2002 Communal riots (Godra/Babri Masjid), India
The demolition of the Babri Masjid and subsequent attacks in Godhra led , for two years, to the worst communal violence in India. I requested Shashi Tharoor to allow us to convert his book RIOT into a staged reading by Michael Johnson Chase in order to foster discussion between Hindus and Muslims and make them realize we are intrinsically the same people. Shabana Azmi played the extreme Hindu, Madhur Jaffrey the extreme Muslim, Shashi Tharoor the extreme Sikh and Tunku Varadarajan the Voice of Reason. A lively productive post-performance discussion followed the Reading. Hindutva protests outside the theatre were kept at bay by NYCity police in riot gear.