As far as Vinod Hegde is concerned, Indian prime minister candidate Narendra Modi bears no responsibility for the 2002 Gujarat riots. More to the point, Hegde doesn’t care.
Hegde, a 26-year-old stockbroker in Bangalore, said that for people like him, the Gujarat chief minister is the only choice to lead India after countrywide parliamentary elections that began this week.
Allegations that Modi failed to stop or even allowed deadly riots in 2002 don’t sway his vote, Hegde said. And if the ruling Congress party’s candidate is Rahul Gandhi, the choice becomes even clearer.
“Even assuming Modi has been responsible for XYZ, we don’t see an alternative,” Hegde said. Referencing a Twitter post by music director Vishal Dadlani, he said, “If I had to choose between a moron and a murderer, I’d probably choose the murderer.”
Not everyone states their case for supporting Modi in such blunt terms, but interviews with young professionals in Bangalore, the information technology hub known as India’s Silicon Valley reveals a calculation in favour of Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that omits the riots from the equation.