Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is in the eye of a storm for saying (in the context of the Gujarat riots) that he would be sad even if a puppy was run over by a car with him on the backseat. The “puppy” remark may be general in nature. But in the present frenzied atmosphere, anything can become a controversy. Since the “puppy” remark has hurt the sentiments of Muslims, Mr. Modi should apologise.

S. Lakshmipathi,

Chennai

The driver in Mr. Modi’s analogy did not run the car over the puppy intentionally. It came under the wheels accidentally. But the violence against innocent Muslims, including women and children, during the 2002 Gujarat riots was orchestrated by miscreants belonging to the sangh parivar. Mr. Modi has claimed in the interview to Reuters that he used his full strength to do the right thing in 2002. What, according to him, was the “right thing?” Remaining a silent spectator when his people were burnt and butchered? The driver may regret the unfortunate incident, even forget it. But the owner of the puppy will never forget it.

T. Job Anbalagan,

Delhi

Mr. Modi’s remark was a spontaneous outpour of prejudice against Muslims. By patting the driver on the back and taking no notice of the dead puppy on the road, Mr. Modi emboldened him and that paved the way for the 2002 carnage.

K. Mohammed Mishad,

Palakkad

What happened during the riots was crystal clear. People do not give credit to the so-called ‘clean chit’ given to Mr. Modi by the SIT. His reference to a “puppy” is an attempt to warn Muslims that “full strength” will be used to do the “right thing” if he becomes the Prime Minister.

A. Abdul Razack,

Perundurai

Mr. Modi is a popular leader. When a leader of his stature makes a comment comparing a community with puppies, it is bound to influence naive Indian minds. With Mr. Modi practising such an ideology, I see nothing but a divided India in future.

Huda Ahmad,

Lucknow

The heated debates on Mr. Modi’s puppy remark remind me of an incident narrated to me by a professor. A particular group of students had a grievance against a certain faculty member. They came to the classroom in which my friend was teaching and started shouting. But he was not the professor they wanted to see. He explained to them that the person they sought to meet was in another department. During the conversation he said “gentlemen, you are barking up the wrong tree.” The group attacked the poor professor saying he called them dogs because he used the word ‘bark.’ What happened later is another story.

T.D.P. Ray Varma,

Vijayawada

One wonders how every move and word uttered by Mr. Modi is met with strong reaction by the opposition parties when no malice can be attributed to his remarks per se.

R. Sivaramakrishnan,

Chennai

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