These days, on social media and in conversations, people who express any reservations about Modi as India’s future PM are invariably accused of being stuck in a time warp, failing to look beyond the 2002 riots. In my opinion, its actually the contrary that is true. A significant proportion of modi supporters, inspite of all the rhetoric about development and progress, still cling to the notion that he is pro-hindu and that is what dictates their allegiance to him. Many others who dish out development stats and the corruption issue were also drawn towards him just because of his pro-majority stance, their grouse being minority appeasement. Prod them a bit and the development plank will quickly give way to veiled minority-bashing. This is precisely the reason the communalism bogey refuses to die down, because even though many of his supporters ostensibly support modi’s development agenda, deep down many of them hope that he will root out the practice of minority appeasement. While no one can deny that minority appeasement has been regressive and counter-productive, the fundamentalists often use this as an excuse for their prejudices. And these fundamentalists, for multiple reasons, somehow see Modi as their messiah, as is evident from statements by Togadia, Girirah and all.
My point is that even though Modi may have turned over a new leaf and may no longer be a religious bigot, his supporters, even more so than his critics, are refusing to acknowledge it. Many still believe that his conciliatory stand is just due to electoral compulsions, and these are not his detractors. That is why a murderer like Bajrangi claims that Modi got three judges transferred to get him bail, a rabble-rouser like Muthalik presumes that he would be welcomed by BJP with open arms and fanatics like Togadia make obnoxious statements in his home state.
Its rather paradoxical that a majority of Modi’s supporters as well as his critics are unwilling to accept that he is no longer anti-muslim, and while the critics are apprehensive about it, his supporters are pleased about his presumed dissemblance.