A Hindu pracharak becomes Prime Minister of India. Here are milestones in his journey of ascension to the pinnacle of power through landslide election victory in the 16th General Election of the world’s largest democracy.
arendra Modi was born on 17th Sept 1950 in a middle class family of grocers in the small town of Vadnagar- the Temple Town of ancient India which is Varanasi of Gujarat. The town has a long and varied history. Sharmistha Lake, Hatkeshvar Mahdev and artistic Toran Gate are hallmarks of the past glory of the capital of Anart Province. Chinese traveler Yuan Swang visited this town in the sixth century. Akbar’s music maestro Tansen came to normalcy after listening to perfect Meghmalhar singing of Naggar girls Tana and Riri. Poet Narsinh Mehta ‘s son got married to Vadnagar Naggar Community’s bride here. Small town boy Narendra Modi imbibed the past glory of his birth place in Mehsana district of Gayakwad princely state in Gujarat. Modi became a member of RSS in childhood and acquired deep understanding of Hinduism, reading Hindu Scriptures and literature of Swami Vivekananda. He left home with the consent of his parents at a young age of 17 in search of his life’s mission. He traveled extensively and spent some time in the Himalaya , meditating in the tradition of Buddha who has influenced his life and thought considerably. Returning home after some time, he became a PRACHARAK with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in 1972. He stayed with his maternal uncle in Ahmedabad and helped him selling common people’s popular drink, tea, a job which he had done before in his father’s tea stall at the Vadanagar Railway station. One astrologer who was dinner guest at their family house in Vadnagar predicted to his mother that some day her son Narendra will either be a great sage of Shankaracharya’s caliber or supreme commander of the nation if he enters politics. Jawaharlal Nehru was supreme commander in Prime Minister’s position in those days in India. Savarkar’s message to Hinduise politics and militarise Hinduism appealed to young Narendra. He worked underground during the emergency period 1975-1977 and went jail briefly.
Then, Jan Sangh adopted a new name BJP after losing partnership in the government with the collapse of Prime Minister Morarji Desai’s government . Narendra Modi actively participated in all activities of BJP especially Advani’s Rath Yatra and Unity pilgrimage of Murli Manohar in 1989-90. He was assigned the responsibilities of General Secretary in Gujarat and subsequently at the national level. Modi acquired mastery in public relations and party organization. His contribution in the capacity of General Secretary was well noticed by party stalwarts Advani and Vajpayee. He did not contest any legislative election and had no experience in any capacity in government when one day in the first week of October, 2001, Prime Minister Vajpayee asked him to be the Chief Minister of Gujarat in replacement of Keshubhai Patel who had received more complaints than complements in his handling of problems in the aftermath of earthquake in Kutch -Bhuj area on the Republic Day in January, 2001.
A Timeline :
October 7,2001 Modi takes oath of office of Chief Minister. He is not a member of the legislative body.
● Feb.24,2002 : He is elected from Rajkot constituency . Next day he is officially admitted into membership of Gujarat Assembly.
● Feb 27,2002 . At Godhara Station in South Gujarat 59 passengers including women and children are burned down by the terrorist group which praised Bin Laden and his methods of terrorism. Those killed were active members and volunteers of Hindu organizations .In retaliation riots spread in Ahmedabad and elsewhere in Gujarat. Both Hindus and Muslims became targets of each others’ wrath for weeks .Media all over the world gave coverage of these events in their own ways.
● April 12,2002 BJP High Command meeting in Goa where discussion on the riots remained major issue, some demanded removal of Modi . Narendra Modi offered his resignation . Prime Minister Vajpayee was not soft towards Modi but Advani was firm on not accepting Modi’s resignation.
● July 19, 2002 C.M. Modi dissolved assembly and opted to seek new mandate
● December 15, 2002 . Favorable election results: BJP won 127 seats out of 182 assembly seats. Modi took oath for the second time in the presence of the Prime Minister. First time in India, a Prime Minister attended oath ceremony of a state chief minister. The Modi Government received national and international praise for restoration programs of earthquake disaster. Seminars for continuing education for elected assembly members and EGovernance were Modi’s new initiatives. Prime Minister Vajpaiyee invited the dynamic C.M. Modi to be in his entourage of Russia visit. Modi observed keenly Russian growth model . He vowed to make Gujarat a shining super state in India . The first vibrant Gujarat festivity program in 2003 attracted attention of investors . Progress
Person Modi visited China, Japan and other countries to promote investment in Gujarat.
● May 21,2005. Rajiv Gandhi Foundation awarded Modi Government for the most well managed State.
● December 25,2007: Modi takes oath for the 3rd time after election victory.
Modi became Chief Minister of Gujarat for the fourth time. In a lighter vein, he stated: ‘ I will remain CM for ever’.
But Modi was destined for a higher position, as the stranger had once predicted.
In September, 2013, Bharatiya Janata Party named him the party’s candidate for prime
Minister’s position. Modi had already nominated to lead the election campaign. With every passing day, it became clearer that Modi had succeeded in convincing voters of India that BJP could bring about a change to their advantage. Some doubted BJP could have the numbers to forma government with its allies, not to speak of forming a government on their own.
Some simply could not bear to see BJP in power. Eminent Economist Nobel Laureate A.K. Sen wrote: “I do not want Modi to be my Prime Minister “.
However, voters of the largest democracy in the world countered him : “WE WANT MODI TO BE
OUR PRIME MINISTER.”
And there he is. Let us wait and watch his work.