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The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald
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October 20, 2011

Now Narendra Modi refuses scarf presented by Muslim in Navsari

Modi refuses scarf in Navsari
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi landed into a major controversy that could jeopardize his entire exercise to present himself as an acceptable face in Indian politics, as he refused to accept scarf from a Muslim man in Gujarat.

After the last month's controversy when he had declined to take the 'topi' (skullcap), Modi was offered the traditional Islamic 'keffiyeh' (scarf) by a Muslim in Navsari where was observing his 'sadbhav' fast for communal harmony.

Apparently, fearing a backlash from his core constituency and facing the charge of appeasement, Modi didnt' accept the headscarf. Modi is currently on his 'yatra' to project a pro-development face and is travelling across Gujarat, holding similar fasts in different districts.

While Modi is seen as a champion of Hindutva, he needs to change his image for wider acceptability in the country. But the repeat of the Ahmedabad incident, is surely going to hurt Modi's chances. That he took shawls offered by others but can't accept  even an Islamic scarf, is bound to create ripples.

Narendra Modi is already facing the heat after IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt made serious charges against him pertaining to Gujarat riots. After Bhatt was arrested and jailed, the BJP government had faced flak from different quarters for its witch-hunt.

Congress said that Modi's rally is not about spreading peace and harmony but is instead dividing society and ignoring an entire community. The BJP has termed it as non-issue once again. But the incidents in a row are likely to affect Modi's political prospects.

TIH Bureau

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