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Narendra Modi

From Academic Kids

Narendra Damodardas Modi (born September 17, 1950, Gujarat, India) is the chief minister of the state of Gujarat in India since October 7, 2001. He was born in Vadnagar town of Mehsana district of Gujarat. He represents the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Modi is a controversial right-wing politician, perceived by some to have an anti-Muslim bias. He is a proponent of Hindutva, an ideology supportive of Hindu nationalism.

He became the 14th Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, when his predecessor Keshubhai Patel resigned from office following the loss of 2 Assembly and 1 Lok Sabha seat.

Contents

Gujarat Riots of 2002

In an outbreak of violence in Gujarat in February 2002, a number of Hindutva activists were killed in a fire on the Sabarmati Express train at Godhra. The fire was initially blamed on Muslims in the town; the facts of the matter however continue to be disputed. Following this Hindu mobs attacked Muslims across the state, which according to an Indian central government report resulted in the death of 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims, with an additional 223 people listed missing. The causes and extent of the riots continue to be disputed in the courts. Modi government came under severe condemnation by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), among other institutions and voluntary agencies, which claimed that the government didn't do its best to combat the rioters.

In September that year, Modi organized a state-wide tour referred to as a Gaurav Yatra, Gujarati for Pilgrimage of Strength, seen by many as an attempt by the BJP to woo voters for the imminent assembly elections. Modi was criticized at the time for conducting the Yatra inspite of the tense situation of the state. Later that year, Modi won Gujarat elections with 126 seats in the 182-member assembly.

Visa controversy

On March 18, 2005, he was denied a diplomatic visa by the US, and his business and tourist visa were also cancelled under a law that bars such a privilege to "anyone who carries out severe violations of religious freedom". This decision was taken based on a report by the National Human Rights Commission[1] (http://in.rediff.com/news/2005/mar/19modi.htm) that found that his state administration had failed to control persistent violations of rights.

This decision has created a controversy, with the Indian government expressing displeasure at the development, protesting the action as "uncalled for" and lacking courtesy towards an important government official. Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh took exception to the visa denial in Parliament, saying that it was not appropriate to make a "subjective judgement" to question a Constitutional authority in India[2] (http://www.hindu.com/2005/03/19/stories/2005031907380100.htm).

In response, the American Embassy in India stated that the US State Department would assess India's request for reconsideration of the visa denial. However, the visa was denied again on the same grounds.

History textbooks

Modi has recently come under fire for a government-promoted history textbook in Gujarat that makes statements that seem to praise some of Adolf Hitler's civic actions, and gives only token mention of the Holocaust. The textbook notes about that Hitler "brought prosperity to Germany" and "instilled the spirit of adventure in the common people". Another state-sponsored textbook is critical of Gandhi. [3] (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/868469.cms)

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