Thursday, June, 20,2024

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The narrators highlight Modi’s compassionate leadership through personal hospital support and his tireless promotion of yoga globally. His direct connections with people at the local level are credited for his effective governance, solidifying his impactful legacy and lots more...

A LEADER’S CARE, AND LOVE RETURNED - Smriti Irani, Union Minister

I remember once we were in Gujarat and there was a gentleman from a southern state. There is a CM office complex where all the ministers also sit. Narendra bhai was reaching the office and on his way when he saw this man standing outside in the sun, away from the office complex, he immediately stopped his vehicle and talked to him. He asked what had happened and why he was standing there? To this, the gentleman said he had come to visit Gujarat with his family on a holiday and his wife had fallen sick. She was reportedly admitted to the civil hospital in Ahmedabad and he had run out of money to bear the expenses for her further medical treatment. I remember, without giving a second thought, Narendra bhai said, I will pay for your treatment, you need not worry. Eventually he took charge of his wife’s treatment and she soon got well. Much later, when Modi ji took a trip down to the south Indian state on a party campaign, it was found that the same gentleman had pasted and circulated small posters, urging everyone to take him to Modi ji. He wanted to meet him and pay back the medical expenses Modi ji had borne for his wife’s treatment way back in Ahmedabad. Narendra bhai helps so many people. He didn’t even remember this gentleman but the man wanted to pay back his gratitude for the leader. Such is Narendra Modi’s relation with even the ordinary man of the street.


When I was here in Gujarat, working in education counselling, there was a divisional forest officer (DFO) named Khamar, whose son would often consult me for counselling. Regarding this, I often visited their house. Once, during a casual conversation I asked him how things were shaping up and progressing under the leadership of Narendra Modi as the state chief minister. So he told me, when we go to meet Narendra Modi, we prepare well beforehand because no one knows what he would ask. We do our homework for at least 10 possible questions spanning different subjects. Once we went to him with all the 10 possible questions ready, but he bowled us with a googly of an eleventh question to which we had no clue, he said. He then went on to add that Modi ji’s homegrown information network is beyond the capacity of any official channel of communication. It is lightning fast and impeccable. An incident had happened related to the forest department at one of the meetings, of which surprisingly we didn’t know anything, but Modi ji knew all about it well before us. He immediately rang up someone and proved to us the authenticity of the news that had happened in our own area but we didn’t know of. We were left shame faced, the DFO told me. I realised, Modi ji’s success as a great leader, a great CM and a PM of such calibre rests largely on his direct and strong rapport at the local level.


After June 21 was designated as a global day for the celebration of yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “The entire world is today committed to celebrating International Yoga Day on June 21 every year. India is proud of the fact that the UNO took this matter forward and 177 countries of the world cosponsored it. India’s invaluable heritage has today become the world’s invaluable heritage.” Before that, he had told me, we have to get June 21 recognised by the UN as International Day of Yoga. At that time Modi was about to travel to the US to attend a UNO meeting. So he told me we have to get it included in the UN agenda 3-6 months prior to the visit. I want to put forth a holistic vision of yoga. Everyone accepted the proposal unanimously. Eventually, the need never arose to introduce it in the UN agenda. I told him, you have done a great job. It is a big contribution by you. Modi ji said, I am amused that even 45 Islamic countries supported this initiative. Later, in a speech on the auspicious day, he told a huge gathering of yoga practitioners, today where the first ray of the sun arose from and 24 hours later where the last ray of the sun will reach, there will be no ray, no journey of the sun that will remain untouched from blessing all of you yoga practitioners. Modi very ingeniously chose June 21 as the day because on that day the sun would be visible for the longest time. Light is the maximum on that day across the globe. It was an apt tribute to yoga and the most noble way to take it on to the global stage of acceptance and appreciation.


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