I wrote the letter below to the editor of FDI. Essentially, it makes the same argument I made in a post from last January, Anywhere else.
No doubt you have received plenty of letters already about Narendra Modi and your decision to present him an award, later modified to award it to the state he governs as Chief Minister, Gujarat. I won't repeat the arguments you have also no doubt heard plenty of times.
I'd like to say only this much. People will argue endlessly over whether the bloody tragedy of Gujarat in 2002 was actually "genocide". People will try to suggest that when critics of Modi like me speak of that tragedy we deliberately ignore the killings of nearly 60 Hindus in a train in Godhra. People will laud Modi's subsequent record of governance and say we should therefore overlook what happened in 2002, and some will argue over that record. People will argue over whether Modi was himself culpable at all.
But here's the point that there is simply no arguing over because it is a bald fact: as Chief Minister in 2002, Narendra Modi presided over some of the worst terrorism India has witnessed, and over one of this country's worst breakdowns of law and order. Simple.
The fundamental duty of any government, and especially an elected one, must be to offer security and dignity to its citizens. This is what Narendra Modi utterly failed to do in 2002. Other Chief Ministers in this country have lost their jobs over similar failures -- for example, last November's terror attacks in Mumbai, after which both the CM and his Deputy were asked to quit.
When Mr Modi and his government have a record like that, what does it mean to reward him, and his government, for "attracting foreign investment"? This is the question so many of us ask you.