Narendra Modi Biography – Facts, Childhood, Family life, Political life, Wife and Education:
Narendra Modi’s full name is Narendra Damodardas Modi. He is an Indian politician serving as the 14th and, since 2014, the current Prime Minister of India. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and is the Member of Parliament for Varanasi. Narendra Modi is a proud member of the Bharatiya Janata Party also known as BJP (a political party) which is the world’s biggest political party in world’s biggest democracy India which is Bharat. He is also a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh also known as RSS which is the world’s biggest cultural organization.
Basics about Narendra Modi
Real name – Narendra Damodardas Modi
Profession – Prime Minister of India (Politician)
Age – 68 years
Birthplace – Vadnagar village of Gujarat
Date of birth – September 17, 1950
Hometown – Vadnagar
Height – 1.7 m
Hair color – White
Weight – 77 kg
Marital status – Unmarried
Political Party – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Sun Sign – Virgo
Nationality – Indian
Mother – Heeraben Modi
Siblings – Amrutbhai Modi (Brother), Pankajbhai Modi (Brother), Prahladbhai Modi (Brother), Soma Modi (Brother), Vasantiben Hasmukhlal Modi (Sister)
Education: 1983 – Gujarat University, 1978 – University Of Delhi
Hobbies – Photography And Poetry
Awards: CNN-IBN Indian Of The Year, Champions of the Earth (the UN’s highest environmental honor), Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for contribution to high economic growth in India and world through ‘Modinomics’, contribution to world peace, improving human development and furthering democracy in India.
Awards and recognition of Narendra Modi during the time when He was Cheif Minister of Gujrat
More than 60 awards bagged by the state during the tenure of Chief Minister Narendra Modi
- 16-10-2003 – UN Sasakawa Award for outstanding work in the field of disaster management and risk reduction.
- October 2004 – CAPAM Gold Award from Commonwealth Associations for innovations in governance.
- 26-08-2004 – Gujarat bagged top honor’s for its performance in the power sector as President A P J Abdul Kalam
- 24-02-2005 – Nirmal gram award to a village in Rajkot district in Gujarat by Government of India for sanitation facilities.
- 25-04-2005 – Elitex Award by Department of Information Technology, Govt. of India Science and Technology Department for “PRAGATI”, a GIS Software developed by Bhaskracharya Institute of Space Application and Geo-informatics, Government of Gujarat
- 21-05-2005 – Gujarat awarded the status of the Best State after a survey of all the states in the country, carried out by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi.
- 01-06-2005 – UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for reconstruction of a Gurudwara damaged during the earthquake.
- 05-08-2005 – Best Investment environment award by India today
- 05-08-2005 – Most Economic Freedom Award by India Today
- 27-11-2005 – Gujarat won the first ever Gold Award at the India International Trade Fair at New Delhi. ❖
- 14-10-2005 – Readers of the Gujarati weekly “Chitralekha” rated Shri Narendra Modi as “Person of the year”. Tennis star Sania Mirza was ranked second and superstar Amitabh Bachchan stood third. Awards were given away on 18-05-2006.
- 12-11-2005 – India Tech Excellence Award by India Tech Foundation for Power sector reforms and Initiatives
- 30-01-2006 – In a nationwide survey conducted by “India Today”, Shri Narendra Modi was declared the Best Chief Minister of the country.
- 23-03-2006 – Nirmal gram award by Government of India to a few villages of Gujarat for sanitation facilities
- 31-07-2006 – Gujarat again ranks first in the country in “Implementation of 20 point programme”.
- 02-08-2006 – Gujarat tops among 35 states of the country in “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan”.
- 12-09-2006 – Ahalyabai National Award function, Indore.
- 30-10-2006 – Asian Innovation Award at Singapore from Wall Street Journal and the Financial Express for Chiranjeevi Yojana (initiative for reducing maternal and infant mortality rate).
- 04-11-2006 – E-governance award to e-dhara project (computerization of land records)
- 27-11-2006 – Silver Award the India International Trade Fair 2006
- 10-01-2007 – ELITEX 2007 -Best E-governed State Award from Government of India
- 05-02-2007 -Adjudged the best CM for the third time in the nationwide survey conducted by India Today-ORG Marg, a unique achievement for any Cm during a 5 year tenure
- 10-12-2008 – Gujarat Wins Wind Power Award.
- 29-01-2009 – Gujarat received five awards for the best use of information and technology from administrative reforms and public grievances and Information technology department of the Central government.
About Narendra Modi
Narendra Damodardas Modi was born on 17 September 1950. He was the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat from 7 October 2001 to 2014. He is currently serving as the proud prime minister of India. He participated in the rise to political dominance of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat as its elections organizer in the early 1990s. This was the period which led to the election of the party in 1995.
He became Gujarat’s Chief Minister in October 2001, promoted to the office at a time when his predecessor Keshubhai Patel had resigned, following the defeat of BJP in the by-elections. He was re-elected in December 2002 as chief minister with 127 seats in the 182-member assembly. His term has been praised by leading industrialists and religious leaders for outstanding administration for turning Gujarat into an economic powerhouse and controlling terrorism.
In July 2007 he became the longest serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s history when he had been in power for 2063 days continuously.” He was elected again for a third term’ on December 23, 2007, with an emphatic win in the state elections, which he had cast as a “referendum on his rule”.
Childhood and Early Life
Narendra Modi’s journey began in the by-lanes of Vadnagar, a small and nondescript town in North Gujarat’s Mehsana district. Born on 17th September 1950, 3 years after India attained freedom and within months of India becoming a Republic, Narendra Modi was the third of the sixth children of Damodardas Modi and Hiraba Modi. Vadnagar is a town that is steeped in history. Archeological excavations suggest this was a vibrant center of learning and spirituality. The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited Vadnagar. Vadnagar also has a rich Buddhist history with as many as 10,000 Buddhist monks inhabiting the town centuries ago.
Narendra Modi’s early years were far from what a fairy tale upbringing is like. The family belonged to the marginalized sections of society and had to struggle to make ends meet. The entire family lived in a small single-story house (approximately 40 feet by 12 feet). His father sold tea at the tea stall he set up in the local railway station. In his early years, Narendra Modi too lent a hand to his father at the tea stall.
These formative years left a strong imprint on Narendra Modi. As a child, Narendra Modi balanced his studies, non-academic life and his contribution at the family tea stall. His schoolmates recall Narendra as a diligent student with a penchant for debating and reading. He would spend hours and hours reading in the school library. Among the sports, he was very fond of swimming. Narendra Modi had a wide range of friends from all the communities. As a child, he often celebrated both Hindu and Muslim festivals considering the large number of Muslim friends he had in the neighborhood.
Yet, his thoughts, and dreams went way beyond a conventional life that began in the classroom and ended in the environs of an office. He wanted to go out there and make a difference in society…to wipe tears and suffering among people. At a young age, he developed an inclination towards renunciation and asceticism. He gave up eating salt, chilies, oil, and jaggery. Reading the works of Swami Vivekananda cover to cover took Narendra Modi to a journey of spiritualism and laid the foundation for his own mission to fulfill Swami Vivekananda’s dream of a Jagad Guru Bharat.
If there is one word that characterized Narendra Modi’s childhood and stayed with him for the rest of his life, it is service. When floods wreaked havoc in the Tapi River, 9 years old he and his friends started a food stall and donated the proceeds for relief work. When the war with Pakistan was at its peak he set out on the railway station and served tea to the Jawans who were going and coming from the border. This was a small step but it displayed his firm resolve to answer the call of Mother India, even at a remarkably young age.
As a child, Narendra Modi had one dream- to serve in the Indian Army. For many youngsters of his time, the Army was seen as the ultimate means of serving Mother India. As luck would have it, his family was dead opposed to the idea. Narendra Modi was very keen to study in Sainik School located in nearby Jamnagar but when the time came to pay the fees, there was no money at home. Surely, Narendra was disappointed. But, fate had different plans for this young boy who was disappointed in not being able to wear the uniform of a Jawan. Over the years he embarked on a unique path that took him across India in pursuit of the larger mission to serve humanity.
Dedicated Life In RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)
Most teenagers at the age of 17 think about their careers and try to enjoy the last remnants of childhood, but for Narendra Modi at that age things were very different. At 17, he made an extraordinary decision, which changed the course of his life. He decided to leave home and travel across India.
His family was shocked but they accepted Narendra’s wish to leave the confines of his small-town life. When the day finally dawned for him to leave, his mother prepared a sweet dish that is cooked on special occasions and applied the customary ‘tilak’ (a mark on the forehead).
Among the places that he traveled to included the Himalayas (where he stayed at Garudachatti), Ramakrishna Ashram in West Bengal and even the Northeast. These travels left a lasting impression on the youngster. He traveled across the expansive landscape of India exploring the various cultures in various parts of the country. It was also a time of spiritual awakening for him that connected him further to a man he always admired- Swami Vivekananda.
The RSS Calls
Narendra came back two years later but stayed home only for two weeks. This time his destination was fixed and the mission was also clear- he was going to Ahmedabad, determined to work with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). Set up in 1925, the RSS is a socio-cultural organization working towards the economic, social and cultural regeneration of India.
His first brush with the RSS was at the tender age of eight when he would attend the local youth meetings of the RSS after a day’s work at the family tea stall. The reason for attending such meetings was far from political. It was here that he met one of the strongest influences on his life, Laxmanrao Inamdar also known as ‘Vakil Saheb.’
Narendra Modi during RSS Days
The Road to Ahmedabad and Beyond
With this background, an almost 20-year-old Narendra arrived in Gujarat’s largest city Ahmedabad. He became a regular member of the RSS and his dedication and organization skills impressed Vakil Saheb and others. In 1972 he became a Pracharak, giving his full time to the RSS. He shared his accommodation with other Pracharaks and followed a rigorous daily routine. The day began at 5:00 am and went on till late night. In the midst of such a hectic routine, Narendra completed a degree in political science. He always valued education and learning.
As a Pracharak, he had to travel all over Gujarat. Sometime between 1972 and 1973, he stayed at the Santram Mandir in Nadiad, which is a part of Kheda district. In 1973 Narendra Modi was given the responsibility of working for a massive summit organized in Siddhpur where he met top leaders of the Sangh.
The atmosphere in Gujarat, as well as India, was very volatile when Narendra Modi was cutting his teeth as an activist. When he reached Ahmedabad, the city was reeling under one of the worst instances of communal rioting. In the rest of the nation too, the Congress Party, which had already suffered reverses in the 1967 Lok Sabha Elections had spilled between the faction of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and the erstwhile syndicate, whose leaders included Morarji Desai from Gujarat. Riding on the wave of a campaign to eradicate poverty, Mrs. Gandhi swept back to power in 1971 Lok Sabha elections winning 352 out of 518 seats in the Lok Sabha, the popularly elected chamber of the India Parliament.
In the Gujarat State Elections, Mrs. Gandhi replicated the strong performance, winning 140 out of 182 seats and capturing a gigantic vote share of over 50%.
Narendra Modi – a Pracharak
However, the euphoria of the Congress and Mrs. Gandhi faded as quickly as it was created. The dreams of quick reform and progress had given way to disillusionment amongst the common man in Gujarat. The struggles and sacrifices of political stalwarts such as Indulal Yagnik, Jivraj Mehta, and Balwant Rai Mehta had been undone by the politics of greed.
By the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, corruption and misgovernance of the Congress government in Gujarat had reached new heights. The grand promise of ‘Garibi Hatao’ turned out to be an empty one as it gradually changed into ‘Garib Hatao’. The condition of the poor worsened, and in Gujarat, the misery was compounded with a severe famine and steep price rise. Endless queues for basic commodities had become a common sight in the state. There was no respite for the common man.
Navnirman Movement: Youth Power
People’s discontent converted into public expressions of anger when in December 1973, a few students of an Engineering College in Morbi (Gujarat) protested against the exorbitant rise in their food bills. Similar protests began to take place across the state of Gujarat. These protests soon gained widespread support and ignited a statewide mass movement against the government, known as the Navnirman Movement.
Narendra Modi was drawn to the mass movement that attracted all sections of society. The movement further strengthened when it gained the support of Jayaprakash Narayan, a well-respected public figure and a known crusader against corruption. When Jayaprakash Narayan came to Ahmedabad, Narendra had the unique opportunity to meet the JP himself. The several talks held by the veteran and other leaders left a strong impression on young Narendra.
The historic Navnirman Movement
Eventually, student power won and the incumbent Congress Chief Minister had to resign. The joy, however, was short-lived. The dark clouds of authoritarianism struck on the midnight of 25th June 1975 when Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared a state of Emergency.
The Dark Days of the Emergency
Mrs. Gandhi feared she would lose her top post in the wake of an adverse court judgment that nullified the elections, and thought the Emergency was the best step at that point. Democracy was under siege, freedom of speech curtailed and the leading lights of the opposition Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Shri LK Advani, Shri George Fernandes to Shri Morarji Desai were arrested.
Narendra Modi during Emergency
Narendra Modi was at the core of the anti-Emergency movement. He was a part of the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti (GLSS) that was formed to resist tyranny. He rose to become the General Secretary of GLSS, where his primary role was to coordinate between the activists across the state. This was tough considering the strict surveillance anti-Congress leaders and activists were subjected to.
There are several stories about Narendra Modi’s work during the Emergency. One of them was how he rode a scooter and took a wanted senior RSS figure to a safe house. Similarly, it emerged that one of the leaders who was arrested was carrying his papers with him at the time of the arrest. The papers had to be retrieved at any cost. It fell on Narendra Modi to ensure that the paper was duly retrieved from the police station where the leader was being held and that too in front of police force! When Nanaji Deshmukh was arrested, he had with him a book containing the addresses of sympathizers. Narendra Modi ensured that each and everyone was removed to safer locations so that nobody was arrested.
Among Narendra Modi’s other responsibilities were to make travel arrangements for anti-Emergency activists to and from Gujarat. Sometimes his work meant that he had to move in disguise so that he was not recognized – he would be a Sikh gentleman one day and an elderly man with a beard the next.
One of Narendra Modi’s most cherished experiences of the Emergency days was that he got to work with leaders and activists from different parties. Narendra Modi wrote on his blog on June 2013:
For youngsters like me, the Emergency gave a wonderful opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of leaders and organizations that were fighting for the same goal. It enabled us to work beyond institutions we had been brought up with. From stalwarts of our family, Atal Ji, Advani Ji, late Shri Dattopant Thengadi, Late Shri Nanaji Deshmukh to socialists like Shri George Fernandes to Congressmen like Shri Ravindra Varma, who worked closely with Morarjibhai Desai and were unhappy with the Emergency, we got inspired by leaders who belonged to different schools of thought.
I was fortunate to have learned a lot from people such as former Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapeeth Shri Dhirubhai Desai, the humanist Shri CT Daru and former Chief Ministers of Gujarat Shri Babubhai Jashbhai Patel and Shri Chimanbhai Patel and prominent Muslim leader late Shri Habib-ur-Rehman. The struggle and determination of Late Shri Morarjibhai Desai, who steadfastly resisted the authoritarianism of the Congress and even left the party, come to the mind.
It was as if a vibrant confluence of thoughts and ideologies had taken place for a larger good. Rising over differences of caste, creed, community or religion we were working with our common objective- to uphold the democratic ethos of the country. In December 1975, we worked for a very important meeting of all Opposition MPs in Gandhinagar. This meeting was also attended by Independent MPs late Shri Purushottam Mavalankar, Shri Umashankar Joshi and Shri Krishan Kant.
Outside the realm of politics, Narendra Modi got an opportunity to work with social organizations and several Gandhians. He vividly recalls meeting both George Fernandes (whom he refers to as ‘George Sahab’) and Nanaji Deshmukh. During those dark days, he also kept writing about his experiences, which later took the shape of a book ‘Aapatkal Me Gujarat’ (Gujarat During the Emergency).
Beyond the Emergency
Like the Navnirman Movement, the Emergency was followed by a victory of the people. In the Parliamentary Elections of 1977, Mrs. Indira Gandhi was routed. The people voted for change and in the new Janata Party Government, Jana Sangh leaders like Atal ji and Advani ji became important Cabinet Ministers.
Around the same time, Narendra Modi was made the ‘Sambhaag Pracharak’ (an equivalent of a regional organizer) as an appreciation of his activism and organizational work during the preceding years. He was given charge of South and Central Gujarat. At the same time, he was called to Delhi and asked to chronicle the official RSS account of the Emergency Period. It meant more work and balancing both regional and national duties, which Narendra Modi did with ease and efficiency.
Narendra Modi in a village of Gujarat
His travels across Gujarat continued and increased through the early 1980s. This gave him the opportunity to visit every Taluka and almost every village in the state. This experience came very handily for him both as an organizer and as the Chief Minister. It gave him a first-hand view of the problems people face and increased his resolve to work harder to solve them. When droughts, floods or riots struck he would lead the relief efforts too.
Narendra Modi was happily immersed in his work but the elders in the RSS and the newly formed BJP felt otherwise, they wanted him to take on more responsibility and in 1987 another chapter began in Narendra Modi’s life. From then on, he was as much on the streets as he would be formulating party strategies. He would have to work with Party leaders and sit with Karyakartas.
The boy from Vadnagar who left his home to serve the nation was about to take another giant step, but for him, it was merely a continuation of his journey to bring smiles on the faces of his countrymen and women. After a Yatra to Kailash Mansarovar, Narendra Modi got down to work as the General Secretary in the Gujarat BJP.
He was selected as BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which was subtly opposed by some party veterans such as L.K. Advani. He, however, won both the seats (Varanasi and Vadodara) that he contested, but eventually retained the Varanasi seat.
The BJP won a historic 282 of 534 seats in the 2014 elections, trouncing the ruling UPA led by the Indian National Congress.
Narendra Modi Favourite Food
It is natural to ask – what is it that the Prime Minister of India likes to eat? Is he someone who relishes food.
An insight into this was given by Narendra Modi, who said:
“Those who work in public life, their lives are very irregular. So, if one wants to be active in public life, one needs to have a tough stomach.
For 35 years, working in various organizational capacities meant I had to travel all over the nation and I had to seek food and would eat whatever I got. I never asked people to make something special for me.
I like Khichdi very much. But then, I eat whatever I get.”
He added, “I want my health to be such that it won’t be a burden for the nation. Till my last breath, I want to remain a healthy human being.”
The role of Prime Minister entails a lot of traveling and a lot of banquets to attend. He does enjoy the local vegetarian cuisines served in every banquet. Being a teetotaler, his glass invariably has water or a juice instead of any alcoholic beverage.
Narendra Modi Dressing Style and Modi Kurta
The Modi Kurta has a legendary following among people but this widely acclaimed ‘style statement’ that it has become has very simple origins.
On the origins of the ‘Modi Kurta,’ the Prime Minister said:
“My work with the RSS and BJP not only meant excessive traveling but also uncertain and punishing schedules. And, as someone who always washed his own clothes, I realized that washing a full sleeved Kurta was tougher and more time consuming so I decided to cut his Kurtas into half sleeved ones.”
Thus the Modi Kurta was born!
As time progressed, particularly in the recent few years the Modi Kurta has become famous world over. Other merchandise like ‘Modi Masks’, caps, t-shirts, badges even chocolates have been seen time and again but nothing is as popular as the Modi Kurta- crisp and colorful, simple and elegant.
Narendra Modi Favourite Film and Song
Considering his work schedule and the travel, it is natural that Narendra Modi never really had the time to watch films. As Modi explained in an interview, “I am generally not inclined towards movies. But I used to watch them in my youth, out of that curiosity which only youth brings. Even then, it was never my temperament to watch movies just for entertainment. Instead, it was in my habit to search for lessons for life in the stories those movies told.
I recall that, once, I went with some of my teachers and friends to watch the famous Hindi movie Guide that was based on a novel by R.K. Narayan. And, after the movie, I got into an intense debate with my friends. My argument was that the central idea in the movie was that, ultimately, everyone gets guided by his or her inner soul. But since I was too young, my friends did not take me seriously!”
The film Guide made an impression on him for another purpose – the grim reality of drought and the visual imagery of helplessness that lack of water brings to farmers. Later on in life, when he had the opportunity, he devoted a substantial portion of his tenure in Gujarat in promoting institutionalized mechanisms of water conservation. It is a project which he has brought to the national level as well in his Prime Ministerial role.
As Shri Modi got immersed in work and the demands of his elected office became his first priority, the luxury of being able to watch films was no longer available to him. However, he did constantly remain in touch with the world of art and culture. Deeply valuing the contribution of our artists in our overall cultural consciousness, Shri Modi initiated innovative ideas like the Kite Festival in Gujarat to more recently organizing the Bharat Parv in the Rajpath Lawns near India Gate.
And does Modi have a favorite song? The instantaneous response is Lata Mangeshkar’s exhorting rendition of the song “हो पवन वेग से उड़ने वाले घोड़े……” from the film the 1961 film ‘Jai Chittor’? The raw energy of Bharat Vyyas’s inspiring lyrics, captured so emphatically in S.N. Tripathi’s composition have long remains Modi’s favourite – “तेरे कंधों पे आज भार है मेवाड़ का, करना पड़ेगा तुझे सामना पहाड़ का….हल्दीघाटी नहीं है काम कोई खिलवाड़ का, देना जवाब वहाँ शेरों के दहाड़ का …
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