On October 7, Narendra Modi completed 20 years as the head of a government. For those of us in Gujarat, we have closely seen the rise of Narendra Modi and how he altered the trajectory of the state. People often ask what is the one thing that separates Modi. For me, it is the human touch, be it in work or personal interactions that has led to him scaling heights.

The 1980s were an interesting period in the politics of Gujarat. The Congress was comfortably ensconced in power, both at the Centre and in the state. Despite its lackluster governance, bitter factionalism and misplaced priorities, it was unimaginable that any other political party would come to power. Hardcore BJP supporters and workers were also uncertain.

It was in such times that Modi made a shift from RSS to a more political life in the BJP. He took up the challenge of preparing the party for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections. One of his earliest steps was to integrate professionals with the BJP. The party machinery reached out to eminent doctors, lawyers, engineers and teachers to join the electoral and political process. Similarly, Modi attached great importance to talking about governance issues in addition to only politics. He was constantly thinking of innovative ways of uplifting people and transforming lives.

As a communicator, Modi was always outstanding and more than that he was motivating. I recall this one particular speech at a medium sized gathering at Nirmal Party Plot in Ahmedabad’s Dharnidhar. For the first few minutes, he made people laugh through the witty comments he was known for. He then went on to ask the crowd — shall we continue joking or shall we talk about issues of national importance? I do not know what courage I developed at that time that I shouted – Both. On hearing me say that he turned to me and said – No, we cannot do both. He then talked at length about BJP’s governance vision, Article 370, the Shah Bano Case and more. The ideological clarity left me spellbound.

Those outside Gujarat would not know that Modi’s cassettes of speeches were very popular in urban Gujarat during early 1990s. These cassettes would include parts of a speech Modi would have given in some part of the state.
One more of his moving speeches came in 1994 just after the Latur earthquake. From the RSS Karyalaya in Ahmedabad, relief material and a few volunteers were sent to Latur. Modi gave an impromptu speech. After the speech, at least 50 people said they want to leave for Latur right away and that Modi’s words have had a great impact on their mind. He dissuaded them and said it is more important relief work reaches than people going, and that they must keep working for the nation where they are.

Narendra Modi’s connect with different sections was also linked to his ability to reach out to different sections of society. The world saw his ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ in 2013-2014 but I cannot forget how Modi forged a bond with different people over cups of tea by interacting with morning walkers. During the 1990s, I met him at Ahmedabad’s famous Parimal Garden where he was addressing a group of morning walkers. I could instantly see the connect. One of the doctors who knew me told me that similar interactions with Narendra Bhai were very helpful for him to understand current affairs.

There are two anecdotes, which to me show the humane side of Narendra Modi. One of them dates back to the early 2000s. Historian Rizvan Kadri and I were documenting some of the works of KeKa Shastri, a doyen of Gujarati literature and veteran of the Sangh eco-system. We had gone to meet him and one thing that struck me was his poor health. I took a photograph and got it sent to Narendra Modi’s office. At soonest, KeKa Shastri had a nurse who would attend to him.

The other relates to author Priyakant Parikh. He had a strong desire that his 100th work be launched only by Modi but the only glitch — he is immobile and homebound due to a major accident. I remember CM Modi going to Priyakant Parikh’s house at Ashram Road and launching his book. Gujarati literature circles were spellbound that a sitting CM would go to the drawing room of an ailing author and launch his book!

Two virtues that have stood him well, which would serve every political person well are – his sharp listening skills and his love for technology. His only regret about technology — that the art of remembering phone numbers was going!

Through his political career, party disciple has been paramount for Narendra Modi. Ambition is not known to him. No wonder the BJP has never lost a single election – be it Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha or local body, when Narendra Modi was given the task of coordinating the party strategy. The only time the BJP saw electoral setback was in the year 2000 and that was when Narendra Modi was outside the state.

As journalists, we have to meet several people but Narendra Modi told me when I was a young reporter that these must not be transactional relations but bonds that last a lifetime. Sometime around Holi in 1998 I happened to be in Delhi. Narendra Modi said something I will never forget. He said, “You must have 5,000 numbers in your telephone diary and you must have met them once and that too not in a formal way. You must know them just not as a source but as an acquaintance or friend.” I have not met 5,000 people as Narendra Modi asked me to but it did make me realise the importance of a human touch that is so important. Narendra Modi has it in plenty, which is why he is so successful.


Author Name: Japan K Pathak


This article was first published in News 18

It is part of an endeavour to collect stories which narrate or recount people’s anecdotes/opinion/analysis on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his impact on lives of people.

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जनसंघ और उसके बाद बनी भाजपा के संस्थापक सदस्य रहे लक्ष्मीनारायण गुप्ता 'नन्ना' प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी की कार्यशैली से अत्यधिक प्रभावित हैं। नन्ना ने बताया कि वे डॉ. श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी द्वारा कश्मीर में दो निशान, दो विधान के खिलाफ शुरू किए गए आंदोलन में शामिल होकर जेल गए थे। आज कश्मीर से धारा-370 और 35-ए हटाकर प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी ने श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी सहित करोड़ों देशवासियों का जो सपना पूरा किया है। उससे वह मोदी से बेहद प्रभावित हैं और उनकी लंबी आयु के लिए ईश्वर से प्रार्थना करते हैं। हरिभूमि के साथ इंटरव्यू में नन्ना ने विभिन्न मुद्दों पर चर्चा की।

सवाल : मोदी की कार्यशैली से आप कितने प्रभावित हैं, उनके योगदान को किस रूप में देखते हैं।

जवाब : मैं, प्रधानमंत्री नरेन्द्र मोदी की कार्यशैली से बहुत प्रभावित हूं। मैंने जिस कश्मीर में दो निशान, दो विधान का विरोध करते हुए डॉ. श्यामा प्रसाद मुखर्जी के आंदोलन में सहभागिता की और जेल गया। आज वर्षो बाद कश्मीर में धारा-370 और 35-ए हटने के बाद वह सपना पूरा हुआ। मेरे साथ करोड़ों भारतीयों का सपना पूरा हुआ। मोदी की कार्यशैली सबका साथ, सबका विकास, सबका विश्वास और सबका प्रयास है, जो देशवासियों को बिना भेदभाव के साथ एकजुटता और समानता का संदेश देती है। उनके नेतृत्व में देश का सम्मान दुनियाभर में बढ़ा है, आज भारत मजबूत राष्ट्रों में गिना जाता है।

सवाल : आप जनसंघ के संस्थापक सदस्य रहे, आपके सामने भाजपा का गठन हुआ, उस दौरान पार्टी के लिए क्या चुनौतियां थीं।

जवाब : उस दौरान पार्टी के पास संसाधनों का बेहद अभाव था। तब हम साइकिल से गांव-गांव जाकर लोगों के बीच भाजपा का प्रचार करते थे। ग्रामीणों के बीच पहुंचकर मीटिंग करके उन्हें पार्टी की नीतियों के बारे में समझाते थे। पैसों का अभाव था तो वकालत करने से जो राशि प्राप्त हो जाती थी, उसी में से खर्च चलाते थे। तब गांवों में जाकर कैंप लगाकर फॉर्म भरवाए। पार्टी से हजारों कार्यकर्ताओं को जोड़ा, जिससे पार्टी मजबूत हुई।

सवाल: उस समय की भाजपा और आज की भाजपा में संगठन स्तर पर क्या परिवर्तन देखते हैं।

जवाब : उस दौरान कार्यकर्ताओं ने साधनों के अभाव के बीच पार्टी के लिए पूरी मेहनत व निष्ठा के साथ काम किया। आज भी कर रहे हैं, लेकिन आज संसाधन बेहतर है। उस वक्त की गई मेहनत से जो प्लेटफॉर्म तैयार हुआ, उससे संगठन शक्ति बढ़ती गई और आज संगठन का स्वरूप देश में सबसे मजबूत है।

सवाल : आज भाजपा में दूसरे दलों से बाहरी नेता बड़ी संख्या में आ रहे हैं, उन्हें सत्ता व संगठन में महत्वपूर्ण पद मिल रहे हैं। इससे भाजपा के पुराने नेता अपने को उपेक्षित महसूस कर रहे हैं, आप क्या मानते हैं।

जवाब : मैं ऐसा नहीं मानता हूं, भाजपा परिवार की राष्ट्रवादी विचारधारा से अगर लोग जुड़ रहे हैं तो स्वाभाविक रूप से नए लोगों को स्थान दिया जाता है। ऐसा नहीं है कि पुराने कार्यकर्ता की उपेक्षा हो रही है। पुराने लोगों को अब पद की जरूरत नहीं हैं। वे संरक्षक के रूप में नई भूमिका को स्वीकार कर रहे हैं।



Author Name: HariBhoomi News - Bhopal


This article was first published in HariBhoomi News - Bhopal.

It is part of an endeavour to collect stories which narrate or recount people’s anecdotes/opinion/analysis on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi & his impact on lives of people.