Modi is the first Prime Minister of India who was born in ‘Independent India’, that is, post-August 15, 1947. He is also the first Indian prime minister whose mother was alive when he took office. He holds the record of winning a Lok Sabha seat by the highest margin (about 5.70 lakhs; Vadodara).
About Narendra Damodardas Modi
Narendra Modi is the current Prime Minister of India. He represents Varanasi constituency in the Lok Sabha. He is the most prominent leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is considered a master strategist for his party. He has been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for four consecutive terms.
Family and Personal Background of Narendra Modi
Narendra Damodardas Modi was born to a family of grocers in a town called Vadnagar in Mehsana district of Gujarat. He was born on 17 September, 1950 to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and Heeraben Modi. The couple had six children among which Narendra Modi was the third eldest.
Modi completed his studies against all odds. His saga of struggle began when as a teenager, he, along with his brother, used to run a tea stall near a railway station in Ahmedabad. He did his schooling from Vadnagar and obtained a master’s degree in Political Science from Gujarat University. One of his school teachers described him as an average student but a brilliant debater. During his college days, he worked as a ‘pracharak’ (promoter) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He left home at the age of 17 years and travelled across the country for the next two years.
At a later stage, during the 1990s, when Modi served as the official spokesperson of the BJP in New Delhi, he completed a three-month long course in the US on public relations and image management.
One of his brothers, Somabhai, is a retired health officer who now runs an old age home in the city of Ahmedabad. Another of his brothers Prahlad, an activist on behalf of fair-price shop owners, has his own fair-price shop in Ahmedabad. His third brother Pankaj is employed with the Information Department in Gandhinagar.
Political Career of Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi always had the utmost zeal and enthusiasm to serve and help the people in need. As a young boy, Narendra Modi offered his services voluntarily to the soldiers at the railway stations during the Indo-Pak war in 1965. He also served affected people during the 1967 Gujarat floods. Modi started working in the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation’s staff canteen. Eventually from there he became a full-time proponent and campaigner, commonly called a ‘pracharak’, of the RSS. Modi later underwent training at the RSS camp in Nagpur. It is a prerequisite for any RSS member to take up the training course for holding any official position in the Sangh Parivar. Narendra Modi was given charge of the student wing, which is better known as Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). His contribution to the Anti-emergency movement impressed senior political leaders. As a result of this, he was eventually appointed the regional organiser of the newly-formed Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat.
Narendra Modi was an efficient organiser from a very young age. During the Emergency, he arranged for covert circulation of RSS pamphlets and also organised protests against the Emergency rule. During his RSS days, he met the two Jan Sangh leaders, Vasant Gajendragadkar and Nathalal Jaghda, who later founded the state unit of BJP in Gujarat. In 1987, the RSS deputed Narendra Modi to politics by recommending his candidature in the BJP. Modi’s efficiency was recognised and he rose to prominence after managing the Ekta Yatra for Murli Manohar Joshi.
Political Journey of Narendra Modi
- Became the General Secretary of the BJP’s Gujarat unit in 1988.
- Recognised as a key strategist for being instrumental in successfully campaigning for the party in the 1995 and 1998 Gujarat Assembly elections, which made the BJP the ruling party in Gujarat.
- Successfully organised two challenging events on national level: the Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra, which was a long march by L. K. Advani and a march from Kanyakumari (southern tip of India) to Kashmir (the northern tip) undertaken by Murli Manohar Joshi. These two events are considered to have contributed in bringing the BJP to power in 1998.
- In 1995, Narendra Modi was appointed as the Secretary of the BJP’s national unit.
- Narendra Modi was credited for having successfully carried out the responsibility of revamping the party organisation in different states.
- In 1998, Narendra Modi was promoted as General Secretary and held the position till October 2001.
- Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat for the first time in October 2001 when his predecessor Keshubhai Patel resigned from the post following the defeat of BJP in by-elections.
- After winning the Gujarat Assembly elections three consecutive times and holding the position of the state’s chief minister, Modi contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for the first time. He won the elections by a grand margin and became the Prime Minister of India following the win.
Schemes Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (for financial inclusion)
- Swachch Bharat Mission (for clean public places and better sanitation facilities)
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (provision of LPG to families living BPL)
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (efficiency in irrigation)
- Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (insurance against crop failure)
- Pahal (LPG subsidy)
- Mudra Bank Yojana (banking services for Medium and Small Enterprises)
- Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (to provide skill training to the young workforce)
- Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (to strengthen rural infrastructure)
- Make in India (to boost the manufacturing sector)
- Garib Kalyan Yojana (address welfare needs of the poor)
- E-basta (online learning forum)
- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (financial empowerment of the girl child)
- Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat (to enhance children’s reading, writing and mathematical skills)
- DDU-Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (vocational training to the rural youth as part of ‘Skill India’ mission)
- Nayi Manzil Yojana (skills based training to Madrasa students)
- Stand Up India (support to women and SC/ST entrepreneurs)
- Atal Pension Scheme (pension scheme for unorganised sector employees)
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (insurance against accident)
- Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (life insurance)
- Sagar Mala Project (for developing port infrastructure)
- Smart Cities Project (building urban infrastructure)
- Rurban Mission (modern facilities in villages)
- Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (affordable housing for all)
- Jan Aushadhi Scheme (provision for affordable medicines)
- Digital India (for a digitally equipped nation and economy)
- Digilocker (securing documents online)
- School Nursery Yojana (afforestation program by and for young citizens)
- Gold Monetisation Scheme (involve gold stocks lying idle in households in the economy)
Narendra Modi’s International Tours
- Four-nation African tour covering Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya to strengthen ties in trade, energy, defence and maritime cooperation. (July, 2016)
- First Prime-Ministerial visit to Mexico in three decades to enhance bilateral relations. (June, 2016)
- Visit to the US to strengthen ties and enhance cooperation between the two countries. (June, 2016)
- Meeting with top business leaders in Qatar to deepen industry and trade relations between both countries. (June, 2016)
- Bilateral meet with Switzerland President Johann Schneider Ammann who supported India’s bid for NSG membership. Also met the country’s business leaders to deepen industry and trade ties between India and Switzerland. (June, 2016)
- Visit to Afghanistan and jointly inaugurated the Afghan- India Friendship Dam with President Ashraf Ghani. (June, 2016)
- Visit to Iran to enhance trade, investments, energy partnership, connectivity, culture and people to people relations. The historic Chahbahar Agreement was sealed during this visit. (May, 2016)
- Visit to Saudi Arabia for deepening bilateral relations and strengthening business ties between the two countries. (April, 2016)
- Visited Russia to attend the 16th Annual India-Russia summit. As many as 16 important agreements were signed between the two countries. (December, 2015)
- Visit to Singapore marking fifty years of India-Singapore relations. The Prime Minister met a number of top investors and invited them to ‘Make in India.’ (November, 2015)
- Visited Malaysia to attend the ASEAN-India Summit. Prime Minister Modi met his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak to discuss bilateral ties with him. He also met his Chinese and Japanese counterparts Li Keqiang and Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the summit. (November, 2015)
- Historic visit to the UK, the first in over a decade, to strengthen business and cultural ties between the two countries. The UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressed support for India’s permanent candidature of a reformed UNSC. (November, 2015)
- First Prime Ministerial visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 34 years. Visit strengthened economic ties and security cooperation. (August, 2015)
- Tour of Central Asia covering Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Historic and special visit in which significant effort was made to expand India’s cooperation with the Central Asian nations. (July, 2015)
- Visit to Bangladesh included talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and signing of a number of MOUs. The historic Land Boundary Agreement was signed during this visit. (June, 2015)
- Visit to the Republic of Korea strengthened many aspects of India-Korea cooperation. (May, 2015)
- Historic visit to Mongolia that opened up broad avenues of partnership and cooperation between the two nations. (May, 2015)
- Three-day China visit augmented bilateral partnership and economic cooperation between India and China and enhanced friendship among the two of the oldest civilizations of the world. (May, 2015)
- Visit to Canada was first exclusively bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in more than four decades to deepen ties between the two nations. (April, 2015)
- Visit to Germany to hold extensive talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and prominent business leaders and promote the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. (April, 2015)
- Visit to France for extensive discussions to strengthen India-France ties. Modi met several French leaders and business executives and discussed ways to strengthen economic co-operation. (April, 2015)
- Undertook a successful 3-nation tour to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka to strengthen India’s ties with these friendly nations. (March, 2015)
- Visted Brazil to attend the BRICS Summit in Fortaleza. A wide range of global issues were discussed during the Summit where it was decided to set up a BRICS bank and the first head of the Bank was to be from India. Three MoUs were signed between Brazil and India. (December, 2014)
- Visit to Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit. (November, 2014)
- First bilateral visit to Fiji by an Indian Prime Minister in 33 years. Modi attended a ‘Forum for India-Pacific Island cooperation’ where he interacted with leaders from various Pacific islands nations. (November, 2014)
- First bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 28 years. Modi attended the G-20 Summit in Brisbane which was followed by a state visit to Australia. (November, 2014)
- Attended two important multilateral summits, the ASEAN & East Asia Summits in Myanmar. (November, 2014)
- Undertook a successful visit to Japan during which he held extensive discussions with the top leadership of Japan to strengthen ties between the two countries in several spheres. The visit resulted in a number of agreements. (August, 2014)
- Embarked on his first ever foreign visit after assuming charge to Bhutan indicating the importance India attaches to ties with Bhutan. (June, 2014).
Books on Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi- A Political Biography
Narendra Modi- A Political Biography’ by Andy Marino attempts to provide a clear picture of Narendra Modi, the man and his politics. It enables the readers to get a better understanding of Modi’s ways of governance. The book analyses the contrasting perspectives on the Gujarat model of governance. Andy Marino takes us through Modi’s journey of life from childhood to a young man who went on to become India’s Prime Minister.
Centrestage: Inside the Narendra Modi Model of Governance
Uday Mahurkar’s ‘Centrestage: Inside the Narendra Modi Model of Governance’ gives a balanced and impersonal judgment of Modi’s mantra of governance. Mahurkar not only talks about Modi’s visionary schemes but also talks about issues on which Modi could have paid more attention and performed better. The book explains how Modi transformed Gujarat during his tenure and analyses the salient features of the Modi model of governance.
Modi: Making of a Prime Minister: Leadership, Governance and Performance
The book by Vivian Fernandez is a peak into the political scenario of Gujarat and the way of Modi’s governance from a viewpoint of a liberal Indian. In other words, the book does not take any stand or gives any judgment. Vivian describes the ways in which Modi utilised the opportunity to improve the economic conditions of the people of Gujarat.
The Man of the Moment – Narendra Modi
‘The Man of the Moment: Narendra Modi’ authored by M V Kamath and Kalindi Randeri uncovers the life and the development of a perfect politician who has expanded the boundaries of politics in India. The book unravels the motivations and the astonishing stamina of Narendra Modi to remain firm in the face of criticism.
The NaMo Story: A Political Life
‘The NaMo Story: A Political Life’ by Kingshuk Nag gives a brilliant portrayal of an exceptional politician, Narendra Modi, depicting his journey from a tea vendor’s son to the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The book begins with a short history of the political situation and reforms of the 1990s. It goes on to describe how Modi utilised his administrative skills to build up the Hindutva agenda for the BJP.
Narendra Modi: The Gamechanger
Sudesh Verma’s ‘Narendra Modi – The Gamechanger’ shows Narendra Modi as a game changer who knows how to impress and influence people with his work and turn the tables on his opponents. The book is based on all-inclusive interviews of Modi and his close associates about the things and incidents that shaped his thoughts and actions and the way Modi evolved as a man. An average man can find a reflection of his own struggle in the life of Modi.
Books written by Narendra Modi
‘Jyotipunj’ gives a description of all the people who Narendra Modi believes inspired him and had a strong influence on his work. Modi was associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) initially as a worker and then as a ‘pracharak’. He gives a detailed insight into the life of the people who inspired him. The book also contains a reflection of thoughts of these people.
Abode of Love
‘Abode of Love’ is a compendium of eight short stories written by Narendra Modi. It was written by Modi at a very young age. These stories reveal the sensitive and affectionate aspect of his character. Modi believes that the love of a mother is the source of all love and it is the greatest love. Whatever be the kind of love – of lovers, of friends etc – all are the reflections of a mother’s love. The book unravels the layers of human relationships in a beautiful way.
‘Premtirth’ is a collection of short stories written by Narendrabhai Modi. In this book, he draws a soulful portrayal of motherly feelings in a very simple and yet impressive language.
Kelve Te Kelavani
‘Kelave te Kelavani’ means ‘education is that which nurtures’. The book is a compilation of words of wisdom by Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister. The book brings forth his thoughts and his vision to bring about a knowledge revolution in Gujarat. It shows his love for education.
‘Sakshibhav’ consists of a series of letters addressed to Jagat Janani Maa. It describes the journey of inner-self of Narendra Modi and his feelings. The book brings forth the emotional thoughts of Modi at the time of his struggle when he was a worker with RSS.
‘Samajik Samarasata’ is a compilation of Narendra Modi’s articles and lectures. The phrase, “Express your views not just through words but through actions too”, aptly fits this book. The book reflects Modi’s views on social harmony with no discrimination on the basis of castes and unravels many incidents of his interactions with dalits. The life incidents of many social reformers are also narrated.