Plainly put: the fundamental premise of the pogrom was avenging the Godhra incident where karsevaks were allegedly killed by a Muslim mob. Militant Hindu organisations in collusion with the state (remember that cabinet ministers of the then Gujarat government are now serving sentence for orchestrating the genocide) maimed, killed & raped people who were overwhelming Muslim in their religious affiliations.
Projecting the genocide as something “where thousands of Indians lost their lives” is plain euphemism. Granted that all the people killed in the pogrom were Indians but, religious affiliation was the central cause of the genocide. In the end people weren’t killed for being Indians but, because they belonged to a particular community. The time you try to gloss over this fact you are essentially condoning violence. It’d serve the cause of the victims still awaiting justice if we could at least acknowledge that ultimately it was religious fanaticism that ruined thousands of innocent lives.
Incidents like the 2002 pogrom & 1984 riots should always be a reminder that religious zealotry poisons the society more than anything else.
(Originally written on Quora)