At the same time, it is also an effective communication device for killing facts, covering up truth and softening the impact of these massacres on human conscience.
By those in the communication business in its myriad forms and countless branches.
Those with their hands on the levers of communication power - in the press, public offices and cultural institutions.
Those that are in the business of managing people's minds and opinions - either for profit or for purposes of public good.
Whether in the government, in the media or in the universities and other elite circles.
Both in India and elsewhere.
Much like that other dirty expression, Ethnic Cleansing, that was coined and marketed to cover up and euphemize the genocide of Muslims of Bosnia at the hands of the Christian Serbs of former Yugoslavia, while the United Nations stood around and watched.
It is a case of how communication, whether in the form of speech or silence, words or images, is used to create prejudice and cover up crime - even a crime against humanity.
Prejudice that over time, and through careful nurturing and fanning of its flames, matures into hate - at times, pathological hate.
Hate that eventually leads to the crime of massacres of entire groups of people and the perpetration of some of the most unspeakable atrocities on them.
Therefore, a parrot-like repetition of the word riot to describe the organized massacres of Muslims of India by Hindus is misleading, mischievous and callous.
In fact, it is vile, wicked and egregiously scurrilous - just like ethnic cleansing.
At best, it is a misnomer, a travesty, a misrepresentation of facts and truth.
At worst, it serves to whitewash, cover up and mitigate the repetitive, merciless, cold-blooded, barbaric, pre-planned, organized, and at times state-condoned if not state-aided-and-perpetrated pogroms against the Muslim minority in post-independence India.
Historically speaking, the expression riots is a vestige of British colonialism in India.
In those days, the British administrators and law enforcement agencies used it to characterize instances of arson and violence by groups of Hindus and Muslims against each other that resulted in mutual death and destruction for both sides.
But when the British ruled India, the two factions, Hindu and Muslim, had a certain level of parity in some respects, and the government machinery was to some degree non-partisan as well as efficient.
As a result, when Hindus and Muslims clashed, and a so-called riot broke out, both parties suffered more or less comparable losses.
And a fairly efficient and neutral police force soon brought the situation under control.
Thus, there was a certain macabre balance, symmetry or reciprocity of terror, death, destruction and damage between the two warring communities, with the colonial British administration trying to hold the scales of justice more or less evenly.
All this changed with India's independence from the British.
Now these outbreaks of violence were no longer riots in the old sense of the British days. They now increasingly took the form of systematic, one-sided and carefully planned and orchestrated massacres and pogroms, mostly by rampaging Hindu mobs, mostly directed against the Muslims.
Pogroms that were now repeated with monotonous and predictable brutality and barbarism in city after city, town after town, village after village, time after time, throughout much of North India.
What also changed was the attitude of the law enforcement agencies and the government bureaucracy. From being neutral, they now became either indifferent or partisan - on the side of their Hindu co-religionists.
At the same time, there was a remarkable deterioration in their professionalism and competence.
As a result, in many of these anti-Muslim pogroms, the forces of law and order, including local bureaucracies, were generally negligent or indifferent or ineffective - or all of the above.
Then there were also occasions when individuals in these agencies were themselves active instigators and perpetrators of the burnings, lootings, killings and rapes let loose by these so-called riots against the Muslims.
Consequently, these so-called riots were now in part and at times, directly or indirectly aided, abetted, condoned, sponsored and presided over by individuals in government.
Thus, what used to be riots between more or less balanced groups of citizens in the days of the British now became organized adventures in crime, rapacity and lawlessness on the part of India's own governmental agencies from the police to local and state administrations.
Now, these so-called riots were no longer plain and simple riots. They were now plain and simple anti-Muslim pogroms and massacres - large-scale, meticulously planned, carefully orchestrated and executed with diabolical efficiency and monotonous repetitiveness and redundancy.
Therefore, repetition today of the expression riot - whether mindless or Machiavellian, and whether by the Indian government, the Indian or world press, or by the Muslims themselves - merely serves to mask the truth and kill facts about the systematic physical, cultural, economic, educational and commercial genocide and ethnic cleansing of Indian Muslims.
It distorts reality and covers up some of the most heinous forms of barbarism perpetrated on innocent and defenseless women and children by demonic beings in human shape, at times under the very protection and patronage of government officials.
Given this background, parroting of this word, riot, only helps to shape, direct, channel and control thought, language, imagery and discourse - and outcomes and consequences - of these anti-Muslim pogroms.
And it does so in favor of the murderers and perpetrators and against their victims.
It tends to sanitize and mitigate what Hindu-dominated India is really doing to its defenseless and beleaguered Muslim minority - a minority that has its roots in India close to a millennium and a half.
It tends to soften and whitewash some of the most brutal, sadistic, perverted and barbaric mass lynching’s, rapes, and murders in human history to which Muslims of India are being subjected on a continuing and repetitive basis.