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Narendra Damodardas Modi, the first Prime Minister of India to be born after Independence, celebrates his 64th birthday today. Born on 17th September 1950, the four-time chief minister of Gujarat and 15th Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been one of the most loved politicians and also equally criticised by a section of people in India. Surprisingly, known for his no-nonsense and straightforward approach, Narendra Modi has drawn immense praise for his quick decision-making style and for being a workaholic. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: Modi Govt has a Zero Tolerance Policy Against Terrorism, Says Amit Shah
Narendra Modi was born to Damodardas Modi and Heeraben in Vadnagar in Mehsana district of Gujarat. Little did they knew that their son would become the charismatic leader who can inspire the entire country. Well, you would surely know about Modi’s childhood and how he rose to prominence and became the Prime Minister. Also Read - Petrol, Diesel Prices Surge to Record-High Levels, Costs 33% More Than Aviation Fuel | Check City-Wise Rates
We bring to you a list of 64 incidents and facts of Narendra Modi’s life to take you through the journey of a boy who once used to sell tea and now is the leader of the world’s biggest democracy – India.
1. Narendra Modi’s teacher’s remark about him isn’t exemplary but interesting; an ‘average’ student but a ‘keen’ debater.
2. As a 15-year-old, Narendra Modi has served the Indian soldiers during the 1965 Indo-Pak War.
3. At 17, Narendra Modi volunteered to serve the flood victims of Gujarat at that time.
The Political Journey
4. Narendra Modi began from the grass-root level; became an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader, then became a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) propagator and was later endorsed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 1980s.
5. Narendra Modi’s key to eminence was when he successfully organised an ‘Ekta Yatra’ for senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi in the early 90s.
6. A lot of credit is given to Narendra Modi for chalking out successful strategies in 1995 and 1998 Gujarat Assembly Elections.
7. When senior BJP leaders turned to Narendra Modi after the party’s image had taken a hit and decided to make Modi as the deputy chief minister of Gujarat Modi reportedly said , “He was going to be fully responsible for Gujarat or not at all”. Eventually, Modi was made the chief minister of Gujarat.
8. Narendra Modi rose quickly to ranks in the party, but life had other plans. Godhra massacre and post violence hit his credibility, so much so that he was alleged for his involvement in the riots that ensued. Modi since then stuck on one line to silent his critics, “Modi agar gunhegaar hai toh unse faansi pe chadha do. Aise gunha ki maafi nahi hoti.” (If Modi has committed a crime he should be hanged).
9. Not many know that Narendra Modi has been acquitted by several Special Investigation Teams (SITs) appointed by Supreme Court in 2007, 2010 and 2012.
10. Narendra Modi as a Chief Minister initiated a mega multi-nation summit named ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ in 2003. Vibrant Gujarat is a biennial event and garners over billions of dollars as investments.
11. An interesting comment was made by film script writer Salim Khan when he said, “Does anyone remember who was the chief minister of Maharashtra when Mumbai riots happened which were no less deadly than Gujarat riots of 2002? Does anyone recall the name of the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh when Meerut riots or Bihar CM when the Bhagalpur riots under Congress rule took place? Then how come Narendra Modi has been singled out for the killing during the riots of 2002?”
The plunge in National Politics:
Narendra Modi’s successful and consecutive terms as the Gujarat chief minister augured well for the Hindutva leader. Modi’s interest in national politics and his comments on current affairs and tactful jibes at UPA government made him a rage among youth. Many celebrities also visited Gujarat and praised his ‘Development Model’ which we now know as Gujarat Model.
12. Showering praises on Narendra Modi, bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar said “Never have I heard of such an initiative (Khel Mahakumbh). I would love to be Gujarat’s brand Ambassador if it was offered to me.”
13. While in a promotional event of his film Tezz, Ajay Devgn praised Narendra Modi for his clear business policies in Gujarat. Ajay said, “Narendra Modi has made the policies very clear, and delivered before what he had promised. It is very comfortable doing business here.”
14. The inspiring speech at SRCC in Delhi on February 6, 2013 acted as a catalyst, which saw Narendra Modi projecting himself nationally. Pitching models of P2G2 (Pro-People Good Governance) and 5F formula– Farm to Fibre to Fabric to Fashion to Foreign, Modi floored the students. Picking up a glass of water Modi said, “An optimist would say the glass is half full, while a pessimist would say it is half empty, but I have a third point of view. For me the glass is always full — half with water and half with air. We can turn over the situation.’ The speech at SRCC did a world of good to Modi in wooing the youth.
Watch the video here:
15. While many accuse Narendra Modi to be a communal leader and not secular, he has always stated that ‘India first is my definition of secularism’.
16. Narendra Modi during the run-up to General Elections said, “I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit to say so, but I’ll dare to say. My thought is – “Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya”
Run up to Achche Din and Good Governance Sarkar
17. Narendra Modi speech at National Council Meet at Ramlila Maidan at New Delhi earlier this year was an indicator. Watch the video below:
18. After the Election Commission filed a FIR against Narendra Modi during the elections campaign Modi dared the EC to file another FIR against him. Modi said, “You (EC) have failed to stop rigging. You have the machinery, why don’t you do your duty? If the EC doesn’t like what I am saying, they can file another case against me.”
19. What they said, to whom they said, to what they saw conquered:
Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said, “Even a butcher is shy of Narendra Modi’.
Former Speaker Miera Kumar said, “Where is Modi wave? I can’t see any wave.”
20. A step ahead, Kapil Sibal described Narendra Modi’s model as MODI: Model of Dividing India; well Modi did unite RJD-JD (U) in Bihar and nearly united SP-BSP in Uttar Pradesh *wink*
21. At his candid best, Narendra Modi took on AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal. Modi termed Kejriwal as ‘AK 49’ in one of his rallies in Jammu and Kashmir.
Astute jibes at Media
22. Frankly Speaking with Arnab- Part I: Arnab’s reaction-check time (Kodak Moment)
The first awe moment of the interview came when Narendra Modi said, “What buddy? Atleast do some good research. I thought Arnab Goswami does a very good research.”
23. Frankly Speaking with Arnab- Part II: When Arnab tried the Rahul Gandhi way on Narendra Modi
Arnab Goswami did try to trap/gag Modi in the same way he did Rahul Gandhi on the topic of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in his interview. But Modi strongly cautioned Arnab saying and said, “You cannot trap me. Your duty is to ask questions and mine is to answer, but what you’re doing is a wrong way!”
24. Frankly Speaking with Arnab- Part III: Reminded of former PM AB Vajpayee; quite a surprise!
Narendra Modi on being asked a question on illegal infiltrations, he staunchly replied, “Votes aayenge jayenge, sarkarein aayegi jayegi, par Desh sarva pratham hai.” (Votes may come and go; governments come and go, but it is the nation that is important). It happens to be one of the famous dialogues of Vajpayee.
Watch the video here..
25. Krantikari Interview with Aaj Tak
Narendra Modi took a jibe at the Aaj Tak interviewers. Modi candidly asked, “Aap toh Krantikari channel ho, mera ek kaam karoge?” The jibe was a befitting reply as a video was leaked that saw Arvind Kejriwal and Punya Prasoon Bajpai discussing the contents and course of Kejriwal’s interview.
26. Narendra Modi was denied to campaign in his constituency Varanasi by EC citing security reasons (Truth: politically motivated). Still, Modi managed to beat Arvind Kejriwal by a margin of approx 1.75 lakh votes in the holy city. “People of Varanasi voted on my (Modi) silence,” Modi said.
Achche Din Aa Gaye?
27. Come May 16, Narendra Modi won the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections for his party with a majority by itself. What was amusing was that Modi won the elections by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes.
28. In his brief speech in Vadodara after winning the elections Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi said, “Is there any doubt on my working capabilities and ideology? In coming 60 months, India will not find a better labourer than me.”
29. If only Narendra Modi could be stopped entering Varanasi! The PM-designate alongwith Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah performed Ganga Aarti at Das Ashwamegha Ghat and Kashi Viswanath Temple, Varanasi.
30. Narendra Modi’s electoral strategy and his cleverly planned massive rallies dealt a body blow to the Congress party as they could win only 44 seats. Not only did he beat the Congress but also ensured that they’re reduced to such a low number that they aren’t even eligible for the Leader of Opposition status.
31. PM-designate Narendra Modi scored brownie points just as when he invited world leaders in first-of-its-kind oath taking ceremony. Modi invited all the SAARC nations’ leaders on his swearing-in ceremony and smartly washed away the alleged untouchability tag. India witnessed a historical swearing-in ceremony as even Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif attended the ceremony along with 3,000 guests.
32. It took everyone by surprise when Narendra Modi gifted shawl to Nawaz Sharif for his mother. Of all the persons, how could Modi gift to Nawaz Sharif? The gesture was well received by the Pakistan Prime Minister and as soon as he reached Pakistan, Sharif gifted a ‘saree’ for Narendra Modi’s mother. The gifts being exchanged baffled many, across the border lines.
Set the ball rolling
33. The very first decision Narendra Modi government took was of forming a SIT to unearth the black money stashed abroad. Fulfilling its poll promise, Narendra Modi made sure that his first cabinet meeting after being in power saw an assertive result.
34. Not being in office for a week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a soft-yet-stern advice to his cabinet ministers to abstain from appointing any relative as their personal staff i.e. personal assistant and personal secretary.
35. A week after being in office, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu while addressing the media said that PM Narendra Modi has asked all the cabinet ministers to be ready with their timetable of the priorities to be undertaken in the first 100 days.
36. Just before the bugle bells of Narendra Modi’s government first budgetary session, the BJP MPs were given a quick class in “Modi ka Vidyalaya”. BJP hosted a two-day seminar in Surajkund, Haryana for the new MPs that included Narendra Modi too.
37. On completion of one month in Centre, PM Narendra Modi on his blog posted, “67 years of previous governments is nothing compared to one month, but I do want to say that in last month, our entire team has devoted every single moment for the welfare of people. Every decision we took has been guided solely by national interest.”
38. PM Narendra Modi also said, “Previous governments had the luxury of extending this ‘honeymoon period’ upto a hundred days and even beyond. Not unexpectedly I don’t have any such luxury. Forget hundred days; the series of allegations began in less than a hundred hours.”
39. Narendra Modi’s emotional beginning
On 20th May when Narendra Modi was to step in the Parliament for the first time as an MP, something unusual happened. PM Narendra Modi went down on his knees, and bowed to the steps of the Parliament (democracy). Those scenes may well go down as the most defining scenes in Indian history.
40. All is well: Puts all speculations of rift to end!
LK Advani in his brief speech to NDA alliance MPs said, “I am grateful to Modi for making me and the party witness this epic moment in India’s political history.” When it was Narendra Modi’s turn, Modi struck all the right chords when he talked of development and dedication. As Modi remembered Advani’s comments he had a break-down and choked his words. “Is serving mother, an act of gratefulness? Never. The way India is my mother, BJP is my mother too.” It was an emotional moment as Advani and Modi hardly managed to hold their tears back.
Watch the video here…
41. As Narendra Modi took the oath in Hindi, many BJP leaders chose to take oath as MP in Sanskrit. Sushma Swaraj and Uma Bharti were of the few who took the oath in Sanskrit.
42. Narendra Modi in his very first parliamentary speech made a remark about the rising violence against women in the society. Modi asserted said that I request all the parliamentarians to stay away from commenting on grave issue such as rape.
43. Another guideline issued to the newly elected MPs by Narendra Modi was to ensure that they speak as the representatives of constituencies and not as a party spokesperson.
44. A strict cautious word was let out by Narendra Modi to all his party members. Modi said,” Don’t touch my feet but work hard if you have to show respect.” A nice gesture Prime Minister!
45. Narendra Modi chose Bhutan and then Nepal for his prioritized foreign trips. Modi in Bhutan said, “Bhutan was a ‘natural choice’ for his first foreign destination because of the ‘unique and special relationship’ the two countries shared.” Modi’s Nepal trip was the first by a Indian PM in 17 years. Modi struck the right chord and warmed Nepalese people’s heart.”
46. Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan proved fruitful; not just economically but also by thrusting new lease of life in the relations of the two powerhouses of Asia. Being wary of China and cosying up to Japan seems to be the strategy of Modi government. Japan is to invest USD 33.5 billion in India in coming 5 years.
47. Narendra Modi’s lighter side came to display when he chose to play taiko drums in an event organized by Tata Consultancy Services. Modi was upbeat and matched to the beats of the drummers present there. The event came into highlight so much so that even Salman Khan was all praise for Narendra Modi. The Kick-actor said, “I saw him playing drum. He plays it very very cool.”
Watch the video here:
Restoring the credibility of PM’s post
48. Finally, the people of India witnessed Narendra Modi unfurling the tricolor flag from the Red Fort in Delhi. Modi delivered a soul-stirring speech and stressed on the core issues of ‘Made in India’ products and ‘Swachh Bharat’
49. Unlike his predecessors, who read their prepared speeches standing in a bulletproof box, Narendra Modi chose the other way! The 5-feet 6-inch PM chose to do away with the bullet-proof box and instead addressed the crowd in open and spoke extempore.
50. It was a smart move to get connected with kids, and what better opportunity than Teachers’ Day? Narendra Modi chose to hold an interaction programme of children on Teachers’ Day and the move drew applauds from both teachers and students. The children were delighted to learn about Modi’s mischievous childhood antics.
51. Known for his adherence to principles and regards to seniors or elders, Narendra Modi carved out a simple and dignified way i.e of creating Margdarshak Mandal, for the transitional phase of party’s senior members like LK Advani and MM Joshi. Members of this group will be the mentors of BJP party members.
52. Narendra Modi stressed on the introduction of ‘Bullet Trains’ in India during his electoral campagins. Bringing in FDI in Railways (in infrastructure and not operations) was another smart move as Railway Ministry announced the bullet train will run in the Ahmedabad-Mumbai sector.
53. Prominence to Hindi
Narendra Modi made every Indian proud when he chose to address meetings and conferences in Japan in Hindi. For long, it was due for an Indian PM to hold his head up and speak in our mother tongue Hindi. Modi is also tipped off to address the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi too.
54. Looking by the means now, Narendra Modi and his government is hell bent on making financially and infrastructure-wise strong. With Chinese President arriving in India with a handful of projects and a mammoth figure of USD 100 billion, is something to brag about.
55. The paradigm shift in stance of United States towards Narendra Modi is another thing to be proud of. The idiom- The world bows, we need the one who makes that happen, fits well here. With Japan, China, Russia, and France cosying up with the new Indian government, it will be interesting to see what US has to offer (other than apology).
56. Narendra Modi has stressed on the need of sanitation facilities in the past and his initiative of ‘Swach Bharat by 2019’ is an innovative concept if implemented well. In order to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Father of the Nation Gandhiji in 2019, a cleaner India is what Modi is planning to gift.
57. Narendra Modi had coined several catchy phrases during his entire electoral campaigns, but this one stood out– Congress-mukt Bharat (Congress-ridden India). ”Achche Din Aane Wale Hai” and “Ab Ki Baar, Modi Sarkaar” were rage among the people of all age groups.
58. Narendra Modi has smartly kept his Bollywood connections away from his governance and publicity antics like other political parties. In an interview to a news channel Modi told, “no one could understand the real value of Amitabh Bachchan but me. I realised his potential and requested him to be the brand ambassador of tourism in Gujarat, to which he readily agreed.” The history between the two clearly states that both of them share a professional-yet-warm and cordial relationship.
Some notable facts of Narendra Modi
59. Narendra Modi happens to be a nature loving person and his favourite past time is writing poems. Modi is a vegetarian and he did raise the issue of banning the Pink revolution, propped up by the UPA regime, in many election rallies.
60. It is a widespread rumour that Narendra Modi has also done a course of Public Relations and Image Making in US for three months in his earlier days.
61. When someone asked Narendra Modi about his jovial, calm and relaxed outlook, he simply said that he wakes up early in the morning and practices Yoga on a daily-routine basis.
62. “I will make such a place that Americans would queue up for an Indian Visa,” said Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
63. Narendra Modi is known by many names on social media (Twitter and Facebook); be it of a stature of Hero or Villain. From Rambo to Feku to NaMo to Merchant of Death, Modi has faced the brunt of social media very well.
64. It is a lesser known fact that the first politician to engage with people on social media (Google +) is Narendra Modi. Way back in 2012, Modi chose for online chatting with the netizens.
Photo Credits: Amit Modak