The Emperor Uncrowned

The rise of Narendra Modi

By VINOD K JOSE | 1 March 2012

ON THE AFTERNOON OF 22 APRIL 1498, a few kilometres off the shore of the East African port of Malindi, Captain-Major Vasco da Gama was a happy man. After drifting for four frustrating months up the continent’s southeastern coast, from Mozambique to Mombasa, facing the hostility of local rulers and Arab and African merchants, the Portuguese captain had finally found a navigator who could take him to India.

The man who steered da Gama across the Indian Ocean to Calicut—and into the history books as the “discoverer” of the ocean route to Asia—was a Gujarati named Kanji Malam. A trader of cotton and indigo from Kutch, Malam made regular voyages to the African coast to barter his goods for gold and ivory.

That it was a Gujarati who led da Gama to India should come as no surprise. The Gujarati aptitude for navigation, seafaring and commerce was already legendary, and Gujarati merchants had established trading routes stretching from the Persian Gulf to present-day Malaysia and Indonesia.

 For two millennia before the Portuguese arrived, Gujarat had been at the junction of the world’s two main trading axes: the Silk Road and the Spice Route, and it was a principal distribution hub for goods from African, Arab and Asian ports entering the subcontinent. From the coast, one inland trade route went east to Bihar; another north to Mathura; and a third south to Marathwada. Merchants from Greece, Arabia, Persia, Africa and China came to do business in Gujarat centuries before European explorers set foot in India.


IN THE SECOND WEEK OF JANUARY 2011, more than 10,000 businessmen from 100 countries descended on Gandhinagar for the fifth instalment of the biannual summit branded as “Vibrant Gujarat”—a marathon matchmaking ceremony of investment pledges and signings intended to bring business to Gujarat and, not incidentally, to make headlines while doing so. The 2011 mela did not disappoint on either count: by the time it was all over, the businessmen had promised investments in excess of $450 billion, the largest-ever sum for a single event in an emerging economy, and the media had obligingly trumpeted both the jaw-dropping figure and the unending chorus of corporate titans paying tribute to Gujarat and its chief minister.

On the first day of the summit—held inside the newly-constructed Mahatma Mandir, a monument to Gandhi in the unlikely form of a convention centre—the stage was preposterously crowded, in keeping with the usual tradition at Indian public events. Eighty people were seated on the dais in three rows, but all eyes were on the man at the centre, the organiser and unquestioned star of the show, Narendra Damodardas Modi. Wearing an ivory-coloured suit and his trademark rimless Bulgari glasses, with a neatly-trimmed grey beard, Modi looked every bit the serious man of action: he listened intently to every speaker, deep in concentration that was rarely broken by a smile. At his side were envoys from the two nations who had signed on as official partners for the fair, the Japanese ambassador and the Canadian high commissioner, and these men were in turn flanked by the two most prominent ambassadors from India Inc, Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani. Another three dozen corporate chairmen and CEOs were also on stage, smiling and satisfied, along with the prime minister of Rwanda and the president of the US-India Business Council, who announced from the stage that he wished to see the United States as a partner country at the next summit.

Vibrant Gujarat has been successfully marketed as a major global business event—so much so that Modi’s American lobbying and public relations firm, APCO Worldwide, recently won two international awards for its work promoting the project. The five summits since 2003 have generated investment pledges worth $920 billion for Gujarat, but their value for Modi can’t be measured by mere numbers. In fact, the figures themselves may be misleading: though Modi claims an implementation rate of greater than 60 percent for pledges made at the summits, an analysis of data from the state industry department suggests that only 25 percent of the promised investments have actually been made. While one-quarter of a trillion dollars is hardly small change, the considerable disparity between the image and the reality actually highlights the tactical genius behind the investment summits, which are the crowning achievement in one of the most extraordinary acts of reinvention in Indian politics.

Modi has turned the act of investing in what has long been one of India’s most business-friendly and industrialised states into a high-profile spectacle—and amplified the disclosure of annual investment inflows into singular triumphant announcements. In other words, Modi has successfully deployed the ancient mercantile and entrepreneurial energy of Gujarat to overhaul his own image.

Ten years after the anti-Muslim pogroms that killed more than 1,200 Gujaratis, Modi has managed to bury the past and resurrect his own extinct prospects for political advancement, replacing epithets like “fascist”, “mass murderer” and “Hindutva fanatic” with a title of his own choosing: Vikaas Purush, or Development Man. For the first families of Indian business, Modi is “the next leader of India”, “a visionary”, “the unstoppable horse”, and “the CEO who can lead the country”, to quote just a sampling of the effusive endorsements from men named Tata, Ambani and Mittal.

MODI HAD NOT GOTTEN OFF to a good start with India’s leading business figures. Nine years ago, in February 2003, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)—the country’s biggest and most important business trade association—held a special session at its auditorium in New Delhi: “Meeting with Narendra Modi, the New Chief Minister of Gujarat”. The meeting was organised after a special request from Modi: he had just won a resounding victory in state elections in the wake of the riots, but he was still facing public condemnation from national business leaders and dealing with an economy reeling from the impact of the violence.

The mobs who ran wild in the streets of Gujarat did not confine their rage to local Muslims: more than 1,000 trucks were set afire, and the torching of a shipment of Opel Astra cars from a General Motors factory made international headlines. One estimate suggested that industry in Gujarat had lost R20 billion ($409 million) in the riots. The spectre of communal violence made international investors jittery—new foreign direct investment inflows had all but dried up by September 2002—while Indian industrialists openly feared further chaos in what was, even before Modi’s arrival, one of the most critical states for their business operations.

In the months after the riots, some of corporate India’s biggest names had publicly voiced their anger and concern. Deepak Parekh, the CEO of HDFC Bank, said that India had lost its face as a secular country, and that he was ashamed of what had happened in Gujarat. Cyrus Guzdar, the CMD of the shipping company AFL, compared the violence against Muslims in Gujarat to “a genocide”. Two of Bangalore’s biggest IT chieftains, Narayana Murthy of Infosys and Azim Premji of Wipro, issued strong public condemnations. At a CII national meeting in April 2002, the chairwoman of the energy major Thermax, Anu Aga, received a standing ovation after delivering an impassioned speech about the suffering of Muslims in Gujarat.

Modi knew he was under pressure. But he also knew that he had won an overwhelming electoral mandate from the voters of Gujarat—and that Gujarat, riots or no riots, was of critical importance to the chieftains of Indian business. He came to Delhi to mend his image with the captains of industry, but he would do so, as always, on his own terms.

Modi was joined on stage by the heads of two venerable business families, Jamshyd Godrej and Rahul Bajaj, as well as the director-general of the CII, Tarun Das. If Modi expected a friendly welcome from Godrej and Bajaj, he did not get it. After recounting an incident from the previous month in Mumbai, when an Oxford University professor had heckled Modi at a public event meant to celebrate his election, Godrej called on Modi to use the mandate from his victory to ensure the safety and security of all Gujaratis.

Bajaj was even more outspoken: he began by declaring that 2002 had been a “lost year” for Gujarat. Looking at Modi, he asked, “Why don’t we get investment in Kashmir, the Northeast, or Uttar Pradesh and Bihar? It is not just the lack of infrastructure, but also the sense of insecurity. I hope this won’t happen in Gujarat—all this comes to mind because of the unfortunate events last year.”

Bajaj turned once again to Modi: “We would like to know what you believe in, what you stand for, because leadership is important,” he said. “You are today the undisputed leader of your party and government in Gujarat and we want to know you better …We are prepared to work with governments of all hues, but we also have our own views on what is good for our society and what works for it.”

Modi listened patiently to the torrent of criticism, silent but furious.

“You and your pseudo-secular friends,” Modi roared at the leaders of Indian industry, “can come to Gujarat if you want an answer. Talk to my people. Gujarat is the most peaceful state in the country.” Tension filled the room. Modi continued, turning to Godrej and Bajaj: “Others have vested interest in maligning Gujarat. What is your interest?”

Modi carried his fury back to Gujarat, and quickly set about showing the CII who really had the upper hand. Within a few days, a group of Gujarati businessmen close to Modi—including Gautam Adani of Adani Group, Indravadan Modi of Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Karsan Patel of Nirma Group, and Anil Bakeri of Bakeri Engineers—had established a rival organisation, which they called the Resurgent Group of Gujarat (RGG), all of whose members threatened to withdraw from the CII on the grounds that it had humiliated and insulted Modi and all Gujaratis. The RGG issued a press statement swearing by the pride of Gujaratis, and demanded that the Gujarat chapter of the CII resign for “failing to protect the interests of the state”.

Faced with an open revolt from a crucial state and its powerful business community, Tarun Das had good reason to worry: more than 100 companies from Gujarat were threatening to leave the CII, which would cripple the organisation’s presence in Western India; back in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government began to limit the CII’s access to its ministers, jeopardising the group’s core mission as a lobbying organisation.

Das reached out to the BJP leader Arun Jaitley, then the Union law minister and a close friend of Modi, seeking to make amends. Over a two-hour conversation at his house, Jaitley quizzed Das on the CII and its intentions, and then told Das that he would raise the issue with Modi, who was expected to come home for dinner one day soon.

A few days later, Jaitley told Das that the issue could be resolved: Modi wanted a formal apology from the CII. Das was eager to oblige, though not without some hesitation, as he later recounted in a long post-retirement interview with Business Today:

“The evening I was leaving to meet Modi [to deliver the letter of apology], my wife accosted me, ‘You just can’t do this….’ Among our close friends are Anu Aga, Azim Premji, Jamshyd Godrej and several from the Parsi and Muslim communities. My answer was that I had two options: I could quit and say I will not do this. Else, I had to look after our members.”

Das preferred to characterise his response as something less than an apology (“It was not an apology but we were sure that the media would make out it to be one,” he said), but the letter he personally delivered to Modi in Ahmedabad speaks for itself: “We, in the CII, are very sorry for the hurt and pain you have felt, and I regret very much the misunderstanding that has developed since the 6th of February, the day of our meeting in New Delhi.” Three months later, in a further gesture of reconciliation, the CII helped Modi organise his first international meeting with investors, in Zurich, under the aegis of the World Economic Forum.

“Over the years, one by one by one, Modi won everyone in the business community,” a former senior CII officer told me. “At first, when Bajaj, Godrej and others spoke out, people noticed it was mostly the Parsis coming out against Modi. Everyone perceived it as the Parsi minority feeling insecure—that was how people interpreted the resistance against Modi. Modi realised it, and he got Ratan Tata to take an award from Vajpayee at one of the Vibrant Gujarat summits—that was it. That way Modi is very smart, very shrewd, you know. He plays his cards very slowly.”

It is no secret that Modi hopes to be the BJP candidate for prime minister at the next general elections, which are due by 2014. Party insiders are already speculating that he may shift to Delhi and assume the presidency of the BJP, to sideline his rivals and position himself even more prominently on the national stage. In a poll conducted by India Today in January, 24 percent of respondents said they wanted Modi as the next prime minister, putting him in first place; perhaps more significantly, his numbers in the same survey had doubled in the previous six months. But 2012 marks a crucial year for Narendra Modi: along with the 10th anniversary of the Gujarat riots, his third statewide elections are due in December. Another victory at home will lift Modi’s stock even higher, and a defeat, however unlikely, will cost him dearly.


THE STORY OF NARENDRA MODI is also the story of a series of organisations under which he was nurtured and trained; it is the story of the political rise of those organisations in the past half-century, and the rise of Modi within their ranks.

For Modi, the first and most important of these organisations—the one that did the most to shape him and his worldview, and to advance his political ambitions—was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

In the decades following its founding in 1925, the RSS, or the Sangh, advanced a militant Hinduism that challenged the nonviolent and tolerant Hinduism represented by Gandhi. At the same time, the RSS propagated a hardline religious nationalism that sought to define the country as a Hindu rashtra, in stark contrast to the secular nationalism espoused by the Indian National Congress. By the time of Independence and Partition, the hatred for Gandhi and the Congress among the Hindu right had become so intense that a former RSS man, Nathuram Godse, assassinated the Mahatma in 1948. Jawaharlal Nehru banned the organisation, and more than 20,000 RSS workers were arrested.

The Sangh was unbanned in 1949, but for decades thereafter it retained the spirit of an underground organisation. In Gujarat, its growth was steered by the quiet and studious efforts of Laxmanrao Inamdar, known within the RSS as Vakil Saheb. Inamdar established a diffuse network of shakhas (branches) across the state, patiently building an army of volunteers from the ground up. One of these volunteers, who joined a shakha in the small but mythically significant town of Vadnagar as an eight-year-old boy, was Narendra Modi.

The shakha in Vadnagar had been established in 1944 by a schoolteacher named Babubhai Nayek, one of several Sangh activists from Maharashtra who fanned out across India and enrolled themselves in public educational institutions to recruit young men into the RSS. In the period after Gandhi’s assassination, Nayek kept a low profile, concentrating on his job but occasionally hosting Vakil Saheb, the state leader, to address new recruits. On Diwali day in 1958, one of the young boys who lined up to take the oath of bal swayamsevak (child volunteer) from Vakil Saheb was Narendra Modi.

“Narendra always wanted to do something different. Something more than what we did on a daily routine at home and school. And the RSS shakha just provided him that,” Sombhai Modi, Narendra’s oldest brother, told me.

Modi was the third of six children born to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife, Heeraben. The family, from the low Ghanchi caste, lived deep inside the narrow and winding alleys of the medieval city of Vadnagar. The Ghanchis have traditionally been pressers and sellers of vegetable oil, but Damodardas Modi—to provide for his large family—also ran a teashop at the Vadnagar railway station, while Heeraben and the children operated the oil mill. “Narendra used to help his father in the mornings at the railway station, and when the bell rang at the school, he just crossed over the railway track to come to class,” recalled Dr Sudhir Joshi, a schoolmate of Modi who now practices ayurvedic medicine in Vadnagar.

Modi attended Bhagavatacharya Narayanacharya High School, a co-ed Gujarati-medium institution situated at the entrance to the old city of Vadnagar. Prahlad Patel, who was Modi’s Sanskrit teacher, told me he remembered the chief minister as “only an average student. But he showed keen interest in debates and theatre. I set up the debating club at the school, and I remember Narendra was among the regular students in the club.”

“In the evening, after the classes, we used to dump our books at home and run straight to the shakha,” Sudhir Joshi told me.

“Between assisting father, mother, and being at the school, it was his shakhas that he really took the most serious of all,” Sombhai said. “Narendra gave up eating salt and oil, and we thought he was on a mission to become a mendicant.”

For a young man in search of “something more”, as his brother put it, the RSS gave Modi a sense of purpose and direction. But he remained unsure of his calling: whether to pursue the priestly life or volunteer himself towards the advancement of Hindutva. His parents had arranged him a marriage in keeping with the traditions of the Ghanchi caste in Vadnagar, which involved a three-step process that began with an engagement at age three or four, a religious ceremony (shaadi) by the age of 13, and cohabitation (gauna) around the age of 18 or 20, when the parents felt the time had come. Modi was engaged to a girl three years younger than him, Jashodaben Chimanlal, from the neighbouring town of Brahamanwada. They had completed shaadi when Modi was only 13, Sombhai told me. But at age 18, with a higher call beckoning him, Modi decided to set off and wander in the Himalayas, leaving his wife and two uncertain families behind.

The only source of information for Modi’s travels during this time is Modi himself:  even his family had no idea of his whereabouts. “Mother and all of us were very worried for him,” Sombhai recalled. “We had no idea where he had disappeared to. Then, two years later, he just turned up one day. He told us he had decided to end his sanyas and would go to Ahmedabad and work at our uncle Babubhai’s canteen.”

“I remember,” one of the Modi family’s neighbours in Vadnagar told me, “before Narendra left again, his mother wanted to set him up with his wife, so they asked Jashodaben’s parents to send her here for gauna. On the day Jashodaben came for gauna, Modi fought with the family and left home again.”

In Ahmedabad, Modi helped his uncle run a canteen at the city bus stand, and then set up his own teacart on a cycle near Geeta Mandir. A senior RSS pracharak (propagandist) who was then in Ahmedabad—and who insisted, like many sources, that he not be named for fear of angering the chief minister—recalled that it was at this point that Modi decided to return to the RSS. “Some pracharaks used to have tea at his cart after they returned from their morning shakha,” he said. “Modi made an impression on them, given also his background in shakha in Vadnagar. Soon he wound up his teacart and moved to the RSS [state] headquarters, as an assistant.”

“There were about 12 to 15 people living together [at Hedgewar Bhavan, the RSS headquarters in Gujarat] when Vakil Saheb invited me to join them,” Modi told his authorised biographer, MV Kamath. “I was working in the Sangh office then, and decided that’s where I belonged.” His daily routine, as Modi recalled it, involved making tea and breakfast for the pracharaks in the morning, “after which I had to clean up the entire building, consisting of eight or nine rooms. I swept and mopped the whole place, and washed both Vakil Saheb’s and my clothes … This was my routine for at least a year, and this was the time when I met many people.” Modi’s stay at Hedgewar Bhavan coincided with a crucial period for the Sangh both in Gujarat and nationwide, when it shed its image as a fanatical underground sect and emerged as a legitimate and powerful political force.

According to Tridip Suhrud, an eminent social scientist based in Ahmedabad, there were four factors that helped the RSS come “overground” in Gujarat. “First was the Navnirman (“New Fostering”) movement of 1974. It started primarily among engineering college students, over a hike of food bills in the hostels, but it soon snowballed into a state-wide student agitation against an increasingly corrupt and repressive government,” Suhrud said. “Second was the Emergency: the RSS played an active part in the grand coalition of socialists and Gandhians in their fight against Indira Gandhi. Third was its role in charity: the RSS mobilised its cadres in 1971, when a grave famine hit the state, and did so again in 1979, when a dam across the Machu River collapsed and killed thousands. Finally, the RSS benefited from the displeasure of the princely families in Gujarat, who had been stripped of their titles and revenues by Mrs Gandhi in 1971, and were looking for a political force opposed to her.”

Modi quickly acquired greater responsibilities within the RSS in Gujarat, including arranging reservations on buses and trains for travelling Sangh leaders, as well as opening letters sent to Hedgewar Bhavan. At around the same time, Modi went to attend the one-month officer training camp at RSS national headquarters in Nagpur, which was a prerequisite for him to take up an official position in the Sangh. “The level one training was a basic requirement to be taken seriously in the RSS, and Modi completed it when he was 22 or 23,” the senior pracharak told me. Modi was then appointed as the RSS pracharak in-charge for Gujarat of the Sangh’s student front, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a position he held through the Emergency. The Sangh pracharak in-charge of a frontal organisation like the ABVP is supposed to function like an underground guide—to be like a vein hidden under the skin, exercising authority away from the public eye—but Modi’s personal style, which chafed at such restrictions, was already making itself evident.

“Modi had firm opinions on even smaller things, and the senior leaders thought that he was attention-seeking,” a second senior RSS pracharak, who was a member of the Gujarat ABVP in the 1970s, told me. “The Sangh leaders did not like it.”

The pracharak related an incident that took place during the Emergency: “We in the ABVP were told to organise agitations against the government, from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, and one day we were holding a meeting at the Bhullabhai Char Rasta in Ahmedabad,” he said. “We were supposed to speak against the government, but in a sober tone, because that was the Sangh style, and also the police and the intelligence agencies were watching over us. But while the meeting was on, Narendrabhai passed by on a cycle. He was furious at the composed serenity in our protest. He jumped onto the stage, grabbed the mike and began giving a rabble-rousing speech, spitting abusive words, and not hiding his anger against the government.”

“The audience loved it. But that night, at Hedgewar Bhavan, the senior Sangh leaders scolded Modi for his detrimental and unwarranted act—for a nearly-underground Sangh pracharak to come out in the open. ‘Forget about speaking,’ they lectured him, ‘you shouldn’t have even gone there. Even if the meeting failed, it would be okay, but discipline and obedience to one’s role is superior to all.’”

For all his allegiance to the Sangh and its ideology, the organisation’s structure and style—placing the group above the individual, restraining one’s anger, respecting the protocols established by the leadership—did not mesh with Modi’s personality.

Shankarsinh Vaghela, who was senior to Modi in the RSS and the BJP, and later became chief minister of Gujarat and one of Modi’s bitter rivals, recalled that even as a young man Narendra chafed at the strictures of the Sangh. “Modi used to miss the morning shakha quite often by sleeping late,” Vaghela said. “He always used to do things differently from others in the group—if all of us wore long-sleeved kurtas, he used to wear short sleeves, and when all of us wore khaki shorts, he wore white shorts. And I remember one day the visiting RSS leader Golwalkar questioning Modi in public for keeping a trimmed beard.”

But Modi’s lack of discipline was overshadowed by the reputation he had earned as an efficient and dutiful organiser: if the leaders entrusted him with a task, they could be sure it would be completed. When the Sangh had to covertly publish its literature during the Emergency, the work was sent to Gujarat, and Modi eagerly and efficiently managed the printing of millions of pamphlets in multiple languages, and then dispatched them safely and secretly to branches of the Sangh across the country, the second senior pracharak told me. On another occasion, when the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), another Sangh frontal organisation, held its statewide meeting in Gujarat, Modi was responsible for planning and organising the conference—a duty that included guarding a large amount of cash. The VHP leaders were anxious about the money, but Modi devised a rustic yet practical solution: he dug a hole in the ground and laid his bed over it.

Within a few short years, Modi’s skills as an organiser and worker had made him indispensable to the RSS in Gujarat. But he recognised that more would be required to turn himself from a manager for the Sangh leaders into a leader in his own right. Many of the senior men who he assisted during the Emergency had since been elected to the state assembly or to Parliament; others had become ministers in the Janata Party government in Gujarat. Modi returned to Nagpur and completed two additional courses of training at RSS headquarters. “He was ambitious,” the first senior pracharak told me, “and he knew that without the level two and level three training, he would never make the transition to the BJP and become a big leader.”

In 1978, one year after the end of the Emergency, Modi was appointed as the RSS pracharak in-charge for six districts in central Gujarat. Only three years later, at the young age of 31, he was promoted again to become the liaison between the Sangh and all its frontal organisations across the whole of Gujarat.


MODI HAD RISEN QUICKLY within the RSS, but to gain real political power, he had to cross over from the purely ideological realm of the RSS into the BJP. That process began in 1987, when he was appointed as the organisation secretary for Gujarat—the person within the state RSS responsible for overseeing the BJP. Unlike the BJP state or national presidents, who are public figures, the organisation secretary is supposed to operate privately, directing the party from behind the scenes and serving as a “bridge” between the RSS and its political affiliate.

The eight years that Modi spent as organisation secretary in Gujarat coincided with an era of rapid growth for the state BJP, which went from 11 seats in the state assembly in 1985 to 121 a decade later. Though there were two very senior leaders at the helm of the state party—Keshubhai Patel and Shankarsinh Vaghela, both former Gujarat BJP presidents—Modi became a third power centre, exerting influence over the formation of alliances and the selection of candidates for state and national elections.

During this period, there were three serious episodes of communal rioting in Gujarat, each with greater death toll than the last: 208 dead in 1985, 219 in 1990 and 441 in 1992. The increasing communal friction played to the advantage of the BJP, which consolidated a growing share of the Hindu vote in the state. To capitalise on the tension, the BJP organised a series of roadshows, beginning with two statewide campaigns in which Modi played a key behind-the-scenes role: the Nyay Yatra in 1987 and the Lok Shakti Rath Yatra in 1989. In 1990, when the BJP president LK Advani began his Ayodhya Rath Yatra, which would eventually bring down the Babri Masjid, he set out from the Somnath Temple in Gujarat, and Modi facilitated the first stretch of the campaign. The following year, Modi received his first national assignment, as the organiser of an ambitious cross-country Ekta (Unity) Yatra helmed by the BJP’s new president, Murli Manohar Joshi, which began at the southern tip of Tamil Nadu and culminated with the raising of the tricolour in Srinagar.

By the early 1990s, the Hindu nationalist movement had fully arrived as a formidable political force: in electoral terms, the BJP had enough seats in Parliament to decide the fate of coalition governments, and had come to power in its own right in a few states. Out on the street, it had demonstrated its capacity to mobilise huge crowds with religious fervour, as in the case of the Babri Masjid, or with militant nationalism, in the case of Joshi’s long march to Kashmir.

For the duration of the Ekta Yatra, Modi planned the route and organised the events at each stop along the way. While Modi, as expected, efficiently executed the tasks at hand, a party leader who accompanied the Yatra recalled that here, again, there were signs of his inability or unwillingness to follow orders. Modi often diverged from Joshi’s instructions, the party leader said, and related one anecdote: Joshi had requested that all those who travelled with the Yatra, from the biggest national leaders to the smallest local volunteers, should eat their meals together. But Modi often disappeared and went off on his own. “When the Yatra reached Bangalore, Modi went missing with Anant Kumar, another leader from Bangalore,” the party leader said. “Joshi was furious when he did not find Modi eating with us. The next morning, Joshi scolded Modi in front of us, saying he should behave himself, and discipline is sacrosanct, even if he organised the Yatra.”

But when Modi returned to Gujarat after the journey, he operated with even more autonomy, which brought him into conflict with Shankarsinh Vaghela. Ten years senior to Modi, Vaghela was then far more powerful within the BJP: he was the party’s main fundraiser and the broker of alliances with the secular parties. Vaghela was in turn outranked by the seniormost leader in the state party, Keshubhai Patel, who was positioned to become chief minister if the BJP came into power. Modi was supposed to be the “bridge” between the RSS and the party, but his tendency to give orders and act on his own began to create friction with the BJP leaders. “He was a hard worker, but he was not used to working with a low profile, as is expected of an organisation secretary,” said K Govindacharya, who was then a BJP general secretary and key party ideologue. “Modi wanted himself to be equal to Keshubhai and Shankarsinh Vaghela.”

“Modi interfered in the day-to-day operations of running the BJP, when that job was mine, as the president of the party,” Vaghela told me. “According to the party constitution, the organisation secretary shall give only directions to the party, but not execute things on his own.”

While the BJP remained in opposition, the deepening rifts between the two political leaders and the ideological puritan were easily papered over in the service of a common goal: winning statewide elections. The BJP’s cadres were still poorly trained in the fine art of voter management—maintaining voter records, arranging transportation for the sick and elderly before rival parties could lure them to the polls, and a few less savory tricks that were already well-known to experienced workers in other parties. Working together, Modi, Vaghela and Patel mobilised more than 150,000 workers from the RSS, VHP and ABVP for a training programme just before the elections in February 1995, and the effort paid off handsomely.

The BJP nearly doubled its seats in the 182-member assembly, from 67 to 121, with the Congress lagging far behind at 45. The party chose Patel as the new chief minister, and Modi began to spend more time with him, which further alienated Vaghela, who sensed the two other leaders were forming a front against him. “Modi used to sit with Keshubhai everyday over lunch and dinner, and whisper into his ears that I was planning an uprising against Keshubhai, and he should keep me and the legislators closer to me at arms’ length,” Vaghela told me.

But Vaghela was also ambitious and impatient. In 1995, he took half of the BJP’s legislators away to a resort in Madhya Pradesh, and threatened to bring the government down unless the party removed Patel and made him chief minister. The central party leadership had to intervene, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sent to Gujarat to broker a peace deal: Patel was asked to step aside in favour of a third compromise candidate, Suresh Mehta. And Modi, as a punishment, was sent to Delhi to serve as a national secretary in the BJP, where he assumed responsibility for Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

After Vaghela was unexpectedly defeated in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections—for which he blamed the RSS, Modi and Patel—he broke with the BJP and formed a new party with rebel MLAs. Mehta’s government fell, and Vaghela, with support from the Congress, became chief minister.

For Modi, being exiled to Delhi was a blessing in disguise: at party headquarters, he had daily contact with an array of national BJP leaders. Modi took full advantage of Vaghela’s defection, reminding anyone who would listen that he had been the first to warn them of Vaghela’s disloyalty to the party—which indirectly and ironically bolstered Modi’s own standing. In 1998, a few days after Atal Bihari Vajpayee took office as prime minister, Modi was promoted once again, and became the national party’s organisation secretary: the bridge between the BJP and the RSS for all of India.

At that point in the five-decade history of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and its successor party, the BJP, there had only been three previous organisation secretaries—each one an ideologically pure Sangh stalwart. But where his predecessors had avoided the media and worked behind the scenes, Modi gravitated towards the spotlight. During the 1999 Kargil War and the subsequent failed peace talks between Vajpayee and General Pervez Musharraf, Modi held frequent press conferences and often appeared on television, demonstrating the jingoistic fervour that would become his signature. Asked during one TV debate about how to respond to provocations from Pakistan, his answer was: “Chicken biryani nahi, bullet ka jawab bomb se diya jayega”—we won’t give them chicken biryani, we will respond to a bullet with a bomb.

Back in Gujarat, the short-lived Vaghela government had fallen after the Congress withdrew its support, and Keshubhai Patel had returned as chief minister, surrounded by a new circle of younger BJP leaders like Sanjay Joshi, Haren Pandya and Gordhan Zadaphia—while Modi, still in Delhi, was out of the picture. But when the BJP under Patel lost a series of local body elections and two by-elections in late 2001, after having failed earlier in the year to organise an adequate response to a devastating earthquake in the Kutch region, Modi began a quiet campaign at the centre against his former ally Patel.

“Modi complained to us about how Keshubhai was failing, and how he was interested only in development, but not in advancing the stated goals of Hindutva,” said a former BJP leader who then occupied a senior position in the Delhi office. “Modi constantly whispered ill into the ears of party leaders about Keshubhai, the same way he had whispered ill about Vaghela into Keshubhai’s ears.”

Modi’s own account of his appointment as chief minister presents the impression that he was surprised, and even humbled, by the unexpected assignment from Vajpayee. In an interview with his official biographer, MV Kamath, Modi said that he was attending a cremation service for a television cameraman when he received a call from Vajpayee requesting a meeting that evening. “When I met him,” Modi continued,

he said, ‘You have become fat eating all that Punjabi food. You must slim down. Go away from here. Vacate Delhi.’ I asked, ‘Go where?’ ‘Go to Gujarat,’ he replied, ‘you have to work there.’ So I said, ‘Would I be in charge only of Gujarat or of some other state as well?’ I did not know then that Atalji wanted me to be the chief minister of Gujarat. But then Atalji said, ‘No, no, you will have to contest elections.’ As I came to know that I was being marked out for chief ministership, I told Atalji, ‘That is not my work. I’ve been away from Gujarat for six long years. I’m not familiar with the issues. What will I do there? It is not a field of my liking. I don’t know anyone.’ … Five or six days passed, and finally I had to concede to what the party wanted me to do.

But Modi’s version of events is contradicted by several other senior BJP leaders, who said that Modi had lobbied hard for the job from the time he arrived in Delhi. “He knew the Gujarat BJP wouldn’t have elected him as the CM,” one BJP leader told me, “so it had to be an appointment from the centre, top-down, because the Gujarat leaders had realised how divisive and self-righteous Modi could be.” In fact, Modi was known to have presented a few news editors in Delhi with suggestions for negative stories about Patel. Vinod Mehta, the former editor-in-chief of Outlook, recalls one such visit in his memoirs: “When he was working at the party office in Delhi, Narendra Modi came to see me in the office. He brought along some documents which indicated the chief minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai Patel, was up to no good. The next thing I heard was that he had become the chief minister in place of Keshubhai.”

To pre-empt any resistance from the BJP legislators in the state, Modi was accompanied to Gujarat by the former national president, Kushabhau Thakre, and another senior leader, Madan Lal Khurana, whose presence ensured a safe landing for the unelected chief minister. For the RSS, Modi’s installation was a significant accomplishment: for the first time in its history, a fulltime pracharak had become a chief minister.

With state elections due in just over a year, Modi set out to telegraph his ambitious intentions from the moment he landed. “I have come here to play a one-day match,” Modi told the press upon his arrival in Gujarat. “I need fast and performing batsmen to score runs in the limited overs game.” At that point, few could have guessed that Modi’s one-day match would turn into a test series, which is still being played 11 years later.


NARENDRA MODI TOOK HIS OATH as the new chief minister of Gujarat on 7 October 2001, on the very same day that the United States and its allies dropped the first bombs on Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad, less than a month after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. The world suddenly rang with alarm over the threat of Islamic jihadists, and the American president declared the dawn of a “Global War on Terrorism”, from which no territory would be excluded. The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution encouraging member states to take additional legal measures to combat terrorism. For political leaders everywhere, the fight against Islamic terrorism acquired a rare rhetorical power, as an unassailable justification for any and all decisions.

Modi, newly installed in Gandhinagar, concentrated all his energy on learning the details of governance. He had never held any political office, and he was still yet to contest an election. “In most of the briefings with the officers, he was very silent. He let the officers talk, and learnt how administration worked,” a senior police officer who worked with Modi told me. “He was very attentive, and I felt like he sketched every word, every intonation, everything.” At the same time, Modi was still facing resistance from senior state BJP leaders displeased by his ascendance. “In the cabinet,” one of his former ministers recalled, “he used his authority as someone appointed from Delhi to talk down to us about what needed to be done.”

In Delhi, the BJP government saw America’s belated campaign against Islamist terror as a vindication of its own anti-Pakistan rhetoric. By the end of the year, after the 13 December attack on Parliament, a million troops were mobilised on the border with Pakistan, and the government introduced a “war tax” on imported goods to cover the cost of the military buildup. It was a time of fervid nationalism and widespread anti-Muslim sentiment. For Modi, whose ideology had taken shape within the crucible of the RSS, the dominant political mood had never been so much in line with his own views.

ONE DAY IN EARLY FEBRUARY 2002, a 12-year-old girl named Anika, the daughter of a senior engineer at Larsen and Toubro in Surat, got word she would be giving a dance performance at her school’s annual day on 1 March. It was to be her first dance in costume, and Anika insisted that her grandparents, who lived in Ahmedabad, should come to Surat to see her on stage. Her grandfather assured Anika he would certainly be there to see her perform.

Two days before Anika’s performance, on 27 February, 58 people—many of them women and children—were killed on a train passing through Godhra, 160 kilometres east of Ahmedabad. The train was carrying members of the VHP and its youth wing, the Bajrang Dal, who were returning from Ayodhya after celebrating the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the Babri Masjid, and initial reports suggested that a mob of Muslims in Godhra had executed a pre-planned attack on the coach.

As word began to spread from Godhra—and pictures and video from the scene hit the airwaves—fury mounted, led by the activists of the VHP, Bajrang Dal and RSS, baying for revenge. By the evening, the VHP called for a statewide bandh the next day, which was endorsed by the ruling BJP.

That same night, Ehsan Jafri, a 72-year-old former MP for Ahmedabad, called his granddaughter Anika in Surat with some disappointing news. Ensconced in his home in Gulburg Society, a mostly Muslim upper-middle class neighbourhood in Ahmedabad, Jafri, a veteran Congress politician, already sensed it would be risky to attempt a journey to Surat the next day. On the phone, he told Anika he wouldn’t be able to come. “But it’s just a shutdown, and he should make it,” she protested to her mother.

At around noon on 28 February, Anika called her grandfather again. “Have you not started?” she asked him. “Beta, the situation is not good here,” Jafri answered. “There are mobs everywhere.” He told her he needed to put the phone down, since he had a lot of calls to make.

A huge mob had already gathered around Gulburg Society, armed with petrol bombs, cycle chains and swords, shouting slogans like “Take revenge and slaughter the Muslims.” Many of Jafri’s neighbours, as well as Muslims from neighbouring slums, had come to his house seeking safety, expecting that his status as a former member of Parliament would afford them protection. “He must have made over a hundred phone calls for help,” Jafri’s wife, Zakia, told me. He called the Gujarat director-general of police, the Ahmedabad police commissioner, the state chief secretary and dozens of others, pleading for their intercession. A witness who survived the carnage later told a court that Jafri even called Narendra Modi: “When I asked him what Modi said, [Jafri] said there was no question of help, instead he got abuses.” Word of Jafri’s frantic calls for help even reached Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in Delhi: a BJP insider close to Modi, who was with Advani on 28 February, told me that the BJP leader had even called Modi’s office himself to ask about Jafri.

By 2:30 pm, the mobs had broken through the gates of the housing society, and a flood of men converged on Jafri’s home. Women were raped and then burned alive; men were made to shout “Jai Shri Ram”, and then cut to pieces; children were not spared. According to records later submitted in court, Jafri was stripped and paraded naked before the attackers cut off his fingers and legs and dragged his body into a burning pyre. The official police report indicates that 59 people were murdered in Gulburg Society, though independent inquiries put the number at 69 or 70. Jafri’s wife, Zakia, and a few others who had locked themselves in an upstairs room survived.

To this day, Modi maintains that he had no knowledge of the events at Gulburg Society until he was briefed by police officers later that evening. But Sanjiv Bhatt, who was then the state deputy commissioner (Intelligence), says that Modi is lying. (Modi and his administration have vigorously contested Bhatt’s account, as well as the testimony given by several other police and government officials.) Bhatt insists that Modi, who also served as home minister, was in regular contact with the senior police and intelligence leadership throughout the day, and well-informed of events on the ground. Bhatt told me that he spoke with Modi over the phone several times before 2 pm, and reported that a mob had circled Gulburg, and that he met Modi at his office in the afternoon to report that the situation demanded immediate intervention.

“His response was very strange,” Bhatt told me. “He listened and then said, ‘Sanjiv, try to find out if in the past Jafri has been in the habit of opening fire.’”

“Outside the chief minister’s office, in the corridor, I bumped into the former chief minister Amarsinh Choudhary and former home minister Naresh Rawal,” Bhatt continued, referring to two Congress leaders. “Naresh Rawal was my minister earlier, so we talked. They told me Gulburg Ehsanbhai has been giving frantic calls, and they came to meet Modi. I said I had briefed the CM, but you also go and tell him,” Bhatt told me.

“I then got a call on my cellphone from my informer on the site at Gulburg,” Bhatt continued, “telling me that Jafri had opened fire. I was surprised. And when I reached my office, a short report was lying on the table saying Jafri opened fire in self-defence. That was when I realised that this man [Modi] knows things even before I came to know of things.”

THE GUJARAT RIOTS were the first explosion of communal violence to play out in real time on live television, and across India people watched young men run amok on the streets, calling for revenge and demanding that all Muslims leave the country. For the BJP, whose national leaders had hand-picked Modi as chief minister only five months earlier, the vicious bloodshed in Gujarat opened a rift within the party. The hardliners backed Modi to the hilt, but the moderates feared that liberal Hindus who once looked to the BJP as “the party with a difference” would be alienated by the resurgent face of militant Hindutva.

When the riots continued unabated, foreign governments began to put pressure on the prime minister’s office, and Vajpayee started grousing. “Modi and Vajpayee had an exasperated relationship,” the BJP insider, who is close to Modi, told me. “Modi had problems with the very Brahmin character of Vajpayee—the high tastes, the poetry. And Vajpayee considered Modi too uncouth.” Vajpayee was convinced Modi would not control the violence, and wanted to remove him. But he knew very well that his own deputy, Advani, and the RSS would forcefully object.

The first man from the moderate camp to challenge Modi was Shanta Kumar, a cabinet minister and former CM of Himachal Pradesh, who said he was “pained and disgusted” by the events in Gujarat. Kumar also demanded action against the VHP and Bajrang Dal, declaring that “those counting votes on dead bodies are not Hindus. Those who think of consolidating Hindutva by shedding blood in Gujarat are the enemies of Hindus.’’

The RSS was furious. Kumar’s remarks came only a few days before a scheduled meeting of the BJP national executive in Goa, and the Sangh leaders had no intention of letting the party’s moderates terminate the tenure of their first fulltime pracharak-turned-chief minister. The BJP president, K Jana Krishnamurthi, summoned Kumar, while Advani declared that action would be taken against party members who indulged in indiscipline. Kumar was forced to tender two written apologies: one to Krishnamurthi, and another to the RSS in-charge for the VHP, retracting his statement that the actions of the VHP had sullied the entire Hindu community.

Among the moderates, there was real concern that the BJP-led coalition government would collapse if any of the secular parties in the alliance withdrew their support. But this argument cut no ice with the Sangh. According to a former BJP national secretary, the powerful RSS leader and former BJP president Kushabhao Thakre spread the word among the party’s other leaders that Modi would have to be defended, even at the cost of the Vajpayee government. “There was lobbying and counterlobbying in the party,” the former BJP secretary recalled. “Ultimately the camp of Thakre, Advani, Modi and Jaitley prevailed over Vajpayee.”

But of the secular regional parties allied with the BJP—including the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal—none walked out of the government. By the time the BJP executive meet began on 12 April 2002, the moderates had already been defeated. Vajpayee had no desire to challenge the strength of the pro-Modi forces, and the moderate prime minister who had wished for Modi’s removal a month earlier now surrendered to the RSS. In his own speech at the Goa executive, Vajpayee took up the flag of the hardliners and spoke in Modi’s language:

“In Indonesia, Malaysia, wherever Muslims are living they don’t want to live in harmony. They don’t mix with the society. They are not interested in living in peace … We don’t need lessons in secularism from anyone. India was secular even before the Muslims and Christians came.”

For perhaps the first time, a prime minister fell in line behind a chief minister—and from that point onwards, Vajpayee lived in fear of Modi. In December 2002, when Modi was campaigning in his first statewide elections, he bluntly told the party that Vajpayee and the other senior leaders should come early in the process, because he did not want anyone else to take credit for his victory by claiming they provided the final push. “So fearful was Vajpayee of Modi,” the BJP insider told me, “when we went for electioneering to Ahmedabad with Arun Jaitley and Uma Bharati, he told us all in the flight, ‘Usually when the prime minister and the leader of the party come to a state, the chief minister would be waiting in anticipation. Here, forget about Modi coming to receive me—my heart is throbbing wondering what the hell Modi will say at the rally.’” Everyone laughed. Vajpayee also laughed, but he was very serious.

Modi’s success did not only intimidate Vajpayee. Over the course of the past decade, as Modi triumphed in two consecutive elections and the national party suffered two defeats, he became the standard for success in the BJP—and whatever space was afforded to the party’s moderates shrank even further.

Earlier this year, a decade after the Goa executive, I went to meet Shanta Kumar. He too has now joined the ranks of the Modi admirers. “Whatever has happened in the past is a thing of the past,” he told me. “But look at Gujarat now. I met Modiji last month in Gujarat, and I told him, we need to replicate what you’ve done in Gujarat all over India—the idea of combining Hindutva and progress. He has done a remarkable job. What Modi has achieved in Gujarat, one day we’ll achieve all over India.”

ON A SUNNY DAY THIS WINTER, I walked through the ruins of Gulburg Society. Just off a noisy street, an iron gate at the entrance hung slanted off its post, like a dead tree waiting to be cut down. Inside the abandoned colony, I passed by deserted rows of two-storey houses, all of them missing their windows and doors; the stench of urine and shit made me queasy. Jafri’s house was just inside the gate, a burnt shell overgrown by wild bougainvilleas. The walls inside were stained by smoke and soot, as if the building had been painted black, and there was very little light inside. As I stepped into the living room, a bitch growled from a corner, and stood up with four little puppies that were suckling at its breast. I managed to heave my way upstairs, past the fallen bricks and the thorns of the bougainvillea, and eventually went to every room. It was a ghost house, whose wretched walls still had a residue of the fear and helplessness of a crowd about to be murdered.

The day after the killings at Gulburg Society, piles of bones and unburned corpses were taken by truck to a Muslim cemetery in Dudheshwar. The caretaker, Hajra Beevi, who is now in her 40s, recalled the day 10 years ago when a huge pit had to be dug so 179 people could be buried. “Not only from Gulburg,” she told me. “That day several trucks came from several places. I remember my small son asking if there was an earthquake, and I told him—yes, there was.”


IF THERE WAS ONE DECISIVE TURNING POINT in Modi’s reinvention—the moment when his image as a militant Hindutva politician was first eclipsed by his new reputation as a pro-business development man—it arrived in October 2008, when the Tata Nano came to Gujarat.

On 3 October, Ratan Tata announced that he would shut down the factory built to manufacture his much-publicised people’s car in Singur, West Bengal, after a two-year-long farmers’ agitation over land compensation. Four days later, Tata declared he would bring the Nano plant—along with a tidal wave of glowing publicity—to Modi’s Gujarat.

As Modi later told the story, which he liked to repeat in his speeches in Gujarat, he contacted Tata right after the decision to close the plant in West Bengal: “I sent Tata an SMS. Welcome to Gujarat. It was as simple as that.”

Four states had also approached Tata seeking to host the Nano factory, but none went to the same lengths as Modi. “The chief minister of Gujarat moved very fast,” Tata told The Times of India. “With all other states, despite all their good intentions, there were many things yet to be settled. So we decided to move forward with Gujarat and everything was put in proper place.” Within 10 days, an agreement was signed.

The offer that Modi presented Tata was a generous one. According to the terms of the agreement, the company will retain the money that it owes in taxes during its first 20 years of operation as a loan, which will only begin to be repaid—at an interest rate of 0.1 percent—after the 20-year period comes to an end. Though Tata’s anticipated tax bill can’t be calculated in advance, the company’s savings from the favourable loan arrangement will almost certainly be several times the value of its initial R22 billion investment.

Tata was offered a choice between two plots of land, both of which were already owned by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC). But the plot they selected, in Sanand, was separated from the nearby highway by a strip of farmland, and Tata Motors asked the government to buy out the farmers. This was routine business for Modi, who knew that Gujarat wasn’t West Bengal and that he could negotiate more tactfully than West Bengal’s Communist ministers. But given the circumstances, any public uproar from the affected farmers would be a major embarrassment, and he knew he had to proceed with care.

Ravubha Vaghela, who held the largest parcel of land along the highway and negotiated on behalf of the other farmers, was also a local Congress party leader, and could easily have scuttled the deal. “Even the day before Modi and Tata were to make their joint announcement,” Vaghela told me, “we were locked up in intense negotiations with the secretary of the GIDC. We could not agree on a price.”

“They didn’t tell us that the land negotiated was for Tata,” Vaghela said. “The CM’s office had forbidden them from telling us.” The talks dragged on into the night, until the GIDC secretary, Maheshwar Sahu, played his trump card. “By 10 pm, when we were in a deadlock, Sahuji told us that Ratan Tata was going to be in Ahmedabad the next day, and that this was for the Nano plant and asked not to give them any trouble,” Vaghela said. “All of us were thrilled with joy. As Gujaratis that’s the difference between us and others. We are not emotionally attached to the land so much, and our calculations work differently. We thought of the benefits we could get for our adjoining properties if we sold this particular land. Within an hour we agreed for one of the best prices and signed the agreement.”

Sahu, Modi’s troubleshooter for industrial projects, explained his tactics to me. “The first thing is, you tell the price to the farmers so they understand the benefit of selling the land,” he said. “Then we give recognition to people like Vaghela. Then things fall into line.”

Soon after Vaghela sold the 30 acres of land adjacent to the Tata Motors site, he was invited to Modi’s office. On the day of their meeting, the local edition of The Times of India published a story about Vaghela, under the headline ‘Wealthiest Man in Sanand Just Got Richer’.

“Modibhai got up from his chair and greeted me jubilantly, saying ‘Ravubhabhai, aapki Lakshmi mujhe de dijiye’ (Please give me your goddess of prosperity),” Vaghela told me. “Modiji said, ‘My sights have fallen on Sanand. And we should make it something huge, something magnificent. Let the whole world come and see it.’”

The deal to bring the Nano factory to Sanand attracted worldwide attention, and within weeks of the plant’s inauguration in June 2010, both Ford and Peugeot approached Gujarat, seeking plots to build their own factories. The GIDC had acquired a total of 2,200 acres, and handed over sizable plots to Ford and Peugeot (along with a substantial package of financial incentives, similar to what Tata was offered). The initial resistance from the farmers around Sanand quickly crumbled as the proposed compensation grew. Landholders were paid more than 10 times the market value for their property. Before Tata arrived, the price for one acre was only R300,000; the GIDC paid at least R3 million per acre, and issued cheques to the sellers within a week.

In Hirapur, one of the villages whose land was acquired, I met Bikkubhai Barod, a lean 71-year-old, who had sold about 40 acres of his land. With the profits from the sale, he bought 80 acres of cheaper land nearby, two bungalows in the city and three cars. “Who can stay in a flat?” he said. “That’s like a chicken nest—no ventilation. So I bought bungalows for my sons in the city.” I asked him about the Tata Nano, which I had seen rolling off the production line on my way to Hirapur. “When we can afford Audi, why should we buy Nano? Nano is a very cheap car,” he said. “Even if they’re produced from our own farms.”

MODI’S SANAND SUCCESS STORY further burnished his reputation as a master of development, and it soon became a staple of his speeches to both voters and businessmen. But not every state-sponsored industrial project in Gujarat has gone smoothly: in Mahuva, a small town near the coast in Bhavnagar district, Modi’s renowned ability to sweep aside obstacles to development has earned him more than a few enemies.

In 2003, the government allotted 700 acres of public land in Mahuva to one of Gujarat’s largest industrial companies, Nirma, for a cement plant. (Karsan Patel, Nirma’s founder and chairman, was one of the leaders of the Resurgent Group of Gujarat, which rallied behind Modi against the CII that same year.) But the plot granted to Nirma included some 300 acres of wetlands and reservoirs, which were used by more than 50,000 local farmers for irrigation and animal husbandry. The farmers objected to the deal. The company ignored the complaints, and the Modi government did the same. But the protest gathered momentum and publicity when Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria, the BJP MLA for Mahuva, led an agitation against his own chief minister. More than 11,000 farmers signed a letter opposing the land deal with their own blood, and 5,000 people walked more than 400 kilometres to Ahmedabad in protest.

Nirma and the state of Gujarat claimed that the affected area was a wasteland, but after the farmers appealed to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it ruled in their favour and cancelled the plant’s environmental clearance. The farmers hailed it as a rare victory against the state’s top-down development agenda. Kalsaria, a three-time BJP MLA, was suspended from the party for indiscipline, and even attacked by unidentified goons. But he has become a spokesman for Gujarati farmers who accuse Modi’s government of lavishing money and land on corporates at the expense of citizens.

In the wake of the 2002 riots, Modi skillfully painted any criticism of his government’s misdeeds as an attack on Gujarat and Gujaratis. Over the past few years, and with considerably more subtlety, he has achieved the same thing with the story of the state’s development miracle. The government has relentlessly provided the media with positive stories of efficient administration, rapid construction and economic growth.

Modi likes to flaunt the fact that Gujarat is a power-excess state, and almost every big-picture story about the “Gujarat miracle”, from Business Today to The Sydney Morning Herald, highlights this fact. But farmers, led by the Sangh’s own farmers’ union, have been protesting for almost a decade that their electricity needs aren’t being met, and government statistics show that the share of power diverted to agriculture has fallen from 43 percent to 21 percent between 2000 and 2010. More than 375,000 farmers are still waiting for electricity connections for their irrigation pumps.

Even the headline figures for Gujarat’s economic expansion in the past decade diminish under closer examination. The state’s GDP growth has only slightly outpaced India as a whole over the past decade. But this is to be expected: Gujarat has long been an industrialised state—and in fact, growth rates under Modi are not significantly higher than they were in the prior two decades. Though Modi has presented Gujarat as the clear leader among Indian states in attracting foreign direct investment, it ranked fourth among states on this measure between 2000 and 2009, and in 2011 fell to sixth place, after Maharashtra, the National Capital Region, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh; Maharashtra has foreign direct investment inflows almost nine times greater than Gujarat.

Data from the Planning Commission, meanwhile, show that in spite of Gujarat’s economic growth, the state lags behind even Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh in rates of poverty reduction. According to the 2011 India Human Development Report, Gujarat also scores poorly in several social indicators, with 44 percent of children under five suffering from malnutrition, worse than Uttar Pradesh.

By themselves, these statistics hardly constitute an indictment of Modi’s record. They merely suggest that his carefully constructed image as an economic miracle-worker has been the result of a well-managed public relations campaign whose false premise is that Gujarat stands head and shoulders above every other Indian state in growth and development—and that anyone who presents data to challenge this narrative is only twisting the truth in order to malign Modi and every Gujarati.


ON 12 SEPTEMBER 2011, Modi signed into his Twitter account to broadcast a jubilant three-word message: “God is great!” The Supreme Court had instructed the Special Investigation Team that had initially been set up to probe 9 major carnage cases to also look into Modi’s culpability in the murder of Ehsan Jafri and file its final report with a lower court in Gujarat that will determine whether charges can be filed against the chief minister. It was not exactly an exoneration, but Modi had feared a harsher order from the Supreme Court, which could have issued comments—as it had in 2003, calling him a “modern-day Nero”—or, even worse, shifted the case out of Gujarat and listed him as the first accused.

As his triumphant tweet suggested, Modi sensed the right moment had arrived to unveil a new campaign. Five days later, on his birthday, he began a three-day fast in Ahmedabad under the banner of Sadbhavana—“goodwill”—which attracted massive media attention, as Modi knew it would. Ten thousand people were mobilised to attend, and Modi seized the opportunity to compel almost every top BJP leader, whether allies or rivals, to join him on stage in Gujarat. On the first day of the fast, Modi took out full-page advertisements in major newspapers all across the country. That morning, his smiling picture greeted voters in every state, accompanied by a message of goodwill in their mother tongue: there were ads in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Assamese, and Oriya. The entire undertaking was billed to the state of Gujarat.

At the conclusion of the Ahmedabad fast, Modi announced that he would fast for a single day in each of the state’s 26 districts, combining the Sadbhavana roadshow with the start of his campaign for the assembly elections later this year. Near the end of November 2011, I went to see Modi’s tour when it stopped a few kilometres outside of Songadh, a sleepy hill town with a majority-tribal population near the Maharashtra border.

The fast was held on a stretch of barren farmland that had freshly been ploughed and levelled in anticipation of Modi’s arrival. From a distance, the site resembled a carnival ground. In the parking area, there were more than 100 state transport corporation buses, which had ferried attendees here from across the district. Several trucks parked nearby were surrounded by crowds: state employees were distributing free saplings of guava, strawberry and mango trees.

More than 10,000 people had gathered under a huge white tent to watch Modi fast on stage, and plasma television screens were mounted throughout the crowd to bring his face closer to the audience. Flanked on the massive stage by at least 60 other figures, Modi sat in a fixed posture, like a statue of a philosopher in a contemplative pose, touching one hand to his head, with his chin resting on his thumb. From the morning until the evening, he listened solemnly as the other politicians and religious leaders on stage gave speeches praising his deeds. It was clear from the close-up shot of Modi’s face on every television screen that he was concentrating intently, while he carefully scanned the assembled crowd. After sitting at the back for a while, I stood up and walked all the way to the front row—a distance of about 100 metres—and I felt sure Modi’s eyes were following me.

For Modi, whose efficient but absolute control of the state extends to personally calling low-level local officials to give orders or make inquiries, keeping track of journalists comes naturally. In May 2002, when word first began to spread among local reporters that Modi was not actually unmarried, an Indian Express journalist in Gandhinagar, Darshan Desai, managed to locate the chief minister’s wife in her village near Vadnagar. He set out early one morning for the village, Brahamanwada, and met Jashodaben, her brother and the headmaster of a primary school where she was teaching. None of them would agree to an interview, fearing retribution, and several local BJP men made it clear his questions were unwelcome and insisted he leave.

“I remember I had just reached home and removed my shoes when I got a call on my cell phone,” Desai told me. “The voice on the phone said in Gujarati, ‘The chief minister wants to speak with you.’ Soon, Modi came on the line. He said ‘Namaskar’, and then he asked: ‘So what is the agenda?’

“I said, ‘I didn’t quite get you.’ And he said, ‘You have written against me. Your newspaper even started Modi Meter,’ referring to a column my paper ran during the riots. I just kept quiet, and he said, ‘I’m aware what you’ve been up to today. What you’ve done today goes much beyond. That’s why I want to know what your agenda is.’ I wasn’t scared, but I remember being a little nervous, and I said, ‘I have no agenda. You can contact my editor.’ He just said, ‘Okay. Think it over,’ and hung up the phone.”

Over the previous few months, I had written several letters to Modi’s office requesting an interview. There was no reply, but I had spoken to his public relations officer, Jagdish Thakkar, who told me, “You know, it is very hard to get Modiji’s appointment. He picks and chooses who he wants to meet.” Still, I persisted in my efforts with Thakkar: I called him when Modi was in China, leading a business delegation, and again when Modi was in Porbandar, fasting at Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace. “I promptly communicate every message to Modiji,” Thakkar reassured me. “He knows you are trying, and has read your letters. But he hasn’t said anything to me.” Before coming to Songadh, I called Thakkar one more time to tell him I would be attending the fast and ask if Modi could find half an hour to speak to me.

Other journalists had confirmed my impression that Modi rarely spoke to reporters from newspapers or magazines. He seemed to prefer giving interviews, when necessary, to television channels. Karan Thapar, who conducted a famously contentious interview with Modi on his CNN-IBN programme in 2007, told me that he spent more than 18 months trying to convince Modi to meet him. “I remember writing him letters almost every week,” Thapar said. “He never responded, and finally I went to Arun Jaitley, a friend of Modi, who finally convinced him.”

Thapar’s scheduled 30-minute interview with Modi lasted three minutes. Thapar began his first question by citing the lavish praise Modi had received for his skills as an administrator. “And yet, despite that,” Thapar asked, “people still call you in your face a mass murderer, and they accuse you of being prejudiced against Muslims. Do you have an image problem?”

Modi’s face stiffened and reddened, and he answered with a few halting sentences. He was visibly angry, and after a few more minutes he asked to take a break, removed the lapel mic from under his kurta, declared he was ending the interview, and walked out. “You came here, made friendship,” he told Thapar. “You have your ideas, and you go on repeating them.”

CNN-IBN ran the footage of the aborted interview as a news item—Modi walked out of interview. They repeated it 33 times, and the following day, Thapar said, he got a call from Modi: “He asked me, ‘Are you firing by resting your gun on my shoulder?’ and I said, ‘Didn’t I tell you it was better to complete the interview?’ He was okay by then, it seemed. He said when he came to Delhi next, we would have dinner together. And he would give me another interview. At some point he also said, ‘I love you.’” For the past five years, Thapar told me, he has sent Modi a letter every six weeks, and never gotten a response.

Up on stage, BJP ministers and legislators stood up in turn to recite the number of ration cards, government playschools and bore wells that Modi had brought to the district. The crowd, which was also fasting, seemed listless, and occasionally the announcer shouted “Bharat maata ki jai! Gujarat ki jai. Narendrabhai Modi ki jai!” and the crowd chanted back in chorus. From the stage, a few middle-aged men and women sang a lousy howling song in Modi’s honour, which began: “Let’s beat the drums, let’s beat the drums for harmony, let’s beat the drum for the chief minister.” When it was finally over, the announcer said, “This beautiful song was written, composed and played for you by none other than the district collector, RJ Patel.” The audience clapped. Modi betrayed no reaction, and kept up his thoughtful stare.

After a few hours of sycophancy from his fellow partymen, which had no apparent effect on the chief minister, Modi stood up to receive a line of people, all of them brimming with enthusiasm and many carrying gifts. Some had shawls or bouquets; one man carried a portrait he had drawn of Modi, while two other women gave Modi an embroidered picture of himself—the admiration and awe Modi received was overwhelming.

When it became clear Modi would not speak until he broke his fast at 5 pm, I decided to go visit a competing fast being held at the Songadh bus stand by the Congress. As I stood up from the front row to leave, Modi raised his hand and waved in my direction. Was he pointing at me? He waved again, as if to say yes, and then he motioned for Thakkar, who walked onto the stage and knelt with his ear next to Modi’s mouth. After a minute or two, Thakkar, who is in his early 70s, came running toward me, shaking along the way. I feared for a moment he might lose his balance, but he clasped my hand, still panting, and said, “Modiji says he will meet you and give you the interview. But today it isn’t possible—he has to sit on the stage, fasting. How about the coming Friday at his office in Gandhinagar?” I looked up at Modi on the stage. He gave me a nod, and lifted his hand again.

THE CONGRESS PARTY’S COUNTER-FAST was a rather less grand affair: there were fewer than 2,000 participants, packed shoulder to shoulder, sweating in a much smaller and shabbier tent. Close to 40 party leaders were jammed onto a small stage. The man at the centre was Tushar Choudhary, a minister of state in the Union cabinet and the son of a former Gujarat chief minister, Amarsinh Choudhary. When I spoke to him after he came off the stage, I asked why he and his party were imitating Modi by holding a fast—was there no other way to reach the people?

“We aren’t mimicking Modi,” he said. “We’re using this opportunity to spread awareness that there’s no sadbhavana in Modi. For example, in Songadh only, where the tribal population is very large, we have a killer disease called sickle cell anaemia. And 160 people died in the last few weeks. Modi did nothing. Two weeks ago, there was a minor earthquake in Nepal, and 30 people were killed. Modi immediately announced that Gujarat government would send money to Nepal. Such stark contradictions are part of Modi’s governance, so we are spreading that message.”

Choudhary argued that the Congress could defeat Modi if the party stayed united. But there was very little sign of that. At the back of the tent, I talked to a Congress worker who walked me through the competing factions represented on the tiny stage: that fellow is the man in Songadh for the son of former chief minister Solanki; that one is Shankarsinh Vaghela’s man; the bald guy is the man of Shaktisinh Gohil, the Congress opposition leader in the assembly; the next one is the man of Ahmed Patel, the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi; and on and on.

When I returned for Modi’s speech, the contrast was even more dramatic: there was complete order and precision. The ministers gave praise; the religious leaders gave blessings; and Modi, at last, stood up to deliver his speech, looking only to the future.

Modi held three small pieces of paper, which listed the developments he had planned for Songadh: “Two hundred crore rupees for the district!” he bellowed, and then enumerated each project: a new bridge, roads through the forest, a reservoir. When that was over, he began a chant: “Vikas. Vikaaas. Vikaaaaaas.”

“When the world asks for development, they find Gujarat,” he continued. “When they ask for Gujarat, they find development. Vikas! Gujarat! Gujarat! Vikas!” Modi threw his hands from left to right, and then from right to left, in time with the words. “Gujarat—Vikas! Vikaaaas—Gujarat!”

On stage before an adoring audience, Modi has a sure command of the theatrical. He was loud, firm and confident: the kind of leader who makes his followers sure that everything will be taken care of. He described his latest trip to China, sounding every bit the statesman; he said that the brinjal grown on Gujarati farms was now exported to Europe, appealing to the state’s trader-and-merchant sensibility; he said the world’s top car manufacturers had filled his desk with requests to set up their plants in the state; he insisted that if there was anything wrong in Gujarat, it was the fault of the Congress-led government in Delhi, which refused to cooperate with him. He spoke extemporaneously and flawlessly, his eyes constantly fixed on the audience before him. The tent fell completely silent while he was speaking: no one played with their mobile phones; there was no rustling of plastic bags. Many people had their mouths wide open.

IF THE SADBHAVANA FASTS—with their adoring audiences and nationwide publicity campaign—represent the vastness of Modi’s future political ambitions, the scale of the massive architectural projects he is building in Gujarat suggests an equally grand desire to erect monuments to his legacy. I spoke to more than 20 top officials, architects, managers and planners involved in Modi’s construction spree, all of whom insisted on anonymity, as they continue to interact with him on a regular basis. “He can really screw me if he comes to know that I spoke with you,” one told me. “So keep me off the record.” Some of the designers and planners working under Modi are Indians returned from abroad; others come from Chinese construction companies; some are government engineers. But in Gujarat, there is only one architect, and his word always carries the day.

In the weeks prior to the 2007 Vibrant Gujarat summit, Modi decided that he wanted to showcase the plans for a massive urban renewal programme in Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project. The Sabarmati divides the city in half, and the proposed redevelopment will remove at least 10,000 people who live in slums on either side of the river, reclaim 500 acres of riverbed for 12 km along the shore, and build parks, promenades, markets, offices and business hubs. The riverfront redevelopment was not Modi’s idea: it was first proposed by a French architect 50 years ago, inspired by the example of great river-straddling cities like London and Paris. It had been mothballed for decades, and only moved past the drawing board in the 1990s, before being cast aside once again after the deadly earthquake that struck Gujarat in 2001, which helped drain the state’s coffers. But in the wake of the 2002 violence, Modi saw an opportunity. “The Riverfront was one of the first projects Modi embraced after the riots, as a way to show he was a pro-development man,” an official associated with the project told me.

At the time of the 2007 investment summit, the scope of the redevelopment was still not widely known, and Modi asked the project officials for a big visual depiction that could be displayed for the legions of visiting businessmen. “From the architects, we got a rendering on a huge canvas,” the project official told me. “It was 12 metres long and four metres high, and it took two dozen people to carry it.”

“On the eve of the summit,” the project official said, “Modi arrived to inspect the prototype. It wasn’t a literal model—it was like an architect’s drawing in black and white, with the river highlighted in blue. Everyone who saw it was jubilant, but Modi stood there, unsatisfied. He grumbled, and told us, ‘Your drawing looks like a barren widow. Make it colourful. Paint it.’”

“The architects were furious—they were like, ‘Does he even understand what architectural drawings are?’ But I said, ‘He’s the boss. Let’s get it done.’ That night we brought down the massive canvas, and over 40 artists worked on it, throwing up paints everywhere. By the next day, we had Modi’s barren widow dressed up like a Gujarati bride.”

“The man knows what he wants,” the project official continued. “And if an architect in front of him realises the stupidity of one of his suggestions, even a world-renowned designer will just be shutting up and delivering what’s asked.”

ABOUT 30 KM OUTSIDE OF AHMEDABAD, on barren plains of dusty grassland, Modi’s most monumental construction project is taking shape: an entirely new and singularly massive financial capital—India’s own version of Shanghai, built from the ground up. Bearing the anodyne moniker Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (or “GIFT City”), the plans call for 124 skyscrapers nestled into an 886-acre plot, with more than 75 million square feet of office space, more than the financial districts of Shanghai, Tokyo and London put together. Modi’s goal is to lure the financial companies now headquartered in Mumbai to shift their operations to Gujarat by 2017. Between the capital markets, trading desks, hedge funds, software developers, and back-end operations of banks and insurance companies, India is expected to generate 11 million jobs and $425 billion in growth by 2020, and Modi’s plans for GIFT City are aimed at securing a large slice of that pie.

To build his own Shanghai, Modi has recruited his architects right from the source: the city is being designed by the East China Architectural Design and Research Institute, the designers of much of modern Shanghai. “Every bit of the drawing comes from China,” an architect who has worked on several of Modi’s projects told me. “Mr Modi trusts them—because he’s clear on what he wants, because he has been to China and is in awe of Shanghai. He wants a copy, an estate of glass boxes.”

The GIFT City project is currently in its second phase, a manager at the building site told me. The land has been leveled, and the first two towers are under construction, intended to provide some 2 million square feet of office space for computer and technology firms. “The tax incentives for the IT companies are coming to an end in 2013,” another project manager said. “So Mr Modi wants to lure the IT guys from Bangalore and Hyderabad before he builds the infrastructure for the financial companies.” When the final phase begins in 2013, more than a million workers will relocate to the site, making it the largest urbanisation project in Indian history. That’s also when most of Modi’s supersized glass boxes will go up—including the centrepiece Diamond Tower, an 80-plus story skyscraper designed to resemble the facets of a cut diamond, and the Naga Tower, so named because it resembles a coiled serpent.

“I was extremely shocked when I saw the design at one of the Vibrant Gujarat summits,” the architect continued. “It seemed to me like an awfully alien idea. I felt like it was the King asking, ‘Go and build a new kingdom for me’—and someone just executing it.”

Another architect who works for Modi put it even more dramatically: “I don’t know if I’m Albert Speer or Robert Moses. I hope it’s the latter.” Moses did more than any one man to shape the city of New York, though he rammed through a series of mega-projects that earned him the enmity of many New Yorkers. Speer, on the other hand, was Hitler’s architect.

WHILE MOST OF MODI’S ARCHITECTURAL projects stake his claims on the future, the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar suggests an attempt to assert ownership of the past. Modi has described the building complex as a tribute to Gandhi. But even apart from the strange sight of an RSS ideologue appropriating the icon of a secular nationalism that the Sangh has always detested, the Mahatma Mandir reflects almost nothing of Gandhi. Yes, there is a huge concrete charka, and a statue of the Mahatma adjacent to a heap of sand. (“Soon we will also have some photo exhibitions and books on Gandhi,” one building manager explained.) But the mostly windowless grey concrete structure, which is still partially under construction, resembles an enormous soapbox. Inside, one finds a series of conference halls and soundproof auditoriums, venues for dealmaking business summits like Vibrant Gujarat, which was held here last year. During my two trips to the complex, the only people I saw were businessmen, pacing rapidly carrying files here and there, and policemen and security forces, guarding either the building or some dignitaries within.

While I was in Gandhinagar, the time for my appointment with Modi had arrived. I contacted Modi’s man, Jagdish Thakkar, a day in advance. A few hours later, he called me and said, “Sorry, Modiji said he can’t meet you. Extremely sorry, not possible.” For the next few months, I followed up with additional requests: letters, text messages, phone calls. But there was no response, and no indication of what had led Modi to change his mind.

“If he had really meant to meet you in Songadh,” a senior journalist in Gujarat told me, “and then backed out, then it must be because there was too much intelligence gathered on the kind of people you interviewed here. Did you by any chance meet people like Gordhan Zadaphia?” the journalist asked. Yes, I said. “Ok, that would have definitely irritated him. Did you do ‘riot-tourism’?” If you mean visiting the neighbourhoods destroyed in 2002, I said, then yes, I did visit them.

“If you’re planning to write about Modi, you just go to him, and you write what he wants you to write,” the journalist said, acidly. “You don’t hang around in Gujarat meeting all kinds of people. He knows, of course, that you’re a pseudo-secularist with a prejudice against him—so why should he meet you?”


AT THE TIME OF THE 2002 RIOTS, Gordhan Zadaphia was Gujarat’s minister of state for home affairs—junior to Modi, who also held the home portfolio—and like Modi, he stands accused of complicity in the violence. A VHP leader in Gujarat for 15 years, Zadaphia joined the BJP in the early 1990s. “The RSS told me to work in the BJP, and I became a general secretary for the party in Gujarat,” Zadaphia explained.

He is also one of three prominent leaders in the Gujarat BJP—all of them with impeccable Sangh credentials—who spoke out against Modi’s autocratic style within the party. The first, Haren Pandya, who had served as Modi’s revenue minister, was murdered in mysterious circumstances in 2003. The second, Sanjay Joshi, who had become a general secretary in the national BJP, was forced to resign when a CD containing pictures of him with naked women—later determined to be fake—was anonymously circulated to top BJP leaders. And Zadaphia, the third, was pushed out of the cabinet by the end of 2002, and subsequently ejected from the party.

“Modi understands only one alphabet, and that is capital I,” Zadaphia told me. “I was threatened with death by Modi himself.”

“It was in February 2005,” Zadaphia continued. “I noticed an intelligence man from the state police following me, and when I confronted him, he told me he was instructed by the home minister’s office to shadow me.” A few days later, Zadaphia said, there was a meeting of BJP legislators with the chief minister. “I asked Modi in the meeting, ‘Narendrabhai, what kind of spy activities are you doing against your own party legislators?’ I asked, why is an intelligence man following me? Then Vajubhai Vala, a senior minister, took the microphone and said ‘Okay Gordhanbhai, cool down. We will look into it, but this is not a question to be asked now.’ Modi didn’t speak at all, but I got a note from his secretary that said ‘Please meet the CM.’”

“I met him at his chamber after the meeting. [Deputy home minister] Amit Shah was sitting there. Modi asked me, ‘Why are you asking these kinds of questions in public?’ I said, ‘What shall I do? It is not a private matter.’ Then he looked sternly into my eyes and said, ‘Khatam ho jaoge Govardhanbhai…’—You’re going to get finished.’”

“I asked him, what kind of finishing? Physically or politically?”

“He said, ‘You complained against me to LK Advani and Om Mathur in Delhi.’”

“I said, of course. There’s no option for me other than to complain to the people in Delhi. But if you’re saying you will finish me off, let me tell you, I’ll die when my time comes. Don’t try to threaten me again.”

Zadaphia moves around with a police escort and a dozen armed security men; as a former deputy home minister—and a controversial one at that—he was offered protection by the government after the riots. Pandya, however, did not have security guards. “Haren was bold,” Zadaphia said. “He thought nothing would happen to him. That was a mistake.”

A tall and handsome Brahmin with a fine RSS pedigree and excellent connections in the media, Pandya was a formidable political rival for Modi within the state BJP. The two clashed publicly for the first time in 2001, when Modi was in search of a safe assembly seat to contest after his appointment as CM. He wanted to run from Pandya’s constituency, Ellisbridge in Ahmedabad—a very safe seat for the BJP. But Pandya refused to yield to Modi’s wishes. As a state BJP functionary recalled, “Haren said, ‘Ask me to vacate my seat for a young man in the BJP—I’ll do it. But not for that fellow.’”

In May 2002, three months after the start of the riots, Pandya secretly gave a deposition to an independent fact-finding panel led by Justice VR Krishna Iyer. Modi could not have known what Pandya said, but written records show that Modi’s principal secretary, PK Mishra, instructed the director-general of state intelligence to track Pandya’s movements, and in particular those related to the fact-finding panel. The intelligence director took down the instructions in a register—the entry for 7 June 2002 reads as follows: “Dr PK Mishra added that Shri Harenbhai Pandya, minister for revenue is suspected to be the minister involved in the matter. Thereafter, he gave one mobile number 9824030629 and asked for getting call details.”

Five days later, on 12 June 2002, there is another entry in the register: “Informed Dr PK Mishra that the minister who is suspected to have met the private inquiry commission (Justice VR Krishna Iyer) is known to be Mr Haren Pandya. I also informed that the matter cannot be given in writing as this issue is quite sensitive and not connected with the charter of duties given to State intelligence Bureau vide Bombay Police Manual. It is learnt that the telephone number 9824030629 is the mobile phone of Shri Harenbhai Pandya.”

News reports soon revealed that an unnamed minister in Modi’s cabinet had deposed before the Iyer commission, and described for the first time the meeting at Modi’s residence on the night of the train burning, at which Modi allegedly told his top police and intelligence officers that there would be justice for Godhra the next day, and ordered the police not to stand in the way of the “Hindu backlash”.

The leak provided sufficient evidence for Modi to press a case of indiscipline against Pandya within the BJP, and two months later Pandya was forced to resign from the cabinet. But Modi was not finished. The state elections were due in December 2002, and Modi saw an opportunity to deny Pandya the Ellisbridge seat that he had refused to vacate a year earlier. “Modi never forgets, and never forgives,” the BJP insider close to the chief minister told me. “It doesn’t help a politician to have such longterm vengeance.”

And so Modi denied Pandya the constituency he had represented for 15 years. The leadership of both the RSS and the BJP objected and asked Modi to relent, but he refused. Near the end of November, RSS leader Madan Das Devi went to meet Modi at his residence, carrying a message from the RSS supremo KS Sudarshan, his deputy Mohan Bhagawat, LK Advani and AB Vajpayee: Stop arguing, don’t create division before the elections, and give Pandya his seat. Devi stayed late into the night, but Modi held his ground, the state party functionary said: “He knew he would start getting phone calls from [RSS headquarters] Nagpur and Delhi, since he did not listen to Devi. So that night, by 3 am, he got himself admitted into the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital for exhaustion and fatigue.”

Pandya, according to the party functionary, charged to the hospital to confront Modi. “Haren told him, ‘Don’t sleep like a coward. Have the guts to say no to me.’” Modi refused to budge, and the RSS and BJP leaders finally gave in. Modi left the hospital after two days, and handed Pandya’s seat to a newcomer. And in December, he came back to power riding the post-Godhra wave of communal polarisation.

Pandya, for his part, started to meet with every top leader in the BJP and RSS—in Delhi and in Nagpur—telling them that Modi would destroy the party and the Sangh for his own personal gain. Senior BJP figures, who still regarded Pandya as a valuable asset to the party, decided to transfer him to headquarters in Delhi as a member of the national executive or a party spokesman. “Modi even tried to scuttle that,” Zadaphia told me. “Pandya going to Delhi was going to be harmful for Modi in the long run.”

Three months later, in March 2003, on the day after Pandya received a fax from the party president ordering his shift to Delhi, he was murdered in Ahmedabad. The Gujarat police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) announced that Pandya had been assassinated in a joint operation between Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the Dubai-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. Twelve men were arrested and charged with Pandya’s murder, but eight years later, in September 2011, the Gujarat High Court acquitted every single one and rubbished the entire case. “The investigation has all throughout been botched up and blinkered,” the judge said. “The investigating officers concerned ought to be held accountable for their ineptitude resulting into injustice, huge harassment of many persons concerned and enormous waste of public resources and public time of the courts.”

Pandya’s father, Vithalbhai, has publicly accused Modi of ordering his son’s killing, and moved a petition in the Supreme Court calling for the chief minister to be investigated, though the court dismissed it, citing a lack of evidence.

RB Sreekumar, who headed the state intelligence for a year soon after the riot, told me that he had been asked by the chief minister’s office to regularly give details about the movements and activities of Haren Pandya.

“I’m not saying Modi got Haren Pandya killed. I have no evidence. But the fact remains—anyone who speaks against Modi from inside the BJP gets finished either physically or politically,” Zadaphia told me.

For the first few months after Pandya’s murder, the investigation was handled by the Gujarat police crime branch. The officer in charge was DG Vanzara, who is now in jail for the “fake encounter” of a gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, and his wife; Vanzara is also under investigation for his role in another half-dozen extra-judicial assassinations. When the Pandya case was transferred to the CBI, one of Vanzara’s colleagues, Abhay Chudasama—now also jailed in the Sohrabuddin killing—was sent on deputation to the bureau to help manage the investigation. Both of the corrupt officers who ran the Pandya investigation were also part of the extortion racket allegedly run by Amit Shah, Modi’s deputy home minister. Shah, one of Modi’s favourites, was arrested on charges of extortion and conspiracy in the fake encounter killings and is now out on bail, though the Supreme Court has denied him permission to set foot in Gujarat; he currently lives in room number two at Gujarat Bhavan in Delhi.

IN NOVEMBER 2011, the Gujarat High Court issued its judgment in one fake encounter—the killing in 2004 of a teenaged girl named Ishrat Jahan and three other young men. The police declared the four were terrorists linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba on a mission to kill Narendra Modi; the families of the dead insisted they were innocent, and filed a case challenging the allegations.

The courtroom was packed with lawyers, police, politicians and local journalists, and I stood by the second row, behind the defence and prosecution lawyers. There was complete silence as the two judges entered and addressed Kamal Trivedi, the advocate general for the state of Gujarat. Justice Jayant Patel delivered the verdict: “The encounter is not found to be genuine. It is a unanimous judgment from both of us. A fresh case has to be filed, prosecuting those who are accused.”

Patel then addressed Trivedi and the lawyer representing the victims, Mukul Sinha, and said, “Now the court would like to hear from the counsels, which agency would you prefer to investigate the matter?”

Trivedi requested that the case remain inside the state: “Gujarat police should be given one more chance. Please allow them to investigate the matter.”

Sinha spoke next. “It is Gujarat police who are the accused,” he said, “so the investigation should be carried out by one of the central agencies. In the past there has been political opposition to the central agencies from the state government, but I still suggest it has to be either NIA [the National Investigation Agency] or CBI.”

Trivedi scoffed, “Mukul Sinha says there’s political opposition—” but Patel cut him off mid-sentence: “Should we not listen to him?”

A ripple of laughter broke out in the courtroom, and Trivedi raised his voice almost to a shout. “Don’t laugh out. Don’t laugh out. There is no situation of the government not respecting the law or the honorable court. I plead a fresh look be given on the case, and Gujarat police be given one more chance.”

The court did not heed Trivedi’s plea, and handed the investigation to the CBI, which will investigate the same police officers who executed the “deadly terrorists” on charges of murder. It was the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the Gujarat government, culminating in an order this January from the Supreme Court, which issued a three-month deadline for a panel of inquiry to reopen more than 20 alleged fake encounters in Gujarat between 2003 and 2006. The ongoing case against Amit Shah, who held 10 portfolios in the cabinet and was known as “Modi’s conscience keeper” in Gujarat, presents another major headache for Modi, one that will get much worse if the ongoing investigations into Shah’s extortion racket and the fake encounter cases begin to ask questions about whether the responsibility extends upward beyond the deputy home minister.

In the years before the fake encounter cases began to unravel, Modi loudly hailed his officers after the killing of each “terrorist”. At an election rally in December 2007, the chief minister all but celebrated the murder of the gangster Sohrabuddin. Modi called out his name, with each slowly enunciated syllable—“Sohrrraa-bu-deeeeen”—leaving no doubt as to his religion. “Congressmen say that Modi is indulging in encounter, telling that Modi has killed Sohrabuddin … You tell me what to do with Sohrabuddin,” Modi asked. The crowd chanted in response. “Kill him, kill him.”


IN A FAMOUS ESSAY published in Seminar a few months after the riots in 2002, sociologist Ashis Nandy, one of India’s foremost public intellectuals, described having interviewed Modi more than a decade earlier, in the late 1980s, when the future chief minister was “a nobody, a small-time RSS pracharak trying to make it as a small-time BJP functionary”.

Nandy, who was trained as a clinical psychologist, recalled his impressions of Modi during their “long, rambling interview”:

It left me in no doubt that here was a classic, clinical case of a fascist. I never use the term ‘fascist’ as a term of abuse; to me it is a diagnostic category comprising not only one’s ideological posture but also the personality traits and motivational patterns contextualising the ideology.

Modi, it gives me no pleasure to tell the readers, met virtually all the criteria that psychiatrists, psycho-analysts and psychologists had set up after years of empirical work on the authoritarian personality. He had the same mix of puritanical rigidity, narrowing of emotional life, massive use of the ego defence of projection, denial and fear of his own passions combined with fantasies of violence—all set within the matrix of clear paranoid and obsessive personality traits. I still remember the cool, measured tone in which he elaborated a theory of cosmic conspiracy against India that painted every Muslim as a suspected traitor and a potential terrorist.

These days, Modi’s legions of admirers would scornfully dismiss the above as nothing more than the ranting of an anti-national “pseudo-secular” intellectual, jealous of Modi’s achievements and probably paid off by the Congress. But regardless of the accuracy of his clinical diagnosis, it is a sure sign of the success of Modi’s efforts to rehabilitate his reputation that statements like Nandy’s have been shunted beyond the boundaries of mainstream opinion.

The transformation of Modi’s image has been powered by a sophisticated public relations campaign, but the embellishments rest on a foundation of genuine accomplishment. His record as an efficient and capable administrator is undeniable. He appears to prefer power to money, which is a particularly appealing proposition for voters who regard most politicians as corrupt, ineffective and weak. Since his appointment as chief minister in 2001, he has won two state elections in Gujarat, each with a two-thirds majority. In the cities, his popularity is overwhelming, and those who love him profess their adoration with an unusual intensity.

An autowallah: “Modi will rule Gujarat for the next ten years.” A radio taxi driver: “God is with Modi. If Modi wants me to kill anyone, I will do it.” A woman who runs a stationery shop: “Modi is the uttam purush—the perfect man.” And a hotel waiter: “When Gujarat was under attack from terrorists, Modi saved us.”

Modi stirs an equal passion in his detractors, of course, and their numbers are not small. It is a tired cliche to call him ‘divisive’, but in fact his lovers and haters share an essentially identical impression of the man and his personality. Both believe Modi possesses an almost absolute authority and a willingness to defy institutions and rules, as a strong and charismatic leader who “gets things done” without concern for protocol or established hierarchies.

There is little question that Modi sees himself in similar terms. The BJP insider, who is close to both Modi and Arun Jaitley, the party’s establishment face, told me that Modi criticises his friend for excessive deference to the law: “Jaitley is one of the few politicians who talks freely with Modi,” he said. “But Modi often complains to him, ‘You speak only about the Constitution.’”

Lately, however, the law has become a bigger problem for Modi: his opponents in Gujarat have filed a series of petitions to force him to accept the appointment of a Lokayukta empowered to investigate corruption within the government—a position that Modi has deliberately kept vacant for the past eight years. The opposition believes that the Lokayukta could scrutinize the sizable concessions and tax sops Modi has offered to lure companies to Gujarat, whose details have been closely guarded. Modi’s cosy relations with the corporate chiefs who sing his praises have long been one of his strongest assets, and he does not want to risk letting his pro-business tilt turn into an electoral liability. Indeed, according to the BJP insider, Modi secretly fears that he might suffer the fate of former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, a darling of CEOs and the business press who lost to the Congress in 2004 after 10 consecutive years in office, and never managed a comeback.

“Modi only thinks of winning—and winning all the time,” a former chief minister of Gujarat told me. “Other politicians can imagine that they will someday lose, and plan accordingly. But this attitude may get him into trouble, because in the future he can only be at one of the extremes: either he will be prime minister or he will go to jail. If I live long enough, I would be surprised to see him anywhere else—it has to be one or the other.”

Shortly before I left Gujarat, one RSS leader described his own feelings in a bitter sigh: “Shivling mein bichhu baitha hai. Na usko haath se utaar sakte ho, na usko joota maar sakte ho.” A scorpion is sitting on Shivling, the holy phallus of Lord Shiva. It can neither be removed by hand nor slapped with a shoe.

Vinod K. Jose is the Executive Editor of The Caravan and an award-winning journalist. He has previously worked as a producer from South Asia for public radio stations in the US and Europe. Jose has an MA in Journalism from Columbia Journalism School, where he was a Bollinger Presidential Fellow. He also has graduate degrees in Communication and English, and a PhD in Sociology.


284 thoughts on “The Emperor Uncrowned”

Why don’t you answer him first? Why would LeT or Dawood want to kill Hiren Pandya? Whether or not Modi got himself admitted into the hospital at that time for political gain, it was oddly convenient. That’s all the article is pointing at.

Vinod K Jose: Never heard this name before. may be my GK is bad. Like you are free to write whatever you think based on whatever you found, I am free too to write what I think abt this article. First thing very informative for sure, right info or fictitious can’t say. For an instance If everything is right than I can recall my little knowledge abt Chanakya’s political Sc. A Strong Leader/Politician should not leave his/her opponents whether insider or outsider in interest of his/her nation. and that is what he did. You tried to find or argue the wrong thing Modi is doing in every doing of him. But I am sure, we the pro development people of India will not be confused with all this writings and/or telecast of after Godhara story and documentary by all media houses. We know one day time will come and we will have a strong Leader Narendra Modi as our Prime minister not an Italian lady, whose feet are licked by top to bottom congressi on the name of Secularism. You keep doing your job and I assure you- more you guys try to defame him more he will be strong and famous. and Humko jitna bhadkaoge hum bhi aur majbooti se unko support karenge. so keep it up. Jai Hind Jai Bharat.

In the current state of affairs, I dont see a peaceful life Indians and their coming generations. Congress has taken the country to the dogs. We Hindus are ashamed of expressing our own hindu culture bcoz we would be branded as communal for doing so. Talking about minorities is secularism and talking about my own culture, security and long term life of my Children is a communal thing. I have had enough of this sick secularism. I am a Hindu. I love this country. I am proud of its culture and I am proud of the Rishi and Muni and their Wisdom which defines the lines of Hinduism. I VOTE FOR MODI AS PRIME MINSTER. THIS IS FOR A SECURE LIFE OF MY CHILDREN. The Congress party will make India a muslim majority state again and make my children secind class citizen if I dont vote for Modi. Only and Only Modi is the Only HOPE for the Well being of Children.

A nice work done by the author. I was awake till 4’o clock just to finish the article. The article has shown all the sides of Mr. Modi. I agree with the author that Modi has done a lot of wrong deeds and he is a power driven person but looking at the current scenarios where "congress" the so called nations party has led economy(petrol prices 76, rupee to its all time low of 55 against a dollar, and many such example), not able to act firmly against corruption(India seeing its biggest corruption acts 2G scam,commonwealth games,coalgate etc etc), and many more such issues, in centre we have a leader who cannot control his ministers and is just a puppet in the hands off few, i think we need a person like "Mr.Modi" who can atleast take up his own decision, act irmly on his decisions, control his ministers and most importantly is non corrupt. This is very important to have a stable government who could lead india to become a super power.

Namo for PM. Simple path to India becoming a developed country along with inclusive growth. Politicians are expected to do politics– doesn’t necessarily make Namo evil – as tried to be made out in this article. “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.” Chanakya quote. The main stream media and people like this author are pseudo-secular and no point absorbing the negatives he is trying to bring out in his article. Good people like him are not given interviews. If anyone wants to see Namo’s interview: Youtube ‘narendra modi sadbhavana interview’. Or better check out Youtube: ‘Narendra modi Suhel Seth’ We need a Nationalist. And Namo is one! We firmly believe that and will vote him to power in 2014. Am sure the BJP along with the NDA (without Nitish but with Jaya & Naveen) will get its act together by 2013 (well before 2014 elections). Indians need to vote NDA to power to be free from CONgress corruption and suffocation.

hatts off to modi..he is the leader needed by india in current situation…india is really lacking strong hindu leader who not only thinks of hindudtva but development as well..namo4pm

Modi is good leader.simple rule is that a king can not make happy to all,violence in Gujarat was reply like 1984.we forgot that because it was related to big leader.

I have been a big admirer of Vajpayee, and I think he deserves the credit for several initiatives that accelerated development and enhanced India’s standing. The one blot on his tenure as PM is the Gujarat riots, and I have often wondered why he did not do more than just tell Modi to observe "Rajdharma". What would it have taken to mobilise the Army and conduct flag marches on 28 Feb 2002? (After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination at night, the Army was in the streets of R K Puram and Karol Bagh to protect the Tamil population of Delhi, BEFORE the morning newspapers were distributed). Everyone knew trouble was on the horizon – I asked a colleague who was travelling from Pune to Baroda to get off the train before it entered Gujarat, the moment I heard the Godhra news.

Reading the article tells me how the moderates were outgunned – how I wish Vajpayee had followed his own Rajdharma and did everything in his power to stop the riots – even if it meant losing his premiership ! The country would have been in his debt – and I believe BJP/NDA would have won the 2004 elections.

amazing piece! some new things about the Hitler of our times.. a break from the depressing Modi mania "Todays media" projects! after a long gap since Thapar’s interview. thanks!

the article was like reading a thriller novel …..Godfather? its absolutely superb! and what a perfect ending to the essay….that too from an RSS leader….may be he knows the scorpion well.

Persecuting Muslims will only lead to the downfall of Hinduism by politically weakening the upper castes. The lower castes can easily be converted to Christianity by passing capitalistic laws and impoverishing them. Muslims are the essential balance in our social system. The BJP will bring them to the national mainstream. Otherwise, the country will lose the very religion it’s trying to preserve and strengthen.

Very well written. This is a good example of vertical reporting. You really must have put huge efforts and also have risked your lives as well. Hats off you Vinod.

There is no denying the fact that Gujrat is a developed state today….but I certainly deny the positivity people are showing towards Mr Narendra Modi as the hero behind this. This man should have never been accepted either by muslims or by hindus rather condemned till he tastes justice and the same fate which his victims met. Similar should be done to the heinous leaders of the so called social groups like the Bajrang Dal and RSS where the plight of uneducated, poor and highly unaware indians (I would say Indians rather than calling them Hindus because I am not here to initiate hatred towards one-another) is being exploited just to result into concentration of wealth in these few filthy dirty hands. Who needs these groups ? To my fellow friend who tried making us aware about the great deeds of these extremely communal group by elaborating their activeness during any disaster or calamity; I would just say my dear friend, let United Nations do it. They are more than enough than these trouble makers. I am sorry to doubt your wisdom but you need to open up your perspective and vision. No growth or development can be justified if it stands on ruins and ashes of burned trains like the Sabarmati Express in Godhra or the devastated human habitation like Gulbarg. Its not about hindus or muslims but about humanity. I have read comments of some of my fellow friends here who again have gone into developing hatred towards each other and forcing another massacre to be round the corner. Who knows the actual truth behind the torching of that train at Godhra. How are some of my hindu friends so confident that it was a muslim mob and not some hired inhumane killers targeting some set motive. And how are my fellow muslim brothers so confident that these select few muslims exhibiting extreme brutality on their own human race are one of us. The point is to realize that the so called secular nation; India, is still being led by ruthless leaders like Modi and insensitive and heartless followers like us. Just imagine what would have happened if something like 9/11 would have happened in a country like ours. The internationally hated americans were much more aware and humane than us to end up with such minimal riots of hatred even after that. Anyway, what I am trying to write is; stop electing people like those, responsible behind these happenings. Use your wisdom, have some humanity and please stop being provoked. About the suppressed facts and the greatness being portrayed by Mr Narendra Modi, I would convey it all in an hindi proverb "100 chuhey kha kar bill chali hajj par". NOT ACCEPTABLE SIR !! Author has certainly done a great job in highlighting the actual events, happening and possibilities. Keep it up !

Achievements of MODI which are suppressed by Indian Media both TV media and Print media …… 1. Modi’s Gujarat win United Nations Public Service Award- 2009 for excellent water supply management : June 2009. 2. Modi’s Gujarat wins UN Public Service Award 2010 for BEST GOVERNANCE IN WORLD : Jun 2010. 3. Modi wrests Congress’s Kathlal (Gujarat) seat, which was with congress since 1947 and having 65 % Muslim voters : Sep 2010. 4. NDA-ruled states beat Cong ruled states on implementing UPAs Twenty Point Programme on poverty eradication and rural development schemes : 1. Gujarat, 2. Karnataka, 3. Jharkhand __ Report of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation : Oct 2010. 5. Modi take the Gujrat to LEAD AMONG STATES IN SOLAR POWER : Nov 2010. 6. Gujarat surplus in power, sold surplus power to 12 states : Mar 2011. 7. MODI, a NON-CORRUPT , EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATOR, as a facilitator of business in a state with a deep commercial culture, and as a no-nonsense, law-and-order politician : (REPORTING of USA AMBESSODOR Michael S. Owen to USA, Wikileaks on March, 2011). 8. MODI is NO. 1 CHOICE FOR PM in Nationwide Survey. India Today-ORG conducted nationwide survey in 514 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies across 19 states , mind it not in Gujarat but in all India : Jan 2012. 9. Supreme Court appointed SIT find NO EVIDENCES against Modi in Zakia case of 2002 riots, give clean chit to him : Feb 2012. All leading media r hidden agents of congress, they will only broadcast negative news about Modi and suppress positive news …..

I would like to say,after reading the article Gujarati’s will see a positive image of Modi.I was not sure for Modi to win this time but after reading this article I think he will win as usual n ya hope u get an appointment for his interview.

Very well written. Extremely balanced perspective. Hats off Vinod. People like you represent the conscience of this nation. No publication has taken pains to report Modi with this kind of objectivity. Kudos to Caravan and keep the Caravan Rolling.

After Reading this article and after knowing all the atrocities which this self righteous/fascist/extremist/anti secular etc etc person has given to people. I can’t understand why the hell people are still supporting and praising hymns in name of this politician. I am firm believer of God and I know he will pay for his deeds and this will happen anytime soon.

Quote: ‘in the future he can only be at one of the extremes: either he will be prime minister or he will go to jail.’ The last time i heard this quote was for Richard Branson whose school headmaster told him ‘either he would become a millionaire or go to jail’. I hope Narendra Modi becomes PM for India’s good!

Kudos. Would not call it unbiased… but in all the shenanigans doing the rounds about Modi, a reality check was in order. Economic growth (even the ‘envisioned’ one) cannot come at a price as steep as civil disorder and communal disharmony.
Modi and his abysmal handling of the Godhra episode, encapsulates the bigoted approach that this man might ape if given a whiff at the national stage.
My opinion is on the basis of India NOT being a Hindu State. Just a nation with a larger percentage of Hindus. Nothing more than a statistical entry.
The pogrom that Modi facilitated in Gujrat against the minorities is something every person who has voted in favor of Modi should remember. Memories are crafted by history not by expectations.
One cannot sweep the un-secular, un-civilized mayhem let loose by Modi and RSS goons on minorities under the ‘development’ carpet.
Whilst Modi might be astute at opportunistically drawing some business houses towards Gujrat, it is not testimony to the horror and mortal fear experienced and being experienced by the minorities.
Ours is not a Hindu state and we deserve nothing more than any other minority.
For those concerned: I’m a Hindu according to birth. I couldn’t care less.

Lovely work by Vinod. Going to save this article for posterity.

Carefully crafted one sided story. Its strange to see seemingly unbiased stories showing only one side of the story. Author has mentioned quotes of only Modiji’s opponents and unidentified persons. Probably author is very hurt because Modi did not give him appointment he was desperately seeking, I would like to tell you Mr. Author.. Modiji was busy working for his state in the time he saved by not meeting you! Why did the author not mention about his un corruptible administration? his efficiency? His auctioning of personal gifts for girl child education??

This is scrap……..ABSOLUTE SCRAP……..Modi is an administrater par excellence and we are all looking forward to see him on the national stage stage soon……….Modis inaction in 2002 is only fair to allow vent peoples anger in background of Godhra carnage killing innocent Hindus…….why can’t you guys see that if the Godhra carnage had not happened where innocent Hindus returning from a pilgrimage were roasted live in the train itself by Heartless muslims……….there would have been no riots by hindus…………this is the first time that hindus have vented their anger on muslims after countless acts by muslims of in humnaity and terrorism……..this was the natural thing to happen…….today Kasab is resting peacefully like a national guest when he should have been hanged years back …….is this just to the mumbai innocents killed at his hands……justice delayed is justice denied………………Again the author talks of RSS as if they are national terrorists…………….thereby showing his immaturity and narrow mindedness…… endless national disasters RSS workers have worked day in and day out for the country……….they are patriots par excellence…………..also it must be noted by the author that he is Residing in Hindustan and hence hinduism comes first though we welcome people from all communities like Parsis, christians and Muslims. Parsis and christians have never created a nuisance unlike the muslims…….and hence they have never been the victims for such large scale outbursts of anger from the hindus…………if the muslims behave themselves and act in their limits we are open to accept them also…………..

Last thoughts first- i am not sure if the author has a problem of being kept away by Modi for interviews that he builds a case for it. Now that he never granted him an interview it wouldn’t matter if he had to be more brutal in explanation. Coming to the image portrayed – it almost feels like you have described a self made man who has the handle on things and is trying actually to do something good for the state. I am not a Gujarati nor visited the state, but if some one were to ask me is there anything good – i would just go with Gujarat and its so called "perceived development". If you read your own article on the first CII meet in delhi when everyone questioned him – his task has been accomplished. He lost the businesses confidence and by his publicity or whatever you call it – he has gained it back. Gujarat may not be developing any faster than say Tamilnadu, but certainly the confidence of something getting done is not disputed, leave alone corruption and other such things. I’d prefer a man who has the handle on things than the one who just doesn’t know whats happening around him. the so called secularism that you intend to create cannot happen by contradicting it with your own policies. I hate the communal shift or say Hindu’ization of the nation (being a Brahmin myself) but i wouldn’t agree with any of those in congress trying to say they are being secular. Its a ‘sin’ if there is one to lie to those whom you say you’d help but exactly do the opposite by keeping them the ‘minority" always. To that, i’d vote for BJP and the NDA. Say what you want, i don’t think there are lot many other state – esp Congress/alliance ruled state that has done anything better. I have faced the truth after being once impressed by Narasimha Rao, Manmohan singh’s appointment and many others in congress. But today – they need some of that tactic you allege Modi has to even have people feel less disgusting about them.

Dear All,
ONly the people of GUjarat knows that what he ahse done for the state , outsider can not judge the growth og gujarat as a state & people of gujarat. Oposition party & people jealous of MODI will srtie this kind of article, but if you want to see the real growth come to Gujarat & see. He has done so many improvement which the COngress govt have never done in the country since last 50 yrs. All the state should learn from him.

this is a very-2 interesting article which I have read on mr.narendra modi since it have some inside depths and unknown stories but the writer completely ignores the relentless work he done for gujarat and also the way he kick the asses of gangsters,mafias and terrorists in gujarat. Writer also ignores how narendra modi pulled gujarat from a near about 7000 crore loss to a 50000 crore surplus, how mr.modi curtailed corruption in the state and ensured that every village and whole gujarat state gets 24-hour 3 phased uninturrupted electricity.Also how corrupt congress party do so many conspiracies against him to put him down and how during the 2007 state assembly election, the whole media fought against him on behalf of the congress party and how he got thumbs-up from the people of gujarat on development. The writer just want to protrey him as a today’s bal thakrey type politician but mr.writer he is not like bal thakrey because bal thakrey has only developments in words not in action but mr.modi have not just spoken the development but he delievered that development with the ideology of nationalism . we cannot call this article totally unbiased. it has just one colour of mr.modi’s personality but there are many which should be covered

A must-read as it gives one several valuable insights! The Blackberry Boys still believe in the Sounds of Silence, though!

A political story told with great equanimity, depth of truth and punctuated by a powerful sense of audible humor. After tiring myself reading tirade after tirade on Modi that began to sound like senseless noise, here is an article that really got me listening. Vinod has shown that in order to convey the centrality of humanism and justice in public life, a journalist need not and should not have to dehumanize — even the most reviled political personality. A piece on Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi would be a welcome source of clarity.

Splendid revelations on a maniacal man who’s supposedly being invited to Kathmandu to inagurate a business caucus of Nepali industrialists. However, Mr Jose didn’t highlight Narendra Modi’s education. Could he please fill in the dots? Thank you

Excellent article…from your article I came to know the reason why people support him…either out of fear(even Vajpaee was afraid of him) or due to his fascist way of advertising(those who criticise him are against gujrathis)…those who don’t pay heed to him are either murdered(Haren Pandya) or has to remain in a tight security cover(Zadaphia)…Modi has became a "Bhasmasur" . [moderated] So a demon Modi deserves a same fate the "Bhasmasur" had. [moderated].

misleading and imaginary thoughts of auther who has preconceived image about a NM. people of gujaratknows truth and u ll see again in 2012. to me jose has elitist tunnel vision about NM. no matter how corrupt manmohan gov. is he is clean and honest to auther…but no matter how much modi works hard on gujarat he is mass murderer …though no court has proved only media has become judge in modi’s case….pity on india and its politics only thing to say………….get well soon mamu…

Ironically after reading this artcle I am even more inclined to support Modi. Even after doing so much re search the author is not able to point out even 1 instance of corruption or Nepotism by Modi. All he manges to prove is that Modi is arrogant and how he has his way with the things related to the state. IMHO a leader of the state should be like that. We have a soft spoken person as our PM and look at the state of our country. And I am not sure if the author missed it or wantedly hid the fact that most of the people who complained to Delhi about Modi did so because he was not letting them eat from the public coffers and was not letting them get their own loved ones into the post that they wanted.

Like the age old saying goes for a kingdom to prosper it should the One for all and All for one. That is the way for the future as well.

I actually see the only positive of Mr. Modi in this article… Great written… Writing such article will make the man more powerful… I’m 23 and all ill say is that this is the politics required in this generation. If you follow the rules and do the development i don’t think so opposition is going to let you do that and the way Modi does it, oppositions are actually scared of opposing him. Everyone knows Modi does it only for gujarat and nation and for its progress and development. That’s the way to do it. Following the rules and trying to get new laws and development is actually seen in the Delhi government. They can actually do nothing, PM is just a puppet(Feel sorry for Mr. Manmohan, he is a great politician but just in wrong party). If Modi was the PM in his place i don’t think so he would be hearing to any1 not even to BJP president and just pass laws and do development in favor of INDIA and its progress and would not be a Loser like the central government. Still a great article, But next time .. be little positive to damage the impression of Modi :p

Modi is practical man and did exactly what was required in 2002. No minority community can afford to insult and humiliate majority day to day life by engaging in evil design. I can’t tolerate the brusting crackers in Ahmedabad when Pakistan wins over India. But ordinary citizens can’t do anything so when they do is in situation like 2002. It is fact of life but intellectuals never able to accept it. They live in their own world. There was no force to stop that before Modi. More bashing to Modi in this line means more strengthening him in every election. Nobody is fool, people supports Modi as he represents us in real sense.

Brialliant reportage and very well researched and balanced article. While it exposes the character of Mr Modi it also highlights some positives as well.

There is a need for remorse and justice on Mr Modi’s part to be delivered to the victims of the riots. Unless it is done, the imgae of Mr Modi will continue to be the one who was responsible for the riots as well and rightfully so. Developmenet does not wipe away the tears of the people who were butchered when the government looked the other way.

Winnning the mandate does not mean the person has been cleard of all the crimes comitted. That way even Rajiv gandhi was voted to power in 1984 after sikhs were massacred and Mrs gandhi was voted back in 1980. But the actions comitted by them does not get earsed. Unless people who were involved are brought to justice Mr Modi can not be a national leader but only the leader of myopic Gujaratis.

Reading this interesting article, I was struck by a thought. A lot of what has been said about the personality of Modi would seem to fit to a T the personality of another man who died recently having bequeathed a legacy of starting accomplishment. That man was Steve Jobs. There, have have I given you food for thought? I certainly hope so.

Well i had the opinion that Abid ibn Majid brought Vasco Da Gama to India. He was a Gujarati — there was no mention of him being Muslim. But guess he was. This is a wonderful article no doubt but not much will change on the ground when the people can not see what harm is being done to the people of Gujarat in the long term. This is a business state and people think only of the short term goals. The teachers are treated terribly badly in this state and are also impoverished. I think that besides the Speer kind of comparison one has to compare The Emperor with The Furher the lari-wallaha’s are swept away from the streets when Modi comes to visit. Gujarat is known for its good food and street food is popular. One has to consider the really rotten choice of Vice Chancellors like Manoj Soni who ruined M. S. University and Parimal Trivedi, B. A. Prajapati who is not qualified to be a lecturer in the Management dept but who is a professor. Well there is enough to call this a lawless state but that will not be realized until years after Modi has destroyed it. That is sad for the people of Gujarat who can not even protest or do not want to.

Quite a chilling article. Another fine piece from this magazine and this writer. More chilling than the article, are the comments found below. I fear for the secular future of India. And I’m 24.

Amazing article!! It has attempted to tie together the various happenings in Gujaratm make the connection and complete the jigsaw puzzle of Modi’s criminal reign and his personality. Congratulations!

I quite enjoyed reading this article and as a Gujarati I have NM has always been close to my heart. If the findings in this article are true then I do think NM is a dictator. However, this is exactly what India needs right now. Also, it makes me think that why do we not have similar elaborated reports for Rahul Gandhi who’s another contender for PM position in 2014 elections. If I do not read similar reports on RG then I will be obliged to believe that this article on NM is funded by Congress. Once again very thanks on some of the interesting facts laid upon by the editor in this article.

Reading the comments of readers here makes me laugh here. Please read the term ‘ad hominem’ before you start abusing the author. Why do i always see people seeing every argument as black-or-white, here-or-there, with-us-or-against-us types? Every time an author puts something painstakingly, we love jumping to guns with our off-the-shelf comments reading which i doubt if any thought si put into it except with a single thought of putting out all the anger in comments. Grow up people!

Very well written analysis, Vinod. Caravan magazine could very well be slanted in favour of Congress but the nasty extremism of Modi and BJP-RSS-VHP needs to be exposed. Not everyone who condemns RSS-VHP-BJP’s violence is pro-Congress or even pro-Left, pro-Socialist. Modi is a pyschopath and I have no doubt in my mind he is a fascist. But pyschpaths and fascists can not survive if the masses do not allow it. Modi’s deeds serve as proxies for the violent desires of many people of Gujarat and elsewhere in the country. Which is why he has the support he has. But no fascist or fascist mindset can sustain for long. The virtues of peace, honesty, brotherhood do every now and then overcome the fascist tendencies. Gujarat’s Indians and other Indians will not forever think in the violent manner they do today and when that happens Modi will have to go away. At the same time, however, a somewhat-equal extremist tendency is being seen in the Congress government. There is a cartel at the top comprising of Manmohan Singh, Chidambara, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Kapil Sibal, and a few others which are carrying out extreme agendas of neo-economics. Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani are as much at ease with Modi as they are with Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram. In the end, all I can say, some of us Indians feel as if we are stuck between the devil and the deep sea. But I hope extremism eventually fails — whether of neo-fascists or of neo-ecnomists or of neo-leftists or of neo-socialists — and humanism prevails.

Sorry to say that this article changed my view about magazine ‘CARAVAN’. Previously i was fan because of true and un-biased views but this article changed perception. Narendra Modi is a personlity that English Media is love to hate, i have never seen such crticism for any ploticians including Raja, Kalmadi or anyone else. Writer of this article happly shows us one side of story but never tried to know real reason or motivation for communal violence happened in Gujarat. It’s really shame for Caravan for such extreme biased views for a CM who can lead India into path of development.

Anyone, after reading this article will definitely doubt Modi and his good work in Gujrat. The writer has very smartly written this article. Anyone who has not read any articles written by Vinod K Jose before will definitely fall in trap within this article. After reading this article they will definitely doubt Modi. I have read ‘The Falling Man Manmohan" before written by the same author. I have observed that inspite of all the negatives of Manmohan Singh he just concentrates on the positives and his honest image and eventually convinces the readers that he is a clean man, but in this article inspite of all the positives of Narendra Modi he just projects the negatives related to him. He does not specify the good work done by him and tries to claim that he is fanatic. This might not be a paid article with vested interests but the writer surely has a strong prejudice against Modi. He also does not mention Ghulam Vastanvi related issue, because that would have benefited Modi.

All said and expressed, this is a sponsored feature. Would Modi and the Caravan explain the futility of prohibition in Gujarat that while millions are spent on absurd enforcement, liquor flows freely in every street and hovel much to the glee of politicians and smugglers. Is it the way to uphold tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and Morarji Desai?

Awesome article. A brilliant read after a long time. Very revealing and chilling at times. Cheers to journalism! I don’t doubt the facts that the editor presents, it will be stupid to doubt it. Keep going Caravan! And the last statement sums up how tied we are with what Modi stands for

A blatantly one sided article, degrading the standards of journalism, by bringing out conjectures on Modi in a "he said"," she said" narrative. Trying to make Modi analogous to Hitler is similarly in bad taste and obfuscates. Modi has stood up to the greatest fascism threatening mankind today–radical Islam. If Godhra went unanswered it would have emboldened these Fascist elements that are fanatic, and intolerant of any other world view. Innocents died, but in which conflict do they not die. Things could have been much worse. The fact that Modi has moved on and has been given a clear mandate by the electorate, in free and fair elections, is a slap on the face of such pseudo-intellectuals. The fact that after winning a clear mandate he has not become complacent, but is at it, to develop the state further, and is a force trying to unite his people is his litmus test as a true leader who can lead this country. Tell enough lies, repeatedly and people will believe you was Joseph Gobbels way to propaganda and a section of the so called intellectuals is feeding off Modi bashing in a similar vein. The vitriol of such writing is self-evident and the lies that reek out embolden Modi and his prospects to being Prime Minister of India. The Left and the Congress have done far more damage to the state and their holier than though posturing is being exposed for the hypocrisy that it is. Modi for 2014.

Excellent piece of investigative journalism, IMHO deserves the Indian equivalent of a Pulitizer Prize. Note that all criticisms are subjective, and none refute the facts. While it is undeniably true that Modi has cut through the bureaucracy and indisputably hastened development in Gujarat ( which incidentally was far ahead on development even before Modi), the key question remains – does delivering corporate prosperity and economic development forgive past sins and let us turn a blind eye to a dictatorial leader’s persecution of minorities? A question that would have applied equally aptly to Adolf Hitler, circa Nazi Germany 1939.

Caravan is an outrageously good magazine. I am at a loss for words. Wow. I loved the article on Praful Patel and Kingfisher, and I thought it would be the best piece in Indian journalism for a long time. I was wrong. Caravan has bested itself in a matter of three months.

It was a feast to read Vinod’s detailed feature/report on Narendra Modi. It is time he is understood and it is also a time when he should understand.

The author may have researched the life of Narendra Modi very well but details of the Gujrat riots seem to come from unnamed sources. The article quotes people like Sanjiv Bhatt, whom the SIT has discredited as an "unreliable" witness. Modi comes across as an ambitious man, almost ruthless while dealing with his political opponents but that does not make him responsible for the riots. He has made may enemies because of the jealously people feel toward him or the because of the ideological differences they have with him. However the derision and witch-hunt seen in many such articles by the english-media smells of vested interests.

We shd not wrtie wrong in this… this is a fame street article. I also believe he is a looser at end.. be it this life or hereafter.

A milestone in the otherwise decaying state of journalism in the country. It is the Newyorker style. The last article by the same gifted journalist was on Dr. MM Singh. Expects such articles regularly.

@Komal When will you Modi baiters realize that this is exactly the kind of ignorant propaganda that gives Modi a constituency. The 2002 post Godhra riots were not a "pogrom." 254 Hindus died also. What about their human rights? But of course, to India’s

I will not go into the research of the author for this article. The last line of the article proves that: "A scorpion is sitting on Shivling, the holy phallus of Lord Shiva. It can neither be removed by hand nor slapped with a shoe. " The Linga as Shiva’s "phallus". This article belongs to the gutter. The shiva linga is worshipped by millions. Tell a non-English speaking Shiva devout that his linga is a "phallus" and see the response. What gives the author the right to insult Hinduism? I for one, would be the happiest if the Na Mo throws out the racketeer dynast. Acheivement, it seems, is good only if it’s one’s own. If a person could rise from running a tea stall at Gita Mandir to the highest office of his state, there should be something fishy. If a dynast with no merit whatsoever aspires to the highest office in the land,it’s all his for the taking. Please do similar articles on Sonia Gandhi and her dynast son Rahul Gandhi. We are all the more curious to learn of Rahul GAndhi’s acheivements, given his claims to the chair. Based on sheer dint of performance, Na Mo deserves the highest office of the land. Why does the media not have same standards for the goons, thugs, dynasts, racketeers and criminals from the other parties?

It sounds like another one of those many desperate attempts to defame Modi. You may choose to love him or hate him; but you can’t ignore him. You can write what you want; but in the final analysis what matters is what people of India want. Going by ORG Mood of the Nation poll published by India Today, writing on the wall is clear. I don’t think a Vinod K Jose or a Teesta Setalvad will be able to change it.

I am neither BJP nor Congress. However, I do respect the development that has taken place in Gujarat. Modi’s contribution, in my opinion, is other states are being forced to show the development in their states and not communal issues. The delay in justice, not just Gujarat riot cases but other instances like the delay in justice for the post Indira Gandhi death riot are causes for concern. When scams like 2G, Commonwealth Games show no hurry towards completion due to poor governance, Modi will be hero to the ordinary middle class Indians as he shows the "can do" spirit. When will we see an article like this about Bhopal gas tragedy? The author should visit Bhopal and update us all about the UC tragedy. Will it happen in the near future?

A very well researched article. It is successful in demystifying "Brand Modi" and allows the reader to critically analyze his background as well as his current status in Indian politics and also within his own party. An excellent work of Journalism. However, what concerns me is the "us vs they" battle which Modi has propagated, "us" being the Modi-supporters & "they" being what the Modi-supporters would like to call "pseudo-secularists" and what-not. It is utterly disturbing that well-educated & otherwise liberal people fail to grasp the inhumanity behind 2002 pogrom when they jump to Modi’s defence citing technicalities. In the light of this article, it is perfectly understandable that why his party members fall in line. But when educated & ideologically "non-alligned" people start doing so, it only exposes how deep the rot of communalism has spread. The rise of Narendra Modi goes on to show how hypocritical & desensitized masses can be. The only ray of hope in this fascist breeding ground of a state is justice for the victims of 2002 riots.

If some one is doing good things there are people to pull his leg.

You people start shouting only when there is some problem to muslims/Christians when there is any attack on hindus (for example in J&K or tamilnadu during Karunanidhi regime) no one even dare to speak about it and promtly trys to hide the news item itself.

Modfi is a great person and he has tried to eliminate terror in Gujrat (Not Muslims) and that is the reason Congress and other Psudo seculars are against him as Congress indirectly supporting terror for political gains.

Jakhia took almost 5 years to file compaint (had to be forced by non sense NGOs to do so) as she new in her heart that it was punishment given to her husband for being a master mind behind Godhra train cornage and the people who got burnt along with him mostly the assosiates instrumental in the same horrible mercy less act of burning a train couch.

Otherwise can you explain why Jakia was keeping mum for 5 long years and then filled a complaint.

Just one example is enough for proving that you prejudiced in your is you have mentioned 375000 farmers are not getting proper electricity yet. This may be due to insuffient infrastrucuture under progress and not due shortage of power.

Also 375000 is a small number for a state as it is less than 3% when compared to crores of farmers in the state living in Villages of Gujrat.

Just get out of Gujrat and allow them to live in peace as even Muslims are living happier there than any other states of India rulled by Congress or left parties

this is a paid article, with lot of fiction on it, if muslims were killed, what about hindus, are they aliens. and those commenting on this articles are people of double standards. look in kashmir, northeast, you never speak against them, becasue they have bullets ready for you. its pity that after 6o years, still hindus are enemy of hindus, learn from other communities………. this country was divided on basis of religion, but still hindus are treated as third class citizens. muslims are treated like lords of heaven. we hindus will never learn from our history of thousand years. every problem in this world is root cause of muslims, kashmir, kerala………………these peoples have pushed our country and world on the brink of disaster. shame on caravan editor, for very cheap article and cheap people.

Readers who are criticizing Shri Modi seem to be creating a false dilemma between Modi and the Congress. Modi is portrayed as a mass murderer who can ensure development, while Congress is portrayed as a corrupt, incompetent gang of thieves, but otherwise harmless. The problem is that, even if Modi is a bloodthirsty mass murderer who will turn India into a dictatorship, that still does not make Congress an acceptable alternative. Modi is often compared to Hitler, but a quick examination of Hitler’s actions reveal something very disturbing. Hitler cited nonexistent threats to internal security and seized emergency power via the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act in 1933, severely curtailing individual civil liberties. He banned opposition parties, killed opposition leaders during the Night of Long Knives. Hitler detained, tortured, and killed suspected dissidents without a trial. Hitler forcibly sterilized people to ensure racial purity. He used public media outlets to distribute propaganda. His party was composed of a tightly knit group of leaders all controlled by Hitler. Hitler attempted to destroy evidence of the concentration camps. Modi has done NONE of these things. He hasn’t seized emergency powers, or murdered Congressmen, or arrested people without a trial. The Haren Pandya issue has not been proven, and Modi has not even been charged with anything. He hasn’t sterilized anyone, or distributed propaganda using public media. In fact, for 10 years, newspapers and TV news have flung mendacious slander against him. The BJP keeps winning elections. Modi has allowed himself and his state to be investigated by multiple independent commissions, and all have come up clean. In contrast, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these crimes committed by Hitler were carried out by Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. Indira Gandhi also seized emergency power, and didn’t even have as flimsy of an excuse as Hitler had. Opposition parties, from the Communists to the RSS and future BJP were banned. Ironically, future "Hindu fascist" leaders like Vajpayee, Advani, and of course, Modi himself, were among the resistance to Indira Gandhi’s regime. Indira Gandhi also had suspected dissidents arrested, detained, tortured, and killed without a trial. Indira Gandhi used Doordarshan and other public media outlets for propaganda purposes. The Congress Party was, and still is, controlled by the reigning scion of the Gandhi Dynasty, with no internal democracy, and postponed elections during the Emergency. Finally, Indira Gandhi also attempted to erase evidence of her crimes by destroying almost all copies of the Shah Commission Report compiled under the Janata Party government. The report was only recently resurrected by Shri Era Sezhiyan. The Congress has also amended the Constitution literally a hundred times, and even then found ways to trample upon it, so there can be no question of them being faithful to anything resembling Rajdharma. Forget Yudhistir, there is not even a Duryodhana among the Congress. At least Duryodhana openly and shamelessly pressed his claim to kingship, and had a educational qualifications of a prince, neither of which applies to the Italian barmaid or her mentally retarded man-child of a son. So, Modi haters, please answer me this: If not Modi, then who? Congress is not only corrupt and incompetent, but also bloodthirsty; I have not even discussed the previous rioting that took place in Gujarat, in Delhi in 1984 etc that happened under their watch. Plus, their dictatorial behavior and shameless theft shows no signs of stopping. Corruption in India actually became institutionalized under Indira Gandhi, and successive governments have only stolen more cash while mouthing vacious slogans about "social justice" and "inclusive growth" while delivering neither and whining about "Hindu communalism" and "Saffron Terror" as though their own shameless pseudo secularism and genuflection to real threats, like Islamic jihad and Maoist brutality, is somehow the right course of action. In contrast, even a Modi dictatorship would be corruption free, business friendly, and efficient, thereby setting the basis for a future democracy that actually functions after Modi’s tenure. Take, for instance, Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore or Chiang Ching Kuo of Taiwan or Hirohito in Japan, for instance. These men ran authoritarian governments but later opened up to create democratic societies. China is also heading in that direction as a result of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. Therefore, even a dictatorial Modi can shine a light in the black tunnel created by Congress. Congress can taut its "democracy" all it wants, but all that it has promoted is an endless cycle of theft as India spirals downward into a black hole. The grim truth is that Indian democracy is a cruel joke to millions of people who are and always have been poor, people who would easily give up some freedom (which is reall

Has all the makings of a potboiler. Brilliantly written. Of course, the amount of truth and fiction is something only the author knows.

Haunting article by Vinod Jose (assuming that all referred sources were pakka). Personally, it made me draw parallels with the script of "The Last King Of Scotland" reworked to the native case. However after reading through all the 118 comments preceding mine, hilarity seems to ensue with the amount of readers taking a dig at the author’s race, region and religion not to mention the cliched Congress backed paid news. It is really sad that the majority don’t realise that we’re very much stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to our ruling parties. One seems to be the power hungry extremist mass murderer and the other a silent siphon sucking our money away. Considering that the sources the author used were indeed veritable, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that they feared to be disclosed for the sake of their lives and went off the record. For citations and extreme neutrality there’s always Wikipedia which leaves us with a sense of unending and uncertainty. Caravan should remain as Caravan. Looking forward to more such profiling on a much broader scale. Bestos

This article is biased to the core(looks like UPA funded) and nobody is ever gonna believe this fabricated facts….

How much can I earn by writing hate-modi fictions like this Jose has done? It seems perfect conspiracy theory, RG’s damp squib in UP and swelling of Hate-modi articles. Can I also wash my hand in this flowing Ganges? Can anyone tell, where to raise bill after writing some part fiction, part distorted lies stories like above. I was so touched by his Modi-Bhakti, he puts even Hanumanji to shame. Sarcasm aside, he hasnt learn from his own writing. When he writes that Modi plays as if he is never going to lose and that he is different from other politicians. THats what he is. He is not a politician but leader who can change lives of millions. LEt me give two more examples, of such people before him. Mahatma GAndhi and Dhirubhai Ambani. Press never liked both. But what they did changed millions lives. Forget 1000s and think millions you will understand. Oh Did Mr. Jose already made million (if i go by number of words from his aimless article?)

Researched and well written article. It would be an act of sheer ignorance to state that the article is biased one. Modern day politicians cannot ensure justice to the victims of the carnage initiated and perpetuated by Narendra Modi and his ruthless ways of a psychopath masquerading in the garb of a leader for development. It is self-aggrandizing capitalism, vested interests of businessmen like Tatas, Ambanis, and Mittals, and moral and ethical indifference of the voters who vote for Modi’s ways of governing the State that usher in a doomsday for India. Development loses its sheen and credibility when it has been achieved by a bloody path of a fanatic hero. Poetic justice will not and cannot withstand such heroism. My prayer is that a learned judge of the Supreme Court of India can nail Modi, his lies , his successful ways of perpetuating untruth, adharma, and hatred against the helpless people who practise different faith, and put him behind bars for his crime against humanity vis-a-vis the cases pending against him. Truth has to come out and it has to be vindicated. If that does not happen, divine justice in the form of poetic justice should happen to strike at the penury of his heart.

i think there is no need to write anything about such a corrupt person,he is actually a shame for mankind,so if for me I can’t consider him as a humain plz refrain from writing such kind of stuff.

Extremely well written article. Of-course, I would have liked more strong evidence than just ‘he told me’, ‘she told me’ etc. But I agree, politics is not like science where peer-review wins in the end. Again, I iterate, a well written article. I would like to quote Ollivander (harry potter fame): ““ "After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great!" ““

Biased article writen by author. Why dont you open Google and do some free research . I think writer like you are not getting much pay and thats why you write such articles in frustration. You are talking about Gurjat riot . What about Godhra ? You might have met with victime of riots ..what abt family of people who die in burning Sabarmati Express. Why will you go..because you need a publicity and from that you will make money .

Narendra Modi’s development focus in past 10 years has seen Gujarat rise to the top and also put it on a firm footing of growth for next few decades. One only has to traverse the length and breadth of Gujarat to experience it first hand. He is selfless, capable and a determined human being. The so called leaders today have been ridiculed of supporting and furthering scams specifically in congress and still continue to hold their top positions shamelessly. What happened in riots ion gujarat was a task where every community played a part. It was a mob frenzy triggerred by unwanted fundamentalists with blind allegiance to religion. However this has been made up by Modi several times over though he was not directly responsible for the incidents. On the other hand, we see helpless children dying in bengal, peasants dying everyday in several indian states. This is worse than carnage than carnage as the government are killing these helpless children and peasants who are not bale to defend themselves in any way. Further these governments and leaders are corrupt and unethical to the core and still walk tall shamelessly. Modi is definitely what India needs. Today. Now

Don’t understand how reporter here gets access to so many people and all want not to be named and tell story. Journalists have very common terms of our sources and your critics to spread propaganda. His remarks about Gujarat development being not real also doesn’t look real. Every Gujarati is getting fruits of development whether it is farmer, businessman, employee, laborer or anybody. Now data for malnutrition and social parameters are highly speculative and it has nothing to do with development or Govt. Please understand that 99% of Gujaratis are vegeterian, so that may be one of cause of malnutrition. But I am seeing that Govt. has started some good programs to feed poor children and particularly poor pregnant women with some nutritious food and free delivery at good hospitals. I am sure this will also improve.

Please consider: Right wing parties are supposed to be institution builders. The fledgling Swatantra Party (India’s first and only Secular Right party) was just that. The highest institution of the land is the Constitution. The operative hand of the Constitution are our laws. A state (and a leader) that best protects the Constitution and its spirit acts in the best interests of the nation. A true ‘nationalist’ is one who upholds the ‘maryada’ of the Constitution and the laws legitimised by it. Mr Modi is very effective in matters of governance. and some might argue we need people like him to transform the lives of the most marginalised in our society. the ‘trickle down’ effect has worked in Gujarat, they might argue. in some ways i am inclined to agree with them. we do, arguably, need someone like Modi. But i am sorry to have to say that that does not mean we need Mr MODI himself. someone like him (able administrator, yes). but he himself, NO! he who has denigraded the ‘maryada’ of the Constitution, and acted against ‘dharma’ of a ruler (that he shall be impartial in the dispensing justice and not be guided by biases) srely cannot occupy the highest office of the land.

Modi represents the utter scum of our political system. Regardless of whether the Gujarat development story is true or not, Modi deserves a death like Mussolini’s to atone for all his sins. And The riots were not some one off black mark on his record- he is STILL threatening and killing witnesses to avoid the bitter fruits of justice. Yes, the congressis are far more corrupt- but I’ll choose corruption over mass-murder, any day.

Thanks Mr. Vinod for analyzing the man in such detail, IAM NOT CHALLENGING YOU, TELL ME A SINGLE POLITICIAN WHO DOESNOT PLAY A GAME, INFACT BY WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN IT SEEMS MODI IS LEAST DIRTIEST OF INDIAN POLITICIANS , …..ALSO it is for sure the top BJP leadership is not so dumb to beleive the MODI at all times …
can you analyze Nehru shaikh Abdullah, shabana azmi, …. all pseudo secularist and congressis in same manner you will be convinced your self that you are 1000% wrong

I think it is unevitable. The current ruling UPA is so corrupt and their leaders are so aloof, the people has no option but to take Modi as PM. But I think Modi is very different person. He will not go for PM post unless he has crushed all his enemies. He is a strategist and dont like to fight two front war. It was long proposed that a fascist will rise in india and will take control of it. At first, people guessed it would be Advani but they were wrong. Fascist or no fascist, there is no alternative for PM. Modi is brutal but so far, gujurat riot is only a black spot in his tenure. Maybe the guilt of not able to control the riot has driven him to over perform. He is not like Sharad pawar who sends goon to attack Harvinder singh, the person who slapped him; He is neither like Kalmadi nor like Raja. He is not so cruel like Chidambaram to send the attack force sleeping like tents. He is not like Gandhi family having secret bank accounts in swiss. So, with the given alternative, he appears a more humane person. ofcourse, he has anger management issue because he believe he is righteous. the track record in past 10 years show that there has been no riots in Gujurat which was very common before Modi regime. but he needs a guardian to keep him telling what is right and what is wrong.Ego is the only demon he has. I wish that the day he becomes PM, his demon disappears.

To get piece war is used against bad people and same thing happen in gujrat killed the people who are worth for it.They killed innocent people in the train and people killed all the criminals.And bad thing is the old party Congress is not willing to see the truth they want vote bank musclims and they preventing the criminals and doing the corruption in India.

DONT WRITE FALSE THINGS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT , MALNEUTRICn, POWER TO AGRI PUMPS. DO YOU KNOW THERE WERE DARK ZONES DECLAREED BY GOVT & DUE TO SCARE WATER LEVEL IN THOSE AREA IT WAS DECIDED NOT TO PULL MORE WATER FROM DEEP. IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF PEOPLE. BUT NOW GOVT HAS GIVEN PERMISSION TO PROVIDE POWER, IF DRIP IRREGATION IS USED. Dear Jose, whatever you write about Modi’s role during riot, we dont mind, untill he is cleared by courts. That freedom of speech is given to you by consititution. BUT DONT LIE . This is not what Indians expect from award winning journos(i doubt about that now!?!?!?)


Today we live in an environment where lies, deceit, corruption, bribery are the norm and not the exception. So it is completely unacceptable when somebody is successful and also an exception to this norm. We’re only living upto our reputation of pulling down somebody because this person is better than the person who we support. Mr. Vinod I’m sure you have been to every Kashmiri Pandi’s home in Kashmir, Every Sikh’s house in Delhi and every Bhopal gas tragedy victim’s house in Bhopal and written as passionately about the political party and politicians responsible for these tragedies and for the miscarriage of justice thereafter.

The article is extremely biased….it is trying to potray someone who has risen from no where to a wonderful leader….all and all a malign trick…..but alas even in its most align form we know something about NAMO wat do i know of Madam manio and Amul baby????

After seeing the third rate way in which christians like jose have always acted against indian hindu leaders, i have given up on secularism and would anyday vote for modi and co. People like vinay jose are openly communal and think their leftist compatriots with hindu names can get away by calling hindus anything they want. Pogrom in Gujarat when it was hindus who were attacked. Shame on jose and his types. Dont like hindus, get out of india and go back to licking the feet of those who converted you.

What was the payment received by the authors from the Congress? You can like him or hate him but cannot ignore him. When a half baked Italian waitress can aspire to rule over India, loot it and damage the country and still be hailed as a leader, then Modi has a right to be called Maha Purush. He is an Indian and that’s enough for me.

When 58 lives r burned to death in godra.No sickularist came forward to book the culprits or condemns the incident.No ickularist opened their mouth when huge state funds (tax given by majority community) r thrown to Muslims in the way of Haj subsidies,educational and job reservations, grants,scholarships,recognition to Madraza terrorist education and the list is never ending.All are given on religious grounds which no secular country worth its name should do.All indian secularist should think if they got something in their heads.That is why Indians are ruled by uneducated and charecterless people.We should be ashamed of ourselves to be the part the dirty indian politics.NP

Great Article, very well balanced and informative. and if you look at the comments by readers here you can see why leaders like NaMo are still free and gettinmg elected. You can see the hated against msulims in the commntes of readers here.Mass Murdered of RSS, BJP, Bajrang Dals are free even after all these proof and innocnets Muslims are put behing bars for years just on fake chnarges and killed in fake encounters.

time and again the media people never let the godhra ghost to lie down, the same media never askd the same abt the sikh massacare and the political leadres who abeted the crime r roaming free. may be the media is scared of modi becoming PM and make india corruption free, as the congres is busy doling out the looted money among the media, there is no single media group india which can give unbiased views. Y dont karan thapar in his devil advocate call upon RAHUL GANDhi for an interview, we can know his intelectual capacity. lets stop bashing modi for the riot, .if the PM> chidambaram cannot be held responsible for the commonwealth, 2G scam the modi is also not responsible for the riots

Kashmir Pundits and 1984 Sikh riots are no more in the media. One has to find out how all the affected communities of Gujarat people can overcome the worst 2002 riots that has happened and try to find out the ways of healing the wounds rather than putting the salt on the wounds. No body is denying the riots that has taken place in 2002 has affected all the communities and every one has to think and take oath that no where in INDIA riots should take place. Every organization has its own merits and demerits and one cannot pinpoint or criticize the particular organization only. I will also say that HINDUS always believe in UNITY and AMITY for everyone’s PROGRESS. HINDU DHARMA also teaches to the WORLD that PEACE and PROSPERITY OF THE NATION RELIES ON SHARING POWERS WITH ALL THE COMMUNITY PEOPLE OF THE NATION BEING THE LARGEST DEMOCRACY OF THE WORLD. During the past ten years GUJARAT has surpassed in all its developments and still going further on how to develop in many areas for the benefit of all the communities living in Gujarat. I know how Gujarat has developed in many folds length and breadth being a RESIDENT OF GUJARAT. One has to appreciate the developments rather than always criticizing the bad effects that has taken place. Of course there are some bad things happened in the past and all have to come out of it to start a new beginning. I applaud the Gujarat CM for all-round developments of the state in order to benefit all sections of Gujarati Communities. Jai HInd

What a long, rambling, incoherent piece by this Kerala Christian journalist ! Can Jose recall a single successful leader in history who does not have the behavioral traits that he attributes to Narendra Modi ? Politics is a high wire trapeze act without a safety net. There are far too many claimants to the crown but only one can wear it. Only a leader who is highly focused, has a clear vision that is well articulated, displays boldness in execution, is personally honest and above all is ruthless in cutting detractors to size succeeds. Such leaders co-opt others as and when necessary but discard them when their utility is over. Humility, self effacing conduct and leading through a collegial style is not for them. Modi learnt these traits the hard way. And knew that true power comes from the people not the established leadership of the party. Hence his constant refrain to connect directly with the people and draw inspiration from them. To Jose, none of these realities matter. He harps about Modi "concealing" his marriage ! So what ? Is he a womanizer. Does he have any "second" wife or illegitimate children ? Is Modi known to have taken bribes for himself ? Why does Jose not print his famous slogan "khau na thi, khava devu na thi" ? Why does Jose think a Lok Ayukta in Gujarat will "unearth" corruption ? If a State gives tax incentives to attract industry, how can any Lok Ayukta object ? Only where Government action is driven by corruption, nepotism, favoritism, suppression of fair competition can a Lok Ayukta get into the act. Modi can be faulted on this score only because of the possibility of the Congress using the Lok Ayukta to harass Modi by flooding it with complaints delaying projects to deny Modi credit for rapid development. When will Jose write a piece about crown prince Rahul baba and compare him with Modi ? After all surveys point to Modi being the first choice for Prime Ministership followed by Rahul baba !

Mystery and charisma are probably two sides of the same coin. Harbinger of progress…? Hitler’s Hindu Indian shadow…? Another leader of great impact and charisma that comes to mind is Winston Churchill. Rabidly anti-Indian, I cannot imagine how intelligentsia at large can ignore his racist prejudices. May be the trait in him appears magnified to me because I am an Indian. There are leaders of either extreme who have done good and who have done bad. And there is another kind who just passed through who amassed personal wealth and did nothing else at all. Whatever else is true nobody including the author of this article can accuse Modi of belonging to the third category. The article is well written, but the author definitely started out with a view of his own before he set out. Judgement was there before and effort was to prove it. The way of a prosecuting lawyer in the court. The other way is to simply tell the story and leave the judgement open.

This article has scrutinized in detail the life, alleged actions and hearsay on Mr. Narendra Modi, I would like to congratulate Mr. Vinod for the effort, but I would also like him to take up with such close scrutiny the life of other contemporary leaders, only then the people would get fair idea what distinguishes them from Mr. Narendra Modi and in what way. So that we the people get belief that free and fair Journalism exists. As regards the saying about the Biccho, I would like to say that pour water on the shivaling serving both as Abhisek to shivling as well as driving the Biccho, no need to handle it or stamp it. All the best Mr. Vinod for your future articles & keep up the scrutiny and we are waiting.

Superb story. But we are a people of faith – I include all religious persuasions. So I’m not surprised to see a lot of rhetoric that you seem to be drawing :-). I’m sure you aren’t either.

What is the Indian media and columnists upto? All investigations into the ten year old Gujarat riots are being carried out under the supervision of courts and the guilty will be punished. If any CM in India can claim individual contribution to the State’s development, it is only Modi. We are seeing the picture of Sonia Gandhi in so many Govt programmes, which anyway are not successes. To satisfy her whims, Sonia has introduced the NREGA and the Right to Food. Some 1 lac crores down the drain and the media doesn’t discuss it. Sonia or Manmohan Singh do not give interviews, especially to Indian press. That is acceptable. Modi’s is not the only interview by Karan Thapper that ended midway. Tough interviewer is not one who is nasty and comes without preparation! Imagine, amidst the Karunanidhis, Deva Gowdas, Yedurappas, YSRs, Pawars, we have one CM who can bring about development. Stop this wild bashing.

it looks like NAMO is just like indira gandhi. indira was same, blunt, arrogant but decisive, cunning but winning elections. hey, but she was a secular!!. hence good and NAMO is a hindu, so bad man

If there is anybody who can take India a step forward and has the ability to change India’s image as the world sees it, then it is obviously NaMo…He has been praised by the very same country which rejected his Visa.When he can turn a state around in 10 years, he definately has the calibre to run this country

These kind of people make me sick. I definitely consider myself a secular Indian, but people like me would turn communal when we see people like Vinod Jose(who, to me seems to be a Malayali Christian) spread lies about a CM who has devoted his life developing his beloved state. If Namo is 2014 PM candidate, I will vote for him. To me, he represents development.

When nonsense politiitans like Mayavati, Mulayam, and above all Congress favor Muslims, its secularism.The ancient India was Hindu and now secular with no.of religions,thanks to Hindu community but Hindu’s are communal.Our PM says Muslims have first rights on national assets,how and why he believes this, god knows but its secularism.Nonsense Indian NGO’s living on foreign fund to bark against Hindu’s called secularism.Jai Hind.

Lies, Lies and Lies. all these so called charges have proved wrong in the court. ehsan jafri did not call NAMO. sanjeev bhatt was not even present at the meeting. one line mention about the brutal murder of 59 innocent people by the muslim thugs. this article is a classic example of how NATZIS work. tell a lie 100 times and people beleive it. the shivalinga story is a classic example of church sponsered anti hindu propoganda unleashed under the garb of secularism. people like jose are responsible for hindu muslim problem. hope gujrat will vote for NAMO again, again & again.

So Mr.Jose, you pleased your AKA’s & jesus will gift u wt "Bharat Ratna". You ba you , what you think Indians are fool. Those days are goan Jose, you fool people by biased articles. We know you journos are worst than veshyaas.

Kumar also demanded action against the VHP and Bajrang Dal, declaring that “those counting votes on dead bodies are not Hindus. Those who think of consolidating Hindutva by shedding blood in Gujarat are the enemies of Hindus.’’ Modi has built his castle on dead bodies. He no more than HITLER and muslim invaders.

A malayali, Christian author whose fathers / fore-fathers didn’t have the balls to resist the lure of money and the white skin. Such pathetic off-springs now have gathered the gumption to sermonize us poor "Yindoos" of how barbarian our son-of-the-soil is. Just the white skinned colonialists used to say, Hindus cannot govern themselves and needed from old, frail Queen from England to rule them. At least, Vinod Jose has had to employ smart, stealthy writing skills to say the same thing (without literally doing so). That, in itself, indicates the rise of the Hindu folk!

I like the way the author strategically places the words Hitler, fascist ,mass murderer etc without ever calling Modi those. Doesnt convince me one bit. Ofcourse people who are pretrified of NaMo’s rise to PM post will do anything to stop him. Btw why doesn’t the author try to write what Manmohan singh has acheived in his 2 terms. I challenge you that in every other sentence it will have the word "corruption" in it. I am willing to accept NaMo as a dictator(the kind u describe in his article) than have sychophantic and pseuedo seculairistic democracry! And just for the record this article is extremely biased against Modi!

Nicely written and unlike a lot of comments here I found the writing to be balanced .. I don’t hesitate in saying that I am pro-Modi but the fact remains that he is a man shrouded in dark mystery .. only time will tell what actually runs in his mind and will he ever get power at the centre ..

This article has been one of its kind showing a bias towards Mr Narendra Modi aka Kingmaker. An interesting article with facts yet lagging behind on being unbaised. I want to go back in history. Everyone is talking about Godhra riots which happened in 2002. Why not talk about 1984 anti sikh riots?? Anti sikh riots have been worse than those in Godhra. All the culprits are roaming around freely without anyone being convicted. All the paid websites like and, both of them being excellent places to read articles are very biased towards the congress.What has this party done in the last 60 yrs of ruling the country?? They see a potential threat in Narendra Modi. They dont want the Godhra ghost to sleep. They just want to bring it out one way or the other. If thats the case please even talk about the 2002 Godhra Riots or better than that the 1900 Moplah riots wherein more than 2lakh hindus were killed and converted to islam. I am not a right wing fanactic. I am a fan of Mr Narendra Modi because of his acute governing and leadership skills which most of the leaders lack today.

Dear Vinod K Jose; Since you a Christian so I can give you full marks for this article because you can’t thing beyond that. But my request to you is this that if you remember, long back when Mr. Modi was denied US Visa, one of the prime reason was this that many so called human right organisations, muslim organisations, pseudo-seculars and intellectuals like you had made heu and cry. As you mentioned in your above articles/essay that near about 1200 people were died in gujarat riots, you also know that around 3000 people were also died in Bhopal Gas tragedy. My request tou you is this that can you people and all those organisations mentioned above who opposed granting of Visa to Mr. Modi, make the similar efforts and stop DOW’s to sponser LONDON Olympic Mr. Jose ?

What comes out very clearly is that Modi is decisive, disciplined, not corrupt, has vision and most importantly has delivered. Is this not what we need urgently for our nation? Compared to anarchy, corruption and dynastic rule of Congress – and now we have Priyanka’s husband claiming stake to power! 2002 riots are questionable (as is the case with 1984) and culprits need to be punished – this is independent of Modi’s largely peaceful and growth oriented & corrupt free governance!

Such a long story about NM. I wish you should written a little more about the S-6 coach and should investigated by meeting the familisies. Nobody speaks about that event as much as they speak about later events. Go and visit their long do you think should we remain calm.

This is a completely biased write up. As usual it is based on hearsay and not any authentic research. To add I must say that I have also heard that Indira Gandhi got Sanjay Gandhi killed because he was becoming too powerful. The author has used similar basis for Haren Pandya and others. Somehow the elite press is not able to get over Modi Phobia.

The emperor is still crowned and probably will continue. Hitler probably was one of the greatest leaders giving development and instilling pride, which is what Modi is trying to replicate. What’s wrong in it? Every person has two sides, Need not listen to only one side.

The basic issues for an average Gujarati is , Has he put Gujarat on the map of recovery? Has he brought peace and harmony to Gujarat? Has he been successful in changing the face of Industries of Gujarat? Can Gujarat boast of Industrial Progress? Have been there riots in Gujarat since 2002? Let me remind that Gujarat experienced riots Every few months. This scene is now changed totally. There are no riots. Yes! Gujarat has suffered by the center, in not getting its dues. There is no way to stop those who are biased against Gujarat and Narendra Modi?

A third rated articel, based on fiction and discredited figures.

He has been paid by Rajedeep Sardesai, Ahmed Patel, Dogvijay, Teesta Javed

Having read a lot of articles and stories about NM, i can vouch that this piece is so carefully & strategically designed to make sure that article is liked by modi followers and detractors alike! But the real purpose is more than meets the eye i.e. to show that Modi is guilty, guilty and guilty and he is an indisplined man and trampled upon many leaders of his own party/instituitions etc. Seems BJP disgruntled insiders wary of Modi’s rise than possible genuine news. You are a smart Mr Jose know and how to link-up unrelated things to create stories! And I can vouch: an indisplined man can not rise to the extent Modi has risen. That is the hallmark of disciplined people only and only discipline people can bring security and order!

whenever i see comments on narendra modi, one thing is clear that english speaking people and minorities r against him,secondly southern and apart from gujarat, other western part of india always try to downgrade gujaratis, particularly south indian people mostly converted ,always try to demoralise gujaratis anywhere in india,activitsts like shabnam hashmi, mallika sarabhai, arudhanti rao,medha patkar always criticising gujarat and gujartis,horrible mind set,every gujarati in the world, not liked this kind of so called intellectuals,tista setlwad, javed akhtar, rajdeep sardesai, always ready to destroy image of gujarat is the rreal grapewine among gujaratis,gujaratis also blame electronic media that why they r keeping godhra ghost alive,why they r not serious on rape state of delhi, and not covering or giving truth about union carbide tragedy where more then 2500 people died,give justice to them should be prime criteria,where is that activists. it was also a one type of genosite

This is one more example of a lunatic asshole trying the malign the genius of Narendra Modi, just to appease the Islamist conspirators. How long shall we Hindus tolerate the Jaichands in our society. Let’s take a vow nip such evil saplings at their inception.

It’s simply frightening that Frankenstein strides across our part of the world and we impotent creatures pay obeisance at this worthless feet fully aware of the stains of blood on his gory hands.

Can’t but help thinking of the BJP’s parallel with the Congress. Post the 1984 pogrom, the Congress romped home with an absolute majority, only to decline soon after. While Modi might be a god of sorts in Gujarat right now, it is for sure that the BJP’s decline started soon after the 2002 ‘riots’. Violence of such scale has a tendency to start gnawing at the roots of those who perpetrate it.

A well written article to read. How content wise I cannot agree with the author. Why doesnt the author or his magazine support the bunch of NGO’s who have filed cases against Modi, when they have already done so much investigative work that the police is supposed to do? Rise of any sort of fascism, as the author alleges, will be harmful for the country and we need a strong and responsible alternative to the present government, not a radical one. And if any charges against Modi are not proved in a court of law, there is no reason for people like me (secular) will hold your report credible. There will be n number of people having equally diverse opinions. If I have believe your report without any proof that just makes me pseudo secular which is just the other end of spectrum of the opinion that Hindutva affiliated people hold according to you. Writing a report here and conveniently quoting "unknown" or names withheld sources will make you only a paper tiger and not a responsible citizen of the country.

Some of the comments here are troubling. How is it that so many people are so naive that they don’t see evil for what it is? After the World War II many intellectuals tried to understand how someone like Hitler could be elected to power by the Germans – how Hitler could fool an entire nation into voting for him. Is India about to make the same mistake? Are we going to be responsible for the rise of the most evil dictator of the 21st century?

No amount of mudslinging on Modi will stick to him. Please understand that he is already a great man and further greatness awaits him in the form of national politics. The enemies of India are already shivering. I pray to Almighty God to give him the strength to lead us nationally as a great nation.


The question remains: If you and your sources have proof undeniable of Modi’s wrong doing and not presenting it to courts you guys are part of the crime now. If you don’t proof undeniable and have just joined the Modi bashing bandwagon for money’s sake, well you now part of the other crime which has been playing out for 10 years. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a mere tool for Media and journalists. Which they use selectively as per convenience. And yes, Modi was justified in equating attacks on him as attacks on Gujarat because they became exactly that. When attacks on Modi didn’t move him or move BJP out of Gujarat, media selectively started targeting "brand Gujarat". The reason is obvious: Party the frustation that their rhetoric had no influence on Modi or courts and party so investments in Gujarat actually suffer, when economy suffers and people feel the pinch, they will themselves vote out Modi and BJP. Modi was smart to see this and call this bluff. Result is for everyone to see. No riots. Peace. Development at par of better than anywhere else. Also no other economic indicator is required when you look at GDP contribution of Gujarat to India’s GDP, it’s our spine. Such a cleverly written but insincere piece this. Perhaps Modi deserves to be bashed because he does not go around suing enough journos. If I were him I would make every journos prove what he writes or face serious legal attack from me.

firstly, where is evidence for what you are claiming. You say that he scuttled the lokayukta then why not present the counter argument of why the lokayuktha was vacant for so long? to me this sounds like a glorified opinion piece devoid of factual arguments. backup ur thoughts with verifiable facts else it just a page 3 article posing like an editorial

Article written with a title given so that more people come in to read. Beyond the title, this article is based on interviews with anti-modi folks like VInod Mehta, Vaghela etc etc. Shame on your so called journalism!!!

Biased article by a Malyali Congress supporter. No use doing all this stuff, if u really want congress to win, ask them to try do some good work in Gujarat & country overall..

India in 2012 seems to be in the same situation as Germany in 1933. A large number of extremist followers and an even larger number of naive flock clamouring for the dictatorship of a dangerous, violent extremist. With India a rising superpower, this trend is alarming not just for India, but for the whole world.

Again a classic church sponsored hit job against Modi with an added dollop of insult against Hinduism in the last sentence (the Shivalingam hearsay). Come on we all know that Modi is a threat against the established order in Delhi – an order that promotes and sustains corruption; breeds a class of self-serving "intellectuals" and hangers-on; denigrates the ancient religious tradition of BharatVarsha to promote an alien cult; and slavishly serves a master from a foreign land. But Modi is destined to win – irrespective of how much of church resources and public loot as you spend. Anyway, you did a good job for yourself, earning yourself credibility in the established order. For the next few years, you are assured of more than adequate bread and wine.

Modi is a God send for entire generations of sickular journalists. The first generation of sickos milked the Modi cow and got Padma awards for their service to sickularism. The wannabes like Vinay have to take recourse to fiction writers like Ashis Nandy to clinically diagose Modi as a "fascist." Wonder what the new kids on the block who are still in journalism schools are being trained to leverage ?

the author seems crazy from top to bottom. he can’t say all this about modi because modi can get him killed in three seconds. fuck you, fuck me, i can’t believe you are fucking modi like this.

Caravan profile of Modi should be seen as a juvenile attempt of a writer trying to dabble in fiction using real life characters.That is all.

Informative article overall, despite bias in places. But how incredibly innumerate these journalists are! Try to show me how the taxes on profits from the $22 billion Nano investment could end up being "several times the value of the initial investment". Ridiculous! The guy is good on political coverage, clueless on economics.

Why these sensationalists are after Modi? If he is not a true perfectionist then who is? Why do not you intellectual pimps go after Digvijay who calls Osama ‘Osama Ji’? Why do not you go after congress, whose leadership has not issued any official condolence to the dead of Godhara till the date!

You may try to blind people with verbosity and intellect, but why do not you get the data right on how many Kashmiri Pandits in this country are living a life of refugee? Why do not you take pain to move your mass to cover that? Why do not these human right activist go there?

In any case Gujarat is far better then many of the state and Modi is far better then many of your CM’s in this country! Train your biased guns on them, and do not feed your kids the food of debauchery and prejudice! And when you sit down gulping the finest scotch at some evening celebrating the Cheque that you get from your mentors, try going to some of the victims, who were burnt alive in the train!

May god bless your soul dear Journalist!

And by the way, India is still the best place in the world to live if you are a minority!

A nice article that gives a clear image of this biased and fascist CM. Lets hope that justice prevails on our land and may Modi and his company be punished for all their acts.

It is so disgusting to read all the articles written by you which are biased against Mr. Modi. I fail to understand that why people do not apprciate the excellent administrative reforms , development, investments and laurels that the CM has brought to the state !!!
When will you all stop blaming him for the things which he has not done ?
How many agencies do you need to say that Narendra Modi is not involved in any of the antisocial activities ?
Come on …. Move on …. Gujarat is leading and showing the way to prosperity and development…be part of it ….or least stop putting spokes.

This article does come across as a biased piece against Modi. However, the question is which politician has clean records? If one were to dig deep, the person would get some dirt even on an "honest and docile" Manmohan Singh. If Modi is doing a good job in Gujarat, even though the ideas implemented may not be his creations, he is definitely doing a good job in executing those. The urban Gujarati is as happy as his rural counterpart with the governance of Modi. Allegations of Modi being a minister murderer, etc really do not matter to the common man so long as he is secured with the basics of a smooth life. The common man is not that great an imbecile that he will be wowed by only the positive PR….there has to be some substance in the man eventually that he keeps on winning the state elections every single time..

Thanks but no thanks for this idiotic article. Looking at the length I got duped into thinking that this was going to be some kind of comprehensive examination of the successes and failures of right wing politics in Gujarat and the larger communalisation of everyday life. Alas, the writer falls for the usual traps that most journalistic writing is susceptible to. This tends to a focus on individuals quickly degenerating into crude psychologism. Keeping in line with journalistic common sense, the writer resorts to a crude psychologism attempting to explain a systemic political movement (that of the RSS) by focusing on its great leaders. Apparently, psychobiography of important leaders is the most important thing we need to know about the successes of right wing politics in the past few decades (witness all those details which imply that Modi was "like this from childhood"). By way of analysis we are told that hackneyed story of charismatic authority as the source of political movements (Modi holds the crowd in his grip etc). To top it all we witness the supreme irony of quoting "one of India’s leading public intellectuals" – ahem – Ashis Nandy, as the academic figure lending authority to the argument. Perhaps the writer is unaware of the distinguished status of Nandy-ji as India’s leading proponent of anti-secularism / anti modernism? In fact, almost everything Nandy has written shares its basic assumptions with those of the right wing – modernity is a trap imposed on essentially religious Indians by a modernizing elite etc. (This is the line that would have been so productive to investigate – what are the shared assumptions across the political terrain in India, that allow for a monster like Modi to emerge?) Very much in evidence is the resort to common sense categories – e.g. moderates vs. extremists, that are constantly summoned as some kind of explanation for mass movements such as those that emanate from the RSS. Just because some insider gave our writer the lowdown about our bleeding heart poet Vajpayee, he assumes that this explains centre-state relations during that time? (!) Vajpayee’s "mukhota" is well known, and as the evidence presented by the writer himself shows (Vajpayee’s volte face’s, and double talk), such common sense categories are desperately in need of examining, rather than be posited as explanations. Again, a more critical look would have led us to notice that there is a thin line between the Congress and the BJP in Gujarat – both resort to the same kind of rhetoric as they seek to consolidate Hindu votes, the Congress has defectors from the BJP who in turn have grown up in the RSS. And for heavens sake, why all those details about the businesses(men)? And the one chance where something useful could have been said is quietly passed by – so if the CII head honcho didn’t have the backbone and went back on his organization’s earlier confrontationist stance towards Modi, what does this tell us about the relations between industry and fascism? Of course these questions can hardly be taken up given that the larger point is this kind of negative hagiography of Modi. Here the issue of Hindutva as a political project that works itself out in complex ways in the social and economic realms is simply not broached. It’s all apparently about this magician Modi, and if we (the real secularists) could get rid of him, we would be delivered from all our problems. Fascism is not about individuals – though they are important. It is about projecting the ills of capitalism and its attendant social destruction on to victims such as the Jews (Germany) or the Muslims / Christians (India), and holding them responsible (jobs, crimes etc etc). The processes which lead to this cut across the kind of simplistic categories employed here. It’s saddening to see the press – particularly the much vaunted "critical" English press – address the issue of the Gujarat pogrom by focusing exclusively on individual personalities such as Modi. Never ever are the really important questions broached – How is someone like Modi possible in society? Through what processes is everyday life being transformed so that such inhumanity is not only acceptable but is also the path to electoral success? And most crucially how does the well meaning (English)press end up partaking and thereby reproducing the conditions within which fascism is working today?

I do not think , what happened vin Gujarat will be easily forgotten. Civil Society will feel ashamed. Political ,religious or communal extremism will always be a shame – on state,community etc. West Bengal after huge public support Trinamool is doing things for which West Bengal will feel ashamed one day ,if not now. Mamata Banerjee is following the foot steps of Narendra Modi in organizing big shows,not many showed up. Hope people will wake up.

It’s funny. Well-written but totally biased – sheerly one-sided story for which this magazine is gradually being known for. This is unfortunate for a reputed magazine to be guided by personal vendetta and publish just one aspect of the story, aiming to malign a person’s image. Need for readers to be careful in picking what we read from you. I have always been fan of your magazine, but some pieces written by your unexperinced and immatured baby writersare total disappointment. Thanks.

Nice, but cleverly biased article. I hope and pray that Narendra Modi will rule India for a good ten years. The enemies of India will be shivering in their boots when he comes to power. He is a true Nationalist and a liberal. Yes, a LIBERAL!

awesome article.just couldnt stop reading.totally exposes narendra modi and his brand gujarat.the man wants to be the PM and is playing a crooked game to reach there so that he can execute his vicious anti minority game plan.kudos to the author.u have done a brilliant work.

AN extremely poor and prejudiced article… All the sources are either not named cuz they were too afraid (how convenient) all were controversial personalities themselves.. you have twisted all the facts accordingly… no mention of the so many cases which were proven to be totally false… you say that farmers dont get elctricity??? Gujarat’s agricultural growth is 11%!! In gujarat, the amount of land which CAN be used for agriculture is increasing each year!!! even the water tables are rising cuz of all techniques that the modi govt is using in cooperation with farmers. its the only state not giving any of the populist subsidiaries to farmers… AND if everyone hates modi and is afraid of him, y does he keep returning to power?? Even the majority of the muslims in Guj voted for him in the past elections… i would ask the author to go to the streets of ahemdabad… you wont see a city plagued with fear but with confidence, where girls can roam free even at midnight…. As Prashant said, I dismiss your piece as, ‘…nothing more than the ranting of an anti-national “pseudo-secular” intellectual, jealous of Modi’s achievements and probably paid off by the Congress"

Kudos!Caravan Magazine. You really deserve padma award for such a brilliant , investigative article.I also like you to probe into "sick Massacre" and "Kashmir Pandith massacre" and compare it with Guj riots. Why on earth people forget that those who were burnt alive in train are poor human souls and innocent for that matter. Those who put fire forgot that it will destroy them too….like wild fire never show mercy on anyone once it spreads.Ours is true democratic country. Lets wait till December 2012.Well you may eat ur own words….Good luck

When Gujarat was burning, during mass killings and bloody riots, one of the proud Guajarati business man said ‘’our plants are shut, no one is coming to work, we are facing heavy loss’’, the proud son never utter a word on the thousand killed / burnt alive. Shall we baost on VIBRANT GUJRATJ..?This question still unanswered.

I have many, many reservations against this article. 1st, I really find it appalling writing anything against modi has become a lucrative business and license-to-be-called secularist! 2nd, This article doesn’t mention any credentials, or sources let along sources that can be trusted. And all those modi-hater-pseudo secularits, I have a question for you…were you there? I was. I saw a made-in-pakistan rocket exploding, killing 5, hindus, mind you…and I have seen pakistani flags being hoisted on top of masjids! I don’t care whether you like him or hate him…but the only thing is…whatever you do, at least get complete story first.

There’s nothing left to add. Thanks for the article, this is what you call true journalism. Caravan you deserved all the applauds. As for those who still doubt the veracity, may truth come out in public.

The author is mistaken in thinking that only Parsee and Muslim industrialists opposed Narendra Modi after the Gujarat anti-Muslim pogrom. Rahul Bajaj has often been associated (by those who know) with the BJP. Yet, to his great credit, Bajaj turned on Modi — and publicly. Prime Minister Vajpayee too described the Gujarat killings as a ”kalank” and sought Modi’s resignation.

Most people will believe the essay as it is without questioning. Some serious allegations again on Modi solely based on "my sources" who will obviously be never revealed. The info you give needs to be given to the courts, would you? Would you if Modi sues you? It seems you have not read the recent Modi deposition to SIT published by HT. In which he rejects ever having gotten a call from Jafri. One would think SIT will get the call records which are easily available to see if he lied. SIT gave him a clean chit which obviously means he did not. WHICH OBVIOUSLY MEANS YOU AND YOUR SOURCES ARE LYING NOW. There goes your credibility and credibility of your masala magazine. Well timed release to capture eye balls but only if you had taken the time to reflect on Modi deposition instead or re-purposing old crap.

To start with, this is not the best article, either in terms of the narrative or in terms of the facts. Very slyly accusing Modi without evidence for the murder of an ex-minister follows the ‘trial by media’ policy. You could have taken numbers like Pucca Roads, Urban transportation etc. Malnutrition, poverty etc. are definitely not his or any CM’s goal. Every TDH knows that. Crowd chants mentioned in the article, just to add a tune to your story. Overall, the author balances his article towards one side, which is clearly shown. I will never vote for Modi, however bad the opponent is. Why? Because i have Muslim friends. Lot of them. What he did or didn’t do, has not only hurt them, but made them live in fear. 100 people living in corruption > 5 people living in fear (even 1). The facts chosen are deliberately picked to prove a point, which is not the best form of journalism.

THanks for finally telling us the story of the mass murderer Modi. HE had no support within his own party and BJP were loosing every bypoll and municpal election to the congress for the 3 years before 2002. The Gujarat riots gave him the perfect oppurtunity to silence the critics and burnish his pseudo-Hindu and pseudo-nationalist credentials . Lets be honest, those who support Modi unconditionally are no doing so because of his "development", but because he burnished his pseudo-Hindu credentials by allowing the killings of hapless Gujarati citizens to take place who happened to be Muslims. Thankfully, the Indian AND the HIndu majority will not give Modi the legitiamcy he deserves. Celibate and sex-starved RSS parachaks can’t be expected to empathise with the loss of loved one or a family member. or violence on women.

Very good write up. Finished it in one go. The author must be congratulated for showing the courage and the inclination to bring out a few uncomfortable skeletons from the closet of the great Mr. Modi. I am hopeful that in the ultimate fight between power laden with money and stirred in blood versus the law of the land, the latter would prevail but then I may be wrong…..

The article brings some very interesting points to light and is well-written. Unfortunately, it’s also obviously biased, perhaps a tad too much for an article in the Caravan Magazine. Vinod seems to be too eager to bash Modi and the entire article is written from the perspective of trying to dig up as much dirt on the man as possible(or make whatever is there look like dirt on Modi)

Ha…He still ends better than the dynasty rule, which killed more than 3000 sikhs in 1984 riots just because one person killed their Lady… He is still better than some big families who have turned politics into their family business…divided the country and its people just to stay in power… Atleast he is not sitting atop scams amounting to Billions of Dollars with his kitty in each of it… With the amount of development done in Gujarat, he still ends better than others…and Mind it…all the communities have benefitted from the development…Except that one blemish in 2002, which the sickularists keep harping about to win a pie in the Elections, Gujarat had never been so peaceful and harmonious as in the last ten years… One can check Gujarat’s history since 1947 for that..

A few questions: 1) Does anyone verify that the writer has spoken with off the record sources? or you can make it up to suit a larger narrative based on the writer’s prejudices/biases? 2) Why is it not mentioned anywhere that the SIT has cleared Modi in its report on Gulbarg? No mention of the false cases hoisted on him by NGO’s? 3) Why no mention of the fact that even Supreme court says Sanjiv Bhat is not a credible witness? 4) Why not a single credible Modi supporter’s voice been mentioned? There is clear class contempt ;his supporters are cab drivers? his detractors are TRAINED PSYCHOANALYSTS? How can the masses the ordinary cab driver decide whom to elect? 5) Anu Aga has been mentioned as opposed to Modi ; why no mention of the fact of Anu’s closeness with NAC? Writing long pieces exposes biases like nothing else; Caravan’s pretext of being politically neutral stands badly exposed..

That’s deja vu. Vikaas Gujarat Vikaas Gujarat. Wow! Sounds similar to Ernst Janning’s speech (in Judgement at Nuremeberg) on the sentiment during Hitler’s and during the Holocaust’s times – "Progress! Ahead!".

Bloody, double-faced businessmen! That’s what I can say of the CII. As for the article, it’s brilliant. And as for Mr. Modi, I don’t know what words to use.

Not impressed. It is way too biased, prejudged. Not fair. But yes, one can earn money and fame for being anti modi in this country. This country is ruled by alien, dogmatic, power hungry ideologies even today. Well, Hindu only believes in God and not man made ideologies. Imagine, if Hindu people develops political ideology?

Oh boy!! So sad!! What is this article all about? Narendra Modi. Who is he? A politician, supposed to love attention of any kind. What did he say to the author? None. He never gave the writer any sound-bytes. What does that tell us about the quality of this author as a "journalist"? The fact that he was humiliated did not occur to him. So since NM did not speak to him, what other circumstantial information he got? Mmm..let us see. Karan Thapar is there. Sure enough, there is Ashish Nandy, the self-proclaimed intellectual. Ohh, lest we forget, he was a "clinical" psychologist although it is not clear which clinic he practiced at (a medican shool drop-out who later had a masters in psychology). There was also murdered ex-minister in whose murder Modi does not seem to have any role in (is not that sad?). Poor RSS man’s only secular utilization was his dead body. Then there was Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt. One is disgraced, the other one is a proven liar and malicious manipulator (look at what Ram Jethmalani wrote about him in Sunday Guardian). So is Ishrat Jahan whom LeT accepts to be their own (but it is a different matter that seculars are unwilling to let her valuable legacy to go to LeT’s hand). Then there are myriad unnamed sources all of whom are dissatisfied with their CM yet could not utilize their collective displeasure to unseat this deeply "unpopular" man. Life is not fair. There is also "secular nationalist leader" Gandhi in the background (since real life Gandhis of today may not be that effective) although Gandhi’s favorite "Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram" may not be pleasant to the secular ears. So whom do we have as Modi’s supporters? After all, we were told that journalists are supposed to get both sides of the story. Well, none from state BJP. Not Arun Jaitley. Not any RSS/VHP guy. Oh, we were told about taxi drivers and radio taxi drivers. But those are hard working honest regular voters who are speaking in support of him. Can they be trusted with their opinion? Nope. For valuable opinions, we always need disgraced secular journalists (like Barkha Dutt and Vir Sangbhi), credential-less clinical psychologists, compulsive liars and dead terrorists. It is a travesty that democracy does not allot a million ballot to each of these people so that Modi could be defeated. So, yes, Sri Jose, keep going! 2012 December may bring you joy. Or another pathetic article with comments from losers X, Y or Z in case he wins.

Hats Off to author..great article..Its abt 2 in the night and I didnt able to sleep until I finished it completely.. I hope whatever u written is not a propaganda and truly based on facts n evidence n u hv proof for that.. well I m a Modi supporter but some incident if true are very shocking like 1) Granting money to Nepal despite 150 people died of Anaemia is shocking.. 2) Its shockingto know that 44% children in Gujarat r malnourised/..Its very hard to believe.. 3)the lokayukta story is also seems to have point.. I dont want to comment on riots coz I m quite young n dnt know reality but despite all this I think Mr. Modi have a leadership quality n he will better lead the nation.. But I also expect from author that such brilliiant piece will also be awritten on top congress leaders as well as the author wrote on Modi starting from his Childhood giving all his journey Otherwise Whatever the author claim Automatically it will lwave a impression that it is a propaganda not true journalism.. Best of luck

Extremely well written..though tries to portray hearsay, insinuations, and guess work as credible evidence, there is a whiff of class contempt that the piece smacks of,south Delhi liberals..the closeted literary elite has for a mass leader who has contempt for the south Delhi elite..I heard caravan censors critical comments waiting to see if this gets published..

I dismiss your piece as, ‘…nothing more than the ranting of an anti-national “pseudo-secular” intellectual, jealous of Modi’s achievements and probably paid off by the Congress"

The magnum opus on Narendra Modi. Somewhere you love his fascist nature but in the end he still remains the Nero who doesn’t know his end is near.

Pure brilliance. I can already imagine all the right-wing nuts ‘dismissing’ your piece as, ‘…nothing more than the ranting of an anti-national “pseudo-secular” intellectual, jealous of Modi’s achievements and probably paid off by the Congress.’

Ultimately…what matters is the NAMO is the only leader to get the job don in INDIA. The Author is surely biased and written this article very smartly to change the opinion of Modi Fans. But this Cartel working against Modi will never understand that…hitting on Modi’s Personal character will not change anything, instead it gives him more popularity. and created more hatered towards that cartel. Congress will keep winning by the help of paid media, paid journalism like this and help of lower caste and minorities. The Middle class, who use there brains will always be the supporter of Modi. The last line by Author shows his frustration and personal propoganda against the Modi.

Well written.. really well written and the caravan as a whole is a refreshing new form of reporting in the indian press.. i have read a few and am eagerly waiting for more to come.. as for modi, i am an ardent fan.. but i like to hear criticism when done on the basis of evidence like u’ve done.. but i think u got a lil too carried away with anti modi sentiment.. u could have made that clear in a little shorter space.. would have liked to hear more on the financial incentives.. the exact figures.. having read all this, it does caution me about modi but my vote and heart still goes out for him.. in d current scenario, a 5 year rule by such a dictator is necessary to set this democracy in order.. congress has destroyed the trust mandate of 2009 and it’s time modi, bjp and governance is given a chance.. and frankl, i feel bjp won’t risk a riot anymore.. so the muslims need not worry.. it will be development for all i hope and india as a whole will progress.. it might change the way govts are run at the centre in india

Are Indians committing the same mistake that Germans committed more than half a century ago. Guys go read up on World War II. Look at the documentaries directed by Alfred Hitchcock on German concentration camps. When an evil but very powerful leader sways the masses, it only brings more misery to the people in the end. The congress is BAD but MODI is NOT the solution. HE is just a very dangerous alternative

NaMo for PM. He deserves to be PM of India. And people can see his performance (or any prejudice towards any community) for 5 years. CONgress is afraid that if he gets 5 years they will have to be without power for a very long time. And Modi will talk about 110 crore Indians!! Jai NaMo.

Interesting! The article talks about 2002 and then about 2014. As if what ever happened between that is just a couple of weeks of vacation! May be there was a lot of work done in writing it down… but for a layman, it looks like just another congress sponsored story

nice article. though one sided…interesting. i m not a politician….and i cant run a state without am ny riot since last 10 years. and the place he has put gujrat….i wish to see india after 10 years. i respect muslims but my country comes first. let him do his job…..let people decide by vote. all those interviewed against modi are not saints….

//” I am a Hindu. I love this country. I am proud of its culture and I am proud of the Rishi and Muni and their Wisdom which defines the lines of Hinduism// nice…. you got lot more to be proud about… casteism, superstitions, oppression of women, etc.. etc… your pride sucks…

//“A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.” Chanakya quote// To hell with that Chanakya… so hard is now to find a honest politician… for that to find a honest indian….

Do you know how many Indians have been killed in terrorist attacks since Advani’s rath yatra and the demolition of the Babri Masjid? The photos and video of Babri Masjid demolition on Dec 6, 2002 is a recruiting tool for all terrorist organisations in Pakistan. Don’t fool yourself by thinking your children will be safe. Advani, Modi, Joshi etc., cannot play with the fire of communal politics and expect not to be burnt. India will also burn because of their narrow minded and thoughtless actions. There is neither Hindu or Muslim. Ultimately there is only humanity. Of what use is religion when it endangers precious human life? Think for yourself. Don’t be swayed by religion, public sentiments and emotions. Hinduism is the oldest, greatest and most tolerant religion in the world irrespective of whether anybody says so.

You are saying that who knows about who have killed the public in train… I’m 100% agreed with you… now i would like to ask you that who told you that modi is responsible for post train issue… they may be some hired inhuman killers targeting some set motive.

Vinod if you were alive in 1947, you would have realised that not a single Hindu or Sikh would have survived during unfortunate partition of the country but for the RASHTRIYA SWAYAM SANGH. So be practical before making any such irresponsible comments.

Thanks so much for the detailed article. Tells the true story about Modi which most people don’t know. I feel sick thinking that in this country one who is responsible for deaths of so many innocent people can still become a prime-ministerial candidate. Impossible to believe that the people are oh so foolish!

Thanks so much for the detailed article. Tells the true story about Modi which most people don’t know. I feel sick thinking that in this country one who is responsible for deaths of so many innocent people can still become a prime-ministerial candidate. Impossible to believe that the people are oh so foolish!

Because there is something like memory which cannot be suppressed by your media silence and team of net-karsevaks. And yes, that memory is not a gift of sonia or rahul, thankfully.

B’cos… people can accept Rajiv Gandhi (proven murderer of 84 and scamstar) as a Prime minister but are very quick to be judgmental in acse of Modi.

Rahul – you’re oh so foolish. How do you know Modi is responsible for all the deaths? Did Sonia or Rahul or Flipflopwal tell you?

you can see people have created fake IDs to respond and support Modi. not sure if they read article, but they do not care if Muslims were killed or his own ministers were murdered. Too sad for India, we will have a PM who should be in jail. India can do better.

Dear Shri Rahul , please read ms.madhu kiswars MODI MOSLEMS MEDIA. and m.v.kamaths man of the moment to know what exactly happened in Gujarat in 2002 and the role of MODI., before any conclusion. Gouraswamy krishna

Nice article. Wondering why people who worked with modi and has seen the carnage not come out with their experiences. Have they lost the humanity in them. Can’t believe such indifference. Is this intrinsic to UR culture??

What a marvelous journalistic achievement! A phenomenal article deciphering the man, far beyond the traditional discourse of opposing him, or supporting him. Kudos, Mr Jose. I am proud to have read this article.

Those who r shouting bout riots being sponsored or not. 1 bitter fact in gujarat post riots is tat d majority is poisoned against muslims. I can say tat cozI have actively been part of many such conversations amongst the young n d old alike. Situation is so sad tat people vote modi ju 4 being anti muslim n a pro hindu hero.

It is very saddening tat majority have voted him again n again jus 4 dey believe he is a savior of hindu rights n importantly gave d muslims an apt response. Cant believe how much hatred people hav even 4 the muslim friends dey hav n talk ill behind their back. N most accept tat modi sponsored d riots n tat he did perfectly right. Dnt knw if modi has mass murdered or not but surely he has poisoned d great hindu pro human ideology even in the most kindest of gujaratiz.

As a former journalist from a business magazine, I really loved this piece. Have read Caravan in the past, but I must say the writing in this piece and the balance is brilliant. I took two days to read it (thanks to my office schedule), but it was worth the time. Thank you for such lovely journalism.

After reading all the details of this article all I can say is: it looks look like that modi doesnt have any allies in BJP gujrat/RSS/VHP… etc etc.. everyone with whom he has worked speaks ill of him because he has hurt everyone… there is no one in the world of politics/administration who is happy to be his colleague/subordinate/boss.. when it comes to “business-friendliness” of NaMo, the writer talks about 2003 CII when a politician was forced to show whose the boss.. any politician in power will react in same way.. mark my word ANY… and even after all these the magazine claims to be UNBIASED.. why don’t you talk about politicians who keep public poor/uneducated for their own hunger to stay in power like mamta bannergy/mulayam singh/mayawati..

One can not live in the shadows of the past. Modi did not do what happened in Gujrat. It is just the political narrow minded pseudo-secular leaders who try to make fool of a section of our society and create bitterness to gain cheap popularity. Finally they have been exposed and Indians have given their VERDICT. Mr Modi will prove himself to be one of the greatest souls and leaders produced by Mother India. The whole world is watching !

Those who have been in the thick and thin of the ‘practical’ political landscape do recognize that Modism is not an alien concept to politics. The article is a good read with an,rather caveat, intention to ‘expose’ NaMo with brushes of ‘favourable’ dispositions to give the sense of unbiased-ness! Not an instance of the same Modism?!!!!!!!

There appears to be a conscious attempt here to compare Modi’s rise with Hitler’s? References to Speer, use of terms like hypnotic mobs of people chanting his name (bringing Nuremburg to mind), his style of dialogue delivery (which swayed the masses like Hitler), the adoring capitalists supporting him (IG Farben anyone?) the behind-the-scenes intrigue and getting opponents ‘bumped-off’, friendship with the Chinese (dictatorial tendencies), Modi’s expertise at calling for others to be killed off, his scorn for the constitution and his cowing Vajpayee into submission. This coupled with his authoritarian style (“the EMPEROR uncrowned” – notice the use of the word associated with monarchs) and overt references to Nandy’s comments. The author knows that even under Hitler, there was ‘right-leaning’ capitalistic reform and prosperity and has admitted that reforms and prosperity are going on in Gujarat (but never fails to show the drawbacks like farmers’ crisis).

A very subtle parallel is being drawn here to the rise of Hitler in Germany, complete with adoring, misled masses. By paying lip-service to his development in Gujarat and admitting that he has done a lot for Gujarat, by not describing the riots of 2002 in sympathetic details (but notice how Ehsan Jaffri takes more space over Godhra – not that both were not heinous), by giving juicy, bollywood-like details of his threatening his detractors but also showing how much support he has, the author has put himself beyond the accusations of partisan, or ‘pseudo-secular.’ So avoiding that allegation, the author can freely insert his views. So every story of development and prosperity is neutralized by stories of ‘bad’ activities and ‘hidden agendas.’ Vibrant Gujarat is targeted but not attacked, his opponents are freely allowed to air their (unsubstantiated) accusations, his public-relations is compared to ‘silencing’ the media and his keeping tabs on reporters and opponents (which politician does not do that?) is done by (presumably) Gestapo-like faceless guys reporting to him in the dead of the night, according to the picture painted by the author (no direct accusations, cleverly).

So, it is not a very bi-partisan article, in my opinion. The author has painted a picture which suits his own tag of Modi (the dictator in Bulgari rimless, maybe?) and probably fancies himself as a shrewd historian who, like Bismarck, possess the “ability to listen for the hoof beats of history.” He probably fancies that when finally, history exposes Modi as a Hitler (or so he thinks), his article will be the cornerstone and he will be hailed as a seer and a shrewd political historian and a journalist of integrity.

A shrewd exercise in the semantics of subtle criticism, Mr. Jose! But criticism, it is and like all criticisms, the seams of partisanship can be seen. And like all partisan opinions, it suffers from a blinkered, one-sided, convenient approach to facts and goes into the realm of speculation, lies and half-truths. It is essentially, all the old criticisms in a new bottle – albeit one with a lot more sophistication than usual.

All we need now, Mr. Jose, is a bunch of goose-stepping RSS-wallahs, kids joining shakhas and yelling Modi ki jai in a hypnotised voice and our picture shall be complete.


Have a look at my research article on the workings of a PR Agency that goes by the name of APCO Worldwide and it’s sister concern ASERO Worldwide. The focus of the article is their implications and how it affects Indian politics and puts it’s security and resources in jeopardy. Forming a strong base of case studies ranging from the discredit campaign on Michael Moore’s Sicko to the 1Malaysia campaign and having dictators on it’s client list we move forward to it’s Zionist Connection and also on having Ex-Mossad’s on it’s member list along with many Bilderbergs. Finally it’s concluded with it’s proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and also APCO’s future plan for India.

Mechanics of Narendra Modi’s PR agency : APCO Worldwide

Kind Regards,
Shelley Kasli
Independent Geo-Political Researcher,
Creative Director,
WildChild Studios

Thank god Caravan is not a popular magazine in India. But you are making right moves to get more popular, congratulations!!

Wow!!! What a brilliant psychological thriller of a screenplay! I am still reeling under its influence. Being a staunch Modi supporter, even I was made to feel like I was a fascist.

Perfect English, nicely edited and neatly coordinated flow of events like in the Christopher Nolan’s 2000 movie Memento with reverse storytelling. Brilliant use of the author’s Columbia training. To top it all, an attractive headline to the article, to lure the Internet Hindus to read, so to speak. Careful tinkering of reality with neo-noir elements to create a masterpiece of a con-work.

But the problem is, it is thoroughly one-sided. Hardly 5% of the article dwells on the good traits of Sri Modi. With no names being disclosed of the sources, it is only easier for the writer to play the mudslinging game. It completely ignores the strides in agriculture, water harvesting, and education. Even his imaginative works like the GIFT city are portrayed as evil attempts. The lowest point in the article is undoubtedly the insinuation you make in Karan Thapar’s interactions with Modi. Very low level thinking indeed, and its not surprising considering the writer’s background. One awful discrepancy in the story is that involving “one of India’s foremost public intellectuals”, Ashis Nandy. How come this genius intellectual interviewed Modi in the late 1980s? Its one more of the lines in the story which should have been better handled.

And before you write this type of crap reports, please do remember, it was reporters of your clan in Malayala Manorama that “unearthed” the explosive ISRO espionage case in Kerala, just to wrest political initiative from Sri K Karunakaran and make the “Mr. Innocent” AK Antony the CM. It did not matter for your clan that the professional and family life of one of our most eminent scientists, Dr. Nambi Narayanan, was jeopardized. Moreover, an entire project of supreme national importance, the cryogenic engine, went into sleep mode.

The author potrays leaders of BJP as the one who can be bullied very easily. This includes AVP. To my best of the knowledge, he was the most smart and cunning politician of recent times. The author also potrays modi who can arm twist AVP from being so called “secular” to being “communal”. The author has definetely seeked help from psychologists.

Wish you could do this type of investigative journalism on the train burning in Godhra railway station too. How many perpetrators were there? What type of fuel and how much quantity of it were used? How did the perpetrators know the exact bogey in which to locate their preys? How and why did Laloo find out the thing that he eventually find in his mala fide investigation? That would add a lot of saffron color to your green article.

Gujarat development story however attractive it looks, is sham. Modi has artfully usurped the credit for everything his predecessors did. But godhra by far remains the most blatant and ruthless premise for instigating riots, As the findings of Banerjee committee report meet common sense, it is really hard to believe that Godhra inferno was not conspired by Modi. I would have really liked it better, had you investigated into the Godhra incident to suggest how it was impossible for the rioters to execute the riot, if it was not planned well in advance. To even think of a mob thousands in number armed with swords and sickles charging through the length of the city just after hours of Godhra is mind boggling. I sincerely hope and pray that good sense prevails on my countrymen and they realize Who Modi really is and what is he capable of.

Great article in general. It is hard to find these days, with so many interests intermingled, that who is lobbying for whom. While APCO may very well be lobbying for Modi, the readers wont know for whom Caravan and Mr. Jose are lobbying.

Hope they are lobbying for better journalism as the media is controlled by foreign hands (not hands of MMS, Sonia). The better and true journalism is causing indigestion to neo Indian riches. After all, intoxication in the nemae of pseudo journalism has taken its tall.

Vindod K Jose is a christian and is only furthering the propaganda of Antonio Maino and the Church to target Hindus to divide the country to benefit the Americans/ Islamists/ Jihadis and congressi Jihadis.
How would you feel Vinod if I target you with such lies? Your article seems like a paid article.
By the way I hope congress does not use 66A for my comments.

Great. Modi is not giving interviews. What a despot he was? hmm… wait a minute… How many interviews your journos have got from Soniaji or Rahulji? Please explain it to us and we will be delighted by your graceful answers.

It is to disheartening to see that just bcos an inefficient and corrupt govt couldnt respect the peoples mandate of 2009, we see the emergence of an even more dangerous proposition…desperate times(policy paralysis) do call for desperate measures but imo having Modi/BJP at the helm will do more harm than good…kudos to the writer for his research…answered many confounding questions…i always wondered why he did not appoint the lokayukta even though its there in all BJP ruled states….though these revelations may be difficult to believe for the Modi crazy crowd plagued as they are by cognitive dissonance…one can only say that truth is often stranger than fiction….on one hand he complains of lack of central funds for devpt and a fewdays back he said that the budgetary allocation amount is more than what he wished for as planning commision thought that gujarat was more capable.huh? dumbfounding!!!
Seasoned as he is, LK should known better than giving milk to a serpent that bites its own benefactor…it is too late perhapsb for him now to realise his folly…even nobel prize-winning economist amartya sen has remarked in a tv interview that the gujrat story is mostly hyped…one only needs to look at the HDI parameters for info…hope better sense prevails…I so wish to see RG sidelined and have Chidambaram as PM….till then its a lack-of-a-reasonable-choice-problem in 2014 for me…

Modi is now everybody, a great leader and is in the forefront of politics,while Ashis Nandy still remains a nobody, a small time self-proclaimed intellectual whose opinions and jargon matter to nobody.Modi is the person for the country right now.

Caravan Magazine is run by foreigners who couldnt hack it in their own lands, and for foreign interests. Narendrabhai is a great Indian leader, a patriot who feels that Indians are as good as any other people. He doesnt kow tow to foreign interests, and he doesnt bend before the white skin, something congressmen are very prone to do. Where will the flood of average, unaccomplished angrez’s who now roam our countryside, pretending to be very important persons go when Narendrabhai takes over?

You have proved yourself to be a person who could not wholeheartedly accept and appreciate the good work done by NaMo. While you have noted his leadership qualities, organizing brilliance and strategic thinking, you find difficult to stomach it. And tried to serve every dish with a few drops of venom. Ashis Nandy’s remark at the end of the article ‘ motivational patterns contextualising the ideology ‘ perfectly fits you in the sense your thought process worked to produce this article. Trying to find fault in every good deed doesn’t do good to the society. People understand things better and that is the reason journalists trustworthiness is going down day by day.
One interesting omission is Teesta Setlavad. Why? Didn’t you get anything in support of her?

Is it any surprise that Ashish Nandy has a problem with Modi, who is a member of a Most Backward Caste? Nandy’s casteist and biased views are well known. He had already made his shameful position vis a vis so called lower castes quite clear at Jaipur Literature Festival 2013, where he stated Dalit, OBC, MBC castes as being habituated to corruption. No marks for guessing the rotten caste agenda behind Mr. Nandy’s hatred for Narendrabhai.

Gautham, I think it’s as balanced a piece as can be. This is the man, for better or for worse, who would be king in this country. He comes from a place where he continues to have his own black and white world view. Whether or not this is a good thing is up to the reader, of course. Oddly (and ironically enough) aren’t you the one reading this specific article with a view to criticise it for not being absolutely complimentary to ‘NaMo’, as you call him?

In other words, take the bouquets and the brickbats. He deserves both.

Well,the fact that the BJP and other right wing fundamentalist organisations have done much to spoil the communal harmony in our country is no secret.But what must not be ignored is the fact that the Congress too is not purged of such acts.Whether it be the Shah Bano case or the reluctance of the Centre to act before the tragedy in babri masjid case,all point towards a congress which is nothing but a hypocrat.The congress is and organisation which conducts itself under the garb of secularism and manipulates the communal elements in our society for political motives.Thus almost entire indian political system is infested with the worms of communalism which are often used for political expedeincy.I see no hope until the citizens themselves come together to eliminate vote bank politcs and communalism.

It’s not a balanced piece at all. The whole account of Gujarat riots is given considering that all the allegations are literally true, which is far from truth as nothing has been established in the courts. Also, the confusion between investments and FDI is also deliberate. The invocation of the communist Ashish Nandy serves the same purpose. After reading this, read Madhu Kishwar to get a balanced view! :)

magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists of
this sector don’t realize this. You must continue your writing.
I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

hahahaaa. Since when have we started demnading articles be balanced about fascist figures ? where is this demand coming from ? The truth is the truth , however bitter ! How can one be balanced in writing about about something which is not balanced? in my opinion , the writer has been far too balanced.

For every action there has always been equal and opposite reaction thats understood. Equal and opposite reaction , ideal would have been caching the culprit and hanging them till death. Instead of that state let the anti-socialist drift in anger ; even people settled their personal score by killing their political enemies. As par my understanding , Gujrat riots have always been project as a special case because in all other riot state was expected and acted neutral. In Gujrat case , state let the killing go on for days. Instead of finding the culprit who put the train of fire , it let anti-social element fulfill their personal desire. Killing people in fake encounter cases if required. Transferring people who didn’t toe with the line , who tried to bring order.

Fascist to core. but new fact is he is anti brahmin traits…man all his online suppport comes from Brahmin abroad. use advani to handle vajpayee and now advani is fighting with him. Modi seem cunningest of all

The situation is so bad (thanks to ‘secular’ Congress and its allies) that India is going Somalia way. Only a man with a strong and able leadership like Modi can save India from its doom.

I landed up on this article in my quest for an unbiased story of Narendra Modi. Let me confess, I was an ardent Modi worshipper. I was firmly of the view that Gujarat riots were purely an administration failure and Modi earnestly tried to douse the fires. After the riots though, he tactfully used the ignited passions to gain political mileage. However, the writer here has beautifully unfolded the Modi story. Rarely do you see people acknowledging both sides of Modi. You either see pure vengeance or reverence. It was a delight to read the 11 pages. I just did not want it to end. It has left me confused though. I still believe India needs Modi now. But this time, my conscience hurts.

Nice Article. Carefully researched and totally in-depth.
Nice to read the other side of Modi too.

I am a Gujarati and even though this article is virtually against the truly tallest man Gujarat ever had after Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Jinnah, i would say nice work.

However article seems biased in many occasion throughout.

starting with “anti-Muslim riots of 2002”, dear author, those were just riots, not anti muslim or anti hindu.
hindus and muslims both died equally.

Author does not go in detail of Godhra carnage, well this concerns modi too. You should elaborate there as well.

Author takes input from all the people who modi worked with and surpassed them, c’mon dude, people i surpass for an example who could not digest that, are not going to speak good about me, i mean how can they. Did you try to speak to people other than these you named who actually can speak good and with honesty about Modi? this sounds like as if only bad words spoken about modi were with honesty. Sorry, i can not agree.

From the article, it seems like, whatever happened in Gujarat that made news highlights, involved modi. Name it pandya assassination, riots, encounter cases. So you literally mean modi is involved in everything?

You cite words of Ashis Nandy, I mean are you for real, I mean who does not know how much communal he is and how much anti minorities and anti modi he is. Can you take is words for granted?

It is said that an honest journalism is pillar of society. I did not find it honest, and to be true a bit biased, really. Don’t take out the frustration in this manner if he does not give you an interview.

Mention of Sanjay Bhatt? Seriously? You mean you are trying to say to your Audience that Aanjay Bhatt’s words count. even after he has 10’s of bribery, prejudisam and murder cases against him. And many are proven, Even before Mody was introduced in Gujarat as a CM. It was really not an even-game to include his remarks, when he was not even of that top job at riots time.

You know why people love modi despite all the drama since last 10 years? Its simple. he means something to people, he gives people hope that they can progress, they too can dream of something. they too can be heard, they to deserve an opinion. Not because he is a dictator, tyrant, autocrat or rhetoric.

Well its good to find faults in people. No one is perfect. Don’t worry, I am sure modi most certainly has read this article and must have found something to better himself. Its ok to be tyrant and dictator if he works for people, and lives for people.

I guess, i will rest just by saying I am desperately waiting for An article of same quality on Nehru-Gandi(not Gandhi) Family.

Will you write one such article on Rahul/Sonia Gandhi before elections? If i do not find any, it will prove biasedness of this article completely.

Keep Up the Journalism spirit. Please.

@ Amit. I don’t know what Swati meant by “the situation is so bad.”, however would agree to disagree with you on some parts. Indians have been happier and richer than today. Remember the India we know of before the Britishers invaded our country? That’s history, and we have grown since the independence. We Indians can do much better than what we have, and that is not an excuse to say that “at least we are not like Uganda.” or that we are better than yesterday. With our resources and man-power, India has the capacity to be the world power in the near future. The one thing that bothers me, personally, is that we always try to pull each other down. Caste-wise, religion-wise, intellect-wise. We may be united in books, but the diversity is very much apparent on ground. If we grow out of the intolerance towards each other, India can do much better.

There is no truth to any thing you have written. You need history classes.
And for facts, more muslims have been killed in riots, and communal violence in both pre and post partition, which is not so surprising as they are a minority.

Dearest Swati, you say that ‘the situation is so bad’, can you elaborate on that.
I keep hearing such opinions without any facts bring put forward. Indians have never been richer, and happier. At least the middle class. The ones who should be shouting, the poor, the tribals, the ST SCS, the muslims, who are now confined to fringes of the society are quiet. The ones shouting are you people, the ones who have benefited from the ten year UPA rule the most.

Waiting to read such an epilogue on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi..or wait is there anything to write ! One, married and came to India and got all the husband’s money the other was a born fool ! No history no struggle no vision ! So whats there to write and read . Kudos to the writer, your article seem to be biased with the likes of the sentiments of the little girl Anika etc popping up to add masala but gives a clear picture and hope to Indians that somebody who has clear perspectives and strong opinions would help India to come out of this backboneless state of present Congress rule.

Who is this Vinod Jose ? I would require him to improve his IQ and GK before venturing into such exercises. If he was alive during 1946 and 1947 roits he would have realised that but for RSS whom Vinod terms as fascist and what not, no Hindu and Sikh would have survived in Punjab and Bengal. When congress cut India into pieces in 1947 and there was no help and support forthcoming from any government agencies , it was the RSS who came to the rescue of homeless and displaced families. I f the current trend of neglecting the majorities and unduly appeasing the minorities for votes, day is not far off when another partition of the country may be envisaged. S o let us be realistic and treat every Indian equally without any consideration of caste and creed. Yes the downtrodden belonging to any community must be supported. So let us be humane and behave as real patriots.

Why the author did not mentioned about the karasevaks who burnt alive in the train.. Whatever happened in Gujarat is a newtons law “For every action there is equal and opposite reaction” .

What a fantastic write up …loved it.. still amazed to see some peoples blind response on him.
Our brothers ans sisters are so nicely adopting the positives and negatives as per their convinience. Unbelievable that still people claims his attitudes to be supporting for a prime minister who is supposed to represent people of the whole country without any biasedness. He can never forget what he laerned from the “shakhas” which he concentrated more than anything else.. Feeling a bit depressed when seeing people of this era still going after the divide and rule policy which he is executing in such a pre planned manner. Our silent acceptance to his attitude will be treated as one among the greatest disasters to our National harmony and Integrity..
A true hindu can’t believe in his ideology..He is a good coordinator and a mastermind jn executing things…agree..but with a very wrong and fanatic ideology… Jai Hind. .

Now the Hindu haters are soiling themselves at night with Modi about to come to power. Come on Vinod, bring another in the long line of pseudo-secularist, dhimmi, articles. It only helps Modi, so let me thank you ahead of time.

A correction there where you mentioned – “In the decades following its founding in 1925, the RSS, or the Sangh, advanced a militant Hinduism that challenged the nonviolent and tolerant Hinduism represented by Gandhi”. It was riots of 1920 which lead to the formation of RSS, it was the slaughter of the Hindus by the fanatic Muslim lot which left Hindus with no choice but to to organise themselves at-least for their own safety . What happened was that Gandhi went to support the Khilaft movement without realising the fallout of what he was doing. Khilaft movement wanted reinstatement of the Turkish Khalifa, and it was those times of the of post Armenian Genocide 1919 where a 100000 plus Armenian’s were killed by the Turkihs Khalifa’s army & the Khilifa was over thrown. Question firstly was why did Gandhi support such a movement which was in favor of those who committed such mass ethnic cleansing? Secondly post riots Gandhi had nothing to say, while every other national and international personalities present in India was left speechless at the merciless killings. In this what you must understand is no man is perfect. No one can ever be perfect. Mistakes were even committed by Gandhi; knowingly for what or unknowingly for what purpose, no one knows. But in his life he did bail out the Muslim community not once but about a 25 times when riots happened and Hindus kept getting slaughtered following this ahimsa/non-violence. Chapters of partition were equally violent and even till date we have communal clashes. So don’t talk of RSS as a militant Hindu outfit. They stood for the hindu cause just like an EDL, just like numerous right wing groups in Europe against the militant Islamic ideologies.

An article well written,

The article has just reassured us that INDIA will be taken to greater heights,
under an imminent personality, who is succinct, precise, forward looking, non constitutional.

Sir, Tell me, which nation has not been led by a mastermind, and has not become great.

He is the perfect answer to India’s worries today and one in whom we can trust and entrust our future.

Manojbhai, But a gujarati is not a matter but a conscious, intelligent, emotionally sensible/sensitive human being, Newton’s law applies only to matter. What the ‘other’ did morally wrong, completely stupid, do we have to be immoral and equally stupid. A true self defense does not require trishuls, it requires a strong will and an effective tactics to use the frenzy of the attacker to defend oneself. Absence of an effective investigative and controlling police force and presence of provocative agencies on both sides create a havoc.

Baneraji committee declared unconstitutional by SC. Either way, it was a set up by Lalu yadav and served its political purpose. The idiots like you believe them and that’s fine. I would go by SC appointed SIT, which confirms the planned attack on the train.

IF every word written in the article were to be true the author would have been dead by now. Now you decide what is true and what is not!

dear mr yogi there are limits to powers of even the most powerful in a democracy thankfully , with elections around corner , after such an article ,you think even modi can afford to do something like this ? After elections ofcourse if he comes to power , we all know even such limits imposed by democracy could be endangered , but the point is will people wake up in time?

Really is this the sign of things to come ? We will all have to die to either proove or write a word about Modi before his blind followers open their eyes? Comments like this are even more frightening for they make a mockery of our democracy and freedom to express our minds freely – if people think this if true would lead to a person’s removal , its even more chilling to know how their minds work. Thankfully we’re still living in free india and hope will continue to dod so.

What he meant to say is that, the way this article paints Modi as vindictive and viscous without any truth or evidence, Modi would be the most dangerous person existing. If he was so dangerous, the author would have been killed by now. Instead he might be sipping his imported scotch which he might have bought with the money provided by Maino and others who think they will benefit from this article. Even no harm ever came to Teestha Seetalvad who has been raking up false cases against Modi since last 12 years without any avail! Concocting facts, falsifying statements and putting forward blatant lies would not help.

Assuming every word of this article is true (and there are many words), Modi still comes out way better than a dynasty that has sapped every resource, mineral, industry and pillar of democracy in India starting right from 1947. Now, can we have an equally elaborate piece on how the Gandhi Dynasty has raped the country for the past 9 years? I think not. Not on planet Earth at least. Maybe in Jupiter.

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