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Biography

Narendra Modi

14th Prime Minister of India
Personal details
Full Name Narendra Damodardas Modi
Date of birth 17 September 1950 (age 66)
Birth place Vadnagar, Bombay State (presently Gujarat), India
Political party  Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Jashodaben Modi (m. 1968)(estranged)
Residence 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi
Alma mater University of Delhi
Gujarat University
Incumbent
Assumed office
26-May-14
President Pranab Mukherjee
Preceded by Manmohan Singh
14th Chief Minister of Gujarat
In office
7 October 2001 – 22 May 2014
Governor Sunder Singh Bhandari
Kailashpati Mishra
Balram Jakhar
Nawal Kishore Sharma
S. C. Jamir
Kamla Beniwal
Preceded by Keshubhai Patel
Succeeded by Anandiben Patel
Member of the Indian Parliament for Varanasi
Assumed office
16-May-14
Preceded by Murli Manohar Joshi
Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly for Maninagar
In office
1 January 2002 – 16 May 2014
Preceded by Kamlesh Patel
Succeeded by Suresh Patel

 

About

Narendra Modi was born on 17 September 1950 to a family of grocers in Vadnagar, Mehsana district, Bombay State (present-day Gujarat). He was the third of six children born to Damodardas Mulchand Modi (c.1915 – 1989) and Hiraben Modi (born c.1920).Modi’s family belonged to the Modh-Ghanchi-Teli (oil-presser) community, which is categorised as an Other Backward Class by the Indian government. As a child, Modi helped his father sell tea at the Vadnagar railway station, and later ran a tea stall with his brother near a bus terminus. Modi completed his higher secondary education in Vadnagar in 1967, where a teacher described him as an average student and a keen debater, with an interest in theatre. Modi had an early gift for rhetoric in debates, and this was noted by his teachers and students. Modi preferred playing larger-than-life characters in theatrical productions, which has influenced his political image. When eight years old, Modi discovered the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and began attending its local shakhas (training sessions). There, Modi met Lakshmanrao Inamdar, popularly known as Vakil Saheb, who inducted him as a balswayamsevak (junior cadet) for RSS and became his political mentor. While Modi was training with the RSS, he also met Vasant Gajendragadkar and Nathalal Jaghda, Bharatiya Jana Sangh leaders who were founding members of the BJP’s Gujarat unit in 1980. Engaged while still a child to Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, a girl from a family who lived close by, Modi rejected the arranged marriage at the same time he graduated from high school. The resulting familial tensions contributed to his decision to leave home in 1967. Modi spent the ensuing two years travelling across Northern and North-eastern India, though few details of where he went have emerged. In interviews, Modi has described visiting Hindu ashrams founded by Swami Vivekananda: the Belur Math near Kolkata, followed by the Advaita Ashrama in Almora and the Ramakrishna Mission in Rajkot. Modi remained only a short time at each, since he lacked the required college education. Vivekananda has been described as a large influence in Modi’s life. In the early summer of 1968, Modi reached the Belur Math but was turned away, after which Modi wandered through Calcutta, West Bengal and Assam, stopping in Siliguri and Guwahati. Modi then went to the Ramakrishna Ashram in Almora, where he was again rejected, before travelling back to Gujarat via Delhi and Rajasthan in 1968–69. Sometime in late 1969 or early 1970, Modi returned to Vadnagar for a brief visit before leaving again for Ahmedabad. There, Modi lived with his uncle, working in the latter’s canteen at the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation. In Ahmedabad, Modi renewed his acquaintance with Inamdar, who was based at the Hedgewar Bhavan (RSS headquarters) in the city. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he stopped working for his uncle and became a full-time pracharak (campaigner) for the RSS, working under Inamdar. Shortly before the war, Modi took part in a non-violent protest against the Indian government in New Delhi, for which he was arrested; this has been cited as a reason for Inamdar electing to mentor him. Many years later Modi would co-author a biography of Inamdar, published in 2001. In 1978 Modi received a degree in political science after a distance-education course from Delhi University. Five years later, in 1982, he received a Master of Arts degree in political science from Gujarat University.

 

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