Saturday, June, 25,2022

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SURGICAL STRIKE ON VIP CULTURE - Union Minsiter Mukhtar Abbas Naqqvi

One of the days, PM Modi decided to have lunch at the Parliamentary canteen. He visited the canteen that serves MPs and ordered food. As he was having his meal, he pondered, “For this same food, people outside are shelling out Rs 50 or Rs 100 per plate. Whereas here it is being consumed for Rs 8 or Rs 10. What does this mean? What privileged class do we belong to, I want to know, that we can’t pay for the food we eat? This has to stop.” And so it was. That was the last day of canteen subsidy for MPs.

For Modiji, the poor man comes first. His concern was that when the poor man can pay Rs 50 for a plate of food, why should an MP get it for Rs 5? Thus what had been a long standingissue was sorted by PM Modi to build an egalitarian society

And talking of the privileged class, PM Modi questioned, and literally detested the “LAL BATTI” culture. The Lal Batti, in Indian psyche, has come to be associated with the might of the political class and the tremendous public inconvenience caused when people have to wait in traffic due to road blocks or make way for VIPs in cars flashing the Lal Batti. PM Modi questioned why should anyone, including the President, the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, be distinguished from the rest of their brethren with the red beacon? “Every Indian is special”, was the clarion call.


He would often guide the karyakartas about how to behave in society, giving practical tips as well as moral guidance. He would say “Always remember that people are watching us. Since we are working in the society, with people, we must think and ponder - how is it that people see us?” Narendra bhai then illustrated his point with an example. He said that once he had gone to someone’s house and was offered tea. As he started having tea, he realised that the entire family assembled in the room where he was. He began to wonder “After all why are they here?” After a few moments of observation and trying to make sense of the situation, the answer dawned upon him. The karyakarta who was accompanying him was slurping down the hot chai. It is indeed a loud, recurrent and embarrassing sound that comes when you suck in hot tea almost in bubbles - a long, loud “shhwooop”. Modi bhai immediately took cognizance of the situation and instructed the karyakarta regarding tea etiquette. Possessing proper etiquette is absolutely essential for a karyakarta, who is a public personality, he said. Thus, Modi bhai gave a loving as well as strict lesson to all the karyakartas and said one should make a conscious effort to ensure there is no slurping, at home or in public. Such display of improper manners only brings on embarrassment as in this case all the family members gathered listening to the sound to find out “Who’s having tea?”

At a personal level, it was Narendrabhai who taught me how to iron a shirt. I was the office co-incharge at Maninagar office. Narendrabhai used to live there and we used to have lunch together. It was my routine to iron all my clothes myself. One day he appeared all of a sudden with his kurta in his hand and said “Would you please iron this for me?” I said “Yes absolutely. Why not?” Now as I started, he immediately gave me a handy, practical tip on how to iron with perfection. He said “This is not the way to do it. I will show you how it’s done.” It is the front side of the shirt that matters. So when you iron, always ensure that the front of the kurta or shirt is done nicely and crisply. The back doesn’t show, so do the front first.

This is how Narendra bhai stands out as a leader. He is a very aware and a conscious leader who tries to bring up the level of every person associated with him. This is possible only because he keeps a keen eye on people and their welfare is his priority. Without proper etiquette, it isn’t possible to lead a successful public life. How one conducts oneself socially is of utmost importance!

NARENDRA MODI, THE FAKIR... - Gujarat RSS Karyakarta Mahesh Dixit

As a pracharak in 1970s, Narendra bhai was a frequent visitor to my place. This incident is about a cold winter morning. I woke up early and after saying my prayers I went out for a whiff of fresh air when I found someone sleeping on the hard bench outside in the porch. The person’s cloth bag was hanging by the wooden board and he was sleeping peacefully. I was absolutely shocked to find that it was none other than Narendra bhai and I immediately woke him up. Almost shrieking I asked “Why did you not wake us up? Why did you have to sleep outside on this hard bench?”

As soft and humble as he is, he said quietly “It was in the middle of the night when I reached. I could have woken you up but I did not want to trouble you.” He would always address my wife as behen (sister). Then he continued “More than you, my knocking at midnight would have caused trouble for behen. She would have got busy making arrangements to ensure a comfortable stay for me with cooking and making the bed. I simply did not have the heart to put her to so much inconvenience so late in the night.”

Today when I look back, I can see Narendra bhai’s face, shining like that of a fakir. Is there any power that could have stopped a person as caring, as selfless, as simple and with so much inner strength from becoming the PM? None. Even today our PM is just as considerate and humble as Narendra bhai. TO BE CONTINUED…

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