Recently, noted musician Ricky Kej won his career's third Grammy Award for 'Divine Tides' album. Speaking to Modi Story, he opened up how PM Modi gave a purpose to his music and encouraged him to create music which had a social impact and showcased India's great culture.

"When I had won my first Grammy Award in 2015, it was just after a year Prime Minister Modi had become the Prime Minister and on that international stage where over a billion people from all over the world were watching the Grammy Awards, I had actually given a shoutout when I mentioned during my acceptance speech a big thank you to him (PM Modi) and I said that he is doing such amazing work for India," said Kej.

Ricky Kej further said that he wanted to meet PM Modi and was delighted to receive a call from the Prime Minister's Office regarding their meeting.

Recalling about their first meeting, Kej narrated, "I had assumed that it would be a photo-op type meeting for 4-5 minutes, but it actually went on to become an hour-long discussion! It was a great experience. PM Modi inspired me during that meeting that every music I make is for what I am passionate about, which is the environment and positive social impact. He has been a huge influence on my life because he changed the course of my career and he changed the course of my life."

Kej added that now he does not make any commercial or Bollywood music. He said, "The only kind of music that I make is about trying to make this world a better place and trying to showcase our beautiful heritage and culture of India. That's what my life is all about now."

Sharing more insights about their meeting, Kej remarked, "PM Modi realised that my passion is the environment and I realised that his huge passion is environment and nature and protecting and conserving all species. Honourable Prime Minister mentioned to me that he will be going to COP21 – Paris Climate Change Conference that was the biggest commerce of nations ever in the history of our planet. He also mentioned that he was going to launch a Solar Alliance which was something very-very close to my heart."

While they were discussing about the COP21 conference, they came up with a suggestion that a music album shall be created on climate change and India's perspective about climate change involving musicians, making it very inclusive, musicians from all over the world. "So I ended up making this album called 'Shanti Samsara' which featured 500 musicians from 40 countries. PM Modi loved the album and he launched the album at Paris Climate Change Conference by gifting the album to then President of France Mr. Francois Hollande and then Secretary General of United Nations Mr. Ban Ki Moon," Kej said.

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Narendra Modi: The Underground Warrior Against the Emergency
June 25, 2024

During the infamous Emergency period in India (1975-1977), when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed a dictatorial regime, Shri Narendra Modi emerged as a critical figure in the resistance movement. Shri Modi's activism during this period, marked by his innovative and fearless approach, significantly contributed to the underground communications network and sustained the fight against the oppressive regime.

The Beginnings of Resistance

Shri Narendra Modi's journey into the heart of the resistance began before the official declaration of the Emergency on June 25, 1975. The student-led agitations against the corruption of the Congress Party were already sweeping the nation, and Gujarat was a significant epicentre of this movement. During the Navnirman Andolan in 1974, Shri Modi, then a Yuva Pracharak of the RSS, was deeply influenced by the power of student voices in driving change. He actively participated in these agitations, leveraging his Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad role to deliver fiery speeches that galvanized the youth.

Role in the Underground Movement

Once the Emergency was imposed, censorship and repression became the norm. Shri Modi and other volunteers organized secret meetings and took on the dangerous task of disseminating underground literature. Collaborating closely with senior RSS leaders like Nath Zagda and Vasant Gajendragadkar, he developed ingenious methods to bypass tight security measures.
One of Shri Modi's remarkable strategies involved using the railway network to spread information. He would load materials related to the Constitution, laws, and the Congress government's excesses onto trains departing from Gujarat, ensuring the messages reached remote areas with minimal risk of detection. This innovative approach was pivotal in maintaining the flow of information across the country.

Leadership and International Outreach

With the RSS forced to go underground, the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti was established, and Shri Modi, at the young age of 25, quickly rose to the position of General Secretary. His leadership was instrumental in sustaining the revolt against the Congress government, especially during the challenging periods when key movement leaders were imprisoned under the MISA Act.

Shri Narendra Modi also extended his efforts internationally, reaching out to individuals abroad and urging them to publish underground publications to amplify global resistance. He coordinated the collection of articles from the Gujarat Newsletter and Sadhana Patrika, which were then disseminated through platforms like the BBC. Shri Modi ensured that international publications critical of the Emergency, such as 'Satyavani,' were circulated back to India, including inside jails.

Covert Operations and Disguises

Shri Modi frequently adopted various disguises to evade detection. His ability to blend in was so effective that even his acquaintances often failed to recognize him. He dressed as a Swamiji in saffron attire and even as a Sikh with a turban. On one occasion, he successfully deceived jail authorities to deliver an important document, highlighting his resourcefulness and bravery.

Post-Emergency Recognition

After the Emergency was lifted in 1977, Shri Modi's activism and leadership during this tumultuous period began to gain recognition. He was invited to Mumbai to discuss the youth's resistance efforts, and his contributions were acknowledged with a modest monetary reward. His relentless efforts during the Emergency led to his appointment as the 'Sambhag Pracharak' of South and Central Gujarat, and he was tasked with preparing official RSS articles documenting the period.

Authoring 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat'

In 1978, Shri Modi authored his first book, 'Sangharsh Ma Gujarat,' a memoir of his experiences during the Emergency. Remarkably, he completed the book in just 23 days, subsisting solely on lemon water and no solid food. The book, launched by then Chief Minister of Gujarat Babubhai Jasbhai Patel, received widespread acclaim for its objective coverage of the Emergency and was reviewed on national public radio and in prominent newspapers.

The memoir not only chronicled the events of the Emergency but also served as a testament to the collective resistance. It was praised for its wealth of information and objective approach, earning personal accolades from numerous leaders.

Legacy, Continued Vigilance and Solemn Vow

Fifty years later, as Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi continues to remind the nation of the dark days of the Emergency. He emphasizes the importance of preserving democracy and vows never to let the recurrence of such authoritarianism again. His legacy as a fearless warrior against the dictatorial regime of Indira Gandhi during the Emergency remains a significant chapter in India's history, inspiring current and future generations to uphold the values of democracy and freedom.