Narendra Modi life Story

3:23 PM, Saturday, May 17th, 2014
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Narendra ModiNew Delhi : Narendra Damodardas Modi born 17 September 1950) is an Indian politician who is the Prime Minister designate of India, after leading the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a decisive victory in the 2014 Indian general elections. He is a member of the Lok Sabha, having been elected from the constituencies of Varanasi and Vadodara. Modi is also the 14th and current Chief Minister of Gujarat, though he is expected to resign soon to take up to the office of Prime Minister.

Modi was a key strategist for the BJP in the successful 1995 and 1998 Gujarat state election campaigns, and was a major campaign figure in the 2009 general elections, eventually won by the Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). He first became chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001 after the resignation of his predecessor, Keshubhai Patel, and following the defeat of BJP in the by-elections. In July 2007, he became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s history, at which point he had been in power for 2,063 days continuously. He is currently serving his fourth consecutive term as Chief Minister.

Modi is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and is described as a Hindu nationalist by media, scholars and himself. He is a controversial figure both within India and internationally as his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots. He has been praised for his economic policies, which are credited with creating an environment for a high rate of economic growth in Gujarat. However, his administration has also been criticised for failing to make a significant positive impact upon the human development of the state.

Narendra ModiModi was born on 17 September 1950 to a family of grocers belonging to the backward Ghanchi-Teli (oil-presser) community, in Vadnagar in Mehsana district of what was then Bombay Presidency (present-day Gujarat), India.He was the third of six children born to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife, Heeraben. He helped his father sell tea at Vadnagar railway station when a child and as a teenager he ran a tea stall with his brother near a bus terminus. He completed his schooling in Vadnagar, where a teacher described him as being an average student, but a keen debater who had an interest in theatre. That interest has influenced how he now projects himself in politics.

Modi’s parents arranged his marriage as a child, in keeping with the traditions of the Ghanchi caste. He was engaged at the age of 13 to Jashodaben Chimanlal and the couple were married by the time he was 18. They spent very little time together and were soon estranged because Modi decided to pursue an itinerant life. However as per Modi’s biographer Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, the marriage was never consummated. Having remained silent on the question of marriage in four previous election campaigns, and having claimed that his status as a single person meant that he had no reason to be corrupt, Modi acknowledged Jashodaben as his legal spouse when filling in his nomination form for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Little is known of the two years that Modi spent travelling, probably in the Himalayas, and he resumed selling tea upon his return. He then worked in the staff canteen of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation until he became a full–time pracharak (propagandist) of the RSS in 1970. He had been involved with the RSS as a volunteer from the age of eight and had come into contact with Vasant Gajendragadkar and Nathalal Jaghda, leaders of the Jan Sangh who later founded the BJP’s Gujarat state unit. After Modi had received some RSS training in Nagpur, which was a prerequisite for taking up an official position in the Sangh Parivar, he was given charge of Sangh’s student wing, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, in Gujarat. Modi organised agitations and covert distribution of Sangh’s pamphlets during the Emergency. Modi graduated with an extramural degree through Distance Education in political science from Delhi University. Modi remained a pracharak in the RSS while he completed his Master’s degree in political science from Gujarat University.

Narendra ModiModi formally joined the RSS after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In 1975, the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency and jailed political opponents. Modi went underground in Gujarat, occasionally disguised, and printed and sent booklets against the central government to Delhi. He also participated in the movement against the Emergency under Jayaprakash Narayan. The RSS assigned Modi to the BJP in 1985. While Shankarsingh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel were the established names in the Gujarat BJP at that time, Modi rose to prominence after organising Murli Manohar Joshi’s Kanyakumari-Srinagar Ekta yatra (Journey for Unity) in 1991. In 1988, Modi was elected as organizing secretary of BJP’s Gujarat unit, marking his formal entry into mainstream politics. As secretary, his electoral strategy was central to BJP’s victory in the 1995 state elections.

In November 1995, Modi was elected National Secretary of BJP and was transferred to New Delhi where he was assigned responsibility for the party’s activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Vaghela defected from the BJP after he lost the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, having previously threatened to do so in 1995. Modi was promoted to the post of General Secretary(Organisation) of the BJP in May 1998. While on the selection committee for the 1998 assembly elections in Gujarat, Modi favoured supporters of Patel over those loyal to Vaghela, in an attempt to put an end to the factional divisions within the party. His strategies were credited as being key to winning the 1998 elections.

In 2001, Keshubhai Patel’s health was failing, and the BJP had lost seats in the by-elections. Allegations of abuse of power, corruption and poor administration were being made, and Patel’s standing had been damaged by his administration’s handling of the Bhuj Earthquake of 2001. As a result, the BJP’s national leadership sought a new candidate for the office of chief minister, and Modi, who had aired his misgivings about Patel’s administration, was chosen as a replacement. L. K. Advani, a senior leader of the BJP, did not want to ostracise Patel and was worried about Modi’s lack of experience in governance. Modi declined an offer to be Patel’s deputy chief minister, informing Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee that he was “going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all”, and on 7 October 2001, Modi was appointed the Chief Minister of Gujarat, with the responsibility of preparing the BJP for elections in December 2002. As Chief Minister, Modi’s ideas of governance revolved around privatisation and small government, which stood at odds with what political commentator Aditi Phadnis has described as the “anti-privatisation, anti-globalisation position” of the RSS.

On 27 February 2002, a train with several hundred passengers including large numbers of Hindu pilgrims was burned near Godhra, killing around 60 people.[a] Following rumors that the fire was carried out by Muslim arsonists, anti-Muslim violence spread throughout Gujarat. Estimates of the death toll ranged from 900 to over 2,000, while several thousand more people were injured. The Modi government imposed a curfew in major cities, issued shoot-at-sight orders, and called for the army to prevent the violence from escalating. However, human rights organizations, opposition parties, and sections of the media all accused Gujarat’s government of taking insufficient action against the riots, and even condoning it in some cases. Modi’s decision to move the corpses of the Kar Sevaks who had been burned to death in Godhra to Ahmedabad had been criticised for inflaming the violence. In April 2009, the Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the Gujarat government and Narendra Modi’s role in the incidents of communal violence. The SIT reported to the court in December 2010 submitting that they did not find any substantial incriminating evidence against Modi of willfully allowing communal violence in the state.

Despite the SIT report, Modi’s involvement in the events of 2002 has continued to be debated. Though the SIT absolved Modi in April 2012 of any involvement in the Gulbarg Society massacre, one of the many riots that occurred in 2002, the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curiae, Raju Ramachandran, observed on 7 May 2012 that Modi could be prosecuted for promoting enmity among different groups during the 2002 Gujarat riots. His main contention was that the evidence should be examined by a court of law because the SIT was required to investigate but not to judge. His report was criticised by the SIT for relying heavily on the testimony of Sanjiv Bhatt, who they said had fabricated the documents used as evidence. In July 2013, victim Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulbarg Society massacre, alleged that the SIT was suppressing evidence however her plea against the clean-chit to Modi was rejected by the Courts. On 26 December 2013, an Ahmedabad court which was asked by the Supreme Court to handle the case, accepted the clean chit given to Modi in relation to the riots.

In 2012, Maya Kodnani, another of Modi’s former ministers from 2007 – 2009, was convicted of having participated in the Naroda Patiya massacre during the 2002 riots. She was both the first female and the first MLA to be convicted in a post-Godhra riots case. While initially announcing that it would seek the death penalty for Kodnani, Modi’s government eventually pardoned her in 2013 and settled for a prison sentence.


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