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MODI’S MISSION TO EMPOWER, NOT IMPOSE!

Modi ji slaked the thirst of jawans at the border - Pushpendra Singh Rathore, BSF officer

It was in 2009 that my IG said, as Chief Minister, Narendra Modi wanted to visit the IndoPak border in Gujarat and spend some time with the BSF jawans posted there. It was said that the CM wanted to share the New Year celebrations with the bravehearts posted in the far-flung border areas of the state.

I had the opportunity of escorting him to the border. He expressed his desire to cross the fence and reach Zero Point, the place which is closest to the Pakistan side, where the pillars are erected between the two countries. We had to tell him that there were certain norms, which were needed to be followed while crossing the fence to reach Zero Point and Modi ji said I am ready to follow all the protocols, but I want to see how it is there.

Then, the second issue was how to reach the point because in between there was a wide marshy patch which had to be crossed. I told him that it could be crossed only with the help of a camel. He said he couldn’t ride a camel and asked me to accompany him through the 150-metre stretch. I did so and when he reached the spot, he had a photo op with the jawans there. At that point, he talked to the jawans and sought to know their problems and experiences manning the border.

We had the problem of potable water in the area as it was available 50 kilometres back in the village. We used to ferry tankers full of water from the Suigam village for the jawans. We urged Modi ji to do something to set up pipelines for the supply of potable water to the area for the convenience of the jawans.

Modi ji took not more than 2 seconds to agree to the proposal and said, today is January 1. Water will reach the jawans through a pipeline within 6 months. I assure you that.

Rann has such high temperatures and the condition is so saline that no pipeline can survive there. I was told that special pipes were acquired from Germany by importing them from that country and exactly six months later, by June of that year, a huge reservoir was built and water reached the jawans through the pipeline. That is the kind of commitment of Modi ji.

MODI JI WAS ALWAYS AGAINST VIP CULTURE - Manoj Jain, BJP leader, Haryana

I would like to share a wonderful experience of my life with Narendra Modi. It was in the 1990s that we had a state executive committee meeting in Sonipat. Modi ji came to attend the meeting as the state in-charge of Haryana BJP.

While on the way, I seated him in the back seat of the car and went around the car on the other side to sit by the side of the driver to tell him the route. Modi ji saw this and beckoned me. As I went near him, he asked me my name and then said, Manoj ji, do I have thorns? Why do you sit away from me? What is the problem sitting here, beside me? This drove my inhibitions in a minute and I felt at home sitting by his side. He started discussing with me the various facets of Sonipat like what was famous here and general things like that.

All of a sudden we heard a siren behind us and a cavalcade of cars. Modi ji asked me what it was. I told him that state home minister ID Swami was passing through the way, which was why there was the siren of his cavalcade.

Modi ji asked his car be stopped on the side. We stopped and he came out of the car and started waving with his hand at Swami’s car. Seeing this, the minister also stopped his car. Then Modi ji said, you are in your home state. Who do you fear in your own area that you need such paraphernalia in your movement? Who are you using the siren for? Here you don’t need all these. This will distance you from your own people. I request you not to use sirens during your movement. When I think of that incident today, I realise how Modi ji was against VIP culture from the very beginning and always took a stand against such ostentatious displays.

SIKH COMMUNITY INDEBTED TO PM MODI - Justice GS Sistani, Former Judge of Delhi High Court / Simrit Kaur, Principal, Shri Ram College Of Commerce, University Of Delhi / Sant Singh Chatwal, NRI, USA

There have been many steps taken by PM Modi and his government for the welfare of the Sikh community, like the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. The opening of the corridor is not just a matter of a few kilometres that would take us from India to Pakistan. It involves a lot like the home ministry is involved, the diplomatic corridors are involved, and it involves not just one nation. But he made it possible.

Modi ji declared Baal Diwas on December 26, which we celebrate as Veer Baal Diwas. This is a moment of pride because through this we will be able to tell the younger generation about the sacrifices the sons of Guru Gobind Singh ji, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh ji and Sahibzada Fateh Singh ji, made to stand up against injustice and discrimination.

The Hem Kund Sahib Yatra was a very difficult journey through a tortuous path. PM Modi has now made the journey that much easier by making the road so practical and viable. We are so very thankful to PM Modi for his personal interest and effort in making our pilgrimage easy.

In all our centenary celebrations of our gurus like Guru Gobind Singh ji, Guru Nanak Dev ji and Guru Tegh Bahadur which we organised in recent times, PM Modi participated to show his solidarity with the Sikh community. It is a matter of pride for the community when the prime minister of the country becomes a part of its celebrations and stands by it through good and bad times.

The gurudwara at Kutch was destroyed in the earthquake. Not many people know that Guru Nanak Dev, the first guru of the Sikhs had stayed at that gurudwara, not once, but twice. It was again, through the efforts of PM Modi, his knowledge, supervision and involvement that the gurudwara was redone, restored and put back in its place. It was a small effort, but such a big thing for the community.

COMPILED AND EDITED BY SHASHIKANT SHARMA

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