The infamous Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often been in the Pakistani media’s highlights but who really is Modi and how did he rise to the highest office in India?
We’re taking you on a journey through the Indian premier’s childhood, family, education and right up to his ascent to power.
Narendra Modi is the 14th prime minister (PM) of India and hails from the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Born on 17th of September in 1950, Modi belonged to the ‘Other Backward Class’ as categorised by the Indian Government.
As a child, Modi sold tea at a stall near Vadnagar Railway Station along with continuing his studies.
While attending a session by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi’s ‘enlightenment’ came when he was eight years old and met vakil saheb, also known as Lakshmanrao Inamdar.
Inamdar inducted the eight-year-old as a junior cadet in the ultra-right RSS.
A turning point in the life of the incumbent Indian premier came when at the time of his high school graduation he denounced his arranged married that his family had contracted on his behalf when he was just a child.
Consequently, family tensions arose and the young Modi left his house.
Narendra then continued to travel throughout the country from ashram to ashram before finally stopping at Ahmedabad where he got a job helping in his uncle’s canteen.
It was in Ahmedabad where Modi renewed his acquaintance with Inamdar and formally became active in grass root politics.
Shortly before the India-Pakistan war of 1971, Modi was arrested while he was part of a local protest and after the war, he left his uncle’s shop to become a full-time campaigner for the RSS.
In 1975, when Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency and banned the RSS in Gujrat, Modi became the general secretary of a local RSS committee tasked with the responsibility of coordinating opposition to the then sitting government.
Modi was elevated to a regional organiser in the RSS in 1978 and in 1985 he was assigned to the BJP by the RSS.
LK Advani assumed BJP’s presidency in 1986 and elevated Modi to the position of organising secretary in the party’s Gujrat chapter.
Rising through BJP’s ranks, Modi became a member of the party’s national election committee in 1990, national secretary of the party in November that year and BJP general secretary in 1998.
On October 3 in 2001, Modi became the chief minister of Gujrat.
Modi has been blamed by international media for orchestrating and being an accomplice in the 2002 Gujrat riots which happened while he was chief minister of the state and the subsequent murder of thousands of Muslims in Gujrat, which is known as the Gujrat Massacre.
Zoe Brigley estimated that at least 250 Muslim women were gang-raped and then burnt alive in the aftermath of the Gujrat carnage.
In addition to this, pregnant Muslim women were gutted and their unborn babies were displayed in front of them, while Muslim children were forced to drink petrol and then they were set on fire.
Later, the Naroda Patiya mass grave was discovered which had in it 96 bodies of which 47 were women.
Other violence against women, according to Renu Khanna, included “acid attacks, stripping them naked, mass rapes, forced nudity, mutilation”.
A testimony heard and accepted by the Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal stated, “A chilling technique, absent in pogroms unleashed hitherto but very much in evidence, this time in a large number of cases, was the deliberate destruction of evidence. Barring a few, in most instances of sexual violence, the women victims were stripped and paraded naked, then gang-raped, and thereafter quartered and burnt beyond recognition. . . . The leaders of the mobs even raped young girls, some as young as 11 years old . . . before burning them alive. . . . Even a 20-day-old infant, or a fetus in the womb of its mother, was not spared.”
Vandana Shiva said, “Young boys have been taught to burn, kill and rape in the name of Hindutva.”
Modi’s government in Gujrat stayed completely silent while all this happened and was subsequently blamed for being an accomplice.
In 2014, Modi was elected as the prime minister of India.
Subsequently, violence against Muslims soared.
The RSS murdered and indulged in extreme cases of violence against Muslims throughout the country.
Pakistani actors and actresses were banned from entering India.
Similarly, RSS members threw ink on Kulkarni’s face, the man who organised the event pertaining to former Pakistani foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s book launch.
Violence in Kashmir also soared to new heights during Modi’s premiership.