Sagarika Ghose, CNN-IBN | Updated Sep 16, 2013 at 10:20am IST
New Delhi: After Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, yet another intellectual has come out strongly against Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Acclaimed author and Padma Shri awardee Amitav Ghosh said that for him, Modi remains someone culpable for the Gujarat riots of 2002. Amitav Ghosh further said that the Gujarat Chief Minister will not get his vote. Speaking to CNN-IBN’s Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghose, he also said that the politics of Hindu nationalism is destroying Hindu religion. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:Sagarika Ghose: Does the rise of Hindu nationalism worry you? Amitav Ghose: Very, very much. Absolutely because in a sense what is most worrying for me about it is that it is taking away the traditions that I knew. It’s the tradition I grew up in. The way the riots happened, the way Hinduism is projected often by Hindu nationalists as you call them. It’s completely, unlike what I was taught, the religion I learnt, practised. In a sense what is most horrifying for me about this Hindu nationalism is that it has transformed faith into politics. Sagarika Ghose: The person who exemplifies this kind of political movement in a sense is Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. There is the talk that he is going to be India’s next Prime Minister. How do you view someone like Narendra Modi?
Amitav Ghose: I think what happened in Gujarat in 2002 is absolutely… it was a defining moment. It was horrifying to see what happened. It was one of the moments again when the whole world looked on and was completely appalled and I was completely appalled by what happened there. How much of that responsibility devolves on Modi is something to be decided by the courts, rather than you and me. But there is certainly no doubt that it happened on his watch and in that sense he is in some sense responsible. And in as much as it happened these were murders. He is also culpable. For someone with that past to occupy the highest position in this land would be. I think deeply destabilising. Sagarika Ghose: So he doesn’t get your vote? Amitav Ghose: No, no, not at all.