I want to run the government professionally: Narendra Modi

Published By : Admin | April 17, 2014 | 17:17 IST

Excerpts of Shri Narendra Modi’s interview to ANI

Q: How close are you the magic number of 272 seats?

First of all we might address more than 180 rallies as I have been campaigning all across the country. BJP nominated me as its prime ministerial candidate on 13th September. When I addressed a rally in rewari of ex-servicemen, since then I have addressed more than 360 rallies. After the announcement of elections, maybe 180-190 rallies. I have used new technology/3D technology I try to reach the people.

If there is no technical fault, then I might address more than 1000 3d meets.

In a democracy, elections are a way of teaching parliamentary education.  All political parties and leaders should reach out to the people. This is my aim and that is what I am working on. As far as the result of the elections are concerned, I have worked as a backroom boy for all these years and I am used to work for the party organisation. Election preparation and strategy and all the intricacies, it’s today that my role has changed and I am seen public more. That is why I never see an election as an aggregation of numbers.

According to performance of the Congress party in the last ten years, in the history of the Congress party, this will be probably be their worst performance, and it will be historically be the best performance for the NDA and the BJP.  One of our best performances.

Q: Why did you choose Varanasi? Is it because it leads to Delhi via UP?

A:  It was not my decision whether to fight the LS polls, where to fight from and from how many constituencies I will fight from.  It is done by the BJP, Central election committee and parliamentary board. Since I am a worker of the party, I do as I am told.

Q: Since you are fighting from 2 constituencies, which constituency would you be more loyal too and which one will you give up?

A: Firstly my loyalty lies with 125 crore people of this country and in any part of world, if anybody does some good to you, then you always feel like returning that favour. For example if someone even offers you water, you always feel like repaying back the generosity shown. These are my principles.

Q: So you have paid the debt of the Gujarat and its people. Will you leave Vadodara?

A: Leaving and selecting will decide on the mood of the people and the strategy of my party. After winning I belong to everybody and I will work for everybody. That is my nature.

Q: Who will you handover Gujarat to when you move to Delhi? You haven t zeroed in as of yet

A: There will some worker of the BJP (who will be the CM if Modi becomes PM)  As of yet Modi cannot do it since BJP is the organisation. There are elected leader, election committee, parliamentary board and central leadership. Everybody will decide together.

Q: I was in Varanasi a few weeks ago over there...there is a perception that Muslims fear that Hindutva agenda would forced upon them? Are their fears justified?

A: I am not going to Banaras to defeat anybody, it is not my aim. I m going there to win hearts of the people. Whenever they will meet me in person and not through media or my opponents, then I am sure they will love which they haven’t to any political leader.

Q: But your opponent Kejriwal has already reached there, He says he is an anarchist? He is attacking you directly. What will be your strategy?

A: I don’t know any strategist who divulges his details on TV

Q: In UP, the local leadership is pretty upset about ticket distribution, leaders like M M Joshi and Lalji Tandon, which they say might affect at least ten seats? So you think there is any mistake?

A: This issue is an old one, has been debated enough. Analysis that winning these seats is difficult is incorrect. This information is wrong as well as the analysis.

Q: So you are confident that this is not going to affect you?

A: Not just UP, the whole country will not be affected.

Q: The reason for Modi wave is sidelining of the old guard and emergence of aggressive new guard.

A: I don’t understand the term ‘Guard’. You find them in train bogies.   All my leaders are like the engine of the train.

Q: Leaders like Advani and MM joshi being guides in the party, and main job is being takeover by the 2nd generation

A: There is nothing such as takeover. Guidance is still with the experience leaders and they are guiding us.

Q: There is no Modi wave in Southern India like in the northern part, is this because of a mistake in the pre poll alliance

A: There is a long perception process in our country. There is a wrong perception in our country and I want political pundits and mediaperson to come out of this thought process. During Jansangh days, it was said that the BJP only belongs to Baniya-Brahmin. Sometimes it was said that it was the party of the cow belt or Hindi belt. Sometimes it was said that it belongs to urban India. All this thinking belongs to people who refuse to read new material and continue to dig into this.

If you look at the analysis, Gujarat is not a Hindi speaking state but still we are in power for the last 25 years. Same can be said about Goa and Karnataka. We were a part of the coalition govt. in Odisha. Same ways we were a partner in the govts in Tamil Nadu, Andhra and J-K.

So there is a perception and not the reality. Today, the BJP belongs to the rural people, farmers, backwards, north-south-east-west, on every crossing of the country. In these elections also we are performing on every front. Thirdly, earlier BJP was considered as untouchable party where only RSS and Shiv Sena were considered the allies. But for the first time there has been a party that has forged a prepoll alliance with 25 parties. It is unprecedented.

Q: Why not forge an alliance with Jayalalithaa, instead of indulging in delivering bitter remarks to each other? She was there in your swearing in ceremony. Both of you were considered close to each other. This looks like a fixed match.

A: Firstly, there has been no bitter criticism. In Democracy everybody has a right to put forth their views in their own language. BJP and all other parties have this right.

Q: You had good relations with Jayalalithaa and considering yesterday speeches, you both were taking potshots at each other. How did this happen?

A: In politics, I don’t believe an inch in untouchability.  No matter how much political enmity exists but on personal level friendship is considered , this is the beauty of our democracy. There can be views and opinions, there can be differences. You must have seen Sharad Pawar, who had bitterly criticized me, and even I had indulged in the same on political platform, but personally we share good terms, which both of us acknowledge.  Even with Jayalalithaa it’s the same thing. Even in Congress, there are many leaders with whom I share good terms. There is nothing such as enmity. There is competition and there is an ideological revolution. Therefore, politics of untouchability never empowers the democracy.

Q: While campaigning Rahul has alleged that state machinery was being used for snooping on a woman?

A: If you look at the records of crime against women, out of the first the ten states in the country where the rate is highest, seven are being ruled by Congress governments. And three are partner states of UPA.

Not even one of them belongs to BJP in that list of first ten states and also no state belong to a BJP ally.  This is very satisfying and pleasing record of BJP when it comes to crimes against women.

In our country, crime against women is not limited to any one family or individual. It is a matter of shame for entire humanity. It is affecting the image of India in the whole world. That is why like a county, a part of human society and government we should try to be more sensitive towards the issue. If there is Modi government then it too, should be sensitive to this issue. This issue should be kept away from political bickering. Women dignity should be our priority. I should not abuse congress on this issue nor Rahul Gandhi. I think we will keep on doing our politics but it will be our mother and sisters who will continue to suffer and be insulted. For God’s sake I appeal to everybody. Recently Mulayam Singh too said something and then there was Nirbhaya case going on in Delhi. Media asked me repeatedly, but I maintained that my priority is just woman dignity. Me blaming other political parties I forget that I am hurting women dignity. That is why I ensure that my thinking is apolitical on this issue. It should be apolitical.

Q. As far as we talk about political bickering, it has become standard for political parties who often issue wrong statements or language. Will there be some score settling if your party comes to power?

As far as Narendra Modi is concerned you can see my track record of last 14 years in Gujarat. People don’t choose me for score settling or to do some wrong to a particular leader. The priority of the government is ensuring maximum welfare of the people. If we indulge in political score settling then we will never be able to do any good work for the people. There is no negativity inside me. I keep working like a crazy person for positive work.

Q. You have said that those people who have done some wrong will be put behind bars.

A. In our country, criminalisation of politics is a grave issue. And this concern is shared by every citizen of the country. It should be the concern of every party and all the leaders. In the beginning the leadership that emerged was from the revolution for Independence. Then it came from social welfare. Then it went towards casteism. Slowly and slowly leadership started emerging through gunpoint. This was a big deterioration which is of grave concern. Earlier political parties use to seek help of criminals to for gains. But then criminals felt that why shouldn’t they themselves do this? So this was the situation which started developing. Even if this was in small percentages like 2 percent or 5 percent, it was an issue of concern.

Q: Now what is the solution for this?

A: One solution is that political parties feel determined and don’t give tickets to such leaders. But this situation hasn’t arrived as of now. So should we let it continue like this? I have made up my mind that this time the MLAs or MPs who have been elected, to whichever party they belong, even if they belong to BJP. If they have criminal charges against them, then I would request the SC to arrange special courts for them and all these criminals’ cases be disposed off within a year. So that if a person is convicted, and his seat is vacated then a person of non criminal background can takeover. In this way the criminal layer in politics would be erased.

Q. Would you try to bring political consensus on this issue in the parliament?

A. Every party raises this issue, but nobody actually takes an initiative. I want to do this and I think this is the best way but I am open to other good ideas. This should not be taken in a political context to put someone in jail but the real issue is that if Modi has 4 FIRs on his name then he should be tried within a year. This is what I am saying, there is nothing vindictive. It’s not that we will start a new CBI inquiry or dig out files of certain leaders. I don’t want to commit this sin.

I want the credibility of the Indian institutions and the respect of the constitutional organization to be increased. If the country stands on multiple pillars of constitutional institutions then it will emerge stronger.

Q: Sanjay Baru’s Book. Will you investigate how files from the PMO went outside? Will you constitute any committee just like there was NAC in the UPA?

A:  I don’t take a vindictive approach towards anything. If the people will give me time, then that will be limited to 60 months. In these 60 months, I will rather make a new garden than wipe out other people's garbage.  I don’t want to waste my time in such things and have greater things to do. I will invest my time and energy in doing something constructive.

Q: The Congress has alleged that there are certain big businessmen behind your emergence and they talk about you benefitting Adani and Ambani when you come to power? People think one type of crony capitalism will go and a new one will emerge?  Will sweet heart deals be given to such businessmen?

A: To be specific, the per capita income of Gujarat is higher than that of India as a whole. In India, 57 percent of the total employment was generated from Gujarat. Now who benefitted? It was the poor. Earlier there was 2 percent agriculture growth in my state but in the last ten years it has grown to 10 percent.  It was the farmer who has benefitted. There was no tourism in Gujarat, but today the growth in tourism in Gujarat is much higher than that of national average. Who benefitted? It was the chaiwallahs, auto drivers, handicraft workers etc. So there was growth for everybody and this is what that should happen. Not only these small scale industries. You will be pleased to know that at least 80 percent of growth in small scale industries in India happened in Gujarat. So people who accuse me have nothing new to say.

Secondly, how come the government in Delhi who says that I have done wrong in Gujarat is not able to investigate their charges properly? Therefore, such a government should not continue who have so much to accuse me of in its speeches but has nothing to take action on. Such a non performing government should not continue even for a minute.

Q: They also say that you are very good in marketing yourself and that you have spent 10000 crore on elections.

A:  They talk about the figures which they dream about while sleeping. I have requested Anand Sharma, who made these allegations, to conduct an inquiry into these allegations, as the present government still has 25 days. Is it not there duty to unearth the truth? Therefore it is my appeal and all those who have leveled charges against me should investigate them.

Election commission has constituted observers for electoral expenses in every constituency. The ECI is scrutinizing everything. Still, I ask the Congress leaders to submit all their evidences with the ECI and there should be a strict investigation into this. Secondly, shouldn’t there be a good campaign in the country? I am surprised. I have the power to visit 500-600 zilas of the country, then is it crime? You should also go. In a democracy, you have a responsibility. It different thing that they don’t go.

Q:  Their allegation pertains to that “Advertisement is good but doubts are there about the product”

A: By marketing they mean Gujarat. Marketing is considered an important aspect in all over the world. But if I say that I have made a good road here and advertises it nicely, but to people the road will be visible. They don’t know about marketing. I say that I have given water to people, then it won’t reach through marketing. They will only believe after they get it.

The people of Gujarat agreed with us in 2002, 2007 and again in 2012. For the last 15 years, the whole Gujarat only believes in what it feels and what people has seen through their eyes. They don’t agree to marketing. Maybe the people living in Assam, Tamil Nadu or any other state might get confused because of marketing but the people of Gujarat will actually ask about the work. Therefore the performance of the Modi government has been weighed on the grounds of truth and has been passed with distinction marks.

Q: Why did you maintain a silence on Gujarat riot till you was cleared by the SIT?

A: Since 27 February 2002, the compilation of all the interviews and press conferences should be presented before the country. There was no top journalist to whom I hadn’t given an interview.  I answered all the questions of every newspaper of this country. I have been giving answers to these questions from 2002 to 2007. I later realized that this is not an effort to know the whole truth. This is some unknown world which is actually conspiring. Then I thought that I have said enough. The court of the public has acquitted me. Same happened in Supreme Court also.

I have gone through all the mediums through which you actually test a person. Therefore, I think the people, who are still stuck, will keep on doing what they are doing. But I don’t have to waste my time anymore. I have so much to do for the people of this country. So I have focused myself on this work only.

Q: They also raise question regarding the validity of the SIT report in High Court?

A: I have given all the answers.  I have even written a blog on this. Just study my interviews from 2002 to 2007. Everything is available on YouTube.  Why mislead the country and yourself? I am accountable and the people of this country have a right to ask for an account of every moment. They have a right to ask for an account of my views and opinions. I am committed to democracy. I am not a son of a rich person or the Prime Minister. I am just a common person and am answerable to the people. Even a kid has a right to ask for an account from Modi. But, it is also responsibility to study the answers the person is giving.

Q: Because of 2002 Gujarat riots, you had a complicated relationship with the media?

A: It is a very lovely relation. If the media had not worked hard to defame Modi, then who would have known Modi today?

Q: Even your supporters allege that the media is defaming Modi?

A; I view it differently. I respect the media very much and in a democracy it is the job of the media to criticize. If it does not happen then it will be very costly for the country. Therefore I pray that the media should become even stronger and should criticize more as it will benefit the country. But the problem is not the media. It is the news traders which is the problem today. Media and news traders are two different things. News traders have vested interests. They have sponsors. The country has to be made aware about the real media and news traders. Improvement cannot be done without criticism. It is impossible. Does Modi not have any shortcomings or faults? Does he not have negatives? Who will tell that? The media should point out that.

Q: Are you open to change or suggestion?

A: Yes, yes. I have a system in Gujarat.  Suppose, there is a news report about manhole in some village, then I take that very seriously. I give importance to it. If there any negative news about anything, then I don’t feel bad about it. I immediately direct it to my office and ask for an explanation. Therefore it is a source of information for me.

Q: Kejriwal has alleged that if Modi government comes to power, then all the editors will not be spared.

A: My government in Gujarat has been there for 14 years, how many editors are victimized? Here not even a reporter was victimized.

Q: Your puppy analogy was severely criticized. Looking back, do you think you should not have said that?

A: Again it was the news traders who made an issue out of this interview. The person who took my interview had tweeted that Modi had not meant what has been made out of interview. He was a foreigner. Secondly, those who know India’s language and sentiment will be able to understand it better. Both the language and the sentiment are important. If we say that even if an ant dies, we feel pain, then it does not mean that we are comparing an ant with a person who died. Now it is the problem of those news traders.

Q: Media has many questions regarding 2002. One is regarding an apology and regret.

A: If I had lost the assembly elections in 2002 and in 2007, then nobody would have asked this question.  There is certain group of people who think that despite of all their vicious campaign and attacks on Modi, why he hasn’t lost the elections. It is their obstinacy that they will show ground to Modi. Secondly, I am convinced that even if there is one percent truth in their allegations, then for the sake of India’s prosperous future and traditions Modi should be hanged in the middle of a street. Such a condition should be made of him that nobody can commit this sin ever again for the next 100 years. If you have committed a sin, then what is this that you ask for forgiveness for it? It is absolutely wrong.  Modi should never be forgiven. Modi should be thoroughly investigated through all the legal systems, and should be hanged to death if there is even an inch of fault is pointed out.

Q: Secondly you haven’t worn the traditional skull cap of the Muslim community?

A: My mind is defined that I will respect my traditions. I honor the traditions of everybody. Secondly, everybody knows that Gandhi never had to wear any cap. Same can be said about Nehru and Sardar Patel. It is in the last two decades that this has taken a political color. I am against appeasement politics. I will never follow the symbols of appeasement politics. Yes, I will ensure punishment for anybody, who plays with Muslim’s skull cap.  The government has to ensure that their cap is respected.  Nobody can compel me to wear a cap for a photo op.

Did Sonia Gandhi wear a cap? With all love I had accepted their traditional cloth.

Q: Let’s talk about foreign policy. It has been reported in media that the Modi government. If voted to power, will have a muscular foreign policy?

A: Firstly, a person who has never spoken or done anything, is it not a sin to make presumptive allegations. Is it not wrong to make such presumptions? Secondly, we are the people who consider the world a family. Times have changed now. We are not living in 18th or 19th century. We are living 21st century.  Days of showing eyes to others are gone. It is the time to make eye contact. We should have an eye contact business with everybody.  Neither should we let our eyes down nor should show it to anybody.

Q: You have an issue with America over your visa?

A: A country does not work according to a preference of a certain individual. What happened with Modi does not affect the policies of the country. India’s policy should be according to its traditions. It should be according to the legacy left behind by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. A country does not run if we keep on bickering over past sayings. It is run while looking at the future. Therefore whatever is in interest of India then that should be done.

Q: You talked about Atalji. His government was giving mixed signals regarding  Pakistan. Even you have delivered some anti-Pakistan speeches? What is the view of the BJP about Pakistan?

A: Firstly, whether it is BJP or any other part, their approach should such that upholds the supremacy of India’s interests. There should not be any compromise on this. Secondly, it is always better to keep good relations with other and then move forward. The path of struggle is not at all beneficial to anybody. Therefore we were strong for struggle but we want to live with respect, and should also uphold the dignity of others. This should be our system.

Q: What is Modi’s vision about India’s relation with China?

A:  There should not be any compromise on India’s interest. We should have look at each other eye to eye not lower our eyes.  Neither should we let our eyes down nor should show it to anybody.

Q: In BJP manifesto, it has been mentioned that there will be a relook at ‘No first use Policy’. It signals that Modi government might go for weaponisation instead of disarmament. Will we still maintain our commitment to disarmament?

A: Firstly, it is the land of Buddha and Mahavir. It is the land of Gandhi, and therefore we don’t speak in such way just because we have a political agenda. It is the country which speaks not a political party. We want the world to be free of its struggle. We want it to be free of its race for weapons. And this is not a political agenda. It is a part of India’s legacy and every political party has accepted it. Therefore there is no dilemma in our minds.

It is our necessity to be powerful. But it should not be used to crush another country. Power is for our defense. ‘No first use’ is a very good initiative of Atalji and there is no compromise on this. We are very clear on this.  It is a part of our legacy.

Q: In Sanjay Baru in his book has claimed that 24 hours before the budget was presented, Pranab Mukherjee informed Dr. Singh about the retrospective tax being included in the Budget. It leads to withdrawal of FDI from the country. If your government comes to power, what steps will be taken to bring back confidence in the Indian market?

A: Anywhere in the world, even in Gujarat, if changes things retrospectively, then nobody will have confidence. Breach of trust is the biggest problem which should never happen.  Therefore we are committed to this. But for the future there should be open policies. People will decide that this is our policy and the country will work accordingly. Those who want to come will come and to those our policies are not suited will not come. But if we make policies and accordingly we invite someone, and then suddenly we change it. So the trust does not form there. It does not even form in personal lives, how come it will form in context of a country. Therefore, there is a problem of breach of trust problem in our country. It is not that other countries hate India, they want to invest here. But there are constant ups and downs in the policies of the government. This is has caused them (investors) a dilemma. If we are able to stabilize this confidence will surely build up.

Q: You have backed the demand for strong federal structure and decentralization, but if you will become the PM, what would you do- decentralization or centralization?

A: I was successful as the Chief Minister of Gujarat because I have no power in Gujarat. Everything is decentralized, and my strength lies in team formation. I feel the federal structure should be implemented in letter and spirit with lubricating attitude. A chief Minister and a Prime Minister should work in a team. State and centre are colleagues and not competitors. There should be cooperative politics and cooperative agenda. There should be the approach.

What happened with the Congress is that earlier everything was with them only so they never understood this.  Afterwards they felt threatened by states, so they started attacking through Article 365. After that they thought of defection and brought destabilization. So the way they have victimized the states created lack of confidence. Today states do not trust the centre and vice versa. This should not happen in a country like India. It is my wish to fill the void created by the Congress in the Centre-state relationship. The whole country should work like a team. Every state has its own power

Q: You have sought a debate on Article 370. Farooq Abdullah has demanded that there should be a debate on Kashmir’s accession to India also? Is the BJP government ready for this debate?

A: For a democracy, having a debate is not bad. Rahul has repeatedly claimed that that his party has brought the RTI act but is it applicable in Kashmir? There is reservation for OBCs and right to education, but are they applicable in Kashmir? If Kashmir is not getting benefit from these acts and remains a backward state, then is it good for our country? Therefore the progress in Kashmir should be exactly like it is happening in other states. We have to take everybody onboard.

Now even the people of Kashmir are getting aware about where there is benefit for them.

Q: If you become the PM, then will you raise the issue of POK with Pakistan?

A: Firstly this issue is not of the BJP or Atalji. The Parliament has passed with majority a proposal. Such a proposal cannot be overlooked by any political party. So the issue is not about Atalji or the BJP, it is related to the parliament of India and nothing is bigger than this.

Q: You have taken three different pledges in your manifesto?

A: It is not the first time I have said this publicly in 2002, again in 2007 and in 2012 also. I had said that whatever I day after the election, then I will ask the same question again in next election. I ask whether I have fulfilled whatever I had promised or not. I say that you have given me a post and it is not for enjoyment. I will work hard and will not let you down. This I have been saying since 2002. Secondly I say, that I am not for myself, I work for the people. Thirdly, I say that while working I might make mistakes, but I never do anything with wrong mind. This is what I have said in all these elections.  This is my direct communication with the people.

Q: Amit Shah made some remarks but he has your blessing?

A: In the BJP, there is no culture of maintaining favorites. This perception which is being created is injustice to me as well as to Amit Shah. Whatever he is today is on the basis of merit and the structural organization of BJP. To say he is a Modi favorite would be to undermine his excellence. Secondly the concerned issue, on which the debate has risen, has already been answered by Amit Shah to the election commission. I haven’t heard his whole speech since I keep touring but according to the information I have got, he was referring to democratic processes only. He was talking about election procedure and hasn’t used any words which can be questioned. This is what I have heard. The matter is with EC. Let’s wait for its judgment.

Q. Rajnath Singh keeps saying that Modi is BJP and BJP is Modi which sounds similar to D.K Barooah’s ‘Indira’ is India, India is Indira’

A. Both have a lot of difference, I feel. The wave is a wave of aspirations of the people of India, wave of hard work of lakhs of workers of BJP. This wave is of mental strength, capacity of top BJP leaders. It is a wave for change. It belongs to lotus and BJP and I am just a small soldier of the party.

Q. How do you stimulate your social media team?

A: Firstly, the social media should not be viewed in political paradigm. The people of the country are still not understanding that it is a very big canvas. Today, I know so many people like farmers who can decide where to sell their yield. It has offered a wide range of communication facility. He can get access to markets in different states through social media.

Secondly, I used to watch programmes where kids used to perform on stage. I felt there is so much talent in this country. And then I also come across the creativity of the youth on social media. I feel that every leader of this country, sportsperson, mediaperson should learn from this platform. I have taken   social media as a source of information. I have used it as a highway to connect to the people, which have added to my strength. I have not used it to disseminate my views but to grab the views of the masses.

Q: How do you take criticism of the opposition which is centre on you?

A: I used to feel upset about it and I am not a very social person who has friends etc. When there is no work, I stay alone. I believe in God. I have recently released a book ‘Sakshi Bhav’. It discloses some important aspects of my life. It has been written by me even before I started my political career. At that time I used to write letters to Goddess of which many were destroyed. But some of them which were left from the 80’s have been compiled into a book. This will give an insight into Modi’s inner self.

I have taken 125 crore people as my confidantes. No individual is more special to me. But never take criticism in a negative manner. I analyze it and try to use it for my benefit.

Slowly I started understanding that it was a professional hazard and that I have to live with it and bear it. So, I chose to use it as my strength. I don’t have any bad feeling about anybody even after what all happened. I might have said something’s about Rahul, Sonia, Manmohan and Nitish but it was just under election fever.

Q: What wail be your priority in first 100 days after coming to power?

A: I want to run the government professionally. Secondly, the biggest crisis in the country is lack of trust, crisis of stagnancy, where we need to give some momentum. If we start all this everything will fall into place.


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Ahead of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, PM Modi tells Moneycontrol about his vision for India’s role in a world riven by geopolitical uncertainties, the need for credible global institutions and dangers from financially irresponsible policies. He said, "India’s growth is not only good for Indians but also for the world. India’s growth is clean and green growth. India’s growth is being achieved with a human-centric approach that can be replicated in other countries too."

Q: What was your vision for G20 in India when the Presidency moved to us?

A: If you see our motto for the G20, it is ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth One Family One Future’. This captures our outlook towards the G20 Presidency aptly. For us, the whole planet is like one family. In any family, each member’s future is deeply connected with that of every other member. So, when we work together, we progress together, leaving none behind.

Further, it is well known that we have followed the approach of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas in our country over the last 9 years. It has yielded great dividends in bringing the country together to pursue progress and deliver the fruits of growth to the last mile. Today, there is international recognition for the success of this model, too.

This is our guiding principle in global relations as well.

Sabka Saath – bringing the world together to face collective challenges that affect all of us.

Sabka Vikas – taking human-centric growth to every country and every region.

Sabka Vishwas – winning the trust of every stakeholder through recognition of their aspirations and representation of their voices.

Sabka Prayas – utilising every country’s unique strength and skill in furthering the global good.

Q: You will be hosting world leaders during a time of war and great geopolitical uncertainty. The international order has not been as unstable as this since the Second World War. Amid such a situation, the theme of the G20 summit is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or One World, One Family, One Future. How are the presidents and prime ministers you meet responding to your call for Vasudaiva Kutumbakam and a human-centred approach to solving international problems?

A: To answer this question, it is important for me to speak a little bit about the backdrop in which India became the G20 President. As you said, a pandemic followed by conflict situations posed a lot of questions to the world about existing development models. It also pushed the world into an era of uncertainty and instability.

Over the last many years, the world has been keenly watching India’s growth across many sectors. Our economic reforms, banking reforms, capacity building in the social sector, work on financial and digital inclusion, the pursuit of saturation in basic necessities such as sanitation, electricity and housing, and unprecedented investment in infrastructure have been hailed by international organisations and domain experts. Global investors also showed their confidence in India by creating records in FDI year after year.

So, when the pandemic struck, there was curiosity about how India would fare. We fought the pandemic with a clear and coordinated approach. We took care of the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Our digital public infrastructure helped us reach them directly with welfare assistance throughout. The world’s largest vaccine drive provided 200 crore doses free. We also shipped vaccines and medicines to over 150 countries. It was recognised that our human-centric vision of progress had worked pre-pandemic, during the pandemic and after it. At the same time, our economy was a global bright spot for a long time and continued to be so even when the world was facing the multi-dimensional impact of a conflict.

Meanwhile, over the last 9 years, the world has also witnessed that India was willing to bring various countries together through various initiatives such as the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, among others. Therefore, there was a widespread acknowledgement of India's words, work and vision as both inclusive and effective, nationally and internationally. At such a time when global trust in our country’s capabilities was at unprecedented levels, we became the G20 President.

So, when we laid out our agenda for the G20, it was welcomed universally, because everyone knew that we would bring our proactive and positive approach to help find solutions for global issues. As the G20 President, we are also launching a bio-fuel alliance that will help countries meet their energy needs while also empowering a planet-friendly circular economy.

When global leaders meet me, they are filled with a sense of optimism about India due to the efforts of 140 crore Indians across various sectors. They are also convinced that India has a lot to offer and must play a larger role in shaping the global future. This has also been witnessed in their support for our work through the G20 platform.

Q: You have described India’s Presidency of the G20 as the People’s Presidency. Instead of confining it to one or two cities, G20 events have been hosted across the country. What made you decide about the novel idea of democratising G20?

A: Many people are aware of my life after I became Chief Minister of Gujarat. But for many decades before that, I had played organisational roles, both in apolitical and political setups. As a result, I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit and stay in almost every district of our country. For a naturally inquisitive person like me, learning about different regions, the people, unique cultures and cuisines, and their challenges, among other aspects, was a tremendous educative experience. Even as I marvelled at the diversity of our vast nation, there was one common thing that I observed across the country. People of every region and every section of society had a ‘can do’ spirit. They took on challenges with great resourcefulness and skill. They had great self-belief even amidst adversity. All they needed was a platform that empowered them.

Historically, in the circles of power, there was a certain reluctance to think beyond Delhi, particularly Vigyan Bhavan, for hosting national and international meets. This may have been due to convenience or lack of confidence in the people.

Further, we have also seen how even the visits of foreign leaders would be restricted to mainly the national capital or a couple of other places.Having witnessed the capabilities of the people and the wonderful diversity of our country, I developed a different perspective. So, our government has worked on changing the approach since day one.

I have hosted several engagements with global leaders around the country.

Let me quote a few examples. The then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel was hosted in Bengaluru. French President Emmanuel Macron and the then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Varanasi. Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was hosted in Goa and Mumbai. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Shantiniketan. The then-French President Francois Hollande visited Chandigarh.

Many global meets have also been held in different places outside Delhi. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit was held in Hyderabad. India hosted the BRICS Summit in Goa and the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Corporation Summit in Jaipur. I can go on quoting examples, but the pattern that you can observe here is that this is a great change from the prevailing approach.

Another point to note here is that many of the examples I have quoted are of states that had non-NDA governments at the time. This is also a testament to our firm belief in cooperative federalism and bipartisanship when it comes to national interest.

This is the same spirit that you can see in our G20 Presidency too.

By the end of our G20 Presidency, there will have been over 220 meetings in 60 cities across all 28 states and 8 union territories. More than 1 lakh participants from approximately 125 nationalities will have visited India. Over 1.5 crore individuals in our country have been involved in these programmes or have been exposed to various aspects of them. Holding meetings of such scale and hosting foreign delegates is an endeavour that calls for great capacity building in terms of infrastructure, logistics, communication skills, hospitality and cultural activities, among others. Our democratisation of the G20 Presidency is our investment in the capacity building of the people, especially youth, of various cities across the country. Further, this is yet another example of our motto of Jan Bhagidari – we believe people’s participation is the most important factor in the success of any initiative.

Q: The G20 was set up in 1999 in response to the Asian financial crisis. While a number of international institutions that were established after the Second World War no longer seem fit for purpose, do you think that G20 has been able to fulfil its mandate?

A: I think it would not be right on my part, with India being the President of the G20 right now, to do an evaluation of the G20’s journey over the years.

But I think it is a good question which needs a larger exercise to arrive at the answer. Soon, the G20 will be nearing 25 years of establishment. Such a milestone is a good opportunity to evaluate what objectives the G20 set out with and how far it has been able to achieve them. Such introspection is a necessity for every institution. It would have been wonderful if the UN had undertaken such an exercise when it turned 75 years old.

Coming back to the G20, it would also be a good idea to seek the views of nations outside the G20, especially from the Global South, when it reaches the milestone of 25 years. Such inputs would be very valuable to chart the future course for the next 25 years.

I would like to mention that there are many countries, academic institutions, financial institutions and civil society organisations that continuously interact with the G20, provide ideas and inputs, and also convey expectations. Expectations are built only where there is a track record of delivery and there is trust that something will be accomplished.

India, too, has been active in this forum even before becoming G20 President. From terrorism to black money, from supply chain resilience to climate-conscious growth, we have made important contributions to the evolving discussions and actions over the years. There have also been appreciable developments in global cooperation on these issues after they were raised at G20. Of course, there is always scope for improvement, such as greater involvement of the Global South, and a bigger role for Africa, amongst others. These are the areas that India is working on, during its G20 Presidency.

Q: On one side, there is a lot of talk about the bifurcation of the global order, with blocs led by the United States and China. But on the other side, India has been advocating for a multipolar world and a multipolar Asia. How do you think India is reconciling competing and even divergent interests among G20 nations?

A: We live in a highly interconnected and interdependent world. The impact of technology transcends boundaries and borders.

At the same time, it is also a reality that every country has its own interests. So, a continuous effort to create a consensus on common goals is important. Different forums and platforms for dialogue are the place for this.

The new world order is multipolar. Every country agrees with another country on a few issues and disagrees on others. Having accepted this reality, a way forward is worked out based on their own national interests. India is also doing the same. We have close relations with many different countries, some of which find themselves on different sides on certain issues. But one common factor is both such countries have strong ties with India.

Today, the pressure on natural resources and infrastructure is increasing. At such a time, it is vital that the world strongly stands against the ‘might is right’ culture. It must be recognised that shared prosperity through optimum utilisation of resources is the only way ahead.

In such a context, India has a resource that is perhaps more important than any other kind of resource – human capital which is skilled and talented. Our demography, especially the fact that we are home to the largest population of youth in the world, makes us extremely relevant for the planet’s future. It also gives nations of the world a strong reason to partner with us in the pursuit of progress. In maintaining healthy relations with countries across the globe, I must also commend the role of the Indian diaspora. As a link between India and different countries, they play an influential and important part in India’s foreign policy outreach.

Q: India has been a strong advocate of reformed multilateralism as a priority for G20 so that we have an international order that is just and equitable. Can you elaborate on our vision for reformed multilateralism?

A: Institutions that cannot reform with the times cannot anticipate the future or prepare for it. Without this ability, they cannot create any real impact and end up as irrelevant debating clubs.

Further, when it is seen that such institutions cannot act against those who violate the global rules-based order or worse, get hijacked by such entities, they risk losing credibility. There is a need for credible multilateralism powered by institutions that embrace reform and treat various stakeholders with consistency, equality and dignity.

So far, we spoke about institutions. But beyond this, a reformed multilateralism also needs to focus on going beyond the institutional sphere to tap into the power of individuals, societies, cultures and civilizations. This can only be done by democratising international relations, and by not making government-to-government relations the only medium of contact. Increasing people-to-people contact through avenues such as trade and tourism, sports and science, culture and commerce, and mobility of talent and technology, amongst others, will create a true understanding between different nations, their aspirations and their points of view.

The interconnected nature of our world today can become a strength for peace and progress if we focus on a people-centric policy.

Q: A notable element of your diplomacy has been that India is friends with nearly every country in the world, which is a rarity. From the US to Russia and West Asia to Southeast Asia, you have solidified relationships across the board. Do you think that today India is the trustworthy voice of the Global South in the G20?

A: There are many factors behind the strengthening of India’s relationships with various countries across regions.

After many decades of instability, in 2014, the people of India voted for a stable government that had a clear agenda for development.

These reforms empowered India to not only strengthen its economy, education, health and welfare delivery but also gave the country the ability to become part of global solutions in various domains. Whether it is space or science, technology or trade, economy or ecology, India’s actions have been lauded worldwide.

Whenever any country interacted with us, they knew they were interacting with an aspirational India that was looking to partner with them in their progress while also taking care of its own interests. This was an India that had a lot to contribute to every relationship and naturally, our global footprint increased across regions and even countries that saw each other as adversaries became friendlier with us.

Further, when it comes to the Global South, these are countries with which we empathise. Since we too are part of the developing world, we understand their aspirations. At every forum including the G20, India has been raising the concerns of the countries of the Global South.

As soon as we became the President of the G20, we held the Voice of Global South Summit, which made it clear that we were a voice for the inclusion of those who felt excluded from the global discourse and institutional priorities.

We have given importance to our ties with Africa over the years. Even at the G20, we have given momentum to the idea of the inclusion of the African Union.

We are a nation that looks at the world as one family. Our G20 motto itself says that. In any family, every member’s voice matters and this is our idea for the world too.

Q: This is an El Nino year and the effects of climate change are more visible than ever in the form of flooding and fires. Even though developed countries talk a lot about climate change, they are not meeting their main climate pledge of providing $100 billion in finance by 2020. In contrast, there is an unending supply of money for wars. As a leader who is in tune with the aspiration of the Global South, what is your message to rich nations that are a part of the G20 on this issue?

A: I think there is a need to understand that the way forward is related to changes in scope, strategy and sensitivity. First, let me tell you how a change in scope is needed. The world, whether it is developed or developing countries, needs to accept that climate change is not only a reality but a shared reality. The impact of climate change is not regional or local but is global.

Yes, there will be regional variances in how it plays out.

Yes, the Global South will be affected disproportionately.

But in a deeply interconnected world, anything that affects such a huge population of the planet will surely have an impact on the rest of the world too. Therefore, the solution will have to be global in its scope.

The second factor in which change is needed is in terms of strategy. A disproportionate focus on restrictions, criticism and blame cannot help us tackle any challenge, especially when we seek to do it together. So, there is a need to focus on what positive actions are needed, such as energy transition, sustainable agriculture and lifestyle transformation among others, and give them a greater push.

The third factor in which change is needed is sensitivity. There is a need to understand that the poor and the planet, both need our help. Different countries of the world, especially the Global South, are at the receiving end of the impact of the climate crisis, despite having done very little to create the problem in the first place. But they are ready to do whatever it takes to help the planet, provided the world is ready to do whatever it takes to also help them take care of their poor people. So, a sensitive and empathetic approach that focuses on resource mobilisation and technology transfer can do wonders.

Q: You have been a strong advocate of clean and renewable energy. Even though there is resistance from some energy-rich countries to the accelerated deployment of renewables and the phasing down of fossil fuels, India has shown a steadfast commitment on this issue. What should G20 members do collectively and individually to show that they are indeed dedicated to clean energy deployment?

A: I had earlier mentioned taking a constructive, rather than purely restrictive approach in the response to the climate crisis. Over the last 9 years, India has been exemplifying it.

Let us first speak of the strides we have taken domestically. In the Paris meeting, we had said that we would ensure that 40 percent of our energy would come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. We achieved this in 2021 itself, 9 years ahead of our promise. This was made possible not by reducing our energy consumption but by increasing our renewables. The installed capacity of solar energy went up 20-fold. We are among the top 4 nations in the world in terms of wind energy.

The government has been working on providing incentives for the electric vehicle industry. The industry has responded with greater innovation and the people are responding to it with greater openness to try the alternative. The behaviour transformation to avoid the use of single-use plastic became a people’s movement. Safe sanitation and cleanliness are now the social norm. The government is working to popularise natural farming and our farmers are also looking to increasingly adopt it.

Growing and consuming millets, our very own Shree Anna, is now an important topic in our national discourse and is shaping up to be the next mass movement. So, there is a lot that is happening in India that has made a massive impact. Naturally, we have also spearheaded global efforts to bring countries together to care for our planet.

The International Solar Alliance has reached out to the world with the mantra of ‘One World One Sun One Grid’. This has resonated globally and over 100 countries are members. This will help replicate our solar success story in many sun-rich countries.

India has also led the Mission LiFE initiative that focuses on Lifestyle for Environment. If you observe our cultural ethos and traditional lifestyle principles, they are based on moderation and being conscious of the environment. These principles are now going global with Mission LiFE.

Further, there is another way to look at it, which I have explained in multiple forums. Just like health-conscious people make every decision in their lives based on how the decision will impact their health in the long term, there is a need for planet-conscious individuals.

Each lifestyle decision, if made with the planet’s welfare in mind, will benefit our future generations. This is why I said we must move from mindless and destructive consumption to mindful and deliberate utilisation. If you have observed the trajectory of my answer, it is completely focused on taking responsibility and making things happen. Whether it is one country or a collective, when it comes to the climate crisis, it is taking responsibility and making things happen that will make a difference.

Q: While there is increasing inter-connectedness in the world, we are also seeing a trend towards greater national autonomy in securing supply chains as well as their diversification. Do you think geopolitics is now a determining factor in decision-making for global corporations, and what is India doing under the G20 umbrella to facilitate smooth global trade?

A: Geopolitics and related factors can have a significant impact on decision-making in international trade. Instances of unilateralism and isolationism driven by such factors can contribute to supply chain disruptions and impact livelihoods, especially in critical sectors.

This is why, today, investment in creating reliable global value chains is gaining importance.

At the same time, geopolitical factors alone cannot help. Countries need to offer stable policies that encourage trade, industry and innovation. During its G20 Presidency, India is playing a significant role in strengthening the multilateral trading system and promoting rules-based global trade.

We have been able to get global deliberations going on removing bottlenecks that impede the integration of MSMEs in international trade, developing frameworks that could make global value chains resilient towards future shocks and embracing the need to build consensus on WTO reforms.

Q: Unilateral decisions and beggar-thy-neighbour mercantilist policies by some rich and powerful countries are distorting international trade. We are seeing more and more bilateral trade agreements as well as the decline of the World Trade Organisation’s relevance. This affects developing countries more than anyone else. What is the way forward for G20 if we must have equitable trade policies that promote development in the poorest countries?

A: As part of its Presidency, India has been supporting agendas that promote a stable, transparent and fair-trade regime that benefits everyone. The essential role of the multilateral trading system with WTO at its core has been acknowledged while also being committed to working towards necessary reforms, including strengthening WTO rules, restoring the dispute settlement mechanism and concluding new mutually beneficial WTO agreements.

India has also been advancing the interests of the developing world, including the interests of nations not represented in the G20, such as the countries of the African Union.

Further, perhaps for the first time in the history of G20, the troika is with the developing world—Indonesia, India, and Brazil. This troika can amplify the voice of the developing world, at a crucial time when there are increased tensions due to global geopolitics.

Equitable trade policies are certainly a key area of thrust at the G20, as this directly benefits the whole world in the long term.

Q: Debt vulnerabilities have increased for several low-income and middle-income countries. What more do you think must be done by lender G20 states to help these poorer nations overcome debt distress and attain sustainable growth?

A: India's G20 Presidency in 2023 has placed great emphasis on addressing the global challenges posed by the debt crisis in low-income and middle-income countries.

We have been diligently advocating for the interests of the Global South in this crisis. We are working on strengthening multilateral coordination to facilitate coordinated debt treatment for debt-distressed countries.

At a meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, it was acknowledged that good progress has been made in the debt treatment of both countries covered under the Common Framework and outside the Common Framework.

Additionally, to accelerate debt restructuring efforts, the Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable (GSDR), a joint initiative of the IMF, World Bank, and the Presidency, was launched earlier this year. This will strengthen communication and foster a common understanding among key stakeholders, both within and outside the Common Framework, for facilitating effective debt treatments.

However, there is a larger movement that is happening beyond all these institutional mechanisms. In this information age, news about the debt crisis in one country is travelling to many other countries. People are analysing the situation and awareness is spreading. This is helpful for other countries to take precautionary steps to avoid a similar situation in their own countries, with the people’s support.

In our own country too, on multiple platforms, I have spoken about the need to be alert against financially irresponsible policies. The long-term implications of such policies destroy not only the economy but also society. The poor pay a heavy price. Yet again, the good thing is that people are becoming increasingly aware of the problem.

Q: India has been a pioneer in creating and deploying digital public infrastructure at a scale never seen before. Whether it is UPI or Aadhaar or ONDC, the applications that are being built on top of this infrastructure are having a multiplier effect on the economy. On a global scale, how do you see India’s contribution making a difference?

A: For a long time, India was globally known for its tech talent. Today, it is known for both its tech talent and tech prowess, especially in digital public infrastructure. As you mentioned, a number of initiatives and platforms that took off over the last 9 years are having a multiplier effect on the economy. However, India’s tech revolution has not only had an economic impact but also a deep social impact.

The human-centric model that I was speaking about earlier in our discussion is clearly visible in the way we have used technology. For us, technology is a means to empower people, reach the unreached and take growth and welfare to the last mile.

Today, due to the Jan Dhan – Aadhaar – Mobile (JAM) Trinity, even the poorest and the most vulnerable are feeling empowered because no one can snatch their rights away. The way technology helped us reach crores of people during the pandemic with assistance will always be remembered.

Today, when foreign delegates visit India, they are amazed to see street vendors asking customers to pay through a QR code through UPI. No wonder, India accounted for almost half of the real-time digital transactions that happened in the world! Even other countries are keen on associating with the UPI, so much so that Indians find themselves having the option of paying through UPI even outside India!

Today, lakhs of small entrepreneurs are getting the benefit of having a level playing field in becoming a part of public procurement through the Government e-Marketplace.

During the pandemic, it was a tech platform COWIN which helped us take over 200 crore vaccine doses to the people, free of cost. We also made the platform open-source for the whole world to use.

The ONDC is a futuristic initiative that will revolutionise the tech field by creating a level playing field on digital platforms for a number of different stakeholders.

Drones empowering people with property rights through SWAMITVA scheme, our surge to over a century of unicorns – there are a number of other such achievements that we can discuss. But the important thing is the impact this is having on the world.

Looking at India, countries of the Global South are excited about the opportunity of empowering the poor at a much faster rate, without any leakages, due to technology. This will give momentum to their growth.

Further, having been recognised for our abilities in the tech domain, India’s vision for the future of global technology is being welcomed at various global platforms.

For example, during our G20 Presidency, a framework to govern digital public infrastructure has been adopted by the Digital Economy Ministers, laying the foundations for the One Future Alliance.

Further, whether it is crypto or cyber terrorism, India’s call for global cooperation on approaching tech-related issues is seen as credible. Because we are a nation that has a deep experience in innovation and adoption of technology in the public domain.

Q: Inflation is a major problem for most countries, including India. Easy monetary and fiscal policies during Covid and the Ukraine war have made inflation the most pressing global economic issue. Is there scope for a better response by rich G20 nations, now and in the future, so that developing countries do not bear the brunt of inflation that is imported into their economies?

A: Inflation is a key issue that the world faces. First, the pandemic and then the conflict have changed the global inflation dynamics. As a result, both advanced countries and emerging economies are facing high inflation. This is a global issue that needs close cooperation.

During our G20 Presidency, there was a meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors. This forum has recognised that there is a need to ensure that policies taken by each country to combat inflation do not lead to negative repercussions in other countries. Further, for this, there is an understanding that timely and clear communication of policy stances by Central Banks is crucial.

As far as India is concerned, we have taken a number of steps to control inflation. Even in the face of adversities and global dynamics, India’s inflation was two percentage points lower than the global average inflation rate in 2022. Yet, we are not resting at that and are continuing to make pro-people decisions to boost ease of living. For example, recently on Raksha Bandhan, you saw how we reduced the prices of LPG for all consumers.

Q: India is currently the fifth-largest economy in the world. We are projected to become the third-largest economy in 2027. What are the implications for G20 and for the rest of the world of a stronger and more prosperous India?

A: India became the fifth-largest economy and it is indeed something that is important. But the way our country did it, I think, is as important. It is a feat achieved because there is a government that is trusted by the people and in turn, the government too trusts the capabilities of the people.

It is a privilege and honour for us that the people have placed unprecedented trust in us. They gave us a majority mandate not just once, but twice. The first mandate was about promises. The second, even bigger mandate, was about both performance and the future plan we had for the country. Due to this political stability, every other sector could see deep structural reforms. The economy, education, social empowerment, welfare delivery, infrastructure – I can keep on mentioning sectors that have seen reforms.

As a result, foreign direct investment into India is breaking records year after year, export records are being broken in both services and goods, Make in India has taken off with great success across sectors, startups and mobile manufacturing have done wonders, infrastructure creation is happening at a pace never seen before and all of these adding up to a huge number of job opportunities for our youth. The benefits of growth are being taken to the last mile. A comprehensive social security net protects our poor while the government is assisting them at every step in their battle against poverty. With over 13.5 crore of our people coming out of multidimensional poverty in just 5 years, an aspirational neo-middle class is taking shape and this section of society is poised to push growth even further.

It must specifically be noted that women are emerging as the driving force of our growth journey. Many development initiatives are seeing them come to the forefront, be it financial inclusion, entrepreneurship or cleanliness. From space to sports, start-ups to self-help groups, every sector that is on an upswing is seeing women taking the lead. With the G20, now, the message of women-led development is making waves all over the world – this is the power of Indian women. The cumulative momentum building up from the empowerment of the poor, youth, women and farmers will certainly make India one of the top 3 economies of the world in the near future.

India’s growth is not only good for Indians but also for the world. India’s growth is clean and green growth. India’s growth is being achieved with a human-centric approach that can be replicated in other countries too. India’s growth helps further the interests of the Global South. India’s growth helps bring a sense of reliability and resilience to the global supply chain. India’s growth is for the global good.

Q: Prime Minister, you are 72 years old, but your energy levels will put much younger people to shame. What keeps you hungry and active?

A: There are many people across the world who make complete use of their energy, time and resources towards a mission. It is not that I am alone or exceptional in this respect.

For many decades before I entered politics, I was actively working with society at the grassroots level, amidst the people. One of the benefits of this experience was that I came across many deeply inspiring people who dedicated themselves completely to a cause. I learnt from them.

A second aspect is the difference between ambition and mission. When someone works due to ambition, any ups and downs that they encounter can unsettle them. Because ambition comes from attachment to position, power, comforts, etc.

But when someone works for a mission, then there is nothing to gain personally and therefore, ups and downs cannot affect them. Being devoted to a mission is a constant source of unending optimism and energy. Further, a sense of mission is also accompanied by a sense of detachment from unnecessary matters which helps focus energy fully on the important things.

My mission is to work for the development of my country and my people. This gives me great energy, especially because there is a long way to go for us.

I had mentioned earlier as well that even before I became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I had visited and stayed in almost every district in India like a common man. I have seen first-hand, lakhs of examples of people living hard lives. I have seen their determined spirit and strong self-belief in the face of great adversities. We have a great history and all the ingredients for greatness are still there in our people.

I have firm faith that our country has a lot of untapped potential and has a lot more to offer to the world. All our people need is a platform from which they can do wonders. The creation of such a strong platform is my mission. It keeps me motivated all the time.Apart from this, of course, when one is devoted to a mission, at a personal level, it takes discipline and daily habits to maintain a healthy body and mind, which I certainly take care of.

Source: Moneycontrol