This is an excerpt from the chapter, ‘The Enemy Within’ in NIIANJAN MUKHOPADHYAY’s book, Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times.
From the label of “Master Divider” in India Today in January 2003 to the tag of “The Great Polariser” in the Outlook in July 2012 — Narendra Modi’s image remained static: self-declared champion of one community of people. But the strain Gujarat faced in the course of his tenure has increased manifold. Wherever I travelled in Gujarat, there was a clear distinction between “us” and “them”. This difference was articulated by several Hindus every time the conversation veered in this direction. In contrast, counterparts among Muslims denied this. The disagreement with the hypothesis stemmed not from a belief and perception that they faced no discrimination but because of a “fear” that accepting such a viewpoint could be interpreted as levelling an allegation that they were being targeted — a risk no Muslim is willing to take after the post-Godhra violence.