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Is a court verdict enough to absolve Narendra Modi of the 2002 riots? Should we even care?

Posted Mar 11 2014 10:40pm

There are two types of people who support Narendra Modi.

The first type consists of ardent fans. They don't care about the 2002 riots. They don't care if Modi did not do enough to stop the riots or if Modi was actually the reason that the riots actually happened. In fact they actually started liking Modi after those riots. Here was a man that stood up for Hindu rights, they felt. This article describes one such lady.

Then there is the other group. They like the way Modi operates. They like his decisiveness. They like his vision for the country. They like his support for industry. They are a little uncomfortable with Modi's role in the riots but they are satisfied that the courts have not found any evidence against him and as such, they believe he is innocent.

I think the second group was looking for an alibi and they found the perfect alibi in the court's verdict. Honestly, if you think rationally, you cannot genuinely believe that Modi had nothing to do with the riots. It is fairly obvious that he caused the riots to happen. I am not even going to agree that his role was limited to not doing enough to stop them. I truly believe that he was instrumental in the riots happening. He egged the rioters on, encouraged them and provided state support to them.

The lack of evidence does not mean the crime has not happened. You may not get punished because of the lack of evidence but you cannot say the crime never happened. I think every individual in this country who has the ability to think clearly and logically would agree with me that Modi is definitely responsible for the 2002 riots.

Now if he is really responsible for the riots, should he be in the reckoning for the PM's post of the country? This is for you to decide. You could say that the riots are a thing of the past and Modi has now realised that this can never happen again. You could forgive him if you think what happened was wrong. Or you could argue that such a man should never lead the country. It would be too dangerous. It would also be an insult to the people who were killed in the riots.

One huge problem for people who do not want to support Modi is the lack of a credible alternative. Who do we have against Modi? Rahul Gandhi? Arvind Kejriwal? A bunch of regional players who have no hope in hell of providing a stable government? Vishal Dadlani put it well when he tweeted: "Stuck between a moron and a murderer....what now, India!?"

I think what's working really well for Modi is the lack of any opposition. Even though the BJP may not get the numbers on their own, the tie-ups with others might get them past the 272 mark in the elections. What might have been interesting to see is the presence of a good leader in the opposition. How Modi would have fared in those circumstances might have been a surprisingly different story!
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