From a humble boy selling tea at Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat, Narendra Modi set the tone that anyone can dream of becoming the premier of a country with a constant pursuit of efficacy and efficiency.
A humble boy was selling tea at the Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat who had accompanied his father to lend him a hand. He dreamy of a life to serve people. His passion led him to scale heights from being a chaiwala at a railway station to become the prime minister of the country
That was Narendra Damodardas Modi, born on 17 September 1950 to a family of grocers in Vadnagar, , Gujrat, who at an early age developed an inclination towards serving the country, he had served as a volunteer to the Indian Army during the Indo – Pak war of 1965. He also had served the flood victims in Gujarat in 1967.
Owing to family tradition, Modi was married to Jasodaben Modi as a teenager but later in pursuit of a spiritual pathway and being influenced by RSS (Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh), Modi left home to seek a life of his own. While the couple has maintained separate lives so far.
The impact of early years
Modi was spotted by his teachers and his fellow classmates as an orator and a larger than life theater artist which later shaped his political career. Influenced by the RSS which he began attending the Shakas (training sessions) at the age of eight, he became a full time member of the RSS in 1971. Holding various positions and organizing funds for people who went hiding during the Emergency of 1977, he often traveled to places in disguise to evade arrest. He was handed over to the Gujrat wing of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in 1986. Entering the political arena, Modi held various positions within the party, from a local organizer to being the national secretary of the BJP.
Chief Minister Of Gujarat
In 2001, following the deterioration of the health of the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Kashvbhai Patel, Modi replaced him as the chief minister of Gujarat and comfortably won the 2002 assembly elections and continued a fresh term. Although overshadowed by the Gujarat Riots in 2002, Modi successfully won a second term in which the shift was towards economic development in Gujarat. His ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ summit attracted investors making their inroads in Gujarat with projects worth of Rs 6 trillion were signed.
The groundwater conservation project with hundreds of check dams built across the state which in turn helped many tehsils to regain ground water. There was a significant growth rate of agricultural products followed by a revolution of industrial establishment in the state. With the deal of Tata Motors to set up a plant in 2008, many others followed thereafter to invest and establish their plants and factories in Gujarat. In 2013, Gujarat was topped among Indian states for ‘ease of doing business’.
Road to Premiership
Following a public image of Modi turning Gujarat to a model state, the BJP named Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in September 2013. The 2014 election turned out a shift of focus from a political party campaign to an individual’s public image campaign which turned out to be in favour of Modi who won the 2014 polls with BJP alone securing 282 seats emerging as a single largest party to form the government. With its affiliated parties, the BJP led NDA alliance won a landslide victory and on 26 May, 2014 Modi was sworn in as Prime Minister, the first ever to be sworn in to the office who was born post independence.
First term as prime minister of India
Modi’s term saw a greater liberalization of foreign direct investment including the private investment in railways. He abolished the planning commission and brought in NTTi Aayog paving way for more centralized administration. He initiated the nationwide sanitation campaign popularly known as ‘Swach Bharath Mission’ specially emphasizing on the apathy of open defecation resulting in building of millions of toilets in rural areas raising the sanitation covering the eh country to 84.1%. His economic policy included the demonetization and launched a campaign against corruption. Following a policy of neo liberalism, Modi emphasized more of privatization. The ‘Make in India’ initiative encouraged foreign companies to start their plans to initiate mass production in india with an aim to make India a global manufacturing hub.
Modi’s foreign policy , with an aim to increase the FDI, has been a multi alignment approach. The modi administration strengthened economic ties in the middle east and east Asia countries.
The paradigm shift was in defence. Spending with a substantial increase with a 57 billion dollars focusing the improvisation of basic infrastructure and procurement of defence materials. Prominent among them are the Border Road Development initiatives to lay down roads in every strategic points along the borders improving connectivity for the movement of military equipment and food and clothing for military personels. The other major milestone was the Rafale deal, although originally initiated by the previous UPA government, the Modi government revised the Rafale budget with major modification request signed as required by the Indian Air Force.
The second term
Modi won a second term in 2019 in the backdrop of the Pulwama attack. Modi rode on the campaign striking a chord with a promise contain terrorist attacks and avert any such attacks in the future. While the first 100 days saw the abolishment of Tripple Talak, the citizenship Amendment Act and the abrogation of the Article 370. The last few months, India grappling with Coronavirus pandemic, the Modi administration, after assessing the intensity of the spread, imposed total lockdown for two months to contain the spread. Although the spread was contained, post the lift of the lockdown, the number of infected cases has been substantially increased with the current status of total cases crossing over 50 lash. However, the international community has lauded India for the handling of the pandemic with rapid number of testing and the healthcare facilities extended to the infected people.
With the major geopolitical shift in south Asia, the India China border row has been in its peak and the government has been dealing with a ‘defense stance policy’ ensuring preparedness for any eventuality.
Modi, the global leader
On the personal front, Modi holds a MA in political science from Gujarat University. Modi is mostly known to be detached from family although he makes few public appearance visiting his mother.
Lauded by the international community, many major heads of countries express their solidarity with India and their friendship with Modi with the likes of Donald Trump, the former Japanese Prim minister, shinzo Abe and Australian prime minister, Scot Morrison. he has won many hightst state honours with the likes of being awarded the ‘Order of Zyed’ from UAE, ‘Order of Andrews’ from Russia and so on.
The humble chaiwala from Vadnagar railway station, stands tall today as one of the most influential global leader of modern times.