Excerpts from the book ‘Social Harmony’ by Narendra Modi
An incident published around seven years ago in the Kannada daily Samyukt just prior to Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Hubli in Karnataka, gives a glimpse of his sensitivity and shows how serving the poor is not a matter of garnering fame for Shri Narendra Modi, but is driven by his innate sense of duty to wards them.
The article written by Vishvanath Kulkarni goes thus. Where is Hubli? And where is Ahmedabad? These two cities have had business relations for centuries. There is even a direct railway connection now.
But this story talks about human relations and the person who made it possible is Shri Narendra Modi. It is possible that Shri Narendra Modi has forgotten this incident; after all he must have helped innumerable people in a similar manner. But it is the duty of us Kannadigas (speakers of Kannada language) to remember those who have helped them.
This story is about a poor tailor from Hubli called Chandrakant Mahervade. Chandrakant was told that there is a good demand for tailors in Ahmedabad and hence, after obtaining some preliminary information from his rela tives in Gujarat, he set off for Ahmedabad. Newly married, he rented a house in Maninagar area of Ahmedabad and started working as a tailor.
Work started flowing in life was good. Mean while, his wife Shobha’s pregnancy reached term and she was admitted to LG Hospital in Maninagar, where she gave birth to a baby girl.
Chandrakant’s wife was in hospital for five days. At the time of discharge he was stunned to see the huge bill which was way beyond his means.
He was not even allowed to take his wife and new born daughter home until he paid the bill in full.
The place was unknown and even his relatives refused to help him.
On one hand, he was overjoyed on the birth of his daughter and on the other, he was worried about how to pay the hospital bill.
Seeing his distress, the security officer at the hospital suggested that he should approach the Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar for assistance, as Maninagar is his constituency.
The very same day Chandrakant reached Shri Narendra Modi’s residence in Gandhinagar.
He showed the hospi tal bill to the police officer on duty, who took it inside while Chandrakant waited outside.
After a few minutes, Shri Narendra Modi came out and asked Chandrakant to talk about himself and his problem.
He gave him a letter on his letterhead and asked him to show it to the hospital. “Don’t worry, everything will be alright. Convey my good wishes to your wife and daughter, ”he assured Chandrakant. Chandrakant thanked Shri Narendra Modi, and left for Ahmedabad.
When he showed the Chief Minister’s let ter to the hospital authorities, they waived the complete bill amount and Chandrakant was able to take his wife and daughter home. After three years Chandrakant moved back to Hubli, but he cannot forget Shri Narendra Modi.
Whenever he sees his picture in the newspaper or on TV, he still feels the thrill of that incident and retells the story countless times.
At the tender age of 14, Shri Narendra Modi expressed his resentment of the unfair practice of untouchability and made up his mind to serve the down trodden; and he continues to act as their guardian after becoming the Chief Minister.
The concept of a welfare state which gives the highest priority to the well being and happiness of its people has long been advocated by our Indian culture. The true measure of the progress of any state is the extent of progress achieved by the underprivileged.
True development is that which brings the fruits of happiness even to the last person in the remotest backward area. Shri Narendra Modi’s administration believes in this concept.
His focus has always been the upliftment of the low est strata of society. This book is a compilation of the articles written by Shri Narendra Modi before assuming the Chief Minister’s Office and his lectures thereafter. Any error or defect is my own. I am extremely fortunate that Shri K.S. Sudarshanji, former RSS Chief and a person dedicated to the concept of social harmony, has written the preface for this book. And finally, I have constantly experienced Shri Narendra Modi’s love for the underprivileged, his endeavor to share in their joys and sorrows, the excellence of his thought processes and his sensitivity towards the society during the compilation of this book. I trust that every Gujarati will experience the same while reading this book.