For umpteenth times, Gujarat has surmounted the vicissitudes of history. Its rare resilience popped out to poop out adversity. Still, Gujarat'sillustrious trade of yore goes unruffled and unfazed. Communal carnage has cast aspersions on the probity of the land. Narendra Modi as the Chief Minister drew flak from every quarter to ultimately scythe out unscathed and unblemished. In this book, MV Kamath has splayed out a Vitruvian image of Modi with perspicuity. Besides, this book being written by a doyen of Indian journalism remains a surefire upon the readers. The life of Narendra Modi is hoped in rags to riches story though he till this day maintains an austere lifestyle.
?The family was aware of the fact that Narendra was beginning to show an inclination towards becoming a sanyasi??and was too disciplined for a child of his age?. The author further says, ?he was tremendously influenced by the life and work of Swami Vivekananda?. He was all out to serve humanity with no urge for name, fame and pecuniary benefits. Modi now seventeen was in the local college for an year when he decided to give up the ghost once for and all. ?He decided to quit both home and studies to set off for the Himalayas in search of the supreme truth and spiritual knowledge?. But he didn'trun away from home, young Modi sought consent from all elders. ?For two years Narendra was incommunicado. He had left home with practically no money?. As a fifth grader, he wanted to join the army and serve the nation. His father didn'tallow it. Later he had decided to join Ramakrishna Mission and put up at Belur Math for sometime. But he had to abort the idea. Modi learnt about the sojourn of Swami Vivekananda in the Himalayas. Modi trudged to the Himalayas, all penniless. For a month he stayed with a ninety-year-old hermit living in seclusion far away from any habitation. He felt the urge to become a peripatetic RSS. Eventually he returned back home for just one day.
RSS honed young Narendra'saspirations and he got imbued in its fervour. Laxmanrao Inamdar popularly called Vakil Saheb was then the RSS supremo in Gujarat. He took Narendra as his prot?g?, his manas putra. In 1971, as a conscientious satyagrahi he espoused for the plight of East Bengali Muslims and Hindus perpetrated by the Pakistani army. ?For his spunk, he was promptly arrested and sent to Tihar Jail?. His mentor, advised Narendra to study history and Sanskrit. Modi was also very fond of Eknathji Ranade who later established Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari. Modi was even asked to look after the Rock Memorial along with him.
The author in ?Rites of passage? narrates the draconian saga of emergency imposed on June 26, 1975. ?Before anybody could take cover, leading opposition politicians ? Jayaprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, L K Advani and Atal Behari Vajpayee ? were arrested?. Narendra too had to duck in for a hideout to evade arrests. ?Narendra excelled? in hoodwinking the police. The author relates a hilarious anecdote ? ?George Fernandes, the chairman of the Socialist Party, was expected shortly. Fernandes was unrecognisable. He was wearing an un-ironed Lucknavi kurta, a green cloth tied on his head and wearing a checkered lungi. Besides, he had grown a long beard and looked like a Muslim fakir. Narendra and Fernandes hugged each other and exchanged news?.
The chapter, ?Threshold and beyond? discusses the genesis of Jan Sangh and subsequently appellated itself Bharatiya Janata Party. The book makes a threadbare analysis of the political involutions, convolutions as well as devolutions accentuating onto seeming evolution. India has surpassed in the passage of political ravages.
The book tells about Modi'seducation policy. His dream school, ?Sanskardham offers training and development programme for the students according to which skills are not taught in isolation but in a holistic way??The students get instructions in music, shramdaan (manual work) and environmentalism?. When he was forty-two, ?The party, too, had come to recognise his organisational skills and Narendra was asked to take over the responsibility of organising party affairs as secretary. In a sense, Narendra had come of political age!?
?Theory and reality? harps on Godhra riots and how canards were flown to tarnish Modi. ?On October 13, 2006, the Gujarat High Court gave a historic judgement declaring Banerjee Committee illegal?..On the same day, The Indian Express carried a story quashing the appointment of the committee as ?unconstitutional, illegal and null and void.? Then why malign Modi over instigating Godhara riots?
The author in ?The view beyond the prism? writes to shatter the smattering knowledge of the hoi-polloi. Modi'strajectory charts out a noble course ? ?I believe that Hindutva is a way of life. It has survived all kinds of assaults?.It is relevant to our times. Hindutva teaches restraint, advises individuals not to be a burden on society, and suggests responsibility?. Once a correspondent of Time magazine stayed with him for days. The correspondent was taken aback by Modi'sassiduous tenacity and stupendous energy to put up bump and grind act.
Many readers might bear pre-conceived notions about the protagonist. But a perusal would water down the scum congealed in their grey matter. A burnished image of Narendra would then enthrall the altar. Whether the book is a figment of sophistry and solipsism, the readers can well tease it out pitting their astute jurisprudence. Should then Modi be arraigned for brinkmanship? Has the author sculpted a holier-than-thou image? These questions have been ricocheting the populace mindset in India and abroad. ?The fifty-seven-year old BJP leader from Gujarat has preferred to remain solitary all his life. Only a handful of people are apparently welcome to his residence ? Bungalow No 26 in Ministerial Enclave. His entire household staff consists of three people ? a cook and two peons to run errands.? This alone is sufficient to sum up real Modi, out and out.
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