Narendra Modi – Quick Facts
Famous as: Politician
Place of birth: Vadnanagar
Father: Damodardas Mulchand Modi
Born on: 17th September1950
The beginning of a powerful political era
Narendra Modi is the 15th prime minister of India. He was sworn in as prime minister on 26 May 2014 after a historic election victory of his party, BJP. In fact, Modi is India’s first prime minister born after the country attained independence. He was born on 17 September 1950 to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and Heeraben in Vadnagar, Mehsana district of the previous Bombay State.
Narendra Modi – Early Life
Narendra Modi was nothing more than an ordinary boy from a middle class family. He was born as the third of four children. When he was six, he helped his father to sell tea at the small Vadnagar station in Gujarat. There was nothing significant about Modi’s childhood. However, RSS attracted him at a very early age. When he was a child, he was fascinated with sadhus, meditation and different forms of worship. He wanted to become a monk. He ran away from home right after completing his school education. He left behind his family as well as an unconsummated marriage with Jashodaben.
Narendra Modi visited a number of places including the Ramakrishna Ashram of Belur, West Bengal. Then, he wandered aimlessly in the Himalayas without money and just two pairs of clothes. He stayed with monks for nearly two years. Then he decided to renounce religious life and returned home. After his return from the Himalayas, Modi, along with his brother, ran a tea stall at the State Transport Office, Ahmedabad. He sold tea for several years. It was during this time he learnt what hardship really meant. As a result, he became more determined in his approach towards life.
Political career of Narendra Modi
It was only after the 1971 Indo-Pak War that he formally joined the RSS and made his way into the Hedgewar Bhawan. In the beginning, he made tea, breakfast and snacks for his senior RSS colleagues. Modi also indulged in sweeping and cleaning the entire building, which then had 8-10 rooms.
Narendra Modi proved his complete determination when he engaged himself in risky underground work during the 1975-77 Emergency. He most often travelled in disguise and on a motorcycle. Shortly, Modi completed M.A. from Gujarat University as an external student. Senior members of the RSS soon realized his extraordinary analytical mind and organizational skills. The rise of Narendra Modi in the RSS was rapid. He was one of the first two Pracharaks who worked full-time in the BJP. He played a crucial role in helping the party win the Municipal Corporation election in Ahmedabad in 1986. In a span of less than two years, he became the organizing secretary of Gujarat BJP. He learnt party politics by attending a lot of BJP public meetings, sitting quietly and listening to the speeches.
Modi built a wide network across Gujarat. This later helped him win over all his rivals and take control of the Gujarat BJP. Rath Yatra formulated by L.K. Advani was the first national level political assignment of Modi. He had a much bigger role to play in the Ekta Yatra of Murli Manohar Joshi. It was in October 2001 that Narendra Modi was made the Chief Minister (CM) of Gujarat. It was a fact that he lacked experience in governance when Keshubhai Patel was removed because of inefficient handling of the effects of the Bhuj Earthquake (2001). As of July 2007, Modi became the longest-serving Chief Minister in the state’s political history. His fourth term as the Chief Minister of Gujarat ended in May 2014 when he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the nation.
Major awards and recognitions of Narendra Modi
- Narendra Modi was awarded the ‘e-Ratna Award’ by the Computer Society of India.
- In a countrywide survey conducted in the year 2007 by India Today magazine, he was declared the ‘Best Chief Minister’ in India.
- He was the Asian Winner of the “fDi Personality of the Year Award” for 2009 by FDi magazine.
- In March 2012, he appeared on the cover of Time (Asian Edition).
- He was featured in Time’s “2014 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.”
It was the 2002 Gujarat riots that played a significant role in bringing the Modi government under bitter criticism. His image suffered a shake when a common consensus was set up that pointed fingers at him for allowing communal violence in Gujarat. In fact, a few demanded his prosecution claiming that Narendra Modi promoted enmity among varied communities during the riots.
Narendra Modi – Trivia
- Narendra Modi is easily one of the trendiest politicians India has ever had. He was among the first to use a digital diary. He is always well groomed and goes for made-to-order Modi kurta. He is fond of designer fountain pens – Montblanc.
- Modi has excellent oratory skills and loves to write poetry during his free time. He wrote and published few books.
- He loves photography and perhaps held one exhibition displaying the collection of photographs clicked by him.
- He is a fan and follower of Swami Vivekananda and he is highly influenced by the leadership style of the “Iron Man of India” Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- Modi never fails to take the blessings of his mother before having his hands at any new venture.
- He has completed a three-month course in the US on public relations and image management.
- He exhibits all the traditional virtues of a typical Indian man. Modi is a teetotaler and a total vegetarian.
Quotes by Narendra Modi
“In order to succeed, you desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
“An opportunity to work is good luck for me. I put my soul into it. Each such opportunity opens the gates for the next one.”
“Politics for me is not Ambition, but a Mission.”