The victory of Narendra Modi in the recent Indian elections has sent shockwaves through the world, not only because of his close ties to the fascist inspired RSS but also because of his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots which left thousands of Muslim dead in what is widely believed to have been state-sponsored mass murder and rape.
To understand why Narendra Modi is such a controversial figure it is important to look into his political background.
Modi began his political career in group called Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), National Volunteer Organisation. Narendra Modi started his political career literally in the gutter, sweeping and washing for the local RSS boss; however quickly he rose up the ranks, gaining a reputation as an efficient organiser. By the late 1980s he had become a senior figure in the RSS’s Gujarat chapter. From here, he was given the job of liaising with the Gujarat BJP and before long had moved across from the RSS into its political wing.
In 1990 he helped organise the Gujarat leg of the Rath Yatra chariot march on Ayodhya from the great Hindu temple of Somnath, a campaign in which Modi plays a crucial role. The campaign led to the destruction two years later of the Babri Masjid.
By 1998 when the BJP took power in India, Narendra Modi was rewarded for his work by being promoted to serve as the BJP’s national secretary. He moves to Delhi and begins to work on converting himself into a recognisable national politician.
By 2001 he managed to become the chief minister in Gujarat where, within months of his appointment, the mass murder of Muslims began. Modi used his period in power in Gujarat consolidated by post Gujarat riot electoral success to court big business and corporations.
Yet he remains controversial, not for his lifelong loyal membership of the facist RSS, but the planned genocide according to Amnesty international, as well as many other human rights organisations, in Gujarat.
Between February 28 and March 02 2002, between 2000 and 4000 people, mainly Muslims, were killed in a planned orgy of violence in the Modi run state of Gujarat. The violence is believed to have been state-sponsored, aided and abetted. Up to 20,000 people were made homeless. Narendra Modi, as the chief executive of the state, had complete command over the police and other law enforcement machinery during February 28 through March 02, 2002.
Former President of India, President Narayanan said: “There has been government participation in Gujarat riots. I had sent several letters to the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and also talked to him. But he did not do anything effective”. Former President Narayanan said he had directed sending in the army to Gujarat to stop the violence. “How many instances of the serial killings could have been avoided if the Army had resorted to shooting against rioters? The slaughter could have been avoided if the Army was given the freedom to stem the riots” 
In Gujarat, as the International Initiative for Justice identified, four criteria for genocide were met: killing members of the group through massacre; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group through massacre, rape, burning, stabbing, beating, etc.; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part through massacre, economic boycott, psychic, physical, and social trauma; and imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group through rape, trauma, destruction of family, sexual violence and mutilation. 
In the three days following the fire that sparked off the riots, the Sangh Parivar, with the knowledge of Modi and his cabinet, masterminded a campaign of targeted anti-Muslim violence across Gujarat, in which 16 of 24 districts were affected. Some of the worst violence occurred in rural areas hundreds of miles from the train incident at Godhra. Moreover, subsequent investigations  found that only Muslim-owned businesses were destroyed. Inventories of Muslim businesses, including hotels with Muslim partners, and Muslim residences were made available to the mobs by BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Bajrang Dal leaders and cadres, and the Gujarat State Police, as were voter registration lists/electoral rolls that aided in the targeting of Muslims in mixed, or dominant Hindu neighbourhoods.
Subsequent forensic investigations have established that Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express could not have been set on fire from the outside on February 27, 2002, and that the fire that destroyed compartment S-6 started from within the train compartment. The interim report of the Justice U. C. Banerjee Commission, released on January 17, 2005, has concluded that the fire in Coach S-6 of the Sabarmati Express on February 27, prior to the mass killings which ensued on February 28, was “accidental,” and not a “terrorist” attack on Hindu pilgrims as claimed by Narendra Modi and other Hindutva leaders in their attempt to justify the violence that followed. 
Various investigations (listed in earlier footnotes) have inquired into the precise nature of the genocidal violence used by Hindutva mobs  to target Muslim communities in Gujarat. Fact-finding teams have concluded that, based on the reach and impact, the implementation of violence that occurred, including across the districts of Ahmedabad, Dahod, Gandhinagar, Kheda, Mehesana, Panchmahal and Sabarkantha, between February 28 and March 02, must have been premeditated and could not have erupted spontaneously. These investigations have asserted that Narendra Modi, as the head of state of Gujarat, not only failed to take preventative measures against those who were planning the violence with his knowledge, but undertook a series of measures that either tacitly or explicitly condoned the violence.
The Gujarat massacre was pre-planned and the state government of Gujarat was complicit and culpable at the highest level.
The Modi government in Gujarat is responsible for the deaths of thousands of its citizens in instances of organized violence, large-scale displacement of its minority populations, continuing denial of justice and the climate of terror that permeates civil society in Gujarat even today.
MODI MARKETING : RE-Making of Narendra Modi
In the aftermath of the riots, Modi went to work improving his reputation.
“What he has done is change the narrative and go for (economic) development,” says Swapan Dasgupta, a New Delhi-based political analyst who has advised BJP leaders on media strategy. “From 2002 onwards he does not mention the riots any more. It does not come into his speeches. This focus on development was backed up by a very powerful publicity machine.”
As Prime Minister, Modi has embraced modern technology like no other Indian leader. He is active on Facebook and YouTube and has more than 2 million followers on Twitter. During his re-election campaign, Modi used 3-D projection technology to appear simultaneously at 53 events – a world record. He appears impeccably dressed, either in suits or stylish tailor-made kurtas, a knee-length Indian shirt, rimless glasses and a neatly trimmed white beard.
“In terms of brand recognition he has succeeded eminently. Today a whole lot of people in different parts of the country at least know his name,” said Abraham Koshy, professor of marketing at India’s top business management school, the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, who nevertheless questions whether Modi can turn that recognition into votes.
The Indian media and the ruling Congress party regularly claim that Modi has employed foreign help – in particular APCO Worldwide, one of the largest PR agencies in the United States – to help him rehabilitate his image and make him more acceptable to voters at home and governments abroad.
Based on a report: Genocide in Gujarat, The Sangh Parivar, Narendra Modi, and the Government of Gujarat