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Narendra Modi: The statesman with a dream for India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has turned into a statesman who defined India's place in the world politics of the new era. On Prime Minister Modi's 72nd birthday, Professor S Balarama Kaimal reflects upon his persona and vision. 

Blog Narendra Modi: The statesman with a dream for India
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First Published Sep 17, 2022, 5:48 PM IST

Today is Vishwakarma Jayanti. Vishwakarma Jayanti is celebrated on the day of Kanya Sankranti when the Sun transits from Leo to Virgo. Vishwakarma is the architect of the world. Today, the 17th day of September and day one of the Kanni month of Malayalam Era, is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 72nd birthday.

Prime Minister Modi's mandate is to rebuild the millenarian legacy of India as a modern-day power and construct a powerful, vigorous and purposeful New India. A progenitor, who made it his life's vow to rebuild India -- a land of Devas (Gods) -- was born on the birth anniversary of Vishwakarma, the creator of the 'Devalokas' (God's abode).

Did Modi ever aim to become the Prime Minister of India? He said during a discussion with the school children that he did not. But, I like to believe that he had that ambition. Because nothing else, a vision where one sets a goal, moves towards it step by step, and then achieves it is a model for any human being. What practice our young people lack is the practice of setting goals and achieving them. The true reason behind the lack of development of our country is the absence of this practice. The fact is that planning is not a topic of teaching in our school curriculum. America's success is that planning is right there in their primary schools. 

Have you ever thought how a brick is connected to a full building? In Sanskrit, it is called 'Ishti' and 'Samashti'. 'Ishti' means brick and 'Samashti' is building. Although the building looks like a single structure, it is made up of thousands of bricks. Two things are important when making a good building using bricks. First, those bricks must be properly stacked, set and secured. Second, each brick should be fit for its position and free from defects. Community building and nation-building are like this. The society and the country will be constructed so that each person in the society is placed in the appropriate place according to his abilities, just as the bricks are placed in their respective places. Every citizen who is the building block of the nation must, therefore, himself or herself prepare for nation-building. Each member of society has to prepare himself/ herself for societal construction. 

Getting education is part of that. Along with it, it is important to set the goal in mind and work tirelessly to achieve it. Every citizen who is a brick in the body of the nation must realize what his mission is and prepare for it.  Modi's formative period was nothing but, preparing himself to become the best brick. 

As a politician, as a deputized person in constitutional positions, Modi has done that. That's not just saying. Modi's social life began at the age of eight as a child volunteer in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He started his political career in 1971. He first took part in a satyagraha and then became part of the Jan Sangh demanding the liberation of Bangladesh. He got jailed on account of this agitation. Thus started his political career. 

Following this, in 1975, Emergency was declared and he became part of anti-emergency protests. In 1980, Jan Sangh became BJP. Between 1975 and 2000, Narendra Modi traveled all over India. It was then he became familiar with most places, including the villages of Kerala. In light of this wealth of experience he could become part of organizing two major political movements that have greatly increased the popularity and political strength of BJP -- one was Lal Krishna Advani's Rath Yatra during Ayodhya agitation and the other was Murali Manohar Joshi's Ekta Yatra. 

From the wealth of experience of knowing the people closely, he not only understands the mentality of the common voters but also the thoughts and changes of the youth of India. How can someone who does not embrace the youth be the political spearhead of India's digital revolution? He can dictate to the Indian youth what they need tomorrow. 

Narendra Modi is the third of six children born to Moolchand Modi, who ran a tea business in a grocer's family, and Heeraben. Modi also ran a tea business as a child with his brother. Remember, Modi was born into a background that claimed no political heritage. He was not privileged in politics by birth and had no political godfathers in his family or relatives. Not only is he now the Prime Minister of India, but he is also the most powerful and popular political leader of present India. 

Beyond that, he is the head of state of the highest stardom in the world now. Modi's position as a national leader also tops in global ratings. A head of state whom Russia and the US, both want to please and appease. He has turned into a statesman who defined India's place in the world politics of the new era. These are the achievements of a mere tea seller's son from Gujarat.

As the US and Russia look keenly at the take of that tea shop boy on global matters many other countries are waiting to support those decisions. The once tea shop boy now dreams of making India the greatest world power. He talks about making India a five trillion dollar economy and strives for it. He wants the world to become India-centric. 

He not only speaks about 'Make in India', but also about 'Making for the World'. The place he is now at is not the culmination of what he aims for but only a point on the path towards the goal. Today, on a daily basis, we see him implementing each of the goals he set yesterday. 

For whom should such a life not be a model? Have we forgotten what APJ Abdul Kalam said; that we should dream and make them come true? If not, is Narendra Modi not the person we should see as the best example of bringing ideas into action?

To sum up, the position Modi has created for India in world politics, I would like to say this. If Shashi Tharoor was contesting for the post of Secretary General in today's Modi era, but he would not have had to see another person taking over the highest United Nations position.

The author is professor in the Department of Biochemistry in the Saveetha Medical College & Hospital in Chennai. Views expressed are personal.

Also Read: Narendra Modi: The Creative Disruptor

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