Two sides to a coin.
Narendra Modi – chief minister of a state that has recorded economic growth far greater than so many parts of the country, voted to office across successive terms, effective administrator, investment magnet, rose the ranks through a difficult system primarily on the basis of merit and genuinely works for the benefit of Gujarat.
Narendra Modi – alleged architect of the post-Godhra riots that killed hundreds of innocents, communalist, propagandist, pretends to be moderate center-of-right in politics and policies but isn’t.
Clearly, there may have never been so concrete ‘two sides of a coin’ than there are in the case of BJP leader Narendra Modi. He has firm admirers and staunch opponents. He has wild fanboys and blood-thirsty critics. None of the people in all these categories are ever likely to lower their stands, and will continue to create a lot of noise (a lot on Twitter, these days) when a Modi issue becomes a headline event.
Inherently, it can be very easily observed that fundamentalism prevails in their minds. Pro-Modi folks won’t glance an eye over any writing/commentary that attempts a critique of the CM, while anti-Modi folks continue to believe that he is a major threat to Indian polity and there is no second way about this. Once in a while, if these people read/understood opposing views, we might have a moderate and more composed (but unchanged) understanding of the Modi ‘situation’ rather than just wild rhetoric from either side.
Now, the point I’m trying to make from my writing here is the ‘price’ of delayed justice. India, clearly, has failed its people when it comes to delivering justice. The problem is that it takes so much time to deliver justice that enough rhetoric has been generated, resources lost and new topics born to take light away from the initial issue of concern.
Imagine this. The post-Godhra riots are avoided. Narendra Modi ends up being the man to deliver effective policing in areas which noted violence. He lives up to his constitutional obligations and morals. People don’t die. The perpetrators of the Godhra train burning are brought to book. Modi continues to administer the state effectively. Nope. Didn’t happen.
Imagine this. The Gujarat riots happen (as they did). Narendra Modi is proven to be involved. The court says, with ample evidence, that he played a direct role in whatever carnage occurred and pronounce him guilty on various counts. If this doesn’t amount to a serious sentence, he is freed after serving whatever sentence he was charged with. Nope. Hasn’t happened.
Imagine this. If he is proven to be innocent, he gets a clean chit and goes back to doing what he does best – politics/administration/governance. Nope. Hasn’t happened.
But he is still accountable for 2002, as any CM would be when in command during a major crisis and holding all constitutional powers to administer control and simply prevent loss of lives. He is still responsible for effective governance. He is still administering a state that is making India proud, in most ways. So, we are in a permanent fix with solutions to problems both happening and not happening. It becomes difficult to make any sense of the Modi ‘problem’ and one is merely left to endure two conflicting sides clash in the extreme of terms when the spotlight hovers over Modi.
The only sense I could make out of all of this – Whatever you think of Narendra Modi, it doesn’t change what he once did and it doesn’t change what he is doing today.
The rest, as they say, is history’s undoing.