Riots are essentially modern and urban in nature. Historically, even in the worst riots, such as the ones post Babri, rural India was mostly quiet. Have you wondered, why it is so? This can be explained using clash of identities theory. Indians carry several identities, like religion and caste. Every once in a while these identities clash, leading to mass violence, especially when political leaders play identity based politics.
Modernization has changed the basic structures of our lives, such as the way we relate to one another and to the natural environment. These impacts have come as much because of changes in social organisation. Modernization is a complex phenomenon, and it majorly involves reorganization of society along rational lines, with efficiency and universality as the guiding principles.
In this efficient and rational system, a person can only tolerate the clash of identity up to a certain threshold. Beyond this, either an individual is forced to rebel or to surrender out of fear. When political leaders use identity clash for their own welfare, they push down the threshold, by increasing the fear factor. Different communities have different threshold levels depending on their background and history, and that explains the rigidity of some sects. All of this, put together, adds more to the confusion.