essay on 1984 riots

Rodney King and the Los Angeles Race Riots

essay on 1984 riots

Written by: Michael Parrish, UC San Diego

By the end of this section, you will:.

  • Explain the causes and effects of continuing policy debates about the role of the federal government over time

Suggested Sequencing

Use this narrative with the Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing Narrative; the Tech Giants: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Narrative; the Is Affirmative Action Justified? Point-Counterpoint; and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, 1987 Primary Source to discuss domestic issues between 1980 and the present day.

In the second half of the twentieth century, Los Angeles, California, endured considerable domestic turmoil, suffering violent and destructive urban riots that erupted in the wake of confrontations between African Americans and the police. And like many of the recent encounters that have escalated into fatal shootings, those in 1965 in the Watts area of Los Angeles and in 1991 on Foothill Boulevard involving Rodney King each began with a traffic violation.

Unlike older, urban, African American communities in the East and Midwest, which were mostly products of the first Great Migration by southern blacks during and after World War I, the neighborhoods of Watts and Compton in Los Angeles had drawn African Americans because of the job opportunities associated with massive military spending during World War II. With its single-family bungalows, Watts did not have the outward appearance of the stereotypical black ghetto of the East and Midwest. But like the others, it remained rigidly segregated by means of racial covenants that kept blacks from moving into white neighborhoods. It suffered an unemployment rate double that of the city at large, its schools were underfunded, and public transportation was virtually nonexistent. In the 1960s, the predominantly white Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was headed by Chief William H. Parker, a strict disciplinarian who had raised the department’s standards while maintaining law and order in Watts.

In 1964, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination in employment and public accommodations. In August 1965, African Americans in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the nation celebrated historic progress in ending racial injustice when the president signed the Voting Rights Act passed by Congress. But on August 11, five days after the Voting Rights Act took effect, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer on his motorcycle stopped 21-year-old Marquette Frye, an African American, for driving his mother’s 1955 Buick erratically. The officer placed Frye under arrest for reckless driving after administering a sobriety test. Frye’s brother brought their mother, Rena Price, who lived nearby, to the scene of the arrest, where she initially reprimanded her son for drinking and driving but soon became involved in a shouting and shoving match with the CHP officer and members of the LAPD who had been called as back up.

By the time the police placed the two other Frye family members under arrest, a large crowd of their supporters had gathered around the officers, cursing and pelting them with debris. The crowds grew larger that night along Avalon Boulevard and assaulted the LAPD force with rocks and pieces of concrete. A meeting of community leaders and the police broke down the next day as looting and arson erupted in what had become a 40-square-mile riot zone in Los Angeles. Chief Parker equated the scene with the war in Vietnam, denounced the rioters as “monkeys in the zoo,” and called for the aid of 2,300 members of the California National Guard, who arrived on August 13, along with 16,000 other law enforcement officers from across the region. By the time the Watts riot was quashed on August 15, approximately 3,500 people had been arrested (mostly for violating an 8 p.m. curfew), 34 had died (23 shot by either guardsmen or police), and 1,000 private businesses or public buildings had been looted, damaged, or destroyed, at a cost of $40 million.

A bird's eye view of the city covered in smoke from burning buildings.

Arsonists set fire to buildings during the 1965 Watts riot in Los Angeles.

In the wake of the Watts explosion, the first of similar urban riots that rocked American cities during the 1960s, Governor Brown appointed a commission, headed by former CIA director John A. McCone, to investigate its causes. McCone’s 100-page report, “Violence in the City – An End or a Beginning?”, argued that the origins of the riot were found in the deplorable social and economic conditions endured by Los Angeles’s African Americans: police hostility and indifference, few job opportunities, inferior schools, and the absence of access to health care and other social services.

In the year of the Watts riot, Rodney King was born in Sacramento, California, into a troubled household with four other children and an alcoholic father, who died at the age of 42 in 1984 after the family moved to Altadena, near Los Angeles. Five years later, King had his first brush with the law when he robbed a convenience store in Monterey Park, assaulted its Korean-born owner, and made off with $200 in cash. King was arrested, tried, and convicted, and he remained in prison until the winter of 1990.

During the early morning hours of March 3, 1991, after a night of heavy drinking, King and some companions were speeding down the Foothill Freeway in his 1987 Hyundai when they were spotted by two CHP officers who gave chase but could not force the vehicle to stop. King feared his arrest while intoxicated would lead to a parole violation. He left the freeway and continued to elude his pursuers by speeding through residential neighborhoods, with LAPD patrol cars and a police helicopter soon joining the chase. Finally trapped, King’s car was surrounded by the two CHP officers and five LAPD officers – Stacy Koon, Laurence Powell, Rolando Solano, Ted Briseno, and Tim Ward. The CHP officers ordered King’s two companions out of the car; these two men later claimed they were struck on the head, beaten, and kicked while on the ground. When King emerged from the vehicle, officers said he acted in a bizarre manner, waving to the helicopter above and stomping on the ground. At this point, Officer Koon, who had asserted LAPD jurisdiction over the arrest, twice tasered King and ordered the four other officers to subdue him.

What happened next was captured on a camcorder by George Holliday, a nearby apartment dweller, in a 79-second recording showing King resisting the officer and the officers responding by striking King with their batons and kicking him 30 times. Koon later acknowledged that he urged Powell and Wind to hit King with “power strokes . . . hit his joints, hit the wrists, hit his elbows, hit his knees, hit his ankles.” Taken to a nearby hospital while under arrest, King was diagnosed with a broken ankle, a broken facial bone, and multiple lacerations.

Holliday took his videotape to KTLA, a local television station, which edited a few seconds and then broadcast the graphic display of police brutality. Viewing the tape, President George H. W. Bush told reporters, “What I saw made me sick. It’s sickening to see the beating that was recorded. There’s no way in my view to explain it away. It was outrageous.”

The Holliday video also sparked searing anger among the city’s African Americans. As a result, four of the LAPD officers went to trial on charges of assault and the use of excessive force. Given the widespread media coverage in Los Angeles, the defendants were granted a change of venue to suburban Simi Valley in Ventura Country, where they faced a black prosecutor but a jury with nine middle-class whites. On April 29, 1992, after seven days of deliberation, the jury acquitted all four of assault, and three of the four of using excessive force (the jury could not reach a verdict on the fourth officer). The Rodney King riots exploded a few hours after the verdicts as both African Americans and Latinos vented their rage at the police, white pedestrians and motorists, and Korean American businesspeople as well as their shops and stores.

Over the next six days, rioters committed 7,000 acts of arson and damaged 3,000 businesses in Los Angeles, resulting in financial losses that approached $1 billion. By the time the California National Guard, the U.S. Army, and the Marine Corps restored order, more than 60 people had been killed and 2,300 injured, including a hapless white truck driver, Reginald Denny, who was stopped and beaten by a mob at an intersection before being rescued by passersby. This incident was also filmed and broadcast nationally. Other uprisings occurred across the nation in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Atlanta. In the midst of the carnage, on May 1, 1992, King made a memorable appearance on local television where he appealed to rioters to calm down: “I just want to say – you know – can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids. . . . it’s just not right – it’s not right.”

United States soldiers jump out of the back of a truck.

The National Guard was deployed to Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots in 1992.

In the fall of 1992, the Department of Justice secured federal civil rights indictments against Stacy Koon and three of the other officers for “failing to take action to stop an unlawful assault” and “intentionally using unreasonable force.” The four went to trial in March 1993. The jury found Koon and Powell guilty, and they were sentenced to 30 months in prison. Wind and Briseno were acquitted on all charges. King himself sued Los Angeles for negligence and was awarded $3.8 million. Mayor Tom Bradley appointed a commission headed by attorney Warren Christopher to investigate the internal practices of the LAPD, and its recommendations concerning recruitment, discipline, and complaints by citizens about police misconduct were slowly implemented over the next few years.

Rodney King later wrote a memoir with the assistance of Lawrence Spagnola, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption , but he seldom remained out of trouble with the law, being subsequently arrested for committing traffic offenses, driving under the influence of alcohol, and assaulting his wife, Cynthia Kelly. On June 17, 2012, she found him at the bottom of his swimming pool, the victim of heart failure brought on by a fatal combination of alcohol and drugs.

The issues that sparked the Watts riot and the Rodney King incident defied easy solutions and revealed the continuing racial divide in twentieth-century America. Racism persisted into the new century and was often revealed in tensions between police departments and African Americans.

Review Questions

1. Two Los Angeles officers were convicted and sent to prison for their conduct during the Rodney King incident under

  • local traffic law
  • county civil law
  • state criminal law
  • federal civil rights law

2. The Los Angeles African American communities of Watts and Compton were created as a result of

  • the exodus of former slaves during Reconstruction
  • the Great Migration out of the South in the early twentieth century
  • jobs opened up by massive military spending during World War II
  • the white flight out of the cities during the 1960s

3. The Watts riot and the Rodney King incident both began with a

  • traffic violation
  • case of breaking and entering

4. The Los Angeles rioting connected with the Rodney King incident occurred in the aftermath of

  • King’s initial arrest
  • the acquittal of the officers charged with assaulting King
  • the conviction of the officers who arrested King
  • King’s conviction for assault

5. In the aftermath of the Rodney King incident, a commission headed by Warren Christopher recommended

  • placing the Los Angeles Police Department under the control of federal law enforcement
  • integrating the local school system
  • altering the internal policies and practices of the Los Angeles Police Department
  • placing Rodney King under house arrest

6. Events in the decades after the Watts Riots (1965) and the Rodney King incident (1991) best illustrate

  • a significant lessening of racial tensions in the United States, especially in urban areas
  • the success of minority policing in urban areas
  • the widespread implementation of policing reforms
  • the difficulty of reducing tensions between police departments and African Americans in many communities

Free Response Questions

  • Compare the development and characteristics of the predominantly African American areas of Los Angeles with those of the cities such as Chicago and others in the Northeast.
  • Compare the issues that sparked the Watts riot (1965) and the Rodney King incident (1992).

AP Practice Questions

“There are compelling reasons why law enforcement leaders believe the time has come to alter the policies and practices of their organizations. These reasons are rooted in the history of policing and police research during the last quarter of a century, in the changing nature of communities, and in the shifting characteristics of crime and violence that affect these communities. . . . The implementation of community policing necessitates fundamental changes in the structure and management of police organizations. Community policing differs from traditional policing in how the community is perceived and in its expanded policing goals. While crime control and prevention remain central priorities, community policing strategies use a wide variety of methods to address these goals. The police and the community become partners in addressing problems of disorder and neglect (e.g., gang activity, abandoned cars, and broken windows) that, although perhaps not criminal, can eventually lead to serious crime. As links between the police and the community are strengthened over time, the ensuing partnership will be better able to pinpoint and mitigate the underlying causes of crime.”

Bureau of Justice Assistance, “Understanding Community Policing: A Framework for Action,” August 1994

1. The excerpt was most directly shaped by

  • calls to reform the U.S. financial system
  • political debates over the role of governmental institutions
  • new developments in science and technology
  • conservatives’ belief in a reduced role for government

2. This excerpt most directly reflected a growing belief that

  • law enforcement techniques need to rely on the newest technical innovations
  • a positive relationship needs to be fostered among all segments of the community
  • demographic changes have little impact on law enforcement needs
  • conservative beliefs are inconsistent with social order

3. What group would most likely support the plan of action proposed in the excerpt?

  • Proponents of white supremacy
  • Advocates of racial profiling
  • Supporters of sentencing reform
  • Activists for mass incarceration/jailing for drug offenses

Primary Sources

Linder, Doug. “The Trials of Los Angeles Police Officers in Connection with the Beating of Rodney King.” 2001.

Suggested Resources

Cannon, Lou. Official Negligence: How Rodney King and the Riots Changed Los Angeles and the LAPD . New York: Basic Books, 1999.

Domanick, Joe. Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing . New York: Simon and Schuster, 2015.

Felker-Kantor, Max. Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD . Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2018.

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essay on 1984 riots

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

In our resource history is presented through a series of narratives, primary sources, and point-counterpoint debates that invites students to participate in the ongoing conversation about the American experiment.

Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Books — 1984

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Essays on 1984

Hook examples for "1984" essays, the dystopian warning hook.

Open your essay by discussing George Orwell's "1984" as a prophetic warning against totalitarianism and government surveillance. Explore how the novel's themes are eerily relevant in today's world.

The Orwellian Language Hook

Delve into the concept of Newspeak in "1984" and its parallels to modern language manipulation. Discuss how the novel's portrayal of controlled language reflects real-world instances of propaganda and censorship.

Big Brother is Watching Hook

Begin with a focus on surveillance and privacy concerns. Analyze the omnipresent surveillance in the novel and draw connections to contemporary debates over surveillance technologies, data privacy, and civil liberties.

The Power of Doublethink Hook

Explore the psychological manipulation in "1984" through the concept of doublethink. Discuss how individuals in the novel are coerced into accepting contradictory beliefs, and examine instances of cognitive dissonance in society today.

The Character of Winston Smith Hook

Introduce your readers to the protagonist, Winston Smith, and his journey of rebellion against the Party. Analyze his character development and the universal theme of resistance against oppressive regimes.

Technology and Control Hook

Discuss the role of technology in "1984" and its implications for control. Explore how advancements in surveillance technology, social media, and artificial intelligence resonate with the novel's themes of control and manipulation.

The Ministry of Truth Hook

Examine the Ministry of Truth in the novel, responsible for rewriting history. Compare this to the manipulation of information and historical revisionism in contemporary politics and media.

Media Manipulation and Fake News Hook

Draw parallels between the Party's manipulation of information in "1984" and the spread of misinformation and fake news in today's media landscape. Discuss the consequences of a distorted reality.

Relevance of Thoughtcrime Hook

Explore the concept of thoughtcrime and its impact on individual freedom in the novel. Discuss how society today grapples with issues related to freedom of thought, expression, and censorship.

Literature as The Question Minus The Answer

George orwell’s representation of authority as illustrated in his book, 1984.

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Orwell's Use of Literary Devices to Portray The Theme of Totalitarianism in 1984

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Dictatorship of The People: Orwell's 1984 as an Allegory for The Early Soviet Union

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The Theme of Survival and Selfishness in The Handmaid's Tale in 1984

Government surveillance in 1984 by george orwell: bogus security, george orwell's 1984 as a historical allegory, exploitation of language in george orwell's 1984, how orwell's 1984 is relevant to today's audience, the relation of orwel’s 1984 to the uighur conflict in china, symbolism in 1984: the soviet union as representation of the fears people, parallels to today in 1984 by george orwell, the relationship between power and emotions in 1984, proletariat vs protagonist: winston smith's class conflict in 1984, a review of george orwell’s book, 1984, o'brien as a dehumanizing villain in 1984, family in 1984 and persepolis, the philosophy of determinism in 1984, orwell's use of rhetorical strategies in 1984, control the citizens in the orwell's novel 1984, dangers of totalitarianism as depicted in 1984, dystopian life in '1984' was a real-life in china, dystopian world in the novel '1984' awaits us in the future, the internal conflict of the protagonist of the dystopia '1984'.

8 June 1949, George Orwell

Novel; Dystopia, Political Fiction, Social Science Fiction Novel

Winston Smith, Julia, O'Brien, Aaronson, Jones, and Rutherford, Ampleforth, Charrington, Tom Parsons, Syme, Mrs. Parsons, Katharine Smith

Since Orwell has been a democratic socialist, he has modelled his book and motives after the Stalinist Russia

Power, Repressive Behaviors, Totalitarianism, Mass Surveillance, Human Behaviors

The novel has brought up the "Orwellian" term, which stands for "Big Brother" "Thoughtcrime" and many other terms that we know well. It has been the reflection of totalitarianism

1984 represents a dystopian writing that has followed the life of Winston Smith who belongs to the "Party",which stands for the total control, which is also known as the Big Brother. It controls every aspect of people's lives. Is it ever possible to go against the system or will it take even more control. It constantly follows the fear and oppression with the surveillance being the main part of 1984. There is Party’s official O’Brien who is following the resistance movement, which represents an alternative, which is the symbol of hope.

Before George Orwell wrote his famous book, he worked for the BBC as the propagandist during World War II. The novel has been named 1980, then 1982 before finally settling on its name. Orwell fought tuberculosis while writing the novel. He died seven months after 1984 was published. Orwell almost died during the boating trip while he was writing the novel. Orwell himself has been under government surveillance. It was because of his socialist opinions. The slogan that the book uses "2 + 2 = 5" originally came from Communist Russia and stood for the five-year plan that had to be achieved during only four years. Orwell also used various Japanese propaganda when writing his novel, precisely his "Thought Police" idea.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.” “Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter; only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you-that would be the real betrayal.” “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” "But you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything was mixed up with fear and hatred."

The most important aspect of 1984 is Thought Police, which controls every thought. It has been featured in numerous books, plays, music pieces, poetry, and anything that has been created when one had to deal with Social Science and Politics. Another factor that represents culmination is thinking about overthrowing the system or trying to organize a resistance movement. It has numerous reflections of the post WW2 world. Although the novella is graphic and quite intense, it portrays dictatorship and is driven by fear through the lens of its characters.

This essay topic is often used when writing about “The Big Brother” or totalitarian regimes, which makes 1984 a flexible topic that can be taken as the foundation. Even if you have to write about the use of fear by the political regimes, knowing the facts about this novel will help you to provide an example.

1. Enteen, G. M. (1984). George Orwell And the Theory of Totalitarianism: A 1984 Retrospective. The Journal of General Education, 36(3), 206-215. ( 2. Hughes, I. (2021). 1984. Literary Cultures, 4(2). ( 3. Patai, D. (1982). Gamesmanship and Androcentrism in Orwell's 1984. PMLA, 97(5), 856-870. ( 4. Paden, R. (1984). Surveillance and Torture: Foucault and Orwell on the Methods of Discipline. Social Theory and Practice, 10(3), 261-271. ( 5. Tyner, J. A. (2004). Self and space, resistance and discipline: a Foucauldian reading of George Orwell's 1984. Social & Cultural Geography, 5(1), 129-149. ( 6. Kellner, D. (1990). From 1984 to one-dimensional man: Critical reflections on Orwell and Marcuse. Current Perspectives in Social Theory, 10, 223-52. ( 7. Samuelson, P. (1984). Good legal writing: of Orwell and window panes. U. Pitt. L. Rev., 46, 149. ( 8. Fadaee, E. (2011). Translation techniques of figures of speech: A case study of George Orwell's" 1984 and Animal Farm. Journal of English and Literature, 2(8), 174-181. ( 9. Patai, D. (1984, January). Orwell's despair, Burdekin's hope: Gender and power in dystopia. In Women's Studies International Forum (Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 85-95). Pergamon. ( 10. Cole, M. B. (2022). The Desperate Radicalism of Orwell’s 1984: Power, Socialism, and Utopia in Dystopian Times. Political Research Quarterly, 10659129221083286. (

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Book tells real, imagined stories of 1984 riots

1984: In Memory and Imagination — Personal Essays and Stories on the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, edited by Vikram Kapur, examines the human narrative of 1984 with stories, both real and imagined, of men and

1984: In Memory and Imagination — Personal Essays and Stories on the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, edited by Vikram Kapur, examines the human narrative of 1984 with stories, both real and imagined, of men and women whose lives were altered by that tragic chain of events and who continue to live with them to this day.

“While nonfiction probes the changing psyche of society by scrutinising the factual history of the times, fiction catches the horror of what happened by giving the human story a number of unforgettable faces,” says Kapur.

“There are pieces that zero in on that moment in history. Others remind us of how it continues to fester in the lives of several people to this day. And still others view it in terms of its ramifications for Indian politics and society,” he says.

In his essay ‘1984: An Overview 3’, the then Punjab DGP Kirpal Dhillon says the events of 1984 epitomise the conceptual and functional make-up of an autocratic and oppressive state.

“The cumulative after-effects of the grievous events of 1984 in India would last for decades and the ensuing frictions and fissures in social and political terms would continue to seriously damage the institutions of governance and their dynamism,” he writes.

According to well-known Punjabi fiction writer Ajeet Cour, the fear, like a vulture, had hovered, and circled over the cities and the villages.

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1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Uncovering hushed voices

Profile image of Sukirti Dwivedi

It explores many sides of an issue through multiple first-hand individual accounts and enables one to uncover layers of meaning. We get to know not just what happened but how those narrating the experience understood what happened and what they may now think of it. Its inclusive nature brings in many voices and not just the powerful or dominant ones that are traditionally included in existing records. Moreover, it provides an avenue to correct long held misconceptions about the event.

Related Papers

Uma Chakravarti

Looking back to 1984 what is frightening is the recognition that the survivors can return to a semblance of normalcy and everyday patterns of living when the generalised sense of fear has been transferred upon another community: Now it is the Muslims who live in anguish and anger, subject to everyday forms of humiliation in normal times and fear for their lives during the riots.

essay on 1984 riots

Ishmeet Kaur

This essay attempts to understand the word “testimony” and asks how oral histories can also become testimonial. It considers how new histories can unfold from oral accounts of the victims in the context of 1984 anti-­‐‑Sikh carnage in Delhi. It argues that formal testimonies may misrepresent events by diminishing the gravity of the violence experienced by the victims, while oral narrations may be considered useful historical sources. As a case study, we consider selected affidavits submitted to Nanvati Commision in 2000, as well as oral narratives of the survivors recorded during a field visit to the Tilak Vihar widow’s colony in April 2015.

Arvind Venkataraman

Shruti Devgan

Harvinder Singh

This is an un-published assignment that I researched regarding whether the Indian government had involved itself in the anti-Sikh riots of November 1984. I undertook the Contemporary issues in Sikhism module taught by the brilliant Dr. Jagbir Jhutti-Johal.

Ravinder Kaur

Astrágalo. Cultura de la Arquitectura y la Ciudad

Sarover Zaidi

Sikh Formations

Arvind-Pal S . Mandair

Indian Scholar An International Multidisciplinary Research e-Journal

Dr. Ajay S A H E B R A O Deshmukh

Emergency was a turbulent time in the post-independent history of India. It jeopardized the values of democracy and threw the minorities on the periphery of human existence. Anita Rau Badami portrayed the issues of minority discourse and subsequent identity crisis in her novel Can You Hear the Night Bird Call? The novel is a testimony of horrendous effects of Indira Gandhi's assassination on Sikh community in 1984. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. They killed her to avenge the attack on Golden Temple i.e. Operation Blue Star. The separatist tendencies and demands of separate Sikh state Khalistan and political influence of militant religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale wrecked the contemporary political scenario. The present paper is an attempt to trace the aggravated political and religious conditions during 1980s and Sikh minority discourse and identity crisis in Anita Rau Badami's novel Can You Hear the Night Bird Call?


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Sikh Formations, 2(1), June 2006, 57-88.

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Proceedings of the Indian History Congress (78th Session, Jadavpur University, Kolkata)

Madhulagna Halder


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Essays on 1984


Big Brother Essay

1984 Essay Physical Mental Changes

1984 Essay People have changes that occur to them all the time whether they are physical or mental changes. These changes can be for better or worse. Changes are a result of an experience faced by one. 1984 is a book all about changes and that occur and how people react or transform from these changes. Winston is a different type of person from who he is after his pivotal experience. Winston changes from a rebel who is trying to […]

Critical Lens Essay with 1984

Martin Luther King Junior stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. ” In other words you never really know a true person until they are put in an unwanted, hard situation. A person could state their values and opinions, but you can never really truly know how they feel until they are put in a hard “live or […]

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1984 Comparison with the Soviet Union

1984 Comparison With The Soviet Union George Orwell, also known as Eric Arthur Blair, is the writer of 1984. Orwell wrote many other well-liked fictional and nonfiction books such as; Coming Up for Air,animal farm ,and many more. 1984 takes place in a dystopian society. According to a dystopian society is, “ imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible”( The unpleasant world in 1984 is about how the people are controlled by their government. The […]

1984 Compared to Today

1984 by George Orwell, written in 1948, is one of the most influential political novels of our century. The novel is Orwell’s warning about what would happen if totalitarian government has too much power. The dystopia society in the novel shows us a horrible living environment where individualism and freedom of thought no longer exist. Compare it to our society today, you would be surprise that many of the things Orwell wrote in the novel actually existed and continue to […]

1984 Surveillance

When it comes to the topic of hate and deception in 1984 by George Orwell most of us will readily agree that is a totalitarian society run by the leader known as Big Brother. They monitor and control every aspect of its people from physical to emotional. Big Brother deceives its people through the use of surveillance cameras, Newspeak, and The Thought Police. With this technology, the people fear Big Brother. Where his agreement usually ends, however, is on the […]

1984 Totalitarianism

Do you ever feel like your privacy is being encroached upon? Almost everyone uses a cellphone or a computer. Some may not know that cellphones and computers are constantly being monitored. How do you personally value your privacy? In George Orwell’s 1984, the people live in a place where the Party inspect all human actions with the watchful eye, Big Brother. George Orwell arose political turmoil in 1984 through the lives of the characters Winston and Julia regarding the totalitarian […]

1984 Technology

Have you ever felt like your being spied on your phone, being watched through your camera or heared on your microphone on your phone? Privacy is a big issue in the United States of America today since mostly everyone has a mobile phone or any other electronic devices, hackers or even the government could assess our personal lives. When comparing the book 1984 by George Orwell to today, society face some of the same privacy issues as in Orwell book. […]

1984 Themes

Despotism is one of the significant subjects of the novel, 1984. It presents the kind of government where even the top of the public authority is obscure to people in general. This topic fills in as a notice to individuals on the grounds that such system releases purposeful publicity to cause individuals to trust in the falsehoods introduced by the public authority. All through the novel, there is no evidence of Big Brother’s presence in Oceania. The Party practices unlimited […]

1984 Biography of George Orwell

Written by George Orwell, 1984 is a classic literature novel that has been a phenomenon through the years. 1984 is a highly known book for its show on society with major political flaws. This fictional story takes place in Oceania. In 1984, Winston Smith lives in a dystopian society, where the Party shames the thought of individuality. With a totally new language, Newspeak, and an all-controlling leader, Big Brother, this society seems to lack all individual freedoms. Winston Smith defies […]

1984 by George Orwell Book Review 

It is set in a dystopian London where it is ruled by a tyrannical styled government that is known as “The Party”. The story takes place after a calamitous nuclear war that devastated the planet. The Party creates a chilling (to some) living environment for its inhibitors in which it is virtually impossible to have any privacy and enforces its will through the use of various forms of technology. In every home, office, bar and other locations there is a […]

Is 1984 Relevant Today

Books are often a way of communication from author to reader. The dystopian society portrayed in 1984 by George Orwell is one of the multifarious settings in many fictional and historical fictional pieces of literature. This genre uses a form of social order propagandized as utopian despite the extreme flaws beneath the surface of the attempts to make the perfect society. Although these plots are fabricated through the author’s imagination, they are often based off of historical events, composed of […]

Utopia in 1984 by George Orwell

Utopia is the act of having an imagining community which is in possession of highly desirable qualities when it comes to its citizens. Whereby, this is a perfectly designed place with totally no any problems arising from or even within it. Such type of places emphasizes on the equality in governance, the economy and justice and these are usually achieved by the proposal and implementation of variously based ideologies. (Orwell) But this seemed to be going all wrong and totally […]

Civilization in 1984

In the book 1984, Winston says, “It is impossible to found a civilization on fear and hatred and cruelty. It would never endure.” (page 45) These words spoke to me on such a deep level, as I continued reading 1984 I learned why. This book will completely change your perspective on civilization now and will open your mind to resilience. We are manipulated in many ways that we are not yet aware of. In the book they promoted, “ War […]

What is 1984 About?

Book 1984, before beginning with this incredible story, let’s talk about, what is the book 1984? Is most of the famous book ever in worldwide except in United States of America (USA), the world 1984 is one in which eternal warfare is the price of bleak prosperity, in which the Party keeps itself in power by complete control over man’s actions and his thoughts, As the lovers Winston Smith and Julia learn when they they try to evade the Thought […]

Totalitarianism in 1984

George Orwell’s novel 1984 inspires people to wonder how it would be if a totalitarian government took over the modern day society. In the novel, Orwell describes a world which totalitarianism has complete authority and in which freedom has been long forgotten. The government knows every detail of the citizen’s life whether they like it or not and even simple gestures can lead to death. He warns the future about how technology would play an immense role in manipulation and […]

Symbolism in 1984

Set in 1984, Winston Smith a citizen of Oceania, one of three totalitarian states. It is ruled by the inner party, behind the mask of Big Brother. The upper classes of society follow the ideology of The English Socialist Party, also known as Ingsoc in Newspeak. The Ministry of Love keep them under constant surveillance with help by the Thought Police as well as telescreens, a two-way television monitor. Winston works for the outer party, in the records department of […]

Manipulation in 1984

The totalitarian regime of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler have left a mark of daunt and intimidation worldwide. George Orwell’s novel, 1984, depicts the futuristic world based on the events that arose in the past. Citizens are portrayed as thoughtless corpses detached from the past, their memories, and themselves. In the superstate, Oceania, Winston works as an Outer Party member, where the Inner Party oppresses the Outer Party officials by engrossing complete domination. Citizens are isolated upto a point where […]

Freedom in 1984 by George Orwell

Is there a message in the book, “1984” that we don’t know about? Could Orwell be trying to communicate with us through the book? Well know one know unless you actually try, which shall be me, anyway, it is true that there is a message in the book “1984” but it’s mostly a mixture of a message and A waning of various thing maybe but mostly on one topic (it seems) and by how it connects to the themes and […]

Censorship on 1984 by George Orwell

Ethan Hawkins Mrs. Feinauer English 2200 2 February 2019 1984 – History Analysis As we dive into the world of the totalitarian society of Oceania in George Orwell’s novel, 1984, there is a connection between Orwell’s grim prediction of the future and of the world he lived in. Events going on in the world and in his own life have had an influence on the creation of the plot and structure of the novel. Just a few of the major […]

A Dystopian Novel 1984

George Orwell, is a English novelist, essayist, and critic who is famous for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-four. The novel 1984 is a dystopian novel that tells the story of Winston Smith and how is tries to rebel against the totalitarian state in which he lives.A Dystopian novel is a society that is as dehumanizing and is uncomfortable to all that live in it.Orwell wrote 1984 to warn society about what would happen if we accept totalitarian governments […]

Power and Politics in 1984

George Orwell’s 1984 is a novel of social science fiction that was written in 1949. Notably, the book talks of a totalitarian super state known as Oceania that will come to control the world. The author describes Oceania as a state that was controlled by an arrogant government that concentrated more on manipulating the way of life of the citizens, affecting the people’s lives adversely. Additionally, Orwell states that the people in Oceania were strictly governed by influential leaders, who […]

Chaos and Struggle in 1984

Following the political chaos and struggle for power after World War 2, George Orwell’s novel 1984 brings attention to the dangers of oppression and shows the nightmarish world of the possible future. The book portrays a totalitarian dystopian world where citizens are restricted from having their own thoughts and are constantly being brainwashed. Citizens serve for the party like miners in a landslide, without any knowledge of the past or freedom. The politicians in 1984 suppress and eliminate their freedom […]

Picture of Government in 1984

As in 1984, surveillance and lack of privacy is the main topic and key theme. As human beings we are completely being monitored on our technology devices of any sort. By being monitored the Government can see exactly what we are doing. Unfortunately, some things are meant with good intent, some are not so good. For example, when you head to the airport and go to a different country they ask you questions until they get what they want. The […]

Role of Woman in 1984

Living in a world where as a woman, you are were used only to reproduce and populate the party would have been terrible, but that is what all the women in 1984 experienced. 1984 is set as a dystopian society where the Party sees all, and controls all. Winston Smith, the main character, often wonders what the point of him living is, because he does not believe in the Party and hopes to someday rebel against them. In this society […]

Famous George Orwell Novel 1984

Imagine a society where the thoughts, emotions, and actions of every human are supervised by the government, and there is absolutely no freedom. This is a common theme for a dystopian society, as represented in the famous George Orwell novel, 1984. The Party had the power to control all humanity inside of Oceania. Winston Smith and his beloved coworker, Julia, are against them in light of the fact that they feel discontent about the oppression and inflexible control of the […]

Are we Experiencing the 1984?

In today’s day in age, everything we do or say can be upload to the internet and seen by millions in minutes. The good and the bad is seen throughout the world once it is uploaded. Having many question their privacy in today’s world. In the novel titled, 1984 by George Orwell the main character, Winston Smith along with the rest of the nation of Oceania are being watched through telescreens in hopes of preventing political rebellious and gaining power. […]

Lack of Privacy in 1984

In George Orwell’s novel 1984, there was a device called telescreens watching everything the citizens did. The government of Oceania, or Big Brother, forced the citizens to do what they want or they will be tortured and one day killed. Today, all Americans experience similar privacy invasions. Like The Party surveillance in 1984, the United States government watches and listens to citizens through technology such as Amazon Alexa devices, cell phones, and some computer monitors and cameras. The American government […]

Manipulation of Language: Novel ‘1984’

The slogan “two plus two equals five” is a common phrase used in various systems of media especially in chapter seven of the novel 1984 of George Orwell. The slogan is used in the novel as a false dogma that people might be required to believe. From the novel, we learn that the party is so powerful such that if it says 2+2=5, the citizens believe. People do not perceive the contradictions to be enslavement but let the party tell […]

Consciousness & Language in George Orwell’s 1984

Newspeak is the official language of Oceania. It is the depletion of words. The Party wanted to make it impossible to commit thoughtcrimes by literally erasing all of the negative words that one would use. Oldspeak is what Winston and the proles spoke in. By 1984, most people had abandoned Oldspeak. The Party did not bother teaching the proles the new language because they didn’t care about them. The proles have a conscience but they are not conscience of their […]

Role of the Government in 1984

Many writers when writing a dystopia write about things that they would never want to happen, but many of these scary, predicted things have. Winston Smith is a lower party member in the capital of Oceania who has no privacy anywhere he goes because the thought police watches him. He also cannot go anywhere without seeing the party’s leader big brother. The Party also has rules against thought crime (committing thoughts against the party) and eventually creates a new language, […]

Essay Introduction

Research paper on 1984, thesis statement for 1984.

In today’s society, many would believe they have acquired the natural right of freedom; however, people can easily be subject to a totalitarian command which would allow a loss of independence. In George Orwell’s famous dystopia, 1984, he styles a world in which the Inner Party perpetuates absolute power in the nation of Oceania using tactics to assure authority over the Outer Party, like Winston Smith. By removing individual reasoning, disrupting the capacity to comprehend, and camouflaging the past, the Inner Party is guaranteed total control.

By physically controlling the Outer Party, The Inner Party extracts rational and independent thought from the citizens of Oceania to regulate absolute power. In a crucial scene, O’Brien threatens Winston with a cage full of rats–his worst fear–to indoctrinate the victim’s loyalty to Big Brother. When the rats are near Winston’s face, he screams, “Do it to Julia! Not me! Tear her face off [and] strip her to the bones!” (286). The interrogation highlights how torture is used as a device to force citizens to submit to the government’s authority because once Winston’s body was restrained and faced with terror, his mental capacity was blocked. Now, Winston’s interests are not to fashion a rebellion since the fear of rats dominates his extent to reason, and he becomes a servant to the state.

In addition, stigmatizing sex and redefining it as essential for reproduction constricts emotion because it eliminates loving another individual. In return, the Outer Party remains loyal to the Inner Party because each individual will only adore Big Brother, stripping logical thinking. Furthermore, nationalistic propaganda constantly reminds the citizens that the Inner Party surveys its surroundings: “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own” (2). Big Brother symbolizes how a dictator in a totalitarian government is superior by practicing absolute power through supervising citizens’ lives. Since the Outer Party is in a state of danger from the surveillance, the member’s human reasons are shadowed with anxiety and suspicion. Therefore, the Inner Party thrives off of vulnerability to gain authority because they can exploit individual minds to distract the people’s rational comprehension.

Argumentative Essay Examples on 1984

The Inner Party is able to maintain its authority by distracting individual thought. For instance, Oceania is part of an everlasting war with Eurasia or Eastasia to divert any ideas of rebellion by keeping the citizens in constant fear: “Suddenly the whole street was in commotion. There were yells of warning from all sides. People were shooting into the doorways like rabbits. A young woman leaped out of a doorway…grabbed…a tiny child…whipped her apron round it, and leaped back again” (83).

The Inner Party uses warfare as an essential mechanism because the citizens will submit to the dominant power by instilling terror. Also, this terror would prevent rebellious thought by establishing an enemy. Additionally, Newspeak–the official language of Oceania–limits ideas and expression to effectively have influence over individuals’ minds. Furthermore, The Inner Party disapproves of solitude because isolation can breed independent thought. When Winston was alone, he thought of planning a rebellion with O’Brien to stop the Inner Party’s oppression; however, no other individual paralleled his reasoning because “In principle, a Party member had no spare time, and was never alone except in bed” (81). Moreover, the Inner Party distracts the Outer Party’s minds by simulating paranoia and keeping everyone in a social environment.

By altering warfare and social conditions, the Inner Party prevaricates the truth and conceals the past to sustain supremacy. The totalitarian state of Oceania rations necessities and goods to its inhabitants and publicizes that the food quantities are substantial: “The Ministry Of Plenty [said] that there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration during 1984…Actually, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty by the end of the present week” (34). As the Inner Party becomes a powerful government, the citizens of Oceania adapt to the limitations of daily commodities, like coffee or sugar. This aids in the reduction of memory because the Outer Party Members will normalize their circumstances, unwilling to rebel from the apparent oppression.

Ideas: The Inner Party’s tactics to maintain power

In addition, Winton’s occupation at the Ministry of Truth is to rectify historical documents and revise articles to initiate and prolong the Party’s principles. In doing so, Winston must embrace doublethink–accepting that two contradictory beliefs both obtain the truth. In one scene, the Party proclaims Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and not Eastasia, making the past changeable and not definite. Winston reassured, “Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia. A large part of the political literature of five years was now completely obsolete” (182). Now, any history confronting the latest Party ideals has to be redefined. In return, the Inner Party benefits because if the government can mandate the past, they have the capacity to compose a fitting future. Overall, the Inner Party disguises the truth to perpetuate its interests.

The Inner Party’s tactics to maintain its position as a high power reflected totalitarian methods through implementing fear or stripping away any perspective. They use the citizen’s emotions to withdraw logical thinking. In addition, the Inner Party disconcerts thought by limiting private communication. Lastly, the government conceals legitimate truths and recreates its goals. Without these methods, the Outer Party would be able to be the masters of their minds and creates a mass revolt against the Inner Party.

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Sierra Leone president says calm restored, most leaders of barracks attack detained

  • Unidentified gunmen attack military armoury
  • Sierra Leone's Bio says attack leaders detained
  • President Bio says calm has been restored

FREETOWN, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio said most of the leaders of an attack on a military barracks in the capital Freetown earlier on Sunday had been arrested, adding that security operations and an investigation were ongoing.

"We will ensure that those responsible are held accountable," Bio said on national television.

"As your commander-in-chief, I want to assure everybody who is resident in Sierra Leone that we have overcome this challenge," he said, and calm had been restored.

Earlier, the government said security forces had repelled "renegade soldiers" who attempted to break into a military armoury in Freetown during the early hours of Sunday.

A nationwide curfew was imposed. Gunfire was heard across the city as the assailants attacked a prison and a police station.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the barracks attack or during the gunfire in Freetown on Sunday.

The country's former president Ernest Bai Koroma, said in a statement that a military guard assigned to his residence in the capital was shot point blank, while another was "whisked away to an unknown location".

Koroma did not say who shot the guard. He condemned the killing and the attack on the barracks.

"I am deeply concerned that once again our beloved nation could be subject to such insecurity," he said.

The West African country's civil aviation authority urged airlines to reschedule flights after the curfew was declared, while a soldier on its frontier with neighbouring Guinea told Reuters they had been instructed to shut the border.

A Reuters journalist, who earlier witnessed an armed group of men commandeer a police vehicle near the Wilberforce barracks, said streets were mostly empty on Sunday as residents hunkered down.

"We'll clean this society. We know what we are up to. We are not after any ordinary civilians who should go about their normal business," one of the masked men, who was dressed in military fatigues, said before driving away.

Unidentified gunmen attack military armory in Freentown.

[1/2] Hooded armed men in military fatigues stand on a street after unidentified gunmen attacked military barracks and attempted to break into an armoury at Congo Cross roundabout in Freetown, Sierra Leone November 26, 2023. REUTERS/Umaru Fofana/ File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Sierra Leone has been tense since Bio was re-elected in June , a result rejected by the main opposition candidate and questioned by international partners including the United States and the European Union.

In August 2022, at least 21 civilians and six police officers were killed in anti-government protests in Sierra Leone, which is still recovering from a 1991-2002 civil war in which more than 50,000 were killed. Bio said the protests were an attempt to overthrow the government .

In his address to the nation on Sunday night, Bio called on Sierra Leone's political and traditional leaders, and civil

society to work to preserve peace.

"Let us not succumb to fear or division," he said.

Information minister Chernor Bah said earlier on Sunday that security forces were making progress in apprehending those involved in the attack, but gave no further details.

A video on social media showed three men, two in fatigues and one in civilian clothes, with their arms tied behind their backs sitting in a military truck surrounded by soldiers. Reuters has not authenticated the video.

Bah said that major detention centres including the Pademba Road prisons were attacked and inmates released by the unidentified assailants.

It was not immediately clear how many prisoners had broken out of the facility, which a U.S. State Department report said was designed for 324 inmates but held more than 2,000 in 2019.

Videos posted on social media, which were not authenticated by Reuters, showed several people fleeing from the area of the prison, while gunshots could be heard in the background.

"The security forces were forced to make a tactical retreat. The prisons were thus overran," said Bah, who had earlier declared a nationwide curfew and called for people to stay indoors.

The Economic Community of West African States condemned what it called an attempt by certain individuals to "acquire arms and disturb constitutional order" in Sierra Leone. The U.S. embassy in Freetown said such actions were not justified.

There have been eight military coups in West and Central Africa since 2020.

Reporting by Umaru Fofana; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alexandra Zavis, David Goodman, Jan Harvey, Alexander Smith, Louise Heavens and Giles Elgood

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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  1. Amitav Ghosh Recounts 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots In His Essay 'The Ghosts Of

    essay on 1984 riots

  2. Essay on 1984

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  3. Book tells real, imagined stories of 1984 riots

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  4. 1984 Final Essay

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  5. Glenelg: The story behind the 1984 riot

    essay on 1984 riots

  6. Glenelg: The story behind the 1984 riot

    essay on 1984 riots


  1. 1984 के Anti Sikh Riots की 5 गवाहियां

  2. 1984 Delhi Riots explained #delhi #sikhriots #mystery


  1. The 1984 Anti Sikh Riots

    The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that the '1984 Anti-Sikh riots' were in fact a pre-planned genocide. Further, it will be shown that the violence against Sikhs was orchestrated by key government officials of the ruling Congress party, as well as Delhi police officials.

  2. Rodney King and the Los Angeles Race Riots

    In the second half of the twentieth century, Los Angeles, California, endured considerable domestic turmoil, suffering violent and destructive urban riots that erupted in the wake of confrontations between African Americans and the police. And like many of the recent encounters that have escalated into fatal shootings, those in 1965 in the ...

  3. Orwell's 1984: A+ Student Essay Examples

    Open your essay by discussing George Orwell's "1984" as a prophetic warning against totalitarianism and government surveillance. Explore how the novel's themes are eerily relevant in today's world. The Orwellian Language Hook. Delve into the concept of Newspeak in "1984" and its parallels to modern language manipulation.

  4. The Scarman Report and explanations of riots

    Essays Reflecting on Lord Scarman's Report, the Riots and their Aftermath. 1984, Pages 20-34. CHAPTER 2 - The Scarman Report and explanations of riots. ... and to enable it to effectively exploit other groups and secure its control over them. Riots, on this view, are a form of collective action by the exploited in pursuit of their group ...

  5. 1984 Essay

    1984 Essay. Sort By: Page 1 of 50 - About 500 essays. Decent Essays. The Presidential Election Of 1984 ... The main reason for the advent of the riots was the shooting down of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in morning of 31 October 1984. The riots had started off in the evening just after her morning death. The information of the riots was already taken by ...

  6. Book tells real, imagined stories of 1984 riots

    1984: In Memory and Imagination — Personal Essays and Stories on the 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, edited by Vikram Kapur, examines the human narrative of 1984 with stories, both real and imagined, of ...

  7. Rebellion In 1984 Essay

    Rebellion In 1984 Essay. Rebecca Solnit, a modern day author, essayist, and activist once wrote that "The revolution is waiting, but it doesn't look like what people expected". Revolution has been both glorified and criticized in human society, but no matter the cause, it is a fundamental change in the status quo.

  8. The 1984 Sikh Genocide

    The 1984 Sikh Genocide - 36 Years On. June 20, 2020 Monique Gill. 36 years have passed since 'Operation Blue Star', when Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, ordered an attack on the Sikh Golden Temple in June 1984. The aim was to silence demands for Sikh religious and political autonomy, and resulted in the deaths of 492 civilians.

  9. 1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Uncovering hushed voices

    1984 Anti-Sikh riots: Uncovering hushed voices ... This essay attempts to understand the word "testimony" and asks how oral histories can also become testimonial. It considers how new histories can unfold from oral accounts of the victims in the context of 1984 anti-­‐‑Sikh carnage in Delhi. It argues that formal testimonies may ...

  10. Irony in 1984 by George Orwell

    Lesson Summary. 1984 is a novel that was written by George Orwell and published in 1949, telling the story of Winston Smith, a man living in the dystopian nation of Oceania and attempting to take ...

  11. Is 1984 Still Relevant Today

    One of the most terrible riots was the New York City Draft Massacre, mobs of whites would attack blacks and murder and burn homes. Another example would be the Tulsa race massacre, many buildings were burned during the 2 day long period. ... 1984 Literary Analysis Essay In George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984 he writes about the dangers of a ...

  12. PDF Role of Police during the 1984 Riot: A Study of Hindi and Punjabi Short

    The 1984 riot refers to a four-day orgy of senseless violence that took place in various parts of India, with its epicentre in New Delhi, causing the death of nearly 4,000 Sikhs. It followed the assassination of Mrs. Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, the then Prime Minister of India, by her two Sikh bodyguards, in revenge for Operation Blue Star.

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    Introduction This short story is based on the real life experiences of people who were the victims of 1984 riots. The writer witnessed all the destruction which was happening at that time. An image still haunts him, even after so many years.

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  15. The 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots in India

    The 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots in India The Anti-Sikh riots in the 1984 year of riots had been anything in particular. People are aggrieved when they hear of the incident and narrate stories of how runaway crime could have increased on Sikhs during the time.

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  25. The 1984 Anti Sikh Riots

    The 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots began following the assassination of the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, by her two Sikh bodyguards. The assassination came in revenge for Mrs. Gandhi's decisio UK Essays .com