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.

'মন কী বাত'কীদমক্তা হৌজিক অদোমগী ৱাখল্লোন অমদি তান-ৱাশিং শেয়র তৌবীয়ু!
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Happy Birthday Mr Modi: Your friend from Goa!
September 17, 2021

I like you Mr Modi. Your are a good person and an inspiring leader.

I like you because your intentions are driven purely for India. I saw that passion, care and love for our motherland and its people, in your eyes when we meet on August 6, 2021.

You called me your friend from Goa and that too me was such a wonderful way to describe our friendship.

I remember your laughter when I told you, about my retort to people who call me a ‘Bhakt of Modi’ – ‘I am a Bhakt, are you a Kambhakt’. It showed me your witty side.

I know you face immense criticism for the sincerity of your work; some decisions, some might not understand. But I see a plan behind your actions, that plan is not for the destruction of India but for its welfare. There are short-term objectives and then there are long-terms goals.

In our discussion for 25-minutes, I understood that you care for India, as a child cares for its mother. It is this single-minded courage of conviction that you possess that endears many committed nationalists like me to you as a person and as a leader.

It is not easy managing and governing India. It is diverse and often difficult to comprehend, especially the needs, wants and aspirations of the people of India.

I know it is impossible to be appreciated by every quarter in India but I can see most people in the country admire your efforts and dedication Towards a Better India. The people of India have a sense of hope in you and they are willing to put their trust implicitly in you.

The fact about your life that is inspiring to me is that you were a common citizen, who came from humble beginnings to work your way up the ladder of success. You were not born into aristocracy or political legacy. You have strived arduously over the years to rise up and take forward your visions and missions for Gujarat first as a state and now over the last seven-years India as a nation.

Your rise in the political space in India and globally has been phenomenal but it has not come without strife and hardships. You have surfed the tough waves of your political career with confidence and taken people that believed in you and followed you, along with you.

Life, in my simple understanding has been your greatest teacher.

It is wonderful to learn from your strategies in dealing with the different hurdles you have faced as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and now as the Prime Minister of India. I have been following your work since 2000. And it has not been an easy ride for you. Every step of the way has been a struggle but with each challenge you have emerged stronger than before and more determined. It as though, your challenges in life have moulded your career for the better. That grit you possess is infectious.

I realized in my personal meeting with you, which was huge high in my personal achievements of my life, that you are not pretentious. You are who you are and you just want to give your best to India in the best that you can give.

People look for perfection in their leaders. I do not think any leader can be perfect in his actions or decisions but he can be honest in his intentions and that’s what I found in you during our conversation. You are honest about your duty to the country and its people.

Such is the honesty you possess in your intentions for India, that dishonest people in India and nations outside of India fear you. They feared you when you were the Chief Minister of Gujarat, they fear you even more now that you are the Prime Minister of India for a second-term and I am quite confident you will be the Prime Minister for the third-term too. Our nation’s enemies know that under your leadership, India can strengthen its roots to grow into a global nation that is valued, respected and feared.

Your life’s experiences of 71-years is an interesting learning for most Indians because it is about a man from the grassroots of India who dreamed of a Better India and worked for the last several-decades to do his duty to the nation.

I am in awe of you as a politician but I have even more admiration for your humanness. You are good human being. You have a heart of care and concern for the common people.

The Congress has termed your birthday as ‘Panuati Day’ and ‘Bad Omen Day’. That is the pathetic level of their political maturity. Once tall political leaders and political parties have exposed their fall into an abysmal pit of degeneration and degradation. Such is their hate for you, because you have shafted their political arrogance with your governmental policies, some very tough decision, but most of all, they cannot get over your connect with the people of India. They don’t understand what makes people connect to you.

The answer to the question of your people connect is simple. You are one of them, you think like them, you act like them, you live like them and you dream like them. It is your simplicity and lack corruption in governance that makes people believe in you.

On your 71st birthday, I wish the very best for you and your years ahead as leader of one of the world’s most promising nation – India with our people of great ethos and culture.

Humbled that you considered me to be a your friend from Goa. I am glad to have a friend like you from whom I can learn.

You are a leader that has stirred a spirit of confidence in our people. It is a confidence that will reshape the future of India for the better.

Some people can continue to mock you for reasons known to them, I see you differently. And I am glad that our country at this point of time has you as our leader. You are not perfect but you are the best we have.

From the people of Goa, my family and myself: Happy Birthday Mr Modi!

Author Name : Savio Rodrigues

Source : Goa Chronicle