Narendra Modi is a leading Indian politician and the present Prime Minister of India. He is the most important leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is known as a master strategist for his party. He has been the Chief Minister of Gujarat for four consecutive elections. He became the pioneer Indian Prime Minister born after independence. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and is the person of Parliament for Varanasi.
Personal life and family
Narendra Damodardas Modi was born on September 17, 1950, in the small village of Vadnagar, Mehsana, Gujarat, as the third of six children, to Damodardas Mulchand and Heeraben Modi. Being to the backward Ghanchi community, he started selling tea at Vadnagar railway station at a very young age, after which he established a tea stall near a bus terminus with his brother. After accomplishing his schooling in Vadnagar in 1967, he left home and traveled across India exploring its expansive landscape and diverse culture, visiting Rishikesh, the Himalayas, Ramakrishna Mission, and Northeast India. He came back home after two years and went to Ahmedabad to join Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a fulltime pracharak (campaigner) in 1971. He accomplished his graduation from Delhi University in political science through correspondence in 1978 and got a Masters degree in political science from Gujarat University in 1983. In guidance with Ghanchi tradition, Modi’s marriage was arranged by his parents when he was a child. He was married at age 13 to Jashodaben, marrying her when he was 18. They spent little time together and grew apart when Narendra began two years of travel, including visits to Hindu ashrams.
Narendra Modi always had the utmost energy and enthusiasm to serve and help the people in need. As a young boy, Narendra Modi gave his services voluntarily to the soldiers at the railway stations during the Indo-Pak war in 1965. He also helped affected people during the 1967 Gujarat floods. Modi initiated 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. Narendra later underwent training at the RSS camp in Nagpur. It is a requirement 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 elected as the regional organizer of the newly-formed Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat.
Successfully organized two challenging events on a 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) lead by Murli Manohar Joshi. These two events are considered to have contributed to bringing the BJP to power in 1998. In 1995, Narendra Modi was selected as the Secretary of the BJP’s national unit. Narendra Modi was credited for having successfully carried out the responsibility of redesigning the party organization in different states. In 1998, Narendra Modi was promoted as General Secretary and held the position till October 2001. Narendra Modi became the CM 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 elections and holding the position of the state’s chief minister, Narendra contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections for the first time. He won the elections by a high margin and became the Prime Minister of India following the win.
Achievements and awards
- In 2007, he was named the best Chief Minister in the country, in a study conducted by India Today magazine
- FDI magazine honored him with the Asian Winner of the ‘FDi Personality of the Year’ award, in 2009.
- He came on the cover page of the March 2012 issue of TIME’s Asian edition.
- In 2014, on Forbes magazine’s list of the ‘World’s Most Powerful People,’ he ranked at #15.
- He was listed among ‘Time 100 most influential people in the world’ by Time magazine, in 2014.
- He was named as the second most-followed politician on Twitter and Facebook on the ‘30 most influential people on the internet’ list released by Time magazine in 2015.