Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2014 Indian General Elections, is the most unusual candidate to ever stand to date: he is loathed and loved by Indian voters on a somewhat ‘equal measure’ . With the results soon to be announced, we will come to know if Modi, through his extensive campaign and charisma, has been able to win over voters to vote.
Born Narendra Damodardas Modi in Vadnagar, Gujarat, first entered politics after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 through Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right wing Hindu nationalist group. The party later assigned him to the BJP in 1985. Modi’s formal entry into mainstream politics was in 1988, ...view middle of the document...
However the announcement has been riddled the voters, as they have been an either-or choice: the current UPA led ‘scamming’ government, starting with the 2G spectrum violations and the Commonwealth games dispute or the controversial Politian, whose alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots still remains to be known. Some voters have stated that they wouldn’t vote for Modi because of the riots.
In February 2002, a train travelling back with several passengers including a large number of Hindu pilgrims from Ayodhya was found to be burned near Godhra, which killed around 60 people. Following rumors that the fire was started by Muslim arsonists, anti- Muslim riots spread across Gujarat. Estimated death toll was between 900 and 2,000 people, after the anti-Muslim violence that took place over the next three months. While the riots is officially classified as a communalist riot, some commentators hold the view that the event was premeditated violence, while it has been described as a pogrom by scholars and as an instance of state terrorism by independent observers. After the riots, he became an international pariah, with the US denying him visas and the UK cutting of all ties.
As his supposed role remains unclear, the Janata Dal United (JD-U), a key ally of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance pulled out fearing that they might lose out on the support of the Muslims in Bihar, where they ran a coalition government.
In an attempt to save his image or what was left of it after the badly handled situation, he turned to developing Gujarat; his efforts resulted in a 10 percent growth between the years 2004 and 2012. Although Modi has been praised for the development that Gujarat has made economically, in the rush to develop Gujarat, he has unfairly displaced farmers and fishermen and has not quelled the socio-religious disparity that still exists today after the 2002 riots. In UNICEF’s 2013 report, it was found that although the state has improved education and access to clean water, every second child under the age of five was still malnourished and the infant-child mortality rates had declined slowly over the past decade.
With the disrepute garnered...