POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 10, 2012 AT 23:50 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 10, 2012 23:50 IST

While there is jubilation among Narendra Modi supporters over the Special Investigation Team (SIT) finding no prosecutable evidence against the Gujarat Chief Minister and 57 others in the 2002 Gulberg Society case, the legal battle against him is far from over and is bound to go all the way to Supreme Court all over again.

It is not, however, just what Mrs Zakia Jafri feels. Regardless of the court verdicts, Mr Modi also needs to win the battle in the court of public perception for his national ambitions to come anywhere near fruition. While Mr Modi has a band of loyal followers, and is clearly the BJP's most popular leader among the party supporters, his real test would be in converting those opposed to him -- not only those outside but also inside the party.

As the joke goes, while the Congress has a Group of Ministers for almost every issue, the BJP has a Group of Prime Ministers, or at least prime ministerial candidates. But for the prime ministerial ambitions of anyone to be realised, the party would have to be in a position to command the support of at least 272 MPs. It is this which is going to be Mr Modi's -- and the BJP's -- problem. And that of his other competitors in the party. For they know that the riots of Gujarat 2002 would always cast their long shadows over Mr Modi, just as those of Delhi 1984 have over the careers of Mr Jagdish Tytler and Mr Sajjan Kumar.

Mr Modi recognises that and that is where APCO, the powerful US lobbying firm comes in -- it is said to be behind the recent publicity blitz, with saturation coverage in Time, Brookings and elsewhere. A media blitz and propaganda may help him convert some fence-sitters, Mr Modi would clearly have to do much more than the gimmicks of his sadbhavana fasts if he is to make any headway with the victims of the riots and those who hold him guilty, at least of the crimes of omission if not of commission. While the recent Time poll may have brought Mr Modi some global attention, it also underlined once again what a polarising figure he is:

He was leading the positive votes for the first few days, and then his opponents swung into action and he ended up polling the most negative votes. He finished on third position, behind Anonymous, which is a group of hackers and Eric Martin, a champion of anti-piracy law, with more negative votes (2,66,684) than positive (2,56,792) - Modi in fact topped the list in negative votes.

It is in this context that one should see what Farid Zakaria said recently:

Talking about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, whom Time recently featured on the cover, Zakaria said the BJP leader represented one string of thought and was not the face of all of India. “Modi is unlikely to become a national leader in India. He might not even be a regional leader in India by December,” Zakaria said.

That is what the Congress would be hoping, but Mr Modi's supporters are banking on the other facet of a polarising figure -- the one which brought Mr Vajpayee to power in 1998 (after the experience of 1996 when the BJP could not form a government despite being the single largest party) and the Congress in 2004 (when the BJP had sought to once again make it about Mrs Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin).

Some of the reactions to today's disclosures about the SIT's findings on Twitter:

POSTED BY Buzz ON Apr 10, 2012 AT 23:50 IST ,  Edited At: Apr 10, 2012 23:50 IST
Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for important and fun stuff

Post a Comment
Share your thoughts
You are not logged in, please log in or register
Must See
Daily Mail
Nov 28, 2013
02:24 PM

We have launched a petition to request President Obama to reconsider US Administration’s stand on Mr. Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, India.
Please visit <a href="">MODI360.COM </a> to review and sign this petition.

Mountain View, United States
May 25, 2012
08:29 PM

And neither majority nor majority ever in any era can prosper if living in perpetual confrontation with each others as History has taught us.

Hindus have left the path of confrontation with minorities by mid fifties and prospered.Likewise Sikhs,Jains and Christians have prospered .On other hand Muslims are being taken to more and more aggressive path under the guidance of the Maulvies who are also trying to take the Race into stone age sharia.Hence the Muslims are becoming more and more poorer cut off from main stream !

And to get  solace blame Hindutavies,BJP ,Modi ,all and sundry rather than self introspection for cause of their poverty.


a k ghai
mumbai, India
May 25, 2012
05:15 PM

Once Hindus decide to make Modi PM then he will be surely PM.
It is folly of Seculars to think 'Aysa Hindus karen ge nahin " They will definitely will make him PM if Seculars and Muslims don't realize the cost of hyping Gujarat 2002 and simultaneously ignoring the Riots which were more heinous ,more ferocious and had the support plus participation of the Secu Rulers.

Muslims are simply making Hindus hardening their stance and pushing them to make Modi a PM.

The attitude and feeling that no coalition partners will support Modi Govt is hypothetical .Once results are declared and if Modi needs some outside support it will come in plenty.Remember elected MPs have their own Political and fiancial compulsions .Who will want to a costly re-election so that a future Sarkar without Modi can be formed ??? Will they be sure tehy even will be voted back by the disgusted Voters .Remeber due Political miscalculations of Sonia and Congress Bajpai was re-elected back with more seats.Another example is Nitish Kumar who was thrown out in a mid night back stabbing aby teh Congress and he came back with very comfortable majority.Lalu and Congress were decimated in re-election.

Congress and other self designated Secular Parties have their own Political compulsions / interests to take care so they will surely insist that neither Modi nor even BJP wins.And Congress Raj goes on internally . But in Politics this does not happen except when the Party in power has done exceptionally well on Price control,fighting corruption ,improving Law and Order ,managing limited resources in a intelligence way so that siphoning of the grants don't take place.

Judge the record of UPA yourself .

So with no credits or successes to reclaim once again the Delhi TAKHT these poor Secular Politicians are left with no other card other than the Modi .

Hence the slogans 'Bhaio Vote hame dal doh varna Modi aye ga "

Muslims have been misled by their intelligentsia who have taken the Muslim Samaj on confrontation mode with Hindu Parties without realizing that there are always way to achieve understanding and harmony even with your worst enemies.But instead of harmonizing relations with the Hindu Parties the negative attitude of the Muslim Samaj is resulting in hardening the attitude of an ordinary Hindu on the street against the Secus and Muslims.

India will pay a very heavy price for this confrontational attitudes.

Worst sufferers will be Muslims for whom slowly and slowly all the avenues of jobs and education are drying up .

Muslim can prosper in life as equals not with perpetual confrontation with the majority.

Please do call me Modiwadi ( which I am not ) and do laugh heartily sneeringly at me if that hides your discomfort reading the galling truth .But the actual and real ground realities I have outlined .This confrontation is slowly turning into ultimate confrontation with Hindus .

And no majority ever in any era can prosper if living in perpetual confrontation with the Majority as History has taught us.

If any doubt pleas read 'The Rise and Fall of Mughal Empire by Yadu Nath Sarkar.' Read how the confrontational attitude of Aurangzeb destroyed the Mughal Samraj.

It will teach all of us that how the races prosper with harmony and how the fall due confrontation !

Future of India lies in harmony and not in confrontation.

Unfortunately what is happening is that confrontation taking to new heights without any efforts towards harmonizing .

a k ghai
mumbai, India
Apr 23, 2012
07:09 PM

English Media is doing this from more than one decade magnifying the 2002 Riots. The worst communal riots iin Gujarat took place in 1969 and before when Jansangh even was not having any existnece there.> IN a democratic party there will be aspirants for power becuase they are self made. Not only Narendra Modi who is on the top of best CMs list iin various surveys but even SS Chohan,Raman Singh,BC Khanduri, PK dhumal are among the best CMs list.Narendra Modi is the most preferred candidate for PM becuase the  people of the country are fed up witha weak PM..Real Power is excercised by people who have no knolwedge on any thing.

Karavadi Raghava Rao
Vijayawada, India
Apr 19, 2012
03:12 PM

 Modi does not have any problems. But India has a problem from these paid media and the sick journalists who are up against modi to tarnish his image and are being paid by congress looters. 

Bangalore, India
Order by
Order by
Short Takes
click for more
recent tags
Barack Obama
Minority & Religious
Mobile Phones
Religious Discrimination
Science & Technology
A. Sanzgiri
Boria Majumdar
Dipsikha Thakur
Dr Mohammad Taqi
Freya Dasgupta
G. Rajaraman
K.V. Bapa Rao
Landing Lights
Maheshwer Peri
Namrata Joshi
Omar Ali
Our Readers Write Back
Outlook Web Desk
Outlook Web Desk
Prachi Pinglay-Plumber
Prarthna Gahilote
Shefalee Vasudev
Srishti Gupta
Sundeep Dougal
Sunil Menon
recent comments
The launch of the second volume of President Pranab...
Poll Started on: Feb 05, 2016
After an initial sighting some years ago, the Zika...
Siddhartha Mishra


OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: