Narendra Modi’s birthday today: 66 eventful years turning adversity into opportunity
Despite having to fight criticism on issues of minority rights and anti-secularism, Narendra Modi continues to direct his efforts towards building the image of an economically progressing India.
It was a historic year for India when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the parliamentary polls with a clear majority in 2014. The only phrase that could be heard echoing from every corner of the country was “ab ki baar Modi sarkar”. The 2014 elections did not just mark the victory of the BJP, it was the moment that made Narendra Modi a national hero. Now he is a statesman of international repute and visibility.
Born in 1950 to a family of the low Ghanchi caste in Vadnagar, Gujarat, Modi was the third among four children in his family. His rise from the status of a tea seller’s son to that of Prime Minister has been phenomenal. Modi’s father ran a tea shop at the Vadnagar railway station, where he would help sell tea during the mornings and attend school in the evenings.
Modi’s first interaction with politics happened at the age of six when he came into contact with a Congressman by the name of Rasikbhai Dave. Mid 1950s was the time when Gujarat was agitating for separation from the Bombay state. Modi acquired pro-Gujarat badges from Dave and distributed them among his school friends, his way of contributing towards making his own state.
In 1958, at the age of eight, Modi joined the youth group of the RSS shakha in Vadnagar. At that moment though, he hardly had any insight of the organisation’s ideologies. It was more of a youth club for him to attend after school. However, he did appreciate the citing of various Gods and Goddesses in the activities of the shakha. In a way, the RSS youth club provided him with an outlet to do something exceptional.