Zakaria had said during a session in April 2012 that Modi was not even going to become a regional leader, let alone him becoming the prime minister of India. He took sharp dig at the BJP's rise in the country, even quoting Karl Marx as saying: "History repeats itself twice, first as a tragedy, second as a farce." He was referring to the prospects of the right-wing BJP's return to power and said Modi could never be the face of India, a nation with complicated and diverse realities.
Speaking to the CNN-IBN, Zakaria also defended his earlier evaluation of Modi, saying some BJP leaders might also have thought like he did. After taking the interview of Modi, the 48-year-old journalist-author called the Indian prime minister a tough person who is handling international relations in a shrewd way.