Excerpts from the book ‘Social Harmony’ by Narendra Modi
Every year, Shri Narendra Modi celebrates his birthday in the service of the poor. Unlike other political leaders who celebrate their birthdays with pomp and grandeur, Shri Narendra Modi be lies in simplicity. He sent a train load of goods worth five and a half crore rupees to flood victims in Bihar, and his total aid to them has been around twenty crore rupees so far. Forty – three years ago, at the age of 18, he had worked dedicatedly for the people who had lost everything in the Bihar floods.
When Shri Narendra Modi was studyinging in the ninth standard, the month of Shravan (as per lunar calendar) brought severe floods to many parts of the country. The inhabitants of those areas were badly affected in floods and many lost everything. When Shri Narendra Modi heard about this, he felt a strong urge to help the flood – affected people by sending something. But what could he send? His family was not financially sound enough to justify his taking money from his parents. Even at such a young age, his intelligence shone through.
A religious fair had been organized at Gaurikund in his town Vadna gar to mark the holy month of Shravan.
Narendrabhai’s father gave a rupee to spend at the fair. Any 13-14 years old would have preferred to enjoy himself at the fair, but Narendrabhai’s concern for the flood victims was paramount. He felt that even the one rupee given by his father should be sent to the flood affected people, but he knew that it was too little.
He convinced all his friends to set up a tea stall at the fair instead of spending money for their own en joyment and send their earnings to the flood victims.
He collected one rupee from each friend, bought the necessary items, got the vessels and stove from home, and was successful in sending a sizeable amount to the victims of floods.
Shri Narendra Modi is known to be strict, but his heart flows with love and compassion for the deprived and persecuted, enabling him to feel their pain. He understands the true concept of, ‘Vaishnava Jan’ and has the inborn quality of empathizing with the suffering of others.
Shri Narendra Modi’s emotions can be summed up by ‘ëtmavat Sarvabh £ t®Àu’ and ‘Paradravy®àu L ° havChavat’. (The wise man looks upon all creatures as him and the wealth of the others as the clods of earth.) He is intensely focused on finding ing measures to eradicate sorrows from the lives of the deprived and persecuted.
This focus has been consistent within him, whether in his role as an RSS campaigner or as the Chief Minister.
His passion for this is evident in his actions, lectures and articles. Today this passion for service flows uninterruptedly for Gujarat.
Shri Narendra Modi is devoted to Gujarat and he believes in bringing justice even to people of the lowest strata. Here is one of the many examples of this noble thought.
Sample this situation:
In the Public Relations Unit of the Chief Minister on the ground floor of Block 1 in Gandhinagar, five to seven officers are sitting on simple chairs.
There is a laptop on a small table and a TV screen in front of it. The Chief Minister is sitting on the chair against the table and some chairs have been placed opposite him for visitors.
Several people are sitting outside the room, some young, some old, some literate and many illiterate.
A thin, dark – skinned tribal man called Ranchhodbhai is sitting on the floor because he cannot walk.
He has dragged himself to Gandhinagar all the way from Wadhvaniya village of Bardoli sub-district in Surat, almost 300 kms away.
This handicapped, helpless man dressed in ragged clothes and a dirty old scarf carries a small bundle in his hand and has come for justice.
Thus begins the dialogue between a poor tribal and the Chief Minister:
Shri Narendra Modi: Why have you come here from so far.
Tribal: Sir, I am an illiterate person. Some people in my village advised me to meet you to get justice. That is why I have left my village for the first time in my life and come to meet you.
Shri Narendra Modi: Tell me what your problem is.
Tribal: Sir, as per the instructions of the collector and Mamlatdar, my friend in Wadhwaniya village, Dhansukhbhai Ramanbhai Halpati was given the contract of building my house. He has started the work, but instead of sand, he uses this inferior material (shows some from his bundle) and very little cement.
Also, he has broken down all the doors of my house and is now pressurizing me to provide new doors. How will I get more doors – I have no money.
They are making a raw and inferior house. If I protest, they threaten to get me thrashed by the police.
Shri Narendra Modi looks at the TV screen and asks the Surat Collector, “What is this matter? ”(On behalf of the non – Gujarati Collector of Surat his assistant replies.The Chief Minister and the complainant can listen and watch on the TV screen).
Assistant to Collector: Sir, the house was in his son’s name and was built by the Halpati Housing Construction Board.
It was demolished in 1996-97 following a dispute over the open land beside the house.
Later, after a settlement between the parties, the Talati Baburbhai Dahyabhai Chaudhari and the husband of village lady Sarpanch Dhansukhbhai Ramanbhai Halpati had started rebuilding the complainant’s house.
But the construction quality was not good.
The complaint had been lodged for the demand of doors and windows.
The Halpati Housing Construction Board has visited the site and reviewed the situation.
The answers of the applicant and Talati – cum – Secretary Baburbhai Dhyabhai Chaudhari and Dineshbhai Ranchhodbhai Halpati, the complainant’s son were noted.
After examining the details of the complaint it seems that there was external pressure to demolish the complainant’s house.
Shri Narendra Modi took strict action on the Talati.
Is harassing poor people part of his duty? Secondly, the samples show the inferior quality of material used, which will never lead to a good quality house being constructed.
This shows the extent of malpractices going on. He asked him to go there personally and ensure that the construction of the house is completed in a timely and satisfactory manner.
The complainant tribal Ranchhodb has expressed his gratitude to Shri Narendra Modi.
Overwhelmed with emotions, he praises Shri Narendra Modi for giving him justice, thanks the other officers and leaves.
This is only one of the numerous such incidents during the tenure of Shri Narendra Modi when he has given justice to the poor, deprived, persecuted and downtrodden people.