The first really bad one in Independent India was 1992 December – 1993 January. Even the earlier one in 1984 wasn’t too bad. But the tone was set and left us shaken on August 18, 1982, when policemen mutinied and rioted for a day. We were still Bombay, but briefly we resembled Beirut, with army machine gun nests set up at major junctions like Wolri naka, and tension lying thick over the city. A day later, quelled with a firm hand, it was over.
But in 1992-93, the city covered itself with a sectarian shame from which it has still not recovered. Suffice it to say, we have experienced riots and are etermind never to let them happen again, or countenance a state government that watches as Mumbai burns.