Gujarat: The Meaning of Modi's Victory in 2007

by Christophe Jaffrelot, Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot
Chapter/Section Title:
Gujarat: The Meaning of Modi's Victory in 2007
Christophe Jaffrelot
Book Title:
Religion, Caste & Politics in India
Christophe Jaffrelot
Book Publisher:
Primus Books
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Sarkm, T. (2002), 'Semiotics of Terror: Muslim-Children and Women in Hindu Rashtra', Economic and Political Weekly, 13 July. Shah, G. (2002), 'Contestation and Negotiations: Hindtitva Sentiments and Temporal Interests in Gujarat Elections', Economic and Political Weekly, 30 November. Vardarajan, ,S. (2002) (ed.), Gujarat: The Making of a 'Tragedy, New Delhi: Penguin India. Varshney, A. J( 2002), Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India, New Haven/London: Yale University Press. Wilkinson, Steven I. (Winter 2000), 'Froids calculs et foules dechainees, Les emeutes intercommunautaires en Inde~ Critique Internationale, No.6.


Chapter 78

Gujarat: the meaning of Modi!3 victory in 2007

The 2007 elections in Gujarat revealed that Narendra Modi was not only a new kind of politician, he also represented a new kind ofpolitics. By playing on notions of Gujarati nationalism and pride, by sustaining an anti-Muslim mood and by building a personality cult that appealed to both the urban middle class and the 'Gujarati' voter, Modi seemed to be reinventing politics. Is Gujarat a forerunner of

politics in all of India?

In December 2007, the ruling party, the BharatiyaJanata Party of Narendra Modi escaped the usual anti-incumbency reflex of the voters to win a comfortable majority in the Gujarat assembly. This unprecedented performance was even more

surprising as the outgoing chief minister had been attacked in the press before the

", ' fampaign started because of his role in the 2002 pogrom. His success may be ~ttributed to his economic factors, but the ele<:tion campaign revealed that other 'faftors-which may be more significant-must be taken into account.

;Vikas Purush' and Hindutva

BJP election manifesto, that was released in October 2007 focused on developissues and good governance (The Indian Express, Ahmedabad edition, 22 2007). Gujarat being one ofthe best performing Indian states in terms of capita revenue, Modi publicized his economic achievements in the first weeks ofhis election campaign and projected himself as the 'vikas pur'ush' (development lllan). He clearly did so to avoid any reference to the 2002 pog1om, but the media

did not let him go away with it. I One of the Tehelka reporters, Ashish Khaitan, who had managed to approach Parivar leaders involved in the riots by pretending that helwas a sympathizer

aPh.D., succeeded in recording their interviews with a hidden camera. Babu i!n!aJr:an~:i,who had played a decisive part in the violences ofNaroda Patiya, one of Ahmedabad neighbourhoods where 89 Muslim were kill~d on 28 February

confessed (Jaffrelot 2007): I

been written in my FIR that I ripped open the womb of a

Muslim woman 'flung the baby away with the sword. After killing Muslims we felt

Maharana Pratap.

an.d peddlers of religion and death' (ibid.). Local Congressmen suggested that the latter comment was not aimed at Modi, but Digvijay Singh, the secretary general of Congress insisted that a 'Hindu terrorist' had misbehaved in 2002 in Gujarat and Abhishek Singhvi, the Congress spokesperson, went even further by demanding that Modi should be judged by an international court. Modi immediately exploited this new context.

Modi's Ultimate Radicalization

Till then, Modi's campaign had focused on purely economic issues. But he was perfectly aware that his Hindu nationalist-cum-anti-Muslim image was more of an asset than a liability. Incidentally, he had already started to refer to Ram Setu in a recurring manner during his election meetings. He hit back immediately after Congress national leaders attacked him on the communal terrain. He first intensified his propaganda on security issues. He had one placard published in the Englishpress under the title: 'In 4years, acts ofterror claimed 5,619 lives in India. But in Gujarat, only 1? Citizens were then invited to restore a safe India 'by trouncing soft -on-terror Congress: Among other things, the ad criticized the repeal ofPOTA.

In a meeting in (;odhra, Modi harangued the crowd in a typical way: 'The

Congress says you are terrorists. Are you terrorists? This is an insult to Gandhi's and

Sardar Patel's Gujarat. Teach the Congress a lesson for calling the people ofGujarat

terrorists.... Sonia Behn, it is your government that is protector of merchants of

death. In Gujarat, we have eliminated the merchants of death [that is the Muslims

in 2002] .... Sonia Behn, ifyou cannot hang Afzal, hand him over to Gujarat. We

will hang him' (The Times of India, Ahmedabad edition, 6 December 2007).

Afzal Guru had been condemned to the death sentence in 2006 because of

his implication in the 13 December 2001 attack against the Lok Sabha. He pleaded

for presidential mercy but the head of the state never replied and at present is

serving death row.

A few;days before the first round of elections, Modi further communalized

the campaign by mentioning Sohrabuddin. This militant of the Islamist Pakistan

based movement Lashkar-e-Toiba, according to the Gujarat police, but a small-time

extortionistiaccording to independent media reports, had been killed in 2005 on

the border getween Gujarat and Rajasthan. To begin with, Modi's government had

argued that re had been a casualty of the Rajasthani police on the Rajasthani side

in some en<;ounter. But his brother had argued that it was a fake encounter and

that Sohrabfddin's wife too had been killed in cold blood by the police who, then,

had her body burnt. During his meetings in south Gujarat on 4 December Modi

referred to this case on a very aggressive tone:



I am thumpi,ng my chest and declaring that Sohrabuddin's encounter tookplace on the 'dharti' of Cfujarat. If I have done something wrong, hang me. But these people [Congressmen], next they will offer a 'chadar' at Sohrabuddin's grave. (ibid.)

Gujarat: The Meaning ofModi's Victory in 2007 401

This was a way to claim full responsibility for the crime in order to receive all the credit for this 'achievement: But such a strategy was in contradiction with the previous line of conduct of Modi whose government had, so far, considered She~kh Sohrabuddin's death as a mistake by the police, had put the guilty men behind bars and had informed the Supreme Court on 23 March 20'07.3

d So far as trial by an international courtwas concerned, Modi <;leclared in his Go hra meeting: 'Why not a court in Pakistan? The centre talk~ of imposing Article 356 in Gujarat but the Gujaratis will give me an AK-56 to fight it' (ibid.). Soon aftel; while campaigning in Rajkot, he termed Manmohan Singh's government 'the Delhi Sultanate'(The Indian Express, 9 December 2007).

~he shift in Modi's campaign was duly noticed in the media, though it was never mterpreted as a response to the campaign ofnational Congress1leaders.4 This new context resulted in the mobilization ofSangh Parivar activists who had played a rather marginal part in the BJP's campaign so far. Now Modi appeared" once again-like in 2002-as the rallying point of the anti-Congress and anti-'Muslim appeasement' forces. In early December, a thousand of the RSS cadres joined the BJP campaign in an active manner(DNA, Ahmedabad edition, 10 December 2007).

The Modi Phenomenon Hindutva is not the only mainstay ofwhat may be cal~ed 'Moditva: The 2007 election campaign was very revealing of two other saliant features of this phenomenon: an extreme personalization of power and a managerial style ofgovernance (or, at least, some taste for it). 'Modi Is Gujarat and Gujar~t Is Modi~ 'High Tech' Populism: the 2007 election campaign had been fully orgamzed around the personality of Modi.

The BJP state president in Gujarat, Purshottam Rupala, himself admitted that his party had a one-point programme: Modi.

Not only did the iconographic material on which the BJP propaganda was based show Modi in a systematic manner, but the chief minister displayed a narcissist taste for~hotography. Vivek Desai, one of the men who portrayed Modi with his camera, explained ill the press that he was very particular about each and every detail, dress, colour, attitudes which cou~d.carry some specific meaning-he never showed the palm of his right hand because thiS IS the Congress electoral symbol, for instance [Dayal 2007]. His website, that he had contracted to~a private company, comprised 373 photographs of Modi.

In August 2007, two months before the campaign started, he hired an American firm specializing in the communication ofpublic figu~es,Apco Worldwide, which had already worked for the Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha the life-president

f' '


o ~azakhstan, Nazarbalev and the former Russian oligarch, Mi~ailKhodorkovsky. thiS company reshaped the image ofModi for 25,000 dollars amonth (The Times ofIndia,17 November 2007). " I"

Modi officially launched his electoral campaign on 22 October 2007 by pretending that he was the ~nly 'full-time CM in the country' kince he had no wife and children to take care of, he hereby suggested that

his family (The Indian Express, Ahmedabad editian, 23 Octaber 2007). He then made a paint to .occupy th~ public space. He succeeded in b~ing an the frant page .of newspaper& almasteveryday, nat .only because .of his speeches and achieveme~ts, but as a private individual.

Let us take the example .of the frant page .of The Times of India an four successive days. 01). 23 Navember .one article recalls, an the basis .of testimonies by .old teachers afMadi, haw gaad he was as an actar in the theatre plays .organized in his village schaal. On 24 Navember the newspaper narrates the fact that, as a child he liked ta swim in the lake near his hause ~midst crocadiles-he even brought back a baby crocadile ta his ham~ an~e, but he .obliged pis mather when she asked him nat ta da it. On 2S Navember, one .of the frant page articles of the newspaper is elevated ta .one .ofthe sentences faund an Madi website: 'I can digest any kind .of paisan. c

The jaurnalist wha allthared this piece then campares Madi and .one sultan . .ofAhmedabad wha had similar power. On 26 Navember, we learn that Madi, when ' h~ was 10, helped his father sell tea an the platfarm afa small railway statian. '

In additian ta Madi's .omnipresence an the public scene, he tried hard to maintain a direct relatian with all the citizens .of Gujarat. Far that purpas,e he made a pail).t ta use the latest technalagy. Baving three laptaps-ane in his .office, one at hame and .one far traveJling-he is suppased ta spend abaut 4 haurs a day to . read the 200-50 emails he receives everyday fram citizens .of Gujarat. He allegedly! i: respands ta 10 per cent .of them and lets the bureaucracy take care of the other~ (The Times of India, 14 Navember 2007).·)

Madi's ,campaign has I,lsed this channel-the internet-and the mobjl~ phane taa, Gujar~tis being very well equipped with mabile phanes campared to .' the rest afIndia (14millian peapk-aut .of 52 inhabitants~had .one cellphon'¢ . in 2007). Such phanes enabled Madi ta send thausands .of SMS and MMS t~


patential vaters as well as party cadres. "r, . Madi nat .only tried ta establish a direct relatian with every citizen .of ~U!a~f~ .


but 'lIsa made a paint ta be identified with Gujarat. His main sl.ogan was J!t.e,~,:i Gujarat!', as 1fhis victary c.auld .onlybe the victary .ofGujarat. He tried hard, incl~~,~, 'ta appear as the pr~tectar .of the Gujaratis. '

. One ~fhis vielea clips broadcast an the internet starts .offwith a bamb fallawed by sirens, dead badies strewn abaut and Madi threatening terrarists with 'int na jawab patthar thi'-a stane far every brick (The Times India, 19 November 2007).

His te'chniques remind us .of Inelira Gandhi's madus .operandi. In the she cauld re~ch every Indian hame by using All India Radia and prajecting a propagandal whase mattawas 'Indira is India and mdia is Indira: Madi did same in 200'7, as evident from the name .ofhis TV channel, Vande Gujarat from VandJ Mataram) and from the fact that his supparters canvassed wearing a ~ask .of him-as if hundreds .of Madis were campaigning >n'T<''''pro

Gujarat: The Meaning ofModi's Victory in'2007 403

Like Indira Gandhi, Modi is al,ltharitarian, bl,lt Gujaratis da not mind taa mllch,

A survey by the Centre for Study .of Develaping Societies (CSPS) .of early

November 2007, shawed that 34 per cent .of the interviewees (and, :amang them

37 per cent afBJP v~ters) cansidered that Maeli's style was 'dictatari4I: But 48 per

cent .of those wha disapproved .of his 'dictatarial style .ofleadership' were ready to

vote for his party, whereas amang thase wha appraved .of this style, 61 per cent

were about ta da the same (The Indian Express, 27 Navember 2007).

These figures reflect an increasing rejectian .ofparliamentary demacracy and

an increasing interest in nan-demacratic farms .of gavernance.

The managerial culture .of palitics .of Madi is very papular amang

businessmen,7 including thase wha are at the helm .of ml\ltinatianJI campanies

and who take part every year in the Vibrant Gujarat Investors' Summit. Mukesh

Ambani said abaut him: 'Narendrat>hai is a leader with a grand vision ... amazing

clarity of purpose with determinatian ... strong ethas with a madern ourlaak,

dynamism and passian' (The Indir,m Express, 27 Navemt>er 2007). His brother,

Anil, said, 'Narendrabhai is an,e .ofIndia's biggest leaders, a man wha inspires loyalty

and attracts fallawers wherever h.e g?es ... a palitical visianary' (ibid), K.M, Birla.

went even further: 'Gujarat is vibrant because .of its paliticalleadership anel Madi

is afulItime chief minfster .of the state and genUinely the chief executive officer of

GUjarat: (ibid,) ,

The fact that Madi behaves like a CEO is .of caurs,e ta the liking .of CEOs. Xt proves that even the palitical system admits that it shauld be ruled accarding ta their principles.

, Indeed, Madi believes in a market ecanQ(l1Y and has accelerated the retreat of the state. He has reduced the state spending which had nat been part of the five-year plans by 9 per cent and ref armed the Gujarat State Electricity Baarel, This SEB which was in the red regaineel same fi,nancial health .once it started ta h.ave power paid by the cansumers, including in the villages. Last but nat the least, the Industrial Disputes Act was amended in .order ta make the labaur laws mare flexible

in the state's special ecanamic zones. .

Besides, Modi 'has shawn the passibilities .of an alternative approach to .~olitics; according ta Swapan Dasgupta, because he claimed t~at he wauld adapt ~fIicacy as the .only criterian afhis actian,like inbusiness (Dasg].Ipta 2007). Going ~y these principles, Madi sidelined a recard number .of 33 autgaing MLAs (aut 9f 127) because they hael nat delivered, accarding ta him.

Electoral Basis?

policies are well in tune with the natural inclinatians a~the. urban middle

I . .

which developeel becau~e .of the ecanomic refarms. This Isacial milieu alsa

has strong reservations vis-a-vis the state's interventions in the economy, simply because the private sector is supposed to perform better. This group is also critical ofthe traditional political personnel who are described as not only ineffective but also corrupt-a liability which is not affecting Modi, it seems.

Such a political culture explains the rising anti-parliamentarianism of the urban middle class and its growing lack ofinterest in elections: the turnout is very low indeed in urban middle class residential areas. The alternative style of governance that this milieu is longing for borrows its main features from the corporate sector: the political system must deliver the same way, and no one really cares if it goes along with a dose of authoritarianism.

The hidden face of this political culture lies in communalism. Modi's authoritarianism is largely praised or accepted by the Hindu urban middle class also because it hasbroug~t results vis-a-vis the Muslims who, as I heard so often in perfect English, have been taught the lesson they deserved in 2002.

Gujaratis adhere to what is known as Modi's 'marut~ a form ofvirility which is associated with Modi because he never apologised for what happened in 2002, in contrast to Advani who said that the demolition of the Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 had been the saddest day in his life.

Gujaratis get identified with him even more since the rest ofthe whole world is pointing a finger at Gujarat. The US which has refused Modi a visa and the centre-via Sonia Gandhi have hurt the Gujaratis who, therefore, have tended to display some solidarity with their chief and have highlighted their economic achievements as a major source ofpride (incidentally one of the rubriques of The Times of India in Gujarat is called 'Gujarati Pride'). But to highlight economic achievements is often a way to legitimize one's support for Modi-whereas this sympathy is in fact deeply rooted in communal feeling.

The urban middle class, therefore, is one of the nucleus of supporters, on which Modi relies, as evident from the CSDS survey made a few weeks before the elections, between 31 October and 6 November. Potential voters (number: 3,983) were interviewed in 60 constituencies. The results showed that the· richer the interviewees were, the more favourable they were to Modi's party (Table 18.1).


Socio-economic groups BJP Congress
Rich 62 28
Intermediary: 50 35
Low 43 40
Poor 36 49
Very Poor 36 50

Source: The Indian Express, 15 November 2007: 4.


The break-up shown in Table 18.1 is further documented by the voting pattern by ckste and religious community (Table 18.2).


Gujarat: The Meaning ofModi's Victory in 2007 TABLE 18.2: VOTING PATTERN OF CASTES AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

Castes and communities BJP Congress
Upper castes Brahman Rajput Intermediary castes Patidar OBes Koli Mer Other cultivating OBes Scheduled castes Scheduled tribes Muslims 64 50 66 30 47 46 30 45 l3 20 37 20 48 38 35 56 43 74
Source: Ibid.    

Though Modi is from an OBC caste, he is well in tune with the upper caste ethos, largely because of his RSS training. Moreover, he projects himself as an ascetic fully devoted to the cause of the people, a 'Karmayogi~ like so many pracharaks. In a book that w;as forthcoming at the time of the 2007 elections, and whose title was preciselyKarmayog, he gives a spiritualist interpretation of the caste system which was likely to maintain the social status quo. In some of the pages which have leaked to the press, he pays attention to the Dalits and more preCisely to the Bhanghis (scavengers)-whose sanskritized name is 'Valmikis':

I do not believe that they [the Valmikis] have been doing this job just to sustain their livelihood. Had this been SO, they would not have continued this type of work generation after generation.... At some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods; that they have to do this job bestowed upon them by Gods; and that this job of cleaning up should continue as an internal spiritual activity for centuries. .

This should have continued generation after generation. It is impossible to believe that their ancestors did not haye the choice of adopting any other work or business."

Such an interpretation ofsome ofthe worse forms ofuntouchability is typical of the RSS and carries also some Gandhian connotations.

Society is presented as potentially harmonious and permeated by the legacy of its divine origins: Each group is supposed to fulfil complementary functions without suffering from any hierarchical arrangement. Modi's ~iews were strongly rejected by Dalits who asked for a ban of the book. Its rel~ase was postponed officially because to do so a few weeks before the polls woul1d have contradicted the electoral code of conduct. I



New Face ofBJP Politics?

Narendra Modi not only <OU'U,"'UHOO a new style ofpolitics in Jdia, as evident from the main features of his

election campaign, but also, to Isome extent, a new type of BJPpolitician. Generally speaking, the Sangh Parivar leaders are not supposed to develop such a personality cult. The Hindu nationalist movement has always functioned in such a way as the organization comes first and men . afterwards.

Second, the RSS had to prevail in all strategic moves, the Sangh giving; absolute priority to institutional considerations in comparison to personal equations. Modi, while he was a staunch follower ofHindu tva and, therefore, could hardly be criticized by the RSS on this ground, tried to free himself from this organization. For instance, he did not submit the list of candidates nominated by the BJP to the RSS headquarters as state party leaders routinely do in such circumstances. He also reduced the coordination with the state prant pracharak to a minimum. As a result, one of the RSS strongmen in the Gujarat unit of the organization, Mukund beobhankar, declared in the press that this time his ~rganization would not get involved in election work (The Times of India, 6 November 2007).

One of his colleagues, Pravin Maniar, explained in an interview that indeed the RSS would adopt a different attitude than in 2002: 'This time around, we have not asked our workers to get involved in any poll 'related work. ... We have always extended our support for the cause ofHindu tva. But we are wedded to an ideology and not any individual ... None of the Sangh Parivar organisations have benefited from this government' (DNA, Ahmedabad edition, 25 November 2007).

The RSS was dead}' reproaching Modi with his personalization of power and resented the fact that he had not done much for the other components of the


Sangh Parivar, which had helped him so much in 2002. The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) felt especially alienated. The BKS is rooted in that part ofGujarat~thevillages-to which Modi paid little attention. Not only did the government implement a pro-capitalist policy by focusing on the industry and services, but it asked the peasants to pay for their electricity in places

where they had .never done so. The VHP was even more hostile to Modi since its leaders cohsidered that h~ had won l~rgely because of the organization's support in 2002but never repaid hiS debt. PraVIll Togadia, one ofthe VHP leaders in Gujarat, let his brother carivass

in favour of ~he Congress Party. Devertdra bas, the secretary general of the Akhil Bharatiya Sa&t Parishad and ofthe RamJanmabhoomi Nyas Raksha Samiti accused Modi ofkillipg 1,00,000 cows. He propagated a staunchly anti-Modi slogari in his stronghold 0l Baroda: 'Narendra Modi is not the protector of Hindus, but their destroyer' (~he Ind~afl Express, Ahmedabad edition; 11 December 2007).

The vlfe president of the Sant Parishad, Swami Avilchaldasji Maharaj, who was also thei leader of the Gnan Sampradaya, one of the most popular sects of Gujarat justified his rejection ofModi in three wwds: 'We feel cheated' (ibid). The anti-Modi mpbilization ofthese religious figures did not have any political fallout. Villa Bharti, ~he BJP dissident who had launched her own party, the BharatiyaJan

Gujarat: The Meaning ofMadi's Victory in 2007 407

Shakti, received the siIpport of many former colleagues and supporters of Modi but she eventually gave up the idea of opposing him. In the end, the central headquarters of theVllp' BjP and RSS have closed ranks and demanded their members fully support Modi. Such an evolution was partly due to the communal turn of his campaign. As soon as the Congress projected itself as the defender of secularism-and, therefore, as the protector of the Muslims from the Sangh Parivar's point of view-the Hindutva Movement could not take the· risk of weakening Modi, who had returned to his Hindutva plank.

Nonetheless, Modi Was not the first choice of the Sangh Parivar and he remains atypical compared to other Hindu nationaiist leaders. But he may have inaugurated a new style ofleadership in the BJP, based on personal appeal rather than the Sarigh Parivar's network. Where the BJP has become really big as in Gujarat, the party leader may be able to rely on his personal popularity and emancipate itself from 'th~ RSS. Similar developments may occur at a pari Indian level too. Interestingly, L.K. Advani has managed to remain leader ofthe opposition in the Lok Sabha and tq appear as the National Democratic Alliance's candidate for prime ministership at the time of the next general election in spite of the RSS' eagerness to replace him after the 2004 defeat.

The BJP does not need the RSS and its other affiliates as riuich as before. it

does not need swaymtfsevaks going door to door to convey the party's propaganda

as much as before. It can develop populist strategies by relying ori new

communication techniques and it raises money for its own expenditutes-iricluding

from the diaspora which, in the case of Modi, was a great help.

Certainly, the 'revelations' made by Tehelka in October 2007 launched the

Gujarat 2007 election campaign. Bilt far from sealing Modi's political fate, they

have contributed his electoral success and the nationalleagers of the Congress

further helped him by referring to the 1002 riots duririg their meetings and


Such a strategy paradoxicalIy led the voters to identify themselves more with

their chief minister and to accept more the way he tried to get associated with

the state of Gujarat by virtue of a new form of Gujarati pride. Gtijarati patriotism

and anti-Muslim feelings played a significant part in Modi's ~uccess, development

and economic achievemel(ts being a very convenient fig leaf for the middle class

which wanted to find more legitimate arguments for justifying their vote for the

BJP.. I Gujarat's election results throw up new interrogations regarding not only

I .

Gujarat but the rest of India too. What kind of treatment w1ill the Mllslims meet

in the state, especially those staying in the 'relief colonies' having resulted from the

2002 pogroms? What kind of justice and reconciliation is npw possible-if any?

These questions acquire a, new meaning if Gujarat, one ofth~ most ~odernstates,

is reinventing politics alo~g lines ofwhat the new middle . wants. Is Gujarat's

trajectory announcing sin'tilar inflexions elsewhere?



  1. Here Sonia Gandhi alludes to the arrests of so many Muslims after the Godhra events especially under POTA.


  2. Note here that Modi speaks as if Gujarat was not in India.


    1. K.T.S. Tulsi, the lawyer representing Modi to the Supreme Court let it immediately be known that he was withdrawing from the case: 'On the one hand, the Gujarat government has filed a number of affidavits in the Supreme Court saying that it's a cold-blooded murder and it has filed a chargesheetagainst its own police officers and is prosecuting them for murder. And now the chief minister says that the murder is justified. In this situation, the stand of the government and the chief minister is completely contradictory. I cannot defend such a case. I cannot accept that any police officer has the right to murder anyone. It's a mockery of law' (The Times of India,


    2. Ahmedabad edition, 6 December 2007).
  3. See, for instance, DNA, Ahmedabad edition, 10 December 2007.


  4. He said, for instance, in November: 'Local issues are not important during the campaign in the forthcoming polls. There is just one issue with us-Modi' (cited in Rajiv Shah, 'Modi Only Mascot for BJP: Rupala~ The Times ofIndia,S November 2007).


  5. An astute commentator indeed observed: 'Modi is not just a man or (a) chief minister, but an 'event' in Indian politics after Indira Gandhi to present that sole authoritative model of leadership. With wider vision of brand building and systematic strategies of image positioning than Indira. So, in a way Gujarat'has seen non-stop round the clock election campaign by him in the past five years' (The Times of India, 11 December



  1. The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a function in honour of Modi during the election campaign. Interestingly he seized this opportunity for improvising a very harsh speech, showing that he felt he was in the company of hard core Hindutva supporters: 'Anti-Gujarat lobby has been propagating that I killed Sohrabuddin. IfAK-57 rifles are found at the residence ofa person, do I go to take their advice or should I ask the lawyers, you tell me what I should do, should I not kill them?; and the crowd responded by shouting, 'Kill them! Kill them!' (The Times of India, Ahmedabad edition, 18 November 2007).


  2. Cited in Rajiv Shah, '''Karmayogi'' Swears by Caste Order~ The Times of India, Ahmedabad edition, 24 November 2007.



Dasgupta, S. (2007), 'Modi, Inept Pragmatist', The Indian Express, 24 November. Dayal, Prasha~t (2007), 'Shutter-Bug's Delight and Fit for the Ramp~ The Times ofIndia,Ahmedaba~ edition, 27 November. Jaffrelot, C. (i2007), 'The 2002 Pogrom in Gujarat: The Post-9/11 Face of Hindu NationalistlAnti-Muslim Violence~ in R. King (ed.),Mirrors of Violence, London and New York: [Routledge.



The Rise of the Lower Castes

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