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The road to power runs through prejudice


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By projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate last week, the central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has pronounced itself irrelevant.

Senior leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, have gone along with the reported clamour from below that Mr. Modi is the “saviour” who can re-install the BJP in Delhi.

There have been objections from Mr. Modi’s one-time guru, the Karachi-born Lal Krishna Advani, but for now the BJP leadership is convinced that the Chief Minister, who presided over the state at the time of vicious riots against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, is the man for the moment.

Mr. Modi himself seems to have few doubts that he can deliver India to the BJP, a political party controlled by the shadowy, avowedly anti-minority Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) based in Nagpur, central India.

His image of the development devta (god), who provides acres of land to industrial houses like the Tatas with a snap of his fingers, is much revered by corporate India. From the Tatas to the Ambanis, Mr. Modi is a darling of corporate India.

And, needless to say, he is also the darling of Television India – the agglomeration of news channels that has left no image unturned to “anoint” him as the BJP’s man for the top Indian government job.

Night after night, Mr. Modi’s many spokesmen and spokeswomen have embellished the devta image – of him as a man of action, as a man who can deliver. His own skills as a demagogue, of course, have been most helpful.

With the Manmohan Singh government struck by political paralysis until a few weeks ago, the macho Mr. Modi was projected as the new delivery boy of aspiring India in sharp contrast to a stodgy and unsmiling Prime Minister who seemingly has little to say.

Much has been written on the real story of Gujarat’s development record and the holes between promise and performance are as large as bathtubs. But that really doesn’t matter.

One fact that I came across is that 93 per cent of Gujarat’s urban local bodies don’t have any sewage treatment facilities – 158 out of the 168 local entities can’t treat their waste, instead they dump it in water bodies and open land.

In no way does this and other similar truths dampen the enthusiasm for Mr. Modi.

In December last year, before the Gujarat elections, I travelled to the state to figure out why Modi is so loved by some. The answer came from Dikubhai, a young man I met in a bus, who said up front that Modi would now move to Delhi to teach Muslims a lesson.

The words were spoken gently, without hatred. But they were nevertheless chilling. Basically, Dikubhai was saying that having taught the Muslims a “lesson” in 2002, Modi should now move to Delhi to give a new lesson nationally.

The conversation was scary, but it was the truth. There was no attempt to dress up prejudice as development. Mr. Modi’s supporters like him because he uses language they like against Muslims, because he hasn’t ever expressed any regret for the killing of innocent citizens under his watch.

The development myth built up around Mr. Modi is simply adulation for him allowing the killings of minority community members in Gujarat. The Chief Minister isn’t afraid to wear anti-Muslim credentials on his sleeve – for him the road to power is through prejudice.

The problem for Mr. Modi and supporters is this: if the politics of hatred returns to centre-stage like it did in the 1990s, big business and the India growth story will be the losers. What just happened in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh is a pointer to what may benefit the BJP electorally.

The only way Mr. Modi and the BJP can march ahead is by polarising people and then hope for a rich electoral harvest. A party desperate for office, which needs 50 Lok Sabha seats from Uttar Pradesh to be in striking distance of power in 2014, finds that the communal virus remains its most potent electoral card.

Far from maturing into an acceptable centre-right alternative to the Congress, the BJP and Mr. Modi have taken an extreme turn to the right.

Taking diverse interest groups along, building bridges, engaging with regional parties, taking their concerns on board, treating citizens equally are all requisites for running the Indian Republic.

Since 1989, India hasn’t had a single Prime Minister who hasn’t had to accommodate the interests of other parties to govern. Running a coalition means carrying people along.

Mr. Modi just doesn’t fit the bill.

Author Image

Amit Baruah is an independent, Delhi-based journalist. He is the author of Dateline Islamabad and reported for The Hindu newspaper from Pakistan. He tweets @abaruah64.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (165) Closed

dinesh Sep 16, 2013 02:44pm

There will be no difference in Pakistan and India. Both countries are in hands of fundamentalist. And this proves that theory of jinnah was correct. Hindu muslims cannot live together........not at least in this part of world.

Shankar Bandyopadhay Sep 16, 2013 03:00pm

Modi is the perfect messiah for the millions of Hindus who are at the receiving of a politics based on fake-secularism and appeasement of muslims for their vote. This has come at the cost of national security, insult and injury to Hindu men and women. The Hindu nation today is being choked with overdose of secularism. Our fake-secularist have invented a perverted definition of secularism where it is synonymous with muslim appeasement. The Hindus are desperately praying for a piece of earth where they can live their way of life without fear of attacks from children of past invaders. The author is either an Assamese or Bengali and both are marginal hindus and will never be capable of understanding the pain and suffering of a mainstream Hindu person.

AHA Sep 16, 2013 03:11pm

Lesson learnt: Extremism pays.

Sonal Sep 16, 2013 03:18pm

I couldn

rs Sep 16, 2013 03:19pm

The author is biased. With a negative mindset he has searched some parameters (to be verified) with lesser growth to picture Mr. Modi in bad light. He omits laudable achievements - uninterrupted quality electricity to all the villages, annual growth of 10% each year for more than a decade in agriculture, leading industrialists both in the country and abroad setting up industrial units, world class roads connecting all villages, uncorruptible person (as certified by US embassy), Communal harmony with no communal riots since 2002,etc. Quoting some bus some co passengers' views and sticking on Modi is laughable. Modi speaks of development of entire Indians and not for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, etc. India needs him -

jen Sep 16, 2013 03:24pm

The unfortunate gujarat riots were started by muslims. They burnt 59 children and women alive and then what happened next was a pure retaliation. Nobody could have averted the reaction given the gory thing the muslims did. Just to clear some misconception about those riots.

Calvin Sep 16, 2013 03:26pm

This is a completely biased article. Modi bashing has became a fashion and journalists and politicians who don't have anything genuine to attract attention indulge in it with enthusiasm. If anyone says Modi is communal he is trying to project entire Gujrat as a communal state for they are the ones who have made MODI. Gujrat also has its share of minority community and even in area where minorities are inhabiting BJP has fared better than other parties. Mr Amit Baruah if you want to project yourself as a secular intellectual among the Pakistani audience better be prepared to declare you own country as communal if BJP comes to power.

commoner Sep 16, 2013 03:26pm

Mr Baruah, Let me tell you - no minority including Muslims in India is insecure. It is only Congress party & few english TV channels who spread this bogus agenda. 1. Muslims are the only minority in INdia (forget about Christians, sikhs, jains etc) 2. All Muslims are insecure in India ( forgetting - muslims hold enormous business) Modi is blamed for Godhra roits but no one blames Congress for voilence against Sikhs in 1984. India is a huge country with many more problems to address. Congress looted country with so many scams and wants to cover up by being pro Muslims. People of India shall vote Modi to power because of his proven goverance, his focus to eliminate corruption and provide some respite to Indian public . Frankly, Modi doesnot need a religious plank to come to power - He will have tremendous support to get majority and provide employment without scams to India

bharathi Sep 16, 2013 03:26pm

hmm, I think this author is not living in India,,,,No media supports Modi,, and you are mentioning reverse,,,,,So in the name of secularism congress is looting country with scam after scams///The agenda of this election is development and desperate party is not BJP but congress...and your article is just one way. and not showing true picture...

Onkar Sharma Sep 16, 2013 03:48pm

Amit, you are article may be music to ears of Pakistanis but it is not a fair assessment. Please be objective and go and see for yourself how the life of Muslims in Gujrat has changed.

Devil Sep 16, 2013 03:49pm

Mr. Baruah, You have conveniently ignored all the facts and figures of growth in Gujarat in Modi era and have based this article majorly on a character "Dikubhai" (fictitious ?).

Few journalists deliberately lack the capacity to measure the intelligence of the people supporting a leader not of their (journalists) choice. Working class is sick and tired of Manmohan, congress, Rahul & Congress. We see Modi as a leader with vision and will pray he wins! Amen !

NORI Sep 16, 2013 03:58pm

Get well soon, Amit !! I am surpised that you criticized Modi on development plank even after you admitted that current UPA government is suffering from Policy paralysis. Not a word on Manmohan and Congress !!! Surprised. Cherry picking on development doesn't help. Gujarat is a part of India and not everything looks great, but acknowledge the work done. How many states in India can talk of providing 24 hour electricity even to villages and excellent roads ? Gujarat is not perfect but on a good road (under a good leadership) to development. If you can, try to get an article on the development done in Gujarat or recent communal riots in UP and how well they were handled.

Ashish Sep 16, 2013 04:05pm

Do you have any answers for all the scams done bu UPA govt. and Muslim appeasment policies of UPA as well as different governments of states.? India now needs a semi dictator and Modi seems to be a suitable candidate for that post. Not every person is a perfect one. Modi do have his own shortcomings but he is non corruptible ( as per wikileaks) , has a vision for the country. Your statement about development may be partially correct but see the position of other state governments. He has changed the scenario of electricity production and now Gujarat is supplying extra electricity to other states. In last 10+ years , there is no riots in Gujarat. See the opportunity of jobs and development + condition of infrastructure in gujarat and "compare " it with other states.

Sandeep Sep 16, 2013 04:08pm

Amit Baruah is a biased journalist, who cannot stomach the fact that the people of Gujarat are very happy about development in their state compared to states like Maharashtra which are losing out on competitiveness.

There is only one result - Modi win and a peaceful India after that. No appeasement of people based on Caste or Religion... just One India... heading towards tremendous progress.

varntvar Sep 16, 2013 04:20pm

I sometimes despair hard about people like Mr Baruah. How can someone so educated and wise, lose his sense of proportion so easily, just because he got frustrated with rising power of some demagogue.

Why is he not opposing the extremely capitalistic policies of Mr Modi in Gujarat. Why does the 90% of article not cover the people displaced in Gujarat because of the land grabs he mentioned? Why does Mr Baruah not cite specific figures about the number of people who have left their original occupation because of uncontrolled materialistic development of Gujarat? Why doesn't Mr Baruah talk about the exploitation of labor in Gujarat's new factories? Why doesn't Mr Baruah talk about how the industrialists keep all the profits and the poor are becoming more poor in Gujarat? And even if he want's to talk about state of Muslims, why is he not talking about the figures of how per capita income of Muslim's gone down in Gujarat? Why is an educated rational individual like Mr Baruah, resorting to anecdotal emotion-arising incidents from a once in an year bus journey that he took through Gujarat? Why is he mentioning an incident that happened in UP, under some completely unconnected government to instill the "fear of communalism" in the minds of the reader? Why has the left become so irrational and fact-avoiding and hate-spewing and fear-instilling?

I'll tell you why, because the likes of Mr Baruah, don't like Mr Modi - becaue he is not from their camp - and are unable to find any significant facts to oppose him. So they whip up the two-three old facts the they have with there anecdotes and emotional fear-instilling pieces.

I hate Modi myself, but I'll vote for him. Because if you have a sense of proportion - by that I mean a sense of "how much" good vs harm can Modi do and how much the policy paralysis of Congress-SP-BSP-Mamta combine can do ... anyone with a rational mind with correct information will choose Modi. Even after knowing and admitting his communal credentials and even after hating him from the core of my heart, I'll vote for him - because my rationality is not taken over by my prejudiced emotion. Please for god's sake, be sane Mr Baruah, be sane.

Mahen Sep 16, 2013 04:20pm


Sanjay Sep 16, 2013 04:35pm

Mr Baruah, Look at your State of Assam and the mess the congress has created out of it. Modi under Gujarat has progressed better than any other Indian State. The GDP of the small state is probably more than that of Pakistan. Yes we are are a developing country and lot needs to be developed and you can't Blame Modi for that. In fact the surprising part is that the more and more Muslims in Gujarat are supporting Modi. What does that prove? It only proves that he is not communal but is being portrayed as one by the Congress and the opportunist opposition parties. Its sad that a journalist like you sees the glass only half empty.

Anant Sep 16, 2013 04:39pm

Mr Baruah!! Which part did you exactly travel?? Of the 1 "Dikubhai" here, there are 100000 happy residents who just care for a better life. I being one of them. Police, water board, electricity, transport, roads all work. Much, much more than it used to 15 years back. And yes, i dint pay a single paisa bribe for that.

manish rohera Sep 16, 2013 04:37pm

do you think i will vote modi for his hindu hriday samrat image? no one says that there are no loop holes but they are shown as the only ones see i am middle class boy what modi offers is best roads,electricity and jobs. You guys have tarnished the reputation of Indian media there is another article on modi by Mr. Akbar please go and check how an unbiased article is written.

Sonal Sep 16, 2013 04:42pm

Wow! I cannot believe how popular Modi is, just judging from these comments!!! I hope and pray that India will make the right choice (though in my mind I don't know what that should be)!

Ahmed Sultan Sep 16, 2013 04:56pm

Love him or hate him but u cant ignore him. At least he will be a better PM than the mute Dr. Singh.

commoner Sep 16, 2013 05:01pm

Mr Amit, you seem to be a congress spokesperson and true Inidian elitist who just want cry foul on English TV channels on whatever Modi has done and cover up all misdeeds of Congress - Why dont you talk about the nemourous Hindu Muslim roits during congress rule. Why dont you talk about massacre of Sikhs during 1984 roits. Why do you associate Muslims as the sole minority in INdia. Well there are other minorities in India like Christrians, Buddhists Jains etc . ANd btw, now muslims in India are fed up Congress'd divide and rule policy. Congress is bound to loose muslims vote because muslims are tired of congress. Modi will for sure win absolute majority based on good goverance, results, development. Whereas Congress is trying level best to revive & leverage Godhra roits to fool indian public & cover up misgoverance & tons scams during its rule. Congress is party of cheats who want to bask in the Glory of Nehru-Indira family who congressmen claim as the only surviving freedom fighters . What happened to other freedom fighters like Patel, Maulan Azad , Ambedkars. How come none of their children could join politics whereas an alien bahu who can run the country for so many years. It is because Nehru had personal greed many times higher than the devotion and reverence other freedom fighters had for India. He systematically established DYNASTIC rule in India - but not any more. This election is going to put an end to Dynastic rule in INdia

pramod Sep 16, 2013 05:04pm

Mr Baruah,

I am not sure why it was always a one side story. As per govt stat 758 Muslims and 256 Hindu were killed in Post Godhra riots . 60 Hindu in godhra train make it 316. Even I blame Modi for not performing his duty to protect people (irrespective of faith) but work done by Modi can not be ignored. More over he has always talked about one nation one treatment. but it's always congress, SP and other political parties. I never saw any Muslim leader or even political parties who condone the Godhra Incident . I am a engineer this topic get discussed very frequently at out lunch time . Most people do support Modi for work and approach and not because his anti minorities credentials.

Kishore Sep 16, 2013 05:05pm

Mr Baruah. You make completely one-sided comments. You say Modi shows no regret for the innocents killed under his watch. Have the congress shown any remorse for the massacre of sikhs in the wake of Indira's assassination? Has any regime ever apologised in the entire sub-continent for any such crime? Come on Baruah, whom are you kidding? You make a point out of nothing only to denigrate Mr Modi.

K Sep 16, 2013 05:08pm

Mr.Baruah - Look at your state, do you know how many illegal people are staying there? The fact is Modi is the best ever CM of India, and India require him as PM. Doesn't matter what you think, majority of people who are having some sense and not biased like you want to see him as the leader of the country....

Mukesh Sep 16, 2013 05:12pm

Modi is the best politician of world

Amit Baruah Sep 16, 2013 05:11pm

Amused to see the predictable reactions to my piece. None of those writing comments bother to use their full names. The paid media (troll) industry must be giving employment to these people. Come on people, write in your own names at least!!

varntvar Sep 16, 2013 05:14pm

@Sonal: Right. Their isn't anyone else is what I too am saying. The left-wing has lost that sense of proportion. Modi is authoritative and communal. When BJP came to power in 1998, the congress and the likes were spreading a fear - which almost sounded as if we are going to have a Muslim pogrom. Nothing like that happened. Because our democracy is enough stable now for some political party to enforce a draconian policy. That's why even after being authoritarian and communal, the net harm Mod will be able to do, will weigh far less than the good his disciplining of bureaucracy might bring. Congress, the only other viable alternative, on the other hand is a proven failure on all fronts - and their authoritarianism is not overt - but through the tools of CBI and Revenue department. Given the choice, Modi seems the right one.

Hulegu Sep 16, 2013 05:26pm

You are basing your entire analysis on conversation with one man you met in a bus! Thats the worst form of journalism I have every seen.

Devil Sep 16, 2013 05:28pm


Your allegation of Modi being an Authoritarian, what is the basis of this except that its being repeated in Media? Enlighten us please ...

Beginning of the end of India ? How ?

Literacy, yes one area where we need to work a lot! But you being a self-claim informed individual, let us know your choice for PM !

Alok Sep 16, 2013 05:34pm

Come on Mr. baruah. I am in the middle of your book, "Dateline Islamabad". I admired you for this still my unfinished book. But after reading your article, I believe you have gone out of order in your mind. Simply put your are going on same way what you called Karachi born Advani. He also praised Jinna !!!!! the deceit personality who married his same age friends daughter'; a girl of age of his daughter!!!!!!!

You are so worried about Indian Muslims (25 crores and still called minority !!!!!!) plight but I don't think you have seen plight of Hindus in Pakistan. People like you (who considers themselves secular) and feel proud are the real enemy of Hindus. Just go and live among Muslims and dare to follow your religion.

Ahmed khan Sep 16, 2013 05:34pm

Mr Baruah

You seem to have based your article on what ONE individual said to you. You should have been more balanced. Sure - Gujarat riots hurt muslims and should never be repeated. but let me tell you there any many muslims like me, who hate him for what he did not do( stop the rioting) but i as an Indian beleive he will make India as prosperous as Gujarat. Today 16 pct of India GDP comes from gujarat and is the only state where we have matched (almost)China. I would vote for him as a practical business man and asan Indian.

Raj Patyel Sep 16, 2013 05:35pm

Amit has Modi phobia just like Diggi Raja has. If Modi is so one sided so you are. Why do you give so important to Modi if he is not worth while.

Sonal Sep 16, 2013 05:35pm


Lovely summation! I hate to say this, but extremism hasn't paid in Pakistan - it has made things much much much worse - I hope India will see this.

Indian Sep 16, 2013 05:41pm

@Sandeep: No Sandeep, I feel Amit has raised some very valid points. The problem is, in India, majority of voting public is illiterate or semi-literate who unfortunately never got a chance to get over their daily bread and butter and think rationally and have a wider perspective. They don't understand what change a politician or a party will bring to his miserable life. He is just happy and proud to see someone from his caste/religion/place come to power. Such people live and die in mirage. I went to Lucknow a couple of days back and took an auto from Charbagh station. I just asked the dalit auto driver about his life out of curiosity. he told me that he's been running auto for the last 15 years and living in the same shitty place and blah-blah. I asked him whether he likes SP Govt or was Mayawati better. Immediately he responded that Mayawati was better because she is from his native place and she made so many parks for people like him! Now look at such people, poor fellow doesn't even realize that he has been taken for a ride for all his life. He is still living the same miserable life which he was 15 years ago, and he's getting proud of the parks built by a dalit CM from his native place! That says all my friend. The overall living standard of Gujarati people may not have changed for last 10-15 years but they are happy that Modi will teach muslims a lesson, so they will vote for him. We are a society of pseudo-secularists, pseudo-religious, pseudo-cultural and pseudo-honour people, that's why even after 60 years of independence and the 21st century and the dot-coms and the IT revolution and the ICBMs, the elections in our country are still fought of the caste grounds. Ironical.

Sonal Sep 16, 2013 05:47pm

I am absolutely INTRIGUED by the comments and corresponding likes and dislikes here.

So basically most people are saying they agree Modi is not clean, but since the Congress is not clean either that makes supporting Modi fine. That is just the most screwed up logic I have ever come across. OR, it's fine to support Modi because he has a good economic track record. So basically we're making a trade off between our morals and our lust for money.

In my heart, I do think Modi would be a fine candidate. I just don't feel ethically correct in supporting him because he sat and watched while over 2000 people were getting killed.

Question: Why weren't any Congress leaders denied US visas while Modi is? (using permission to enter America as a proxy for 'clean chit')?

Shahzad Sep 16, 2013 05:48pm

Why Modi Shouldn't be PM Of India. One, Modi doesn't care about minority/ different religious views. Second, He is authoritarian and selfish man;All his achievement in terms if "I". Third, there is a gaga going over Gujrat Administration; Gujratis are well enterprising people when it comes to business just like memon in Pakistan. India needs new vision and ideas; this old man cannot fit in it. Last not least to elect him means; to elect right wings like SS/RSS/VHP which is not good for minorities like Brahmins, Dalits and Muslims.

Anant Sep 16, 2013 05:57pm

Its surprising that the writer talks about RSS as being anti minority. i am a minority (btw there are other forgotten peaceful minorities too in India, besides Muslims) and have attended the "shakhas" or gatherings. Not just once but series of it. Mr Baruah, you are similar to Barkha Dutt.

paul singh Sep 16, 2013 06:20pm

@Ashish: hi I think you fit the dikhubhai bill a lot! one thing is for sure, Dikhubhai himself or his family has never been in a situation, where he or family was under the threat of being taught a lesson, for the folly of his community person! similarly Ashish ji hasnt been yet subjected to semi or any dictatorship, so happy dreaming! In fact happy dreaming all! nothing is certain till the fat lady sings and till then all are winners! At least Teherik E Insaf, supporters should agree!!! cheers!

Rome Sep 16, 2013 06:52pm

@Amit Baruah: Touchy, aren't you? If you cannot take the heat, stop frying pakoras.

Amit Sep 16, 2013 06:56pm

@pramod: I agree with one addition. The burning people alive was premeditated while the killing that followed, though not right, was done out of rage. If similar barbarian act was carried out in Pakistan, or for that matter almost any country, by any minority, the results would have thousand time worse then what happened in India. There would have been systematic genocide!

Salim Langda Sep 16, 2013 06:57pm

Economic development is the only way out of poverty. When people have worked hard to earn money, have food in their stomach, a shelter over their head; riots will not happen. The author obviously ignores the fact that during the recent Gujarat elections, a lot of muslims voted for Modi. He provided them with the above things which congressmen did not.

Raj Patel Sep 16, 2013 07:08pm

@Sonal: You should get your facts right about 2000 people getting killed in 2002 in Gujarat. Second thing you need barometer of USA visa to measure Indias priministerial candidate> How funny is that ? Mahatma Gandhiji didn't get nobel prize didn't mean other poltician of USA got nobel have high regards among world. BTW he never asked visa for USA. Please check your facts. You are among HOLOLO type.

Ajay Sep 16, 2013 07:22pm

Mr.Amit, Baruah what an article ? based on one person out of 120 billion population? its ridiculous. what happened to Muslims in Gujarath under Modi's reign , no one supports in India (at least 90% of Indians) now you must know what triggered it ? ,100% of the Indians don't vote for it. Its Muslim-certain lobby who burnt Hindus who were in a train bogie. Now its a old chapter. What is happening to Christians in Pakistan one is bothered ? Muslims in India are far well off than in Pakistan. we all remain in good terms and harmony. Modi as a PM , let the time decide. By the way I am a christian and so blessed to live in India than any of our neighboring country.

PrasadK Sep 16, 2013 07:20pm

@Amit Baruah:

I am one of the fence sitters, and i suspect there are more of my ilk than they let on. Basically, I am neither convinced that Modi is the right guy, nor can i say with conviction that the alternative is any better! I mean you know it yourself - what a mess the UPA government has created in nearly the last 10 years of their rule. The problem with Modi though is that he is being projected as too much of a development messiah who will bring "utopia". At the same time, his inaction in 2002 sits heavily on our decision-making, and makes it all the more difficult to unequivocally support his candidacy. To tell you the truth, I would have been the first to make a quick decision if the NDA candidate had been someone like Sushma Swaraj! But Modi's selection as the PM candidate makes the situation complex. My problem is when i look at the alternative i experience nothing but dismay. If you specifically look at Pune, my city of residence, the one who represents us in Parliament is Suresh Kalmadi. Need i say more? What was the UPA thinking when they gave him the candidacy a 2nd time in 2009?

I think a lot of Indian citizens - and this is a totally religion-agnostic matter - will find it a very difficult choice on voting day. Whether to vote for them (UPA) or for Modi - not an easy choice.

varntvar Sep 16, 2013 07:22pm

@Sonal: No Sonal. It's not about someone being clean or not. Politics is a pragmatic aspect of society, not emotional or moral. It used to be emotional and moral in eastern civilizations - from the Islamic civilizations, to ancient Indian, to Chinese to Japanese - almost all eastern civilization had some relation between morality and the King or the state. Unfortunately, the systems we adopted after 47, were borrowed from the west - even after fierce opposition from Gandhi.

What we currently have is a politics of "checks and balances" as opposed to "inner voice of the right", "written laws" as opposed to "wisdom of the elderly", "tax and police based control" as opposed to "faith in the state". So, treat politics pragmatically, and NOT morally and choose a ruler based on the "magnitude" of his /her positive/negative impact.

Any moral high-ground you (or anyone from middle class) wish to be on by feeling ethical or not is a farce, given the unwillingness of the middle classes to join politics.

Amit Sep 16, 2013 07:30pm

@Amit Baruah: Though I was against everything you said, I still gave you benefit of doubt and though may be you are misguided.

Srinivas Rao Sep 16, 2013 07:42pm

@Amit Baruah: Many valid questions are raised by readers. Instead of answering them logically, you are painting everybody with same brush as paid. It is disgusting to see your reaction for me at least.

Calvin Sep 16, 2013 07:46pm

This is a biased article. I am astonished how can he make an opinion about a leader elected thrice by people of Gujrat based on the views of one random guy. Gujrat is growing and work is still on. By pointing out shortcomings in Gujrat he can't prove other states are faring well or better. Modi doesn't have a magic wand. There is no denying Gujrat has prospered under MODI and he is the man we need at the moment. MODI bashing has became a fashion for those who don't have anything concrete to attract attention.

varntvar Sep 16, 2013 07:47pm

@Amit Baruah: Can you please not divert us again by asking my real name, and answer what I asked in my first comment. Please take up 6-7 states and their 5 year performances on a well balanced scorecard - including economic, social, health, education, infrastructure indicators - chose neutral (preferably govt) sources of data - like CAG's reports on where was the money spent by which state, economic survey of India, answers to parliament and assembly questions - and if you can't find information about some indicator file RTI with various states - and make an informed rational view of Modi's performance, and share with us. And I plead you to not start this exercise with the agenda of proving Modi wrong, please be as objective and rational as possible. You will be surprised as how well Gujarat is doing. If you are biased, as I was an year back, you'll always be making emotional irrational decisions based on some anecdotal evidence. Let's have an object assessment comparing Gujarat with similar sized states under congress, SP and other rules. I assure you, if you do it, you'll also have the same stance as mine - that I hate Modi but I'll vote for him.

Amrit Sep 16, 2013 07:57pm

pseudo secular opportunists like the author hide behind apocryphal stories to mislead people. he writes he talked to a person on bus called dikubhai and attributes to him whatever imaginary things he wants to say. laughable considering that Amit Baruah has written this. just to sell your article, pseudo secular people can write anything. the article is so divisive...reflects that the mindset is as bad as the mentality of communal fundamentalists. India would be better without both fundamentalists and psedo seculars . but good GDP and happy people of all communities to coexist peacefully is welcome

PI Sep 16, 2013 08:11pm

A misplaced story about Modi to misguide polarised pakistanis to polarise against BJP

Salman khan Sep 16, 2013 08:41pm

Thank god my parents migrated to Pakistan.

Raj Sep 16, 2013 08:43pm

@Shahzad: I Agree..!!!

Raj Sep 16, 2013 08:49pm

@Alok: Any one's personal life is none of ur business & Agree with the article

Raj Sep 16, 2013 08:50pm

@Mukesh: Yeah.. in ur dream for sure..!!

Raj Sep 16, 2013 08:53pm

@varntvar: I think u need to be Sane first..!!!

nabil Sep 16, 2013 08:50pm

Indian brothers & sisters,you all know in your heart & mind, modi has big big hatred not just muslims but also other minirities in India.He controls vast area of bussines & social life sector in his state. Many of my friends from india of many ethinic background hate & detest modi. If you vote for him then then you will be voting for biggest social unrest in history of India.

Raj Sep 16, 2013 08:53pm

@NORI: I think u need to get well very soon..!!!

NASAH (USA) Sep 16, 2013 08:58pm

Mr. Baruah is the conscience of a democratic secular egalitarian India. It's sheer pleasure to read his balanced articles in DAWN.

DK Sep 16, 2013 09:18pm

I wonder if Dikubhai knows that he a topic of discussion and crucial to this lazy author's entire worldview.

RANJEET SINGH Sep 16, 2013 09:31pm

@Amit Baruah: i m ranjeet singh and i say modi is perfect man for next indian pm for his growth policies and not show fake secularism thats my full mr amit barua and id also

Venu Sep 16, 2013 09:39pm

Although I am a big fan of articles on Dawn website, this article is biased and does't potray positive sides of Mr.Modi and his achievements. People like him for his accomplishments, leadership, no nonsense attitude and basically tired of congress party. And to potray every one who likes him as relegious or non-secular is far from truth.

Shan Sep 16, 2013 09:47pm

Mr. Baruah.. I want you to write a letter on truth about Congress and its allies. How much you get for writing against Hindus and Anti India Articles..!!! So I can manage fund accordingly ..

Purush Sep 16, 2013 10:06pm

This is a strange article. The writer is thoroughly confused what is his argument. Is he against Modi for his so called non development (the entire world is speaking highly of the model so that authro is a lone voice). Is he against Modi because he feels Modi is not secular (he is right. There is a diference between secularism and appeasement. The writer is living in old age and has to grwo up to the realities of India). Is he worried about electoral adjustments. Well he is likely to be surprised in this election. All in all pretty immature stuff from a person claiming such journalistic credentials.

Dinesh Sep 16, 2013 10:28pm

And Amit Baruah made no attempts to dress up his prejudice either :)

Asad Sep 16, 2013 10:45pm

Judging by the comments and the likes/ dislikes it seems most Indians see Modi favourably.

Quiet fascinating considering most Indians like to tell us how intolerant our society in Pakistan has become but yet here is an Indian PM candidate with a questionable past when it comes to tolerance against minorities (or should I say muslims to be precise), but given his economic achievements India is quite happy to ignore and elect him as PM. Must give you guys credit for looking at the bigger picture (that was sarcasm btw). And from reading some of the comments below a few definitely share the same sentiments as the 'guy on the bus'

Bunch of jokers!

Shiv Mishra Sep 16, 2013 11:07pm

Perhaps writer is of opinion that we are very rich country and not having sewage treatment plant is most worrisome chapter of citizen's life. Let me educate you on few other problems which plagues our society:

  1. CM Nitish Kumar, for which you always have kind words could not add a single MW power generation capacity in Bihar in last 8 years, when 80% of Bihar lives in dark all summer, Gujraat provides its citizens 100% uninterrupted power supply.
  2. What about people who die in road accidents, or when ambulances (if they actually exist) do not reach to good Hospitals, usually only in state capitals? Gujraat has quality hospitals in every districts, and roads are not bad if some extraordinary treatment is required. Again you will remain myopic to those petty little things, when Sewage treatment plant is your biggest worry.
  3. everybody is worried about Malnutrition in Gujraat (incidentally the state is 80% vegetarian which our esteemed intellectual conveniently ignore), kids are dying in other states including my state, trying to eat khichdi supplied by government. I hope those who survive are healthy, because intellectuals of India are not going to give a damn about them, after all how can kids fed by secular government be malnourished?
  4. All the intellectuals in India are aghast at how less educated Gujraatis are, that they drop out of schools, again in a state whose one famous son, Senior Ambani once said, what will i do in school, i will go to Mumbai and earn. But these epigenetic factors in state seem not worthy of interest of our intellectuals. However, when Nitish Kumar appoints Guthka chewing and puking teachers in Bihar, based on extreme cast calculations, apparently students there become more knowledgeable just because they have a degree or two to show on their sleeves.

I am not saying Gujraat is perfect, but it is better than Bihar, and in last 8 years when liberal poster boy, Nitish has been CM along with Nazi Modi, the gulf has widened. And pls, when you vomit your worthless statistics, kindly keep in mind, subcontinent is poorer than sub-saharan Africa.

sudeep Sep 16, 2013 11:08pm

Seriously, Amit? Seriously?

You picked up on one comment, from one random stranger, and decided he represents EVERYBODY who supports Modi?

I met one guy who claims to support congress because he wanted to marry Priyanka - should I now assume he represents you (presumably a congress supporter)?

I am racking my brains to find a worse example of journalism and honestly, I am unable to come up with one. Congrats - you surprised the depths!

And while we are on this topic, can you please ask the ruling UPA/congress similar questions on 'achievements'? Why, after ten years of continuous rule, we have rapes all over the country? Why is the fiscal situation in a hell? Why rupee is crashing? Why are rioits breaking out in UP?

I am with Modi because I want my children to be part of a first world country.

allaisa Sep 16, 2013 11:23pm

I have been to both China and India recenty. What I believe is that if India wants to develop like China it needs a ruthless leader who can order the killing of a million and not lose sleep over it (like Mao) and a visionary like Deng Xiaoping who put China on the development path for the past 25 years. As far as I can see only Modi fits the bill.

allaisa Sep 16, 2013 11:27pm

No Mr. Barua power does not run through prejudice. It runs through the barrel of a gun and if 'minorities' find themselves at the business end of it, so be it. Surprising thing is that you consider only Muslims in India as minorities but not other minorities like Christians, Sikhs, Jains.

nandkishor Sep 16, 2013 11:32pm

mr baruah what will happen if some hindus burn a bogie full of muslims in pakistan ?

vijay kumar Sep 16, 2013 11:33pm

I am very disappointed with Amit Baroah. Does he have to do this for a living... create fiction about Modi in the international arena?

Readers of Dawn may be tole the truth here. India has a choice between Rahul Gandhi, who like Bilawal Bhutto was born with a silver spoon and has done nothing to make a living AND in opposition to him there is Narendra Modi who started life at a tea stall, rose to become Chief Minister. And made his state- Gujarat-- rich corruption free and dynamic.

Unfortunately Rahul Gandhi and the Congress have employed International Advertising agencies --JWT (readers can verify this) with a 1500 crore budget to discredit Modi. They have even employed thousands of journalists and publicists to puncture the Modi Tsunami.

One sincerely hopes that Amit Baroah can see this large game.

In the end peace between India and Pakistan arrived with Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif. Both of right wing parties. Similarly Nawaz and Modi both knwoing the importance of business in development would usher in better Indo Pakistan relations.

Nizamuddin Ali Ahmad Sep 16, 2013 11:41pm

Well written article. This is the reality of the world today, from USA to France and Behrain to Pakistan. Only way citizens can fight this is by voting on merits and past performances for the good of common man and women. I met a prominent Indian politician in Europe while I was a student told me some thing opened my eyes, as how he had changed his mind about humans when a bunch of poor Muslim boys saved his sister being raped by Hindu kids, risking their lives. He told me that " being a devout Hindu does not mean i should hate Muslims or any other faith . Good people do good things and bad people do bad things ". He became more liberal and tolerant after his sisters incident. That man is dead now and I can not publish his name being a prominent name in today politics. Mr. Modi is in minority and people like my friend is in majority. People should not vote for narrow minded people. Sadly educated people like USA educated collect more money for Modi than any other group. His chief fund raiser unfortunately works in White House and comes from well respected family in Houston, Texas. Her parents are not as radical as her. As a matter of fact her father went to court to stop entry of Mr. Modi in United States after Gurjtat murder of Muslim supported by thousands of fair minded Hindus in the USA.

Jai Wishant Sep 16, 2013 11:47pm

Amit Baruah: Your are entitled to your views. But, so is everybody else else. For you to so conclusively imagine that everybody posting a view opposite to yours here is somehow paid for doing so, and attributing some skewed logic of hiding behind the veneer of first name etc, is not only unfortunate and arrogant but insults the reader's intelligence.

Dahir Sep 16, 2013 11:55pm

@Shahzad: Modi's tenure is likely to be very similar to last tenure of BJP under vajpayee.In India,unlike America,head of executive is a sum total of his cabinet,there is little scope of personal manouvring

Dahir Sep 16, 2013 11:58pm

@Sonal: 2800 Sikhs were killed in Delhi alone in do you know if modi was sitting or standing

Dahir Sep 17, 2013 12:00am

@Ahmed khan: Also, baruah's home state has been invaded by people from erstwhile east Pakistan and he is soon going to immigrate to Mumbai or Delhi

Parvez Sep 17, 2013 12:12am

As a casual outside observer of Indian politics I see two things : - The Indian people have developed a ' Congress fatigue ' syndrome, quite natural after many years in power. - The far right position or anti- Muslim stance projected looks like a populist campaign strategy. Modi is smart enough to wash it away once he sits on the hot seat in Delhi.

saminuk Sep 17, 2013 12:23am

@Indian: Unfortunately, you are making the same mistake that the writer Mr Baruah is making i.e. quoting one person and simply assuming that he is speaking for the rest of his community and caste. I also challenge your view about most Indians voting for their caste/ community leaders as they are illiterate and looking for short term gains. In fact, several times in the past when there has been simultaneous national and state elections in some states, different parties have come into power- suggesting that a degree of mature thinking before voting. Ten years ago, I would not have voted for Mr Modi. But since the 2002 riots, Gujarat has been FREE of religious disharmony. There has been no genocide or mass migration of Muslims from Gujarat. The Congress was primarily responsible for the Sikh massacre post Mrs Gandhi's assassination but that has not prevented secular, liberal people including Sikhs themselves to vote for that party. I would vote for Mr Modi in the hope that he turns economy around and not for religious reasons. He has been consistent and should be given a chance. Also, if he does unleash a wave of terror against Muslims, he will not last long. The constitution of India does allow for President's rule with adequate support from parliament under exceptional circumstances. Chances are that all those parties who will be supporting BJP in case it comes to power, will withdraw support in event of widespread religious disharmony.

Shubs Sep 17, 2013 12:24am

@Raj Patyel: Raj, please step out of your juvenile Modi fanboy avatar for once, and see this in a mature light. A large section of India doesn't care about the cult of personality you guys are building around Modi. They don't know the man. They just know him as a great polarizer. And that is not an attractive trait for a politician. Of course, he will always have his core base, which you seem to be part of, but that will never win him elections on a national level, nor will it ever establish him as a statesman. His only offering to India today is that he is not a Congressman. I'm sorry, but that will not carry him over the line.

Ashok Kapur Sep 17, 2013 12:26am

Mr Barua, I write under my full name. Age 76, live in New Delhi. What utter rubbish you have written. When was the last time you came to India, felt the air ,felt the pulse of its people? Because you are based in Pakistan, it seems quite obvious that the Pakistani reader is the audience in your mind. Tickle, tickle, Please keep as many copies of the Dawn with your article safely in your custody Come 2014,you will need to eat all the words .you have written.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 17, 2013 12:42am

@Hulegu: is very very very CONVENIENT for journalists .with "sources" of bus-riding variety to buttress their points!

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 17, 2013 12:48am

Tap out "Eminent Domain" & Wikipedia and see the trouble countries had to go through to obtain land for development.

Narendra Modi is WILLING TO TAKE ON THE smooth out land-acquisition with which India has not had much experience?

allaisa Sep 17, 2013 01:07am

@Amit Baruah: Names do not matter, Mr. Baruah. What matters is what they say.

Raj Sep 17, 2013 02:03am

I request people to read many of the articles of Baruah and it will be crystal clear that he is anit-Modi and pro-congress.

Graham Sep 17, 2013 02:09am


Hindu numbers in Pakistan and Bangladesh are decreasing, and Muslim numbers in India is increasing every year. Muslims, in every non-Muslim countries, increase at a faster rate than the host communities.

And still Muslims claim they are very liberal people, and secular at the same time. Great.

Imran Sep 17, 2013 02:43am

@Shankar Bandyopadhay: Marginal Hindu vs Mainstream that's a really novel concept for me. Could you please explain further?

krishnan Sep 17, 2013 03:47am

Interesting analysis.Considering the likely split verdict, Modi will find it difficult to knit a coalition.together. Incidentally Rabin in Israel was similar in his approach but managed a peace (tried at least)agreement.Sometimes one feels he could be better than closet communalists who use the unfortunate Muslims as a vote bank.

CN Sep 17, 2013 03:59am

As I see it, another 5 years of congress rule and India will be back to 1990's. That is a very low bar for Narendra Modi and I am damn confident that he will be much much better than that. This coming from someone who has lived in Gujarat since birth.

Narendra Modi has expressed regret few times on various channels (it is sad that each blogger expects a personal apology from him). Anyhow, we have been under Congress misrule for 65 years. I would give any non-congress leader with an iota of hope my vote. With Narendra Modi, I am more than hopeful that he will deliver.

samma Sep 17, 2013 04:13am

MODI is a criminal, he has commited crimes against humanity by helping the right wing hindu mobs in gujarat in 2002, to torch and burn the muslim women, men and children, while the police were protecting the hindus, the thugs of MODI were doing their job by killing innocent muslims at that time, the whole nation of india knows about that fact, but still supporting this criminal who should be hanged for his crimes...

Jitendra Sep 17, 2013 04:17am

This article is utter nonsense and far from reality.

SBB Sep 17, 2013 04:35am

It is a fact that not all prejudice is against Muslims... this article is a great example of prejudice in itself. Please read through the actual facts of Modi. If you go to Gujrat, you will find that Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and others have all prospered equally with Modi. BTW, do you care to remember any of the governments in states where riots have previously claimed many more victims than in Gujrat?

Cool Henry Sep 17, 2013 04:46am

Hey you Amit Baruah - do you like Italian chocolate?

Allaisa Sep 17, 2013 04:58am

@Amit Baruah: You say 'paid media'. Are you implying that you are writing in Dawn for free? And if not who is paying you write such negative articles about Modi, Congress?

Ajit Nagarkar Sep 17, 2013 05:06am

@Anant: RSS , VHP and the Bjrang Dal the groups behind BJP, have attacked mosques churches and have spread the culture of hate. They are just like the Taliban. If one researches history the RSS is modeled after the NAZI party

Mustafa Sep 17, 2013 05:28am

What Mr. Batuah is saying today, Allama Iqbal said 90 years ago.

Sach keh doon aye Brahmin, agar tu bura na maney Teray sanam kadey ke but ho gaye puraney

Apnon se nafrat karna tu ne button se sikha Jang-o-jadal sikhaya waiz ko bhi khuda ne

Poetry is not very popular with hate mongers, I expect to surpass a century in thumbs-down.

Mustafa Sep 17, 2013 05:57am

It would be wrong to say that Mr. Modi is totally reliant on Anti Muslim hate mongering and his credentials for slaughtering several thousand Muslims. Hate is a pseudo ideology and hate mongers can go a long way in posing as ideologues. By watching our own hate mongers, I can bet Mr. Modi doesn't lust for money. In primitive societies lust for blood can be more easily justified than lust for money. Unfortunately, in spite of the thin veneer of human development, the "primitive society" the world over consists of well over six billion people. An alarmingly large proportion of otherwise normal people, are beholden to some notion like race, country, religion, language, or culture which in their mind is superior to just simple humanity.

Incorrigible Sep 17, 2013 06:03am

@Sonal (Part 2) Just to clarify , i am not deriving to a conclusion that BJP is the party to go for in 2014 by means of elimination of other 2 fronts. BJP, of course has it's share of flaws. They have their own record of corruption in places like Karnataka and that's something that they need to work on.I also agree that they need to move away from irrelevant topics such as the Ram Janambhoomi issue raised by fringe elements in BJP/RSS. Just to clarify Narendra Modi/BJP has never demanded for the temple to be built by force. Their demand is that a temple should be constructed at the rightful place after taking the Muslims onboard as well as follow the supreme court ruling on this case( Not that i agree with this policy but laying out the facts for what they are). A wise man once said "At this age and era you cannot take everything written(in our case TV shows/reports) as sacrosanct truth" . We as citizens need to question the media on why they fuel biased reporting and views against Modi? I am all for TV shows and reporters questioning Modi but please for heavens sake keep it fair and unprejudiced! How many shows have you seen on the sikh riots? how many of the culprits have been booked? How many shows have reported on the Assam riots, Muzzafarnagar riots, Bihar riots and the list goes on and on. If you want to question/grill Modi go ahead be my guest but please treat everyone/every party equally. has anyone grilled or questioned Congress party, SP, JD (U) any other party for thousands of riots that have taken place in the past? Do you remember the CM of any of these states who were at the helm when the riots happened? Once again i am not saying 2 wrongs make it right. i am just saying that Media being a watch dog needs to show both sides fairly and let ppl make their own decision.Last i heard/read in our constitution you are considered to be innocent until you are proven guilty. No court has ever ruled Modi as being guilty of the alleged pogrom and this in-spite of congress letting it's wolves/CBI to hound him and implicate him.

Incorrigible Sep 17, 2013 06:08am

@Sonal (Part 3) Unfortunately the Barkha Dutt's, Sagarika Ghose's, Rajdeep Sardesai's of this world have held him guilty by running their own lopsided media trials. i I can answer each one of your concerns on Modi if you have an open mind and are willing to hear me out. I can assure you , i do have one and i am completely open to someone/anyone willing to have a logical san discussion on this issue.Finally, It's citizens of this country who can move the narrative of indian politics to the center by raising such issues and i for one do that whenever i have a chance. The Indian youth/public need Jobs, Healthcare, world class infrastructure and corruption free society. The question to ask is who will provide us that? Who talks about all the above issues? Who has plans to fix the above problems? As an Indian citizen proud of our democratic virtues, i take my right to vote seriously by evaluating each one of the alternatives and the questioning the canard being spread in our daily lives by paid media and i certainly hope you as well as all my fellow citizens do the same.


The Incorrigible

PS: Sorry about the length of my response. Brevity was never my strong suit. Also ignore the grammar and spelling mistakes which i am sure you will find in plenty :)

Sam Sep 17, 2013 06:12am

@Amit Baruah: "sewage treatment" has now become measure of development in a country where getting basics is an everyday challenge, and Dikhubhai.....does he even exist.....hearsay and vague references only make very poor argument....

Incorrigible Sep 17, 2013 06:15am

@varntvar: Brilliant! Though i don't concur with your thoughts on him being deemed communal but i appreciate and wish ppl have your sense of pragmatism when they evaluate the options we have in front of us in 2014.

MIckey Sep 17, 2013 06:17am

The intellectual dishonesty of Mr. Baruah's is evident by him cherry picking one (just one) of a personal anecdote (which conveniently cannot be verified) to fit his grossly skewed and contrite political views. Surely he must be blind to not see the development of Gujarat in the last 10 years. He might be calculating that his employment would be virtually guaranteed as long as he peddles his so called "secular" thoughts by beating up Mr. Modi. People like Mr. Baruah should take a sabbatical and live in Middle East for sometime to get a better perspective which even Dawn has covered in other articles.

When well informed and rational readers start seeing Mr. Baruah's agenda, he may be persuaded to look for another job. If Mr. Modi continues his work, Mr. baruah's might come to Gujarat looking for employment.

Sam Sep 17, 2013 06:23am

@Sonal: So you are fine having congress at the center since it presided over the killings of Sikhs in 80s and innumerable riots across India since 47 and scores of Hindus and Muslims that perished in those riots.

When the riots happen, the normal logic goes out of the window. People just take revenge from each other and simply kill. The Gujrat riot was no exception. By the way, it was Muslims who burned a bogey full of Hindu pilgrims. This act started he riots at the first place.

raj Sep 17, 2013 07:05am

@Ahmed khan: proud of you Ahmed khansab ...I am almost crying reading your comments ... we in India needs Muslims like you ...proud of you sir ...

raj Sep 17, 2013 07:04am

@Amit Baruah: r u paid for writng this article ? how much ?

Rajesh Balakrishnan Sep 17, 2013 07:44am

@Amit Baruah: Well Amit, This is my real name and the mail ID is also real. Its your democratic right, but, one shouldnt stoop so low so as to sell your book. Like most of the Modi bashers, (hit and run experts), you have been very economic with truth.Riots are an unfortunate truth in India, more than a few thousand happened in the last few decades. Are you willing to debate the response of the Modi Govt during the Gujarat riots vis vis the other riots happened under S(ick)ecular watch? You will never do that. Your secular Assam burned for months before it was controlled, UP for weeks, Gujarat in 3 days despite the fact that 3 Congress ruled state govt refused to send police assistance despite request from Modi which was made with in 12 hours of riots and the Army was called in less than 24 hours.Out of the 1100 people wo died in the riots, 350 odd people were hindus and most of them died in Police firing, pls pray tell me how many hindus/congress workers died in police firing during 1984 sikh riot? Gujarat holds one of the better record among the states interms of employing Muslims in Govt service, Secular states like West Bengal and Bihar lie at the bottom of the pile. There has been ZERO riots in the last one decade in Gujarat, a 100+ in the last one year in your secular UP and countless in your Secular Assam. There were morethan a few thousand encounters in India, 250+ in UP alone in the last 5 yrs. And how many muslims killed in encounters in Mumbai in the last few years? How many police officers are in Jail? But, only the 22 encounters in Gujarat need to be investigated. When Gujarat govt petitioned the supreme court for opening investigation on all suspected cases across the country, the secular govt says its against national security.Batla house encounter probe and the court verdic happened in less than 5 yrs. But the Gujarat encounter probe by CBI is still dragging after 10 yrs and the whole ATS team is in jail for over 6 yrs. Pray tell us your opinion on why it is so? I think its a way to extract political mielage out of it by the secular political parties all over india. I can go on an on. Let me sum it for the readers, Its the so called Journalist like Mr Baruah who are the biggest threat to India. Naxals use gun and kill a few, People like you distort fact and poison the minds of entire community and help fan division in our society and the classic example is you coming to a conclusion once you have spoken to one particular Hindu.SHAME ON YOU.

Arun Sep 17, 2013 08:27am

The prejudice seems to be all in the heart of Amit Baruah, and not Modi. Only he can find one prejudiced Dikubhai and make him represent the Indian electorate. Modi has refused to make the Babri Masjid an election issue. His issue is "good governance", regardless of religion.

MS Sep 17, 2013 08:38am

@Amit Baruah:

You had three options: 1) Respond to the comments rationally (or) 2) Stay silent (or) 3) Call everyone against your opinion, a troll.

Unfortunately you chose the third option. Hope you have heard of Ad Hominem?

At least those who comment here are not journalists. Unlike them, you, a journalist, should be striving to set a standard for commenting NOT bring it down further.

And don't make me remind you that Narendra Modi is a candidate of a party. Nothing more nothing less! If, in a democracy, lot of people feel the same way as you do they will vote him out. BUT if they feel arguments from people like you are hollow, they will vote for BJP (not Modi, this is not presidential).

And it is naive to think that Modi will come and teach a lesson to Muslims! India is too diverse and bureaucratic to let one person go havoc (that's true even for development). If you think India is filled with Dikubhais (Does he exist by the way? Going by your logic, Why is his surname not being put?) you are strongly mistake or pretending!

But if this article is your effort to play to the gallery, then I am sorry for interrupting your play!

P.S 1: I have consciously taken a decision NOT to mention my full name to help you adapt to a certain concept called as Individual freedom. But again, you can use Ad Hominem to pooh-pooh my argument.

P.S 2: What if someone says there is a Muslim wing for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh? Does that make them avowedly anti-minority? Or is it cherry-picking by me equivalent to our dear Dikubhai? I feel it is lazy journalism. There are organizations with extreme Right opinions, but what about an organization which wants an uniform civil code? Perhaps, more centre-right than avowedly anti-minority?

P.S 2: Many South Indians do not use Surnames..

Kumar Sep 17, 2013 08:48am

You travel across whole Gujarat, and find your answer talking to "one person Dikubhai" , that says it all, how biased your nonsense is.

Darshan Suyal Sep 17, 2013 08:52am

Muslims have become problem for India, they not only divided us in 1947, they are hampering our development by selling their votes to Pro-Pakistani Parties (like Congress, SP). I think they must be barred from voting. Why should they be allow to vote, they can cross over to Pakistan if they are not happy.

jaykraman Sep 17, 2013 08:59am

@Shankar Bandyopadhay: Bengalis and Assamese are "marginal Hindus."??? Tell this to a real Bengali or Assamese. You will get lynched. Swami Vivekananda ,the creator of modern Hinduism and Shyamaprasad Mukerjee the father of Jan Sangh were both Bengalis. Talk to a real Assamese and see how strong he feels about his Hindu heritage. Please do not write offensive non sense.

rajesh Sep 17, 2013 09:14am

There are many journalists in india who have a past time mocking modi. Many of them are doing it for past ten years. And many of them are on congress rolls being members of some govt committee. They talk like friends of indian muslims. But it is their action only that has brought Mr Modi on centre stage. But many muslims are better informed, and they understand that they need not live in fear in India. India is meant for people from all religions. It is crucible of all good things from all religions

Morad786 Sep 17, 2013 09:16am

Extremist mindset should be defeated everywhere in the World. Appeasing them will result in long-term issues in society.

Any party that is driven by hatred should be disbanded and parties with real economic and social policies for all should be encouraged!

Viz Sep 17, 2013 09:35am
  1. The writer is obviously pandering to a Pakistani readership.
  2. The mainstream Indian TV and newspaper media has for months and years persecuted Mr. Modi day in and day out (not glorified him) - just watch all the interviews and talk shows at night. Every major channel and news anchor is as anti-Modi as can be.
  3. Modi's platform is fair governance and equal opportunity for all - no special privileges based on religion. What is wrong with this? In Gujarat, Muslims are safer than anywhere else and their economic indicators have improved yearly - something other "secular" states in India cannot talk about.
  4. The groundswell of support for Modi from the common man is something the current government is turning a blind eye to and which our media are refusing to acknowledge.
  5. The current government has been an absolute disaster in its second term and needs to go.
  6. Similar fears were raised about the BJP when it came into power in the 90s. The reality of politics ensured that the the government remained pragmatic in its approach towards minorities, Muslims and Pakistan. Expect the same from Modi and look forward to some real movement on Indo-Pak relations.


Prakash Sep 17, 2013 09:39am

@Amit Baruah You really did not find anything praiseworthy in Modi, Really!! Your whole assessment in based on talking to one person - just one Man.

Robert Kharsiang Sep 17, 2013 09:55am

Mr Amit Baruah, first you create a fictitious Dikhubai and write an entirely dishonest account of what Modi is and has done in the past. Then you have the gumption to call letter writers objecting to your lies as trolls. You are a truly low quality journalist and in close competition with another Indian, Jawed Naqvi, who has mastered the art of condemning India irrespective of the issue under discussion. One is not surprised at what you two are doing because this is the only way you can make your living. Hope you will survive these economically difficult times writing what Dawn would deign to publish. Good luck to both of you.

Fazal Abbas Sep 17, 2013 09:55am

I partially agree with the writer. However, it is the right of Indian People to elect their leader. Mr. Modi's victory in election would help the minorities of Indian particulary muslims to think their standing. I personally belive that 1936 election brought about Indian National Congress government and helped Mr. Jinnah (Muslim League ) to penetrate in the muslims showing their real face. I pray that people should understand the sanctity of humanity above religion, sects, colours etc.

dr vimal raina Sep 17, 2013 10:00am

@K: Mr Baruah's state isnt Assam if that is what you meant. His state is 'prejudiced'.

A K Tiwari Sep 17, 2013 10:20am

For those who dare to know the truth i will only say that for last 12-years there have been no communal riot in Gujarat whereas in secular Uttar Pradesh there have been over 130 Hindu Muslim danga's during past 18-months of Mulayam Singhs Samajwadi Government. In fact, the Muslims in Gujarat are much comfortable with the BJP and will not tolerate Congress or any other party. You can be rest assured that after Mr Modi comes to power the Communal violence will be thing of the past in India.

Ravi Ingale from Pune Sep 17, 2013 10:26am

BJP declared him PM candidate because he was involved in 2002 Riots. But BJP's decision was right at some extent because there are some elements in India those don't understand the language of peace.

ANJANA RAI Sep 17, 2013 10:28am

Totally biased article and must say you are shame to India.

Sanjeev Kumar Sep 17, 2013 10:39am

Modi is people's choice. Nobody can stop him now ,because people love him.

Madan Mohan Joshi Sep 17, 2013 10:53am

Just because A few anti India Pakistanis will be appeased and you will be published, you wrote such a bogus article. Shame on you.

Sahil Sep 17, 2013 11:11am

@Sonal: Actually he didn't sat and watch Gujarat burn. Riots broke up in the morning and army was called in afternoon. Army started it's drill in the evening and was deployed the next day.

I suggest you to go through the details of events that followed Godhra train episode. I recommend you not to base your views on one single article as it may have author's bias. Also, articles published in 2002 are available online which gives pretty good account of things that happened during that unfortunate time of Gujarat history.

As you research and navigate through the details, think what you could have done if you were a CM. For several years I had just assumed Gujarat government gave free ride to the rioters. One day while countering a Modi supporter, I started doing research to back up my claims. That's when I realized I was living in ignorance.

I hope you give it a try and explore truth based on your own research.

Gauhar Sep 17, 2013 11:19am

Another Author trying to join the Lutyen's Delhi Club. Other privileged members include Sagarika ghosh, Barkha Dutta, Rajdeep Sardesai and many others. All have a derailed conscious.

Akil Akhtar Sep 17, 2013 11:21am

The reaction to the article show how thin skinned indians are. Very good at criticising others.

Amit Baruah Sep 17, 2013 11:28am

Now see that after my earlier comments, some paid media trolls using full names. Talk about my piece having some impact!! (Not on their views, of course!!!).

deep Sep 17, 2013 11:38am

Agree with you. today on the day of his mother's birthday he speaks to the press and reminds us that it is 'Viswakarma day' - a day dedicated to the divine architect etc etc. I just feel so uncomfortable that a head of state should make a religious reference - most hindus including my relatives will say - what is wrong with that - Viswakarma is just an architect.

I suppose when Nehru's own great grandson can organize yatras of dubious kinds - what can we expect from the likes of Modi. In this day and age we equate anna hazare with Gandhi - so what is the problem in equating Modi with Vajpayee. India is in for a lot of pain.

Ankit Sep 17, 2013 11:51am

For every Dikubhai, you must have met at least 50 Bikubahi who praised Modi. But you dont have to mention that - at least not in a Pakistani paper.

zaheer Sep 17, 2013 12:32pm

As I scrolled down to previous comments I observed extreme likes and dislikes, disparity in opinions / judgments / reason to support etc I do not follow Indian politics that much, however for the writer I can say

Naveen Sep 17, 2013 01:07pm

An article based on fake facts. The perturbation of the DAWN indicates that Mr. Modi is able to take INDIA towards developement, which DAWN do not have courage to see. Mr Modi does not want certificate from people like Amit Baruah.

Shehzad Zafar Sep 17, 2013 01:11pm

It all depends upon Indian industrialists as whom they want in power. Only poor Indian rural population which has less affect of TV and internet can change the results only if they are allowed to vote freely. Congress has won two elections consecutively and now it turn of BJP as you can see in US politics. Indians educated class is very fond of following Americans in their life and work. Every one writing here either for the Modi or against him is actually giving him a boost for this slot.

Vishal S Sep 17, 2013 01:09pm

Amit babu on mission .. Wait for next of his mission after meeting Dikubhai ( sole representative of Indian 80 Crore Hindus) on bus .. he meets Sakubai on train who claims Modi is behind recent rapes happening all over india.. We shld bow and salute this great writer..

Kapil Sep 17, 2013 01:13pm

The article is completely one-sided. As a student of journalism, we were always told that there are two sides of a story, but there is just one side of the story in this article.

Modi is a Hindu but he is a leader first. He demolished hundreds of illegal temples in Gujarat which were encroaching the roads. He is a strong leader who takes decision without vote-bank politics.

He does the right things and people like them. That's the secret of his success. Period!

Sonal Sep 17, 2013 02:19pm


"Politics is a pragmatic aspect of society, not emotional or moral."

What you've described is the ideal state you desire, not what the ground reality actually is. If it was really about pragmatism, we wouldn

Sonal Sep 17, 2013 02:21pm

@Raj Patel:

So why don

Sonal Sep 17, 2013 03:09pm


My source is the media

Rome Sep 17, 2013 04:38pm

@Amit Baruah: Well done sir on you profound achievement on getting people to disclose their names. India is proud of you. You're the best journalist we have.

Bharat Sep 17, 2013 05:01pm

In India, most of the poor are best off in Gujarat.No corruption comparatively, electricity and planned infrastructure. Good roads and welcoming of Industry. What other way is there for the poor to get better?

Whatever record he may or may not have, if you really care about how the poor fare, then he is the man for you.

If you care more about how the rich get richer with corruption, and a few bread crumbs are thrown at the poor , then vote for Rahul Gandhi

Narendra Sep 17, 2013 05:29pm

@Robert Kharsiang: The difference between Naqwi and Baruah is that the former wants the Mughals to rule India, and the latter wants the Chinese communists to take over India. Both seem frustrated by Modi for this reason.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 17, 2013 06:37pm

@Sonal: The right choice would be Narendra Modi.

He has NOT BEEN FOUND GUILTY for the riots of 2002 by any court-as of yet.

His track record in running Gujarat has been far better than any other regional politician.

Whether he can replicate Gujarat on an all India basis is a moot question,but yes,he is streets ahead of the family run business called Indian National Congress...and the regent who wields the power now -Dr Manmohan Singh!

Curious Sep 17, 2013 07:25pm

@Amit Baruah: Robert Kharsiang asks a valid question on journalistic ethics that your readers have a right to know. I certainly hope your ethics will require you to respond. Is this Dikubhai a real person, or did you make him up? A response would be appreciated. Thanks.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 18, 2013 01:14am

@nabil: We,your Indian brothers and sisters,deeply appreciate your in-depth knowledge of Indian politics and your deep concern for us.

We shall consider deeply your esteemed opinion.

Thank you and god bless Pakistan!

Sonal Sep 18, 2013 01:35am


I thought that too, and was quite alarmed, but guess what? Indians commenting on Dawn are not representative of India, just like the people supporting Imran Khan online (and leading us to believe he's competing head to head with Nawaz Sharif) were not representative of Pakistan. Or that's what I like to believe.

Sonia Sep 18, 2013 02:38am

I think all the Pakistanis here are scared that if Modi comes to power, he won't put up with their boys sneaking across the border. Just like they were scared of Indira Gandhi.

Sonal Sep 18, 2013 02:47am


Point taken :)

I've said a number of times that I'm not sure what the right choice is... And just to get this right, I'm not pro Congress.

I'm not dismissing the Sikh riots and all other communal problems that happened under the Congress - but part of me does think Modi orchestrated the Gujarat riots to a certain extent, just as Advani was crucial in the Babri Masjid demolition. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong.

I don't know who will lead India next year, but I certainly do hope we see less communalism and more progress.

Pramod Sep 18, 2013 10:33am

@samma: Will you also explain that how 300 + Hindu died after all this support and why VHP is against Modi and tried their best against him in last polls ?

Sanjay Sep 18, 2013 10:43am

@Amit Baruah: Does the name really matter ?? Its the feeling being expressed. Come on Amit lets not be kiddish.

Narayan Sep 18, 2013 12:17pm

I have read a few of Baruahs articles and honestly never bothered to comment until now. Journalistic misrepresentation of this kind is highly dangerous and impacts readers very negatively. Just because you are a journalist nd have access to a respected paper like dawn does not give one the right to write utter rubbish. Most of his so called statements will not stand up to scrutiny and the ref to DIkhubai is a poor joke. I just hope dawn, who I have a lot of respect for, appoints a proper journalist who is honest enough to depict the reality for what it is a and not just write what the readers want to hear.


Parvez Sep 18, 2013 01:02pm

@nandkishor: Serious Machiavellian thought.............but worthy of debate.

Akram Sep 18, 2013 02:04pm

@nandkishor: according to an INDIAN court the train was set on fire by someone cooking on it, not by a mob! don't you lot read anything?

Devil Sep 18, 2013 02:41pm

@Sonal: Ms. Sonal, let me correct you, your source of information is not just 'media' but 'selective media'. Try to traverse the other side of story and you would get an enlightenment by yourself with my help ;-) Tavleen Singh .. naam to suna hi hoga .. read her views sometimes ....

Nizamuddin Ali Ahmad Sep 18, 2013 07:32pm

Watch out Pakistanis in particular and liberal Indians for Mr. Modi. He is street smart and very intelligent man, after all how can you doubt a tea vendor in India. He will create trouble for Pakistan aided by Mr. Advani and Indian military might.

Shubs Sep 18, 2013 09:06pm

Modi fanboys crawling out of the woodwork, armed with their standard soundbytes and abuse, which they mistake for constructive opinion. I think readers have a right to know that there's a HUGE section of India, equally nationalistic and proud of their democratic heritage, that does not believe in this man's brand of divisive politics.

Ashfaq Khan Sep 18, 2013 09:51pm

Remember Hitler; he did wonders for Germany, but destroyed humanity, is this what India wants?

Tariq, Lahore Sep 18, 2013 10:15pm

As a Pakistani I do not like Modi's right wing politics but his no-nonsense approach as regards corporate business' and getting jobs done in the state of Gujrat that I certainly approve of. Perhaps he is the man to lead India, time will indeed tell? And we as neighbors need not be intimidated by his demagogue politics but our leadership too must rise to the many challenges in a similar (without the right wing elements) manner that confront our nation.

R.Kannan Sep 18, 2013 10:38pm

Unfortunately for Barua & his ilk, facts are contrary to his claims. If Gujarat does not treat the sewage, why are its rivers the cleanest in India ? If Modi was responsible for the riots, why did the BJP win 41 of the 66 seats , in Gujarat assembly, where muslim voters decide the winners ? In the last decade, Modi has done a lot of good work and the facts point to muslims in Gujarat being the amongst the most educated & prosperous in India. Muslims form other parts of India are moving to Gujarat and not the other way round.If Modi attracted corporates to Gujarat, it is an achievement. It is equally a fact that the environmental laws in Gujarat are more strictly implemented than in any other state. Modi offers hope as a clean, no nonsense administrator as opposed to the typical mai baap politicians. How good or bad he will be in delhi remains to be seen but he is easily the most popular politician at the moment and it is only the Indian political system which favours the corrupt legislator rather than respect the voter's verdict which can prevent Modi from becoming the next PM.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 18, 2013 11:49pm

@Sonal: My two cents,pardon me if I annoy you?

There is "common knowledge" that is passed around in media and academica that a free,laissez faire economy must have a free political system to grow and sustain .

Now,for the first time in human history a fast progressing economy in China is coupled with a dictatorial government..unless you count countries like Germany stabilized by Adolf Hitler or Spain by Francisco Franco,another Fascist dictator who brought Spain out of trouble after the Spanish Civil War?

Japan opened to the world ( US forced it to open up.a man called Perry a US Naval officer at gun point!) ..and it was a feudal state which rapidly modernized and by beginning of 20th century defeated an European naval power Russia with modern war ships all built in Japan..the country was LIGHTNING FAST in development-science,technology assimilation to build naval ships capable of defeating an European power!

Perhaps there is a lesson in all this? Perhaps,a dictator or one who pushes to through actions very very fast can propel the country upward faster? And,the idea,that the political system that accommodates all and sundry ( the way it is working in India right now!) might NOT BE A GOOD THING?

Ah,my two for thought for all readers...?

Pankaj#1 Sep 19, 2013 12:06am

Wanted to write more, but it seems that you have been well taken care of. my first post was, just after reading your article and thought, you should not go unchallenged.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 19, 2013 12:20am

@Curious: Did he mean Dhirubhai by any chance?

I mean the Reliance Industries patriarch?

Ketan Desai Sep 19, 2013 12:35am

@MS:Great Response...

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 19, 2013 12:38am

@Cool Henry: He perhaps likes halal meat a lot?:):):)

Sonal Sep 19, 2013 03:20am


Ok...selective media it is. Thanks for leading me to the path of enlightenment. Tavleen Singh's views are focused on Modi's economic prowess, which I don't doubt anyway.

Show me something that shows he's not an extremist. And tell me how likening the mass killing of Muslims to the death of a puppy is acceptable.

ROHIT PANDEY Sep 19, 2013 04:24am

@rajesh: India has always been a crucible many a thing ....all religious values,a fledgling scientific spirit..,and hopefully in the future..crucible for scientific discovery,business acumen,entrepreneurial spirit,all embracing liberal political ideologies...and a nemesis for all things dark,regressive and medieval.