Shri Narendra Modi’s rise among the ranks of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through the 1980s and the early 1990s coincided with a very tough period in the history of Independent India. The country faced conflict across its length and breadth and the Centre was witness to this disintegration but stood helplessly. Conflict was rife across Punjab and in Assam as the integrity and sovereignty of our Motherland were being challenged. Internally too, divisive politics ruled the roost. In Gujarat ‘curfew’ became the most common word in the household dictionary. Brother was pitted against brother, communities against communities, as vote-bank politics became the norm.

One person who rose to the occasion, living up to the vision of Sardar Patel of a united and strong India committed to values of democracy and free speech was Shri Narendra Modi. The gloomy national scenario brought out the patriot in Shri Narendra Modi, who gave his best and worked very hard for the RSS and BJP in this battle of ideals. As it is, he had established himself as not only a dedicated worker but also an efficient organizer since a very young age. It was only befitting that he would rise to the occasion, challenging the unhealthy status quo.

Shri Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad during the Ekta Yatra 

By the end of the 1980s, the country’s northern most state of Jammu and Kashmir that was once known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ had become a full-fledged battlefield. The opportunistic politics of the Centre combined with blatant subversion of democracy during the 1987 State Elections made J&K a hotbed of anti-India activities. The valley that had once been called the most beautiful place on Earth was fast becoming a battlefield as blood spilled on the streets. Matters reached such a low that even the hoisting of the tri-colour had become taboo in Kashmir. Rather than taking remedial action, all the Centre did was to watch helplessly.

Rubaiya Sayeed, the daughter of the Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had been kidnapped by the same anti-national elements in 1989. But, instead of taking a tough stand, the Government in New Delhi took the easier way out to quickly release known extremists with anti-India sentiments, thus giving a long rope to such anti-national elements.

The BJP could not remain a mute spectator to this systematic denigration of India’s sovereignty. It was during a visit to Kashmir that Shri Shyama Prasad Mookerjee had given up his life and decades later, thus it fell on the BJP to speak up for the cause of national unity. As a response to the unprecedented situation, the then party President Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi decided to embark on an ‘Ekta Yatra’ advocating national unity. The Yatra would begin from Kanyakumari, the place where Swami Vivekananda found the purpose of life and end with the hoisting of the tricolor at Lal Chowk in Shrinagar.

The task of preparing for the Yatra lay on Shri Narendra Modi’s shoulders keeping in mind his well established organizational skills; Putting his mind, organizational strength and sweat into the responsibility, he made elaborate arrangements in a very short span of time braving the huge risks that came with it. Without any fear, he visited every place that the Yatra would cover, meeting party workers.

He galvanized and inspired party workers, created a patriotic fervor among them, thus laying the ground for the Yatra’s success. In this process he had not only shown that he was a master organizer but he had also exhibited the ability to deliver in any circumstances at a remarkable pace, a rare virtue in public life today. Shri Modi came across as a quick decision maker even in adverse circumstances and someone who had the ability to implement what he had decided.

Shri Narendra Modi during Ekta Yatra 

The Ekta Yatra commenced on 11th December 1991, coinciding with the birth anniversary of Subramania Bharti and the ‘Balidan Diwas’ of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The prominent issues raised across the country were opposition to divisive and violent politics and an end to the menace of terror in Kashmir.

Wherever he went, Shri Modi echoed the message of Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, saying that the unity of India came above everything else, and that he did not believe in different yardsticks for different sections of society. A fitting reply to anti-national elements was the need of the hour and when the time came, Shri Modi led from the front! The Ekta Yatra received rousing welcomes virtually wherever it went. Dr. Joshi stressed the need of national regeneration, which found an instant connect with the people of India.

There couldn’t have been a better eye-opener for a blind Congress Government in Delhi than the Ekta Yatra. Needless to say, the success of the Yatra was a milestone for Shri Narendra Modi, whose organization skills proved invaluable as the Yatra progressed. Shri Modi himself urged the people of India to strike the death-knell of pseudo-secularism and votebank politics. An emotional Narendra Modi watched with joy as the tricolor was finally unfurled in Srinagar on 26th January 1992! The successful completion of this rare national mission amidst the most challenging circumstances was a tribute to Shri Modi’s ability to give effective replies to the anti-national elements with unparalleled courage, vision, skill as the power of Bharat Mata yet again demolished the folly of anti-India elements.

Pariksha Pe Charcha with PM Modi
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Why the PM commands an audience
April 09, 2021

His core remains rooted in ground realities. His practical knowledge emanates from the earthy wisdom that forms the bedrock of Indian civilisation.

One wonders how one of the most powerful men in the world, dealing with numerous important decisions at any given point of time, still finds time to share a piece of his life’s collected wisdom with children. He has, in the truest sense, been a guide and a mentor, giving booster shots of confidence, year after year, to students preparing for exams.

Pariksha Pe Charcha has become a breath of fresh air for students. With everyone around them in a deep frenzy about exams, results, and a career, Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes across as a man with a sense of balance and farsightedness. The life lessons he distils for children come from his lived experiences.

Be it the PM’s memory hack of involving, internalising, associating and visualising a lesson than just trying to memorise it, or his formula for parents to not only stay young but also reduce the generation gap — these are things he has observed in his vast experience of living all across India. It seems simple but is actually the result of a lifetime spent observing human behaviour. The way Modi is able to observe routine interactions and bring out such insightful lessons from them is extraordinary.

During Pariksha Pe Charcha 2021, in order to allay the fear of a student regarding difficult subjects or questions during exams, PM Modi took a leaf out of his own book. He said instead of running away from tough topics, why not take them head-on first thing in the morning? As chief minister of Gujarat and now as prime minister, he applies the same principle to his daily routine, he said. Anything that requires extra effort or seems complicated, he picks up first thing in the morning with a fresh mind. What he finds easy and has a marginal scope of error, he leaves for later. This goes against our usual instinct of picking up what is easy first and then moving on to difficult parts. But it could be because we are instinctively scared to deal with hard tasks and are more likely to procrastinate or sit on them indefinitely.

The examples he quotes give an insight into a man who has risen to the top, but only after going through his fair share of struggles and disappointments and eventually finding a way through. This is the reason there is an instant connect people feel with him as he dissects human behaviour and motivations at a deeper level.

Take, for instance, his answer when a seemingly distressed parent from Punjab asked PM Modi how to ensure that kids do what is expected of them without having to run behind him. This is, in fact, a common refrain among parents, often leading to children withdrawing into their shell or acting out in a way that bewilders parents. But the PM’s reply to the question gave enough food for thought to parents regarding where the problem emanates from.

Instead of realising a child’s unique potential, parents try to box them into pre-existing societal norms and structures. He rightly pointed out that we tend to neglect an extremely important step — training the mind towards self-motivated action. Training cannot take place in isolation. It is part of a child’s daily experience at home. By introducing children to the benefits of inculcating a habit in creative ways instead of constant nagging, parents can lay the ground for moulding their mind in a certain way. This opens up the possibility of a child feeling motivated enough to make it a part of his routine. This would not only save parents’ energy but also create a positive, more open environment for children to engage with parents without feeling stressed or threatened.

Often, to have such insights into a child’s mind, one has to be a child psychologist or someone who has children of his or her own. But PM Modi does not belong to either of these two categories. Yet, his knowledge is not derived from books, but is earned through a lifetime of lived experience, especially from his pre-CM days, when he travelled extensively all across his state and the country. His discernment of human behaviour is reflective of having spent a considerable amount of time studying families closely.

Despite holding the highest office in the country and enjoying wide-scale popularity that is achieved once in a century, PM Modi does not indulge in impractical grandstanding or complicated jargon. Even after being at the centre of the most powerful circle of people, he has a rare ability to think like a person who’s a part of every family in India.

His core remains rooted in ground realities. His voice is the voice of a common man. His values are reflective of the best values of any average Indian family. His practical knowledge emanates from the earthy wisdom that forms the bedrock of Indian civilisation.