Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Sri Narendra Modi
History was scripted in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan on the evening of 26th May 2014 as Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister of India after a historic mandate from the people of India. In Narendra Modi, the people of India see a dynamic, decisive and development-oriented leader who has emerged as a ray of hope for the dreams and aspirations of a billion Indians. His focus on development, eye for detail and efforts to bring a qualitative difference in the lives of the poorest of the poor have made Narendra Modi a popular and respected leader across the length and breadth of India.
Narendra Modi’s life has been a journey of courage, compassion and constant hardwork. At a very young age he had decided to devote his life in service of the people. He displayed his skills as a grass root level worker, an organiser and an administrator during his 13 year long stint as the Chief Minister of his home state of Gujarat, where he ushered a paradigm shift towards pro-people and pro-active good governance.
Narendra Modi’s inspiring life journey to the Office of Prime Minister began in the by-lanes of Vadnagar, a small town in North Gujarat’s Mehsana district. He was born on the 17th of September 1950; three years after India had gained its Independence. This makes him the first Prime Minister to be born in independent India. Mr. Modi is the third child born to Damodardas Modi and Hiraba Modi. Mr. Modi comes from a family of humble origins and modest means. The entire family lived in a small single storey house which was approximately 40 feet by 12 feet.
Narendra Modi’s formative years taught him early tough lessons as he balanced his studies, non-academic life to spare time to work at the family owned Tea Stall as the family struggled to make ends meet. His school friends remember that as a child also he was very industrious and had an affinity for debates and a curiosity to read books. Schoolmates recollect how Mr. Modi used to spend many hours reading in the local Library. As a child he was also fond of swimming.
Mr. Modi’s thoughts and dreams as a child were quite removed from how most children of his age thought. Perhaps it was the influence of Vadnagar which once used to be a vibrant center of Buddhist learning and spirituality many centuries ago. As a child also he always felt a strong urge to make a difference to society. He was highly influenced by the works of Swami Vivekananda which laid the foundation of his journey towards spiritualism and which inspired him to pursue the mission to fulfill Swamiji’s dream of making India a Jagat Guru.
At the age of 17 he left home to travel across India. For two years he travelled across the expansive landscape of India exploring various cultures. When he returned home he was a changed man with a clear aim of what he wanted to achieve in life. He went to Ahmedabad and joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). RSS is a socio-cultural organisation working towards the social and cultural regeneration of India. It was a tough routine for Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad since 1972 when he became a Pracharak for RSS. His day began at 5 am and went on till late night. Late 1970s also saw a young Narendra Modi join the movement to restore Democracy in India which was reeling under Emergency.
While continuing to shoulder different responsibilities within the Sangh during the 1980s Narendra Modi emerged as an Organizer exemplar with his organizing skills. In 1987 a different chapter began in the life of Mr. Modi when he started work as the General Secretary of the BJP in Gujarat. In his first task Mr. Modi won a victory for the BJP in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections for the first time ever. He also ensured that the BJP was a close second to the Congress in the 1990 Gujarat Assembly elections. In the 1995 Assembly elections Mr. Modi’s organizational skills ensured the BJP’s vote share increased and the party won 121 seats in the Assembly.
Mr. Modi worked as the National Secretary of BJP from 1995 looking after party’s activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. As BJP’s General Secretary Organisation he worked to ensure the BJP won the 1998 Lok Sabha elections. It was in September 2001 that Mr. Modi received a phone call from then Prime Minister Vajpayee which opened a new chapter in his life taking him from the rough and tumble of Organizational Politics to the world of Governance.
Narendra Modi’s evolution from quintessential Organization Man of the BJP to one of India’s best known leaders recognized for his Good Governance over a span of a decade tells a story of grit, determination and Strong Leadership in the face of grave adversity. Narendra Modi’s transition from the world of Political Organizing to the realm of Administration and Governance neither had the luxury of time nor the benefit of training. Shri Modi had to learn the ropes of Administration while on the job right from Day One. Narendra Modi’s first 100 days in office offer a glimpse of not just how Shri Modi made that personal transition but these 100 days also offer a glimpse of how Shri Modi brought unconventional thinking and out of the box ideas to shake status-quo and reform Governance.
Narendra Modi’s path to creating a Vibrant Gujarat as a shining example of Development and Governance did not come easy. It was a path littered with adversities and challenges. Through the last decade if there is one constant trait of Narendra Modi that has stood out it is his Strong Leadership in the face of grave adversity. Shri Narendra Modi’s approach to governance has always been viewed as being above politics. Shri Modi never let political differences get in the way of pursuing solutions to developmental challenges. As Shri Narendra Modi prepares to assume Office as India’s next Prime Minister, his approach to Administration and Governance stands out for its convergent thinking. The finest manifestation of Shri Modi’s philosophy of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance” is his Pancha-Amrut construct for convergent Governance.
His performance is reflected in the many Awards his government received from both National and International media. Shri Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister brings with him a rich and hands-on experience as one of India’s most successful Chief Ministers and one of its finest of Administrators.
Narendra Modi is well known in India and across the globe as a leader who is totally committed to development and good governance. His record four terms as the Chief Minister of his home state of Gujarat in Western India exemplifies Narendra Modi's commitment to a development Agenda, rising above all other political considerations. He ushered in a paradigm shift towards pro-people and pro-active good governance, bringing in a positive change in the life of each and every citizen of Gujarat. His tireless efforts were guided by the principle of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (Collective efforts, inclusive growth) where each and every person was an important stakeholder in Gujarat's development journey.
As he demitted office on 21st May 2014, Narendra Modi bid farewell to a Gujarat that had become a powerhouse of growth and had emerged as an important contributor to India's development journey. Under his able leadership Gujarat became known for its quality infrastructure and excellent grievance redressal systems.Narendra Modi's governance in Gujarat saw a government that listened to the people and one that built its success through equal economic growth in all three sectors namely agriculture, industry and services. Through innovation and emphasis on detail he brought in record investment that benefitted people of Gujarat and drew people from all over India to work in Gujarat and make a living.
When he took over as Chief Minister on 7th October 2001 Narendra Modi did not have much time to settle into his new job. The state was reeling under the aftereffects of a severe earthquake. Before the quake there were floods, a cyclone and successive droughts. The entire world had written off Gujarat and it was believed that Gujarat would take years to develop. Narendra Modi proved them all wrong. In a record span of time Gujarat was up and running and it became the cynosure of the world's eyes.
Narendra Modi's success as an administrator lay in his out of the box thinking and never say die spirit. When he took over as Chief Minister the people of Gujarat told him one thing- "Modi ji we want electricity atleast when we have our dinner". Narendra Modi went beyond that! He dreamt of a Gujarat where there is 24/7 electricity all through the year and thus, the Jyotigram Yojana was born. Under this Yojana (scheme/initiative), feeders for agriculture and residential use were separated and over 78,000 kms of electricity lines, over 18,000 electricity transformers and 17 lakh electric poles were installed.
Jyotigram not only gave 24x7 electricity but also gave an impetus to the economic landscape of Gujarat. Most importantly, rural employment went up and rural migration reduced by almost 33%. School drop out and absenteeism rates fell drastically. Students could now study till late in the night without any fear of power cuts and patients could receive quality treatment all through the day.
While Jyotigram is among Narendra Modi's most celebrated development initiatives, a more quiet transformation took place in providing water to the people and farmers of Gujarat. This was a focus area for Narendra Modi from Day 1. Over 10 lakh hectares of land came under drip irrigation. From 1960-2001 only 12,000 hectares of land came under drip irrigation. Lakhs of check dams have been built through people's participation. Gross irrigated areas expanded by 57% in the last decade. The net sown area increased by 8% in Gujarat. Several Pani Samitis were formed where citizens took the lead in managing and operating drinking water supply.
The easy availability of electricity and the mass movement towards water conservation led to an unprecedented growth in Gujarat's agriculture sector. Traditionally Gujarat is not known for agriculture and it was a drought prone state but from 2001 onwards that image has changed.
During Narendra Modi's 12-year stint as Gujarat CM agriculture growth remained above 10% through the entire decade. Gujarat's farmers became about 8 times richer from the time Narendra Modi took over in 2001 bringing smiles to many faces. There was also a 40% increase in agriculture land- from 106 lakh hectares to 145 lakh hectares.
It is Narendra Modi's firm belief that – "a Government does not have any business doing business". What a government should do, however is to create a positive climate that will bring investment. Instances of these approaches were seen time and again during the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Summits that brought record investment and gave a boost to employment creation in Gujarat. There was quantum jump in both the MoUs inked and the investment coming. At the same time the SMEs flourished in Gujarat. As of 2014 there were over 5 lakh SMEs in Gujarat contributing to its development and economic growth.
In his 4609 days as CM, Narendra Modi devoted topmost priority to social sectors of Gujarat such as healthcare and education. From 2001 till 2011 there was a marked increase of almost 80% in Gujarat's literacy rate including a significant rise in female literacy. The credit for this goes to the Shala Praveshotsav and Kanya Kelavani Abhiyan spearheaded by Narendra Modi where during the peak summer the entire Government machinery went to across Gujarat and asked parents to educate their children.
In 2001 Gujarat had 11 Universities and in 2014 that number has shot up to 42. The number of Colleges stood at 442 today that had risen to 1762. The increase in engineering and medical seats has been manifold.
On the healthcare front, Narendra Modi waged a spirited battle against malnutrition. From 2007 till 2012 Gujarat witnessed a drop of 45% in malnutrition. Gujarat's efforts to tackle malnutrition have also been appreciated by CAG report and other scholars. In tackling malnutrition there is still a lot more to be done across India but the effort put in Gujarat reveals the strong foundations laid by Narendra Modi and his commitment to eradicate malnutrition. Another initiative that is successfully implemented in Gujarat is the 108 Ambulance service that has saved several lives especially in the tribal areas of Gujarat.
Grievance redressal is the most important duty of any elected Government and under Narendra Modi Gujarat developed a wonderful grievance redressal system in SWAGAT, where grievance redressal was integrated with usage of technology in the larger interest of the common people. SWAGAT facilitated direct communication between the citizens and the Chief Minister. SWAGAT won several awards including a UN Public Service Award.
People have heard of One Day Cricket but Narendra Modi created something called 'One Day Governance.' This model focused on providing time bound services to citizens through e-governance. This eliminated red tape and brought smiles on the faces of people.
A firm believer in the philosophy of Antyodaya or reaching the very last person in the queue, Narendra Modi literally took the government to the poor through the Garib Kalyan Melas where the fruits of development reached the poor without any middlemen. Another example is the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana, a special package devoted to the tribal communities. When the scheme began in 2007 the package stood at Rs. 15,000 crore but today the package stands at Rs. 40,000 crore!
Narendra Modi did not have much time to catch his breath when he took over as CM in 2001 facing grave adversities and in challenging circumstances. But he rose to the occasion, turned every challenge into an opportunity and transformed Gujarat into a state that not only India but also the entire world is today proud of.
Bihar became the first state in India to have separate web page for every city and village in the state on its website www.brandbihar.com (Now www.brandbharat.com)
See the record in Limca Book of Records 2012 on Page No. 217