Modi phenomenon: Propaganda or Reality?

It was back in the summer of 2002 when I first heard of Narendra Modi, who was labeled “Butcher of Gujarat”. Being a naive boy who did not bother about exploring facts, it was but natural for me to believe everything said by friends, trust opinions of “experts” on TV shows and editors of magazines (notice that I have used the word “opinion” which is different from “report”. While news reports are based on real events, opinions are subjective and can be manipulative). Just like millions of other young Indians, I was also a staunch critic of Modi and even just a mention of his name used to make me nauseous. (How could someone even think of killing thousands of innocent people, still be arrogant/adamant and continue to be the CM?)

Fastforward to 2008-09. After settling down with a job in IT industry and with some leisure time during weekends, I decided to take up some interesting online courses to explore non-technical subjects. One such course was about psychology where I learnt concepts like cognitive behavior, media’s role in brainwash, mind manipulation & propaganda. And this got me thinking whether I am/was also a victim of a propaganda. I had to explore it by taking up one case. Since Modi had just then become a CM for the third term (which was indeed shocking. How could people vote for a mass murderer third time consecutively?), I decided to take up his case.

I talked to friends & colleagues about their opinion on Modi and the the most common criticisms/allegations attributed towards him are broadly categorized as follows:

1) Mass-murderer. During the 2002 riots, Modi had given a free hand to extremists to go on a killing spree which lasted for several days/weeks. He called the army after 3 full days.

2) Gujarat was already a developed state. He has done nothing significant.

3) Careless attitude towards minorities. It is a living hell for minorities in his state.

Not just my friends but even I had always believed these criticisms/allegations and even young students were being brainwashed as explained in this article:

This time, I wanted to look at it like a psychology student without any preconceived notions. So, my research began with a clear mind and for the next few weeks, I accessed several official documents, official news archives, court reports, verdicts, statements etc and the following was what I found.

1) Mass-murderer, 2002 riots, calling army.

This was the most shocking part of the research process. When I unearthed official archives of newspapers, I was surprised to find that Modi had actually called army as soon as the riots began. Hence, I was not surprised when Supreme Court gave a clean chit to Modi because everything that was mentioned in SIT (Special Investigation team appionted by Supreme Court) report was already in public domain which I had found much earlier.
Apart from calling the army immediately, Modi had deployed special police forces (Rapid Action Task Force) and the riot was in control within 72 hours.


To summarise:
-Train was burnt on Feb 27th, 2002.
-Riots started on Feb 28th.
-Army was called on Feb 28th itself within hours.
-Army began flag marches on the next day i.e March 1st (Feb in 2002 had 28 days)
-By March 3rd, riots were under control.

News archive links:

Also, it was surprising to find that Modi had called for help from neighboring states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Maharashtra) requesting for police forces but none offered any help (Maharashtra sent some police teams but it was not of much use). This is mentioned in SIT report, page 448.


Full report:

2) Gujarat was already a developed state. He has done nothing significant.

While it cannot be denied that Gujarat was among the better states in India, it was still lagging in several areas including agriculture, electricity & infrastructure. All the information which were in public domain were consolidated and have been presented in the following snapshots which depict the transformation of the state in the above said areas.

Water & Agriculture:

News reference links:

Electricity & Alternate energy:


News Reference links:’s-solar-project

3) Careless attitude towards minorities. It is a living hell for minorities in his state.

In 2005, Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh (of the Congress party which is a rival of Modi’s BJP) appointed a committee to prepare a report on the latest social, economic and educational condition of the Muslim community (minority) of India. After thorough survey and investigations, a 400 page report was presented in 2006-07 and to the surprise of many, it said that muslims in Gujarat were much better-off when compared to muslims of other states. i.e in terms of education, per capita income, percentage of muslims in govt jobs, police force and more.


Click image to enlarge

News Reference links:

Full report of Sachar committee:

Update 1:

Of late, there has been severe criticism towards handling of malnutrition problem in Gujarat. After the release of CAG report, the hottest topic is about every third child in the state being malnourished, but if seen from the perspective of an analyst, it is evident that there has been a substantial decrease in malnourished children in Gujarat as the CAG report itself indicates.


Official report link:

Please visit the following link to read part-2 of the case study:

Note: This case study is not to support or criticize any politician/party/govt but to dig out the reality and to quash false propaganda, if any. Allegations like “fake leader”, “cult builder” etc are minor and typical in political competitions. But a propaganda claiming someone of “mass-murderer” is serious and hence it was taken as the first topic in this study. This article (and hence the study) is still not complete and will be updated based on more inputs & unearthing of further facts. Share this with your friends so that they also become aware of facts & participate in this study to provide more inputs.


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