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Development in Gujarat state cannot be denied, and Chief Minister, Narendra Modi’s contribution to same can’t be denied either. Agriculture in Gujarat has grown more than 9% in the past five years, the highest in India.
Every village in Gujarat is self-sufficient in drinking water thanks to taking the waters of the Narmada River to every nook and corner of the state. Gujarat is the No. 1 in providing jobs. The most retold accomplishment, if it can be called that, is investments worth Rs 39.6 lakh crore promised in the five Vibrant Gujarat summits, Modi’s showpiece meeting of global investors. Modi has reeled out these headline figures time and again.
If we talk about his personal life and career, Modi is the 14th Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat since 2001. He is a member of the Bhartoya Janta Party (BJP) and is the prime ministerial; candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance for the upcoming 2014 Indian general elections.
He was a key strategist for the BJP in the successful 1995 and 1998 Gujarat state election campaigns, as well as a major campaign figure in the 2009 general elections won by the Indian National Congress. He first became chief minister of Gujarat in October 2001, being promoted to the office upon the resignation of his predecessor, Keshubhai Patel, following the defeat of BJP in by-elections. In July 2007, he became the longest-serving Chief Minister in Gujarat’s history when he had been in power for 2,063 days continuously. He is currently in his fourth consecutive term as Chief Minister.
Narendra Modi is a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and is described as a Hindu Nationalist by media, scholars and himself. He is a controversial figure both within India and internationally. His administration has been severely criticized for the incidents surrounding the 2002 Gujarat violence. He has been praised for his economic policies which are credited with creating the environment for the high rate of economic growth in Gujarat. However, his administration has also been criticized for failing to make a significant positive impact upon the human development of the state
Coming from a humble background and known for his simple lifestyle, he has a reputation of being a workaholic and introvert. Mr. Modi has tried to change his image from that of a Hindu Nationalist politician to that of a sincere administrator.
A careful observation of his rise to the national podium would evince how he remained glued to his fundamentals – continuing agitations during the nationwide Emergency, organizing Murli Manohar Joshi’s Ekta yatra (journey for unity), and impressing everyone with electoral strategy ahead of the 1995 state elections. As BJP tasted victory, Modi relished his newly ordained post of the party’s General Secretary. The workaholic and loyal ‘sevak’ moved to New Delhi to take up the new responsibility of managing the party’s activities in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Three summers whizzed past and Modi already had the post of National Secretary of the BJP under his kitty.
Besides being a revered orator and a prolific writer, he is also a caring son and a man with his brand of humour. Those who have associated with him for long are of the opinion that the idea of power is exciting to him. Next time you wonder how he could garner so much of national attention, think of this. He underwent a rigorous training in the US on public relations and image management.
When it comes to taking lessons on brand building, Modi says there’s no greater inspiration than Mahatma Gandhi. His eulogies about Gandhi come from the fact that “He spoke of Ahimsa but carried a stick. He never wore a cap but the world wears a Gandhi Topi.” Modi’s careful metamorphosis from a Hindutva party man to a pro-development leader and change maker speaks volumes for his image-building ability. His 2-year long escapade into the Himalayas and co-mingling with the yogic sadhus gave him a fair understanding of Hinduism. That partly explains why people listen to him in rapt attention when he talks of ideologies.
Modi, known for being in touch with technology and up to date with social media has a string of negatives too attributed to him by the media. He has been termed as a Polarizing figure, with his support or dislike going in extremes, you either love him or you hate him, there is no middle ground. Authoritarian and closed to constructive criticism are also terms used by the media to define him. His anti-muslim comments and alleged involvement in the ‘Godhra Riots’ has earned him severe dislike in certain segments of the Indian society.
Love him or hate him, you definitely can’t ignore this magnanimous and prominent Indian National leader.
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