Another factor that has helped Modi is that Gujarat's view of Godhra and the riots that followed have been different from that of the rest of India.
Arguably, never before have Indians realised so assuredly that the Indian State will have to remain secular if a plural society like ours is to survive and grow.
Within Gujarat, the nature of discourse is entirely different.
In large sections of the majority community, a homogeneous view has emerged about the riots. Nowhere else in India can one possibly find such a total absence of dissonant opinion among the urban people.
Modi is harnessing this 'homogeneity' among the Hindus of Ahmedabad to his great political advantage.
This trait was beginning to appear among Gujarati Hindus even before the 2002 riots. It has solidified and been internalised in the last five years.
Of course, anti-incumbency, economic failures, emergence of competitive politics, receding fears in the Hindu psyche and the inevitable resurfacing of the caste divide can incrementally create fissures among Gujarati Hindus, but such a process will be gradual.
Image: Preparing for Republic Day 2007 in Ahmedabad.
Interpol notice against key Godhra accused