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Narendra Damodardas Modi is the current and 14th Prime Minister of India since 2014. Before serving as the Prime Minister of the country, he served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014. Born on 17 September 1950, Narendra Modi is one of the most popular Indian politicians worldwide.
From being a member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to becoming the CM of Gujarat and then the 14th prime minister of the world's largest democracy, Narendra Modi has come a long way. On his 70th birthday, we share some interesting facts related to Narendra Modi. Read on:
1. Narendra Modi was born as the third of six children of Gujarati parents Damodardas Mulchand Modi and Hiraben Modi.
2. Modi was born in a family of grocers in Vadnagar, Mehsana district in Gujarat.
3. The family belonged to the oil-pressure community of Modi's native.
4. Thus, Modi's family belonged to one of the Other Backward Communities (OBC) in India.
5. During his childhood, Narendra Modi helped his father in selling tea at the Vadnagar Railway Station.
6. He also ran a tea stall with his elder brother near a bus terminal. ALSO READ: Narendra Modi's Best Fashion Moments.
7. In 1967, Narendra Modi completed his Higher Secondary Education in Vadnagar.
8. His teachers described him as an average student who had keen interest in debates and theatre.
9. Modi's debating skills were first noticed by his teachers and classmates.
10. He often played larger-than-life characters in dramas and plays.
11. While he took part in plays and dramas, he developed an interest in politics as well.
12. As a child, Narendra Modi also dreamt of serving in the Indian Army.
13. In order to serve in the Indian Army, he wanted to study in the Sainik School but couldn't do so due to poor financial background.
14. When he turned eight, Narendra Modi came across the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
15. Soon, he began attending the local Shakhas of the RSS where he received initial training.
16. This is where Modi first met Lakshmanrao Inamdar, also known as Vakil Saheb, who was one of the founding fathers of the RSS in Gujarat.
17. Vakil Saheb introduced Modi as a 'Bal Swayamsevak' in the RSS.
18. Later, Saheb became the political mentor of Narendra Modi and assisted him on many occasions.
19. Modi also came across Nathalal Jaghda and Vasant Gajendragadkar who later became the founding members of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) unit in Gujarat.
20. While he was still a teenager, he was married to Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi.
21. However, he abandoned the marital obligations and left home, as he wanted to serve the nation.
22. Since that day, Narendra Modi and his wife remain married but estranged. They chose to live separate lives without marrying anyone else.
23. Though Narendra Modi never mentioned his marital status, during the 2014 General Elections in India, he admitted that he was married to Jashodaben and that the couple is estranged.
24. After abandoning his married life, Narendra Modi visited several Hindu ashrams across the northern and north-eastern states of India.
25. Some of these ashrams are Swami Vivekananda: The Belur Math (near Kolkata), Ramakrishna Mission in Rajkot, Advaita Ashram in Almora, and so on.
26. However, Modi stayed for a very short time in each ashram, as he lacked the necessary college education.
27. According to Narendra Modi, Swami Vivekananda has inspired his life in several ways.
28. As Modi was rejected from the ashrams due to lack of college education, he returned to Vadnagar for a short period of time.
29. He travelled back to Gujarat from Kolkata via Delhi-Rajasthan in 1968-69.
30. When he returned to Vadnagar, he stayed with his uncle and worked in his canteen.
31. Narendra Modi was arrested for taking part in the non-violent protest against the Indian Government before the Indo-Pak war in 1971.
32. After the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971, Modi served as a full-time Pracharak (the one who campaigns) for the RSS and thus stopped working in his uncle's canteen.
33. It was in 1978 that Narendra Modi is said to have completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the School of Open Learning, University of Delhi.
34. He also received his Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Gujarat University, as a distance learning student.
35. In June 1975, when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed an Emergency, Modi was elected as the General Secretary of the Gujarat Lok Sangharsh Samiti.
36. The organisation was basically an RSS committee that coordinated the opposition to the Emergency in Gujarat.
37. Shortly, the RSS was banned and Modi was forced to go underground.
38. However, Modi continued travelling in disguise to evade arrest.
39. During this time, Modi engaged in creating safe houses for those who were wanted by the government.
40. He also raised funds for those who opposed the Emergency.
41. In 1978, Modi became the Sambhag Pracharak of RSS, the one who campaigns in a particular region.
42. He was also given the responsibility of overseeing the RSS activities in Vadodara and Surat.
43. In 1979, Modi started working for the RSS in Delhi.
44. He returned to Gujarat for a short period of time in 1985.
45. This is when he was recommended to the BJP by the RSS.
46. Modi worked for the BJP and helped in organising the the party's campaign in the Ahmedabad municipal election in 1987.
47. When Lal Krishna Advani was appointed as the President of BJP in 1986, RSS thought of placing some of its prominent workers in the BJP.
48. The hard work of Modi in the 1987 elections and the RSS, helped him in earning a notable position in BJP.
49. Soon, Modi became a member of the BJP's National Election Committee in 1990.
50. He helped LK Advani in organising the 1990 Rath Yatra and Murli Manohar Joshi's Ekta Yatra in 1991-92.
51. In 1992, Modi took a short break from politics.
52. Modi returned to electoral politics in 1994 as a party secretary.
53. His election campaign strategy helped in the victory of BJP in the 1995 State Assembly Elections.
54. In 1995, Modi was elected as the National Secretary of BJP and was sent to Delhi. This is when he started looking into the party activities in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
55. His campaign strategy once again helped BJP's victory with a majority in the 1998 elections.
56. Modi was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7 October 2001 after Keshubhai Patel's health started declining.
57. Due to Patel's alleged corruption, BJP lost a few seats in the state and this is when Modi's name was proposed as the Deputy CM of Gujarat. But Modi said that he will either have full charge of Gujarat or not at all. Thus, Modi became the CM of Gujarat with the aim of improving the situation of both the party and state.
58. Being the CM of Gujarat, he carried out many developmental projects and supported privatisation and small government.
59. He introduced several policies to reduce corruption in Gujarat. He also supported the NGOs and the development of ground-water conservation projects.
60. Till December 2008, his government constructed 1,13,738 check dams within the state to help restore depleted water level.
61. Modi successfully finished the project of bringing electricity to each and every village of Gujarat. During his tenure from 2001-10, Gujarat saw considerable growth in every field, especially in agriculture and production.
62. In 2013, Modi's name was proposed as the candidate for the position of Prime Minister of India in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. This was followed by opposition from various BJP leaders, including LK Advani, who cited this as a move to fulfil the personal agenda of some BJP leaders.
63. But Modi remained the prime ministerial candidate. The BJP saw a historic victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, after which Narendra Modi was sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India.
64. Modi was a candidate from two constituencies namely Vadodara, Gujarat and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He won the seat from both the constituencies.
65. Modi vacated the Vadodara seat, owing to the fact that an MP cannot represent two constituencies at the same time.
66. On 13 October 2018, Modi's name was once again proposed as the prime ministerial candidate in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. He contested from Varanasi.
67. Amit Shah, the current Home Minister of India and the President of BJP, took charge of the election campaign.
68. BJP won 303 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, marking another historic victory.
69. Narendra Modi was once again sworn-in as the Prime Minister of India on 30 May 2019.
70. Today, Narendra Modi is considered one of the most successful self-made leaders in the world. We wish him a very happy birthday!