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Modi - The journey so far and the road ahead!

Sri Narendra Modi, the BJP's leader and currently Honourable Prime Minister of India is one of India's most influential, admired personalities. He is perceived as a creative leader who attracted the attention of millions of Indians through his strong determination of fulfilling targeted political goals. Sri Narendra Modi has already made significant growth in Gujarat as its Chief Minister.

Early life: Narendra Damodardas Modi was born on September 17, 1950, at Vadnagar in Gujarat's Mehsana district. He is the third son in sibling order to Damodardas Mulchand Modi and his wife Heeraben. Mr. Modi belonged to lower middle-class family during early life. His father had business of tea at the local Vadnagar railway station and young Modi helped him to sell tea. His mother worked as a domestic help. As a child and as a teenager, he ran a tea stall with his brother near a bus terminus. In 1967, he completed his early education in Vadnagar and his teacher considered him as an average student, but an enthusiastic debater who had curiosity to perform in theatre. When Modi was eight years old, he came in contact with RSS and he began to attend its local shakhas and met with Lakshmanrao Inamdar who was recognized as Vakil Saheb and his political guru and adviser. Inamdar introduced Modi as a bal swayam sevak, a junior cadet in RSS. During his morning exercise assembly at the keripitha shakha of RSS, he also met Vasant Gajendragadkar and Nathalal Jaghda who belonged to the Jan Sangh and founded the BJP's Gujarat state unit in 1980.

Regarding his marital life, Modi's parents fixed his marriage in childhood to follow the traditions of the Ghanchi caste. He was engaged at the age of 13 to Jashodaben Chimanlal and was married when he was 18 years old. But their married life last for short period and couple were separated because Modi was inclined towards nomadic life. He left home at the age of 17 and went to Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Rajkot and then to the Belur Math near Kolkata. After that he visited Guwahati and later on joined another ashram established by Swami Vivekananda in Almora, in the Himalayan peaks. After travelling these places, he returned to Vadnagar and stayed at his house. But after some time, again, Modi left for Ahmedabad, where he lived and worked in a tea stall run by his uncle. He also worked in the staff canteen of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation until he became a full–time pracharak of the RSS in 1970.

Mr. Modi completed his graduation with an extramural degree through Distance Education in political science from Delhi University in 1978. In 1983, he attained his Master's degree in political science from Gujarat University along with working as a pracharak in the RSS. He continued to visit Belur Math occasionally and talks about his respect for the Ramakrishna Mission. Modi acknowledged Jashodaben as his legal spouse when filling in his nomination form for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Political career (Political struggle and success):
Mr. Modi's political career started when he joined the RSS after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. During this period, Modi did RSS training in Nagpur, which was a requirement for taking up an official status in the SanghParivar. In RSS, he held the responsibility of Sangh's student wing, Akhil BharatiyaVidyarthi Parishad, in Gujarat. During the period of 1975 to1977, when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared the emergency, political challengers were sent to jail and political organisation including RSS was banned. Modi went underground in Gujarat and to avoid arrest was occasionally masked as a Sikh, saint, old man and printed and sent booklets against the central government to Delhi. He played an important political role in this period and also organised agitations and secretly distributed Sangh's pamphlets. He also participated in the movement against the Emergency under Jayaprakash Narayan. He held the responsibility of the general secretary of the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti and his chief role was to harmonize between activists in the state. In this struggling period, he composed the book namely Sangharsh ma Gujarat in Gujarati in which he mentioned chronicles events, anecdotes as well as his personal experiences. In 1985, the RSS allocated Modi to the BJP. Records indicated that Narendra Modi played active role in politics when he was 37 years old and when he joined the BJP in 1987. Many leaders like ShankersinhVaghela and Keshubhai Patel had established their names in the Gujarat BJP but Modi got fame when he organized the Kanya kumari-Srinagar Ektayatra for prominent leader, Murli Manohar Joshi that was called Journey for Unity in 1991. In 1988, Modi was chosen as organizing secretary of BJP's Gujarat unit which was his official post in politics. As secretary, his electoral plan was to get huge success of BJP in the 1995 state elections. In November 1995, Modi was designated National Secretary of BJP and was transferred to New Delhi where he was assigned role for the party's activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Modi got the post of General Secretary (Organisation) of the BJP in May 1998.

Modi made a great policy for the BJP in the successful 1995 and 1998 Gujarat state election campaigns. He became Chief Minister of Gujarat in October 2001 and served as same post for longest period of time. He was a major crusade personality in the 2009 general election, which the BJP led National Democratic coalition lost to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). He led the BJP in the April–May 2014 general election, which resulted in a majority for the BJP in the Lok Sabha. This is first time any party has done so after 1984. Among Indian public, he was seen as a controversial political personality and his administration has been criticised for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots but he was admired for his economic policies which enhanced economic growth in Gujarat.

During his regime in Gujarat as a chief Minster, Modi's administration has enhanced Gujarat as a state of dynamic development, economic growth and affluence and they used the slogan "Vibrant Gujarat". But opponents have criticised Modi government for comparatively poor record on human development, poverty mitigation, nutrition, and education. News reports indicated that the state is 13th rank in India for poverty, 21st for education, 44.7 percent of children under five are underweight and 23 percent are malnourished that put the state in the alarming status on the India State Hunger Index. But executives from the state of Gujarat asserted that Gujarat surpassed India as a whole in the rates of enhancement of multiple human indicators, such as female education, in the year of 2001 and 2011. Officials also argued that the school dropout rates in the state has been declined from 20 percent in 2001 to 2 percent in 2011, and that maternal mortality declined by 32 percent from 2001 to 2011. Furthermore, the Indian Supreme Court, in a review of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, acknowledged that in Gujarat state, there were no complaints of forcible land acquisition. But Political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot avows that the major improvements in the state of Gujarat have been made in the metropolitan areas while rural inhabitants and lower castes have become neglected. According to his declaration, Gujarat has 10th rank among the 21 Indian states in the Human Development Index, which shows lower development in rural Gujarat. He also affirmed that during the administration of Modi, poverty has been increased, and rural Adivasi and Dalits have become increasingly impoverished.

In 2013, Famous Economics Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen condemned the governance of Narendra Modi and believed that in Modi's rule in Gujarat education and healthcare was poor. Nonetheless, other economists like Arvind Panagariya and Jagdish Bhagwati affirmed that Gujarat's social status improved as compared to other Indian states. According to these economists, Gujarat's performance in increasing literacy rates has been better than other states in India, and there is enhancement of health indicators in Gujarat. Mr Modi has made every effort to improve the condition of Gujarat. In the year of 2008, Modi induced Tata Motors to shift its Nano Car factory from West Bengal which was hit by farmers' protests over land payment to Gujarat. His major political achievement was in 2012 when he sworn as Gujarat CM third time. At national level, he made fluency in Hindi language and gave speech in Hindi and not in Gujarati. In September 2013, the BJP anointed him its PM candidate. In the same year, US Ambassador Nancy Powell met Modi in Gandhinagar, to maintain friendly relationship with Gujarat chief minister.

Modi took great initiative of taking fast as part of a Sadbhavna Mission to approach Muslim community in Gujarat in the period of 2011 and early 2012. Modi believed that his fast would strengthen the environment of peace, unity and harmony in Gujarat. But these fasts were not fully acknowledged by all Muslims. It was observed that when Modi was fasting in Godhra, the site of the train burning that sparked the 2002 riots; many activists were captive for supposedly planning rallies against Modi. Internationally, in 2013, the Wharton India Economic Forum at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania cancelled an important video-conference speech by Modi after some Indian-Americans lobbied against Modi.

Role of Mr Modi in 2014 general election: BJP leaders found all qualities of becoming Prime minister in Modi and on 31 March 2013, Modi was chosen to the BJP Parliamentary Board, the highest decision-making body of the party. On 9 June 2013, Modi was selected as Chairman of the BJP's Central Election Campaign Committee for the 2014 general election, at the national level executive meeting of BJP. In September 2013, BJP declared Modi as their prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Narendra Modi contested the election from two constituencies namely Varanasi and Vadodara. His candidature was supported by religious leaders Ramdev and Morari Bapu, and by economists Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya. These leaders avowed that they are impressed by the economic policies of Mr. Modi. His critics such as Nobel Prize laureate economist, Amartya Sen was not in favour of Modi as a Prime Ministerial candidate because he had not supported the minorities and make them secure in Gujarat. In 2014 election, Modi did huge number of rallies to convince Indian public that his government will provide good governance and make strong nation. Modi won from both seats he contested and defeated Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, in Varanasi and Madhusudan Mistry of the Indian National Congress in Vadodara by huge margin of 5,70,128 votes. His victory in the general elections was seen as win of common man and it is argued that success is due to poor performance of the ruling Indian National Congress. Modi was collectively designated as the leader of the BJP parliamentary party following his party's triumph in the Indian parliamentary elections and was consequently chosen the prime minister by India's president.

Narendra Modi took oath as prime minister on 26 May 2014 at the Rastrapati Bhavan. He is India's first prime minister born after the country's independence. Mr Modi reflected unique culture in oath ceremony through inviting all SAARC leaders to attend his swearing-in ceremony. The guests who attended the ceremony were Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan president Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghanistan president Mr. Hamid Karzai, Bhutan Prime Minister Mr. Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Mr. Sushil Koirala, Maldives president Mr. Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and speaker of Bangladesh Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Prime Minister Mr. Navin Ramgoolam of Mauritius. It was done to strengthen the tactful relationship and expand business in these countries. After being designated as Prime Minister, Modi resigned from the post of chief minister on 21 May 2014, and his MLA seat from the Maninagar district. He delivered an emotional speech over there. Anandiben Patel replaced him and chosen as chief minister of Gujarat. As per rule, a MP cannot hold two constituencies, Modi resigned from the Vadodara seat and retained Varanasi seat where he became popular as Ganga Putra.

When assessing personal habits of Mr. Modi, It can be said that he is a vegetarian and has a thrifty lifestyle with a personal staff of three. He is a workaholic and a shy person. His hobby is to compose poems in Gujarati. As a speaker, he is recognized as to grab the attention of masses. In media, Modi has been considered as a controversial, polarising and discordant personality. But British economist Jim O'Neill, believed that Modi is "good on economics", and India needs such leader to reform economic policies.

In his political career, Mr. Modi was honoured with numerous awards. He grabbed the Gujarat Ratna by Shri Poona Gujarati Bandhu Samaj at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch on celebration of centenary year, e-Ratna award by the Computer Society of India, Best Chief Minister in a nationwide survey conducted in 2007 by India Today magazine.

He also got Asian Winner of the FDI Personality of the Year Award for 2009 by FDi magazine. In March 2012, Modi appeared on the cover of the Asian edition of Time. Modi was featured in Time's 2014 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.

His future plans:
Modi is a visionary leader and has strong determination to accomplish his dreams. Modi has made many promises to clear stalled investments in power, road and rail projects to revitalize financial expansion. One of the major projects of Dedicated Freight Corridor Project which is expected to be completed in 2018. The project will join the country's 3,300 km of more line. The project is significant for economic enhancement of India. Another big project for Modi's team is Metro Rail Project. He has made a plan for next few years that Metro service will be started in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Chennai, kochchi. The newly formed government will take all initiative to restart the earlier blocked projects and revive infrastructure through a small metro cities. Mr. Modi also has planned to modernize Airport. There is slow modernization process in airports of major cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Lucknow, Ahmadabad, Guwahati and Jaipur Airport. Modi's Government will take necessary steps to modernize these airports at global level and also start new Metro Rail to connect Terminals, New Taxi way, and Underground way in airport.

Another scheme of Mr. Modi in his agenda is to connect Rivers Projects. Before the general election, the government of Madhya Pradesh has connected Narmada River to Xipra Rivers in Malwa region and cater the need of water shortages. Rivers connect project is previously involved in BJP's programme. In 2002 the prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had a dream to connect rivers. Currently Modi has taken this project seriously and will start work to complete this project. Express-Way Project is also a dream project for Mr. Modi's government. The ruling government has considered making express highway in each city. New Indian Government will be complete 18000 Km new express highway in 2022. In education field, Mr. Modi has future plan to revive system and open IIT and IIM in every state to benefit talented students. On 9th June President, Pranab Mukherjee announced agendas for Modi government. Modi government's determined roadmap is to revitalize the struggling financial system and to bring Nifty ending at a record high. In business field, Modi government have plan to encourage foreign direct investment in India which will assist in creating jobs and asset generation. The government will commence the long-pending Goods and Services Tax that will help in creating a favourable environment for investment. Modi is more serious in checking inflation. Containing food inflation will be the main concern of the government, which will also try to end rural-urban split and reverse trend of depression among farmers that leads to suicides. The government will improve the Public Distribution System (PDS), incorporating best practices from the states. Mr.Modi will maintain diplomacy and work jointly with South Asian leaders to revive SAARC for regional cooperation.

Modi government will also make ties with China to develop healthy relationship. Government will also engage with Japan on several initiatives including to build modern infrastructure and with Russia to build further on the strategic partnership. In power sector, intend of the government will be to considerably enhance electricity generation capacity through judicious mix of conventional and non-conventional sources. Nuclear power projects for civilian purposes will be developed. Modi is committed to offer job opportunity and has a dream to enhance the youth group to strengthen the nation. To accomplish this goal, employment opportunities will be expanded though promoting tourism and agro-based industries. The government will change Employment Exchanges into Career Centres that is to connect youth with job opportunities in a clear and effective manner through the use of technology as well as through counselling and training. In the defence sector, Modi government will do reforms in defence procurement to boost efficiency and wealth and support domestic industry, including the private sector, to have a larger share in design and production of defence equipment. Mr. Modi is concerned about safety and empowerment of females. The government will have a strategy of 'zero tolerance' for violence against women and to offer 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and legislative assemblies and begin a mass crusade on 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' for saving the girl child and enabling her education. For minority group, Modi government will strengthen measures to spread modern and technical education among minority communities and a National Madrassa Modernisation Programme will be launched. Mr. Modi will chalk out plan to alleviate poverty in country. To make people healthy, health sector will be revived and to achieve a holistic healthcare system, the Modi government would devise a new Health Policy and National Health Assurance Mission. To maintain hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the nation a "Swachh Bharat Mission" will also be launched by the government. Mr. Modi sees bright future of country with collective efforts of people.

In present scenario, Mr. Modi is recognized as world icon in political field. He has numerous qualities that make him exceptional among world leaders. In the words of Narendra Modi, "Individual efforts can bring excellence but only collective efforts can deliver effectively" He is a mass leader as he worked as a Pracharak initially and through his efforts, he won the heart of people. From his biography, it is observed that he struggled a lot in his early life but he made his life purposeful. As a teenager his instincts were to become a priest at the Ramakrishna Mission. As Gujarat chief minister he made great efforts to improve the condition of state in every sector. Narendra Modi's main priority is to eradicate corruption from the country. Today, leaders from all over world are impressed by Mr. Modi's effort and his personality. He has unique personal qualities such as determination, resoluteness, decisiveness and his dress sense. Recently, from the view point of US media, Mr Narendra Modi, honourable prime minister of India is a new fashion icon. The New York Times perceives Narendra Modi as A Leader Who Is What He Wears saying Even by the standards of a world the image-craft of India's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi - and its fashion fallout - has been something of a case study.

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