An aggressive leader of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, Indian People’s Party) and a prominent Sangh Parivar (Hindu family of organizations) activist, Narendra Modi was born in Vadnagar (Gujarat) to a middle-class Hindu family belonging to the Other Backward Classes (OBC). He joined the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteers’ Association) as a child. He obtained a MA in Political Science from Gujarat University, where he was an active member of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi had, Hindu student union) as well as a pracharak (cadre) in the RSS. In 1987, he joined the BJP. Noticed because of his strategic and managerial skills, he rapidly moved up through the party’s hierarchy and became general secretary of the Gujarat unit. Employing his xenophobic, populist, and authoritarian style, he helped strengthen the party: the BJP has ruled Gujarat since 1995. Modi was among the organizers of L. K. Advani’s Ram Rath Yatra in 1990, which started in Somnath (Gujarat) on September 25 and, if it had not been stopped, was to reach Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) on October 30. He was subsequently appointed BJP National Secretary and became Gujarat’s chief minister in 2001, a post he has been able to retain since then. Although his economic record has been brilliant, his aggressive Hindutva ideology has cost the state of Gujarat dearly: the unprecedented 2002 anti-Muslim violence in the state is widely understood to have been planned and sponsored by Modi’s administration, which encouraged Sangh Parivar activists to target Muslims and which precluded any police intervention. Although the journalistic proofs against him are striking, Modi has, thus far, not been condemned by the judiciary. The BJP even won a significant victory in the 2007 state elections, allowing him to pursue his tenure as chief minister.