to seek justice.
The website contains various reports pertaining to the riots and also documentaries done by students of TISS on the incident along with interview transcripts of all those who witnessed the riots. The initiative has been part of the ‘Divercity’ programme, which attempts to create visual archive of events and communities in the city.
“The idea behind the initiative was to ensure that people do not forget the traumatic events that occurred in this city. Remembering is also part of process of shaping the city they way you would want it to be. Remembering those events is questioning and challenging the politics of hate that has become prevalent nationally and internationally these days,” Monteiro said.