“Another thing… any person… if we are driving a car, we are a
driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even
then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will be painful or not? Of course,
it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something
bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.”
–The Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on the 2002 Gujarat carnage.

This was the first interview to a news organisation by Mr. Modi after he was made chief of the BJP’s election campaign committee, an appointment that was being seen as an unofficial declaration that he was leading the party for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He emerged as a strong contender for Prime Minister from the main Opposition, despite the controversies over the riots refusing to die down. If a leader were held responsible for over 2000 deaths, it would be hard for him to be elected under any circumstances. Popular support for Modi only proves that the racism and hate against the Muslim minority in India remains as strong as ever and there is no hope for a change in rhetoric till such leadership remains in power.