In a major shift for U.S. policy toward India, the American Ambassador will meet Narendra Modi, the controversial Indian politician who is the current favorite for Prime Minister in this year’s elections. The meeting will probably take place within the next few days. It will be the first time such a high-ranking U.S. diplomat has met Modi since his visa was revoked in 2005.The United States and other countries in the West haven’t gotten along with Modi since the 2001 sectarian riots in Gujarat, where Modi is chief minister, which resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand people. Modi is accused by human rights organizations of doing nothing to stop the violence. He has steadfastly denied those accusations, and since then he has overseen explosive economic growth and foreign investment in his state.Modi’s diplomatic visa to the United States was revoked in 2005 on the grounds that he was a serious violator of religious freedom. It has long been accepted by the international human rights community that Modi is a pariah. U.S. and other Western diplomats have steadfastly avoided him for several years. Just this past June the United States said there had been no change in its approach.Now the world is coming to terms with the possibility that he will become Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world and one day soon, perhaps, will be visiting the White House. Modi has a lot of supporters in the United States among the Indian diaspora, and a lot of enemies too. When he was scheduled to give a video conference at the University of Pennsylvania last year, a coalition of students and professors petitioned the university to cancel the speech, saying his speech would be “polarizing.”The State Department appears to consider a Prime Minister Modi a real possibility, and is finally moving to mend its relationship with him. This is the right move. Sometimes countries that are vital to American interests and foreign policy elect leaders that we don’t particularly like. The India-U.S. relationship is a vital one, and no matter who wins India’s national election this year Washington is going to have to get along with the new leader.