Why are Modi supporters considered fanatical?

In living rooms and tea stalls across this country, the debate is no longer whether the Congress or the BJP will come to power. The discussion has moved to whether Narendra Modi is fit to be the PM of India or not. One camp states he is the best man to govern India and can give a major boost to the Indian economy. The other side argues that a man accused of abetting riots should never be allowed to become the PM of India.

 

Yet the nature of the divide is such that Modi supporters entertain reasonable doubt while the other side doesn’t seem to. The pro-Modi camp hangs on to the fact that he has not been proven guilty yet, where more than one SIT ‘indicates’ that he may be innocent. On the other hand, the anti-Modi camp is definitely sure that he is guilty of abetting the 2002 Godhra riots.

This to the extent that if Modi is proven guilty, in my opinion, he will lose millions in the urban middle class who currently support him. But I do not believe that if he is proclaimed innocent by the Supreme Court, the anti-Modi camp will in any way shrink. The anti-Modi narrative has been spun into an industry which has been growing strong since the 2002 riots. The camp is definite about its notions surrounding him, including allegations that as PM – he will quash the trial against him, he will clamp down on the national media and he will form an incompetent cabinet. For them, anyone who thinks otherwise is a Modi fanatic.

Many in the pro Modi camp are unsure of his guilt or competence. The camp does not know whether he will clamp down on the media or not, or whether he will be able to deliver the development he has promised. This camp is satisfied with not possessing powers of predicting the future

It is not fanaticism that guides support for Modi. Similar to the ascent of the Aam Aadmi Party, it is the promise of better governance. Just like the AAP’s fall from grace after 49 days in power, I believe Modi will face the same heat if he does not perform.

Considering the possibility that the ‘dictator’ nightmares of the anti-Modi camp do become a reality, many Modi supporters including myself, will become ardent critics of his government. The middle class who supports Modi will never forgive him, if as PM he restricts the freedom of the national media or even circumvents the law to make the case against him go away.

A significant chunk of Modi’s support base is driven by rationality. Yet that support is much more precarious than the mindset of his critics. Their opinions have been hardened over the last 12 years and don’t seem to be subject to change. The fact that the anti-Modi camp cannot entertain the possibility of the Gujarat CM’s innocence, or the possibility of good governance and the maintenance of media freedom under the BJP government – that is fanatical.

As for us who voted for Modi this time around, we are not interested in the predictions of self styled anti-Modi soothsayers. We will let the events of the future decide what kind of PM if not human being Modi turns out to be.