11 Oct, 2015
By Girish Shahane
During an interview with LK Advani during the Bharatiya Janata Party’s first full term in power, Prannoy Roy asked him about growing extremism in the party, and how moderates like the Indian deputy prime minister planned to clamp down on it.
For those such as myself who associated Advani primarily with his rath yatra of 1990 that left a bloody trail of riots across the country, the ascription of moderation to him seemed peculiar. Nevertheless, I could understand where Roy was coming from, for in comparison to some of the younger BJP leaders like Narendra Modi, Advani came across as impeccably reasonable and restrained.
A little over a decade has passed since that interview, the Gujarat chief minister has graduated to heading the central government, and now a large section of the media views Modi as a moderate focussed on development, but surrounded by zealots whose excesses threaten his progressive agenda.