Kid’s Org.:Tea Seller To Prime Minister
Intro:If there is one word that characterised Narendra Modi’s childhood and stayed with him till date, it is service to Bharat Mata.
Ab ki baar modi sarkaar. Children, I am sure you must have heard this slogan. For the last couple of months this slogan is the most used catch-line. And yes, is baar modiji ki hi sarkaar bane as he heralded the BJP to victory and emerged as the indisputable champion of the Lok Sabha Election 2014 by delivering the party's best results ever in the general election of India. He is the first Prime Minister who put his forehead on the threshold of the Parliament and called the Parliament ‘The temple of Democracy’.
Narendra Modi’s journey began in the by-lanes of Vadnagar, a small village in Gujarat’s Mehsana district. Born on September17th, 1950, Narendra Modi was the third of the sixth children of Damodardas Modi and Hiraba Modi. Vadnagar is a town that is steeped in history. Archeological excavations suggest this was a vibrant centre of learning and spirituality.
Narendra Modi’s early years were far from what a fairy tale upbringing is like. His father sold tea at the tea stall he set up in the local railway station. In his early years, Narendra Modi too lent a hand to his father at the tea stall.
These formative years left a strong imprint on Narendra Modi. As a child, Narendra Modi balanced his studies, non-academic life and his contribution at the family tea stall. His schoolmates recall Narendra as a diligent student with a penchant for debating and reading. Among the sports, he was very fond of swimming. Narendra Modi had a wide range of friends from all the communities. As a child he often celebrated both Hindu and Muslim festivals considering the large number of Muslim friends he had in the neighbourhood.
Yet, his thoughts, and dreams went way beyond a conventional life that began in the classroom and ended in the environs of an office. He wanted to go out there and make a difference to society to wipe tears and suffering among people. Reading the works of Swami Vivekananda cover to cover took Narendra Modi to a journey of spiritualism and laid the foundation for his own mission to fulfill Swami Vivekananda’s dream of a Jagad Guru Bharat.
When floods wrecked havoc in the Tapi River, 9 year old Modi and his friends started a food stall and donated the proceeds for relief work. When the war with Pakistan was at its peak he set out on the railway station and served tea to the Jawans who were going and coming from the border.
As a child Narendra Modi had one dream to serve in the
Indian Army. For many youngsters of his time, the Army was seen as the ultimate means of serving Mother India. But, fate had different plans for this young boy who was disappointed on not being able to wear the uniform of a Jawan.
The idea of struggle was never very distant for Modi. He used to run a tea stall till the time RSS inducted him as a full-time member. His diligence and dedication towards the party hardly ebbed despite the fact that he was simultaneously pursuing a Master's degree in Political Science.
During the 1960's India-Pakistan war; even though he was only a young boy, he volunteered to serve soldiers travelling through railway stations. As a youth, he became a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student body involved in anti-corruption. After having worked full time with them, he was then nominated as its representative in the BJP.
BJP began getting political attention and formed a coalition government in April 1990. After this, the BJP came to power in Gujarat in 1995. During this period, Modi was responsible for the Somnath to Ayodhya Rath Yatra and a similar trek from Kanyakumari in Southern India all the way up to Kashmir in the north. He has a reputation of being a workaholic.
A careful observation of his rise to the national podium would evince how he remained glued to his fundamentals —continuing agitations during the nationwide Emergency, organising Murli Manohar Joshi's Ekta yatra (journey for unity), and impressing everyone with electoral strategy ahead of the 1995 state elections. As BJP tasted victory, Modi relished his newly ordained post of the party's General Secretary.
Times was turbulent in Gujarat with allegations of corruption and poor governance doing the rounds. After Shankarsingh Vaghela left the BJP, Keshubhai Patel was made Chief Minister of Gujarat and Modi became General Secretary of the party in Delhi. Weak handling of the effects of the Bhuj Earthquake in 2001 prompted the BJP's national leaders to seek a new candidate as chief minister, after the removal of Keshubhai Patel. In October 2001, Modi was brought in to fill the vacuum and made Chief Minister of Gujarat despite his lack of experience in governance. In July 2007, he became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat's political history.
In the Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections of 2012, Narendra Modi won the constituency of Maninagar. The following year in March, he was appointed as member to the BJP Parliamentary Board which is the highest decision-making body of the party. He was also nominated as a member of the party's Central Election Committee.
Modi was vocal about PM Manmohan Singh's reluctance to revive anti-terror laws. He called for invoking tougher laws in states following the 2006 Mumbai blasts. Time and again, he has judiciously chosen issues to pontificate and attack the Central government. In the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, Modi brought up the issue of security along Gujarat's coast. He came down heavily on the Central government for its weak approach towards Chinese incursions in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh and infiltration by Bangladeshis on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Modi frequently refers to his P2G2 (Pro-people good governance) formula to substantiate his claims on holistic development. Some observers are of the opinion that Gujarat has been able to improve its agricultural output despite being a semi-arid State.
Indian business leaders from Ratan Tata to Mukesh Ambani seem to be convinced that for India to come out of its Gross Domestic Paralysis, a visionary and decisive leadership is essential. Under Modi’s aegis, according to a political commentator, the level of corruption receded and technology parks have seen the light of the day. His iconic call for “Minimum Government and Maximum Governance” has frequently struck the chord with the masses.
Narendra Modi has created history in more senses than one. A man who once helped his family make ends meet by vending tea at a railway station , and who once wandered around the country to find his spiritual moorings, has become India’s fifteenth Prime Minister.