The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) looking into the Gulberg Society riots case has given a clean chit to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. This has come as a big blow to Modi’s political rivals and detractors portraying him in bad light. Whether these political parties end their vicious campaign against Modi after the SC verdict, only time will say. Time and again Modi’s rivals have been proved wrong, but the problem is that the slandering campaign against Modi has taken an institutional form. They should realize that such moves only create disturbances in the social and political atmosphere. It is beyond any debate that the Gujarat riot has tarnished India’s image and cannot be justified in any form but to jump to a conclusion that Narendra Modi was behind it is absolutely wrong. Unfortunately Modi’s political rivals did exactly the same by launching a disparaging campaign against him. More disappointing is that along with political parties a section of the media was up in arms against Modi. Now after the SC verdict, political and non-political outfits must realize that misleading campaigns can never be a substitute to politics.

It is clear that the SIT report is going to bolster the political image of Modi along with the BJP. There isn’t an inkling of doubt that despite all opposition, Modi has portrayed himself as a leader committed to development. Modi has been showered with accolades from across the world for the work he has done in his state. After absolving himself from the charges it is to be seen as to what role Modi plays in the national politics. However, this is not going to be easy for Modi as there is lack of consensus among the BJP leaders over bringing him into the national politics. Some coalition partners of BJP are also opposed to the idea. However, Narendra Modi has begun to prove himself as a person committed to social integration. There is still a long way to go but the coming general elections will provide Modi a perfect platform to win over other communities specially the Muslims and give a befitting reply to his opponents.