Narendra Damodardas Modi (born 17 September 1950 in Vadnagar) is the 15th Prime Minister of India. Modi is leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014 and is the Member of Parliament (MP) from Varanasi.
- 1 Quotes
- 1.1 2001
- 1.2 2002
- 1.3 2006
- 1.4 2007
- 1.5 2008
- 1.6 2009
- 1.7 2011
- 1.8 2012
- 1.9 2013
- 1.10 2014
- 1.10.1 "'I was not silent on Gujarat riots,' says Modi", 2014
- 1.10.2 "Narendra Modi on the Role of NDTV during the 2002 Riots", 2014
- 1.10.3 "Read full interview of Narendra Modi to Rajat Sharma", 2014
- 1.10.4 "GhoshanaPatra with Narendra Modi", 2014
- 1.10.5 "Election results 2014 LIVE: Vadodara goes wild as hero Modi arrives", 2014
- 1.10.6 "Election results 2014 LIVE: 'The era of divisive politics is over', says Modi in Ahmedabad", 2014
- 2 About Narendra Modi
- 3 External links
- I did not become the Chief Minister of [Gujarat] on 7th October 2001. I have always been a 'C.M.', I am a C.M. today and will remain a C.M. tomorrow because by 'C.M.' I mean common man or Aam Aadmi.
- Narendra Modi (2001), cited in Kumar Pankaj (2014) Namo Mantra of Narendra Modi. Chapter "Narendra Modi—A Common Man".
- Narendra Modi's comment after being appointed the Chief Minister of Gujarat on 7 October 2001.
Modi election campaign speech, 2002
Modi election campaign speech, published in Sanjh Times, 19 February 2002; Cited in: Madhu Purnima Kishwar "Modi’s First Election from Rajkot in February 2002". Chapter 8. Modi, Muslims and Media—Voices from Narendra Modi's Gujarat, on manushi.in. Accessed 27 April 2014.
- I've not come to defeat or to put down anyone... I've come to win the hearts of the people of Rajkot. People should recognize the character of Congressmen who deprive people of Rajkot of water.
- I am not the ruler of Gujarat, I'm a servant of Gujarat. The environment in which I grew up, sewa is treated as a dharma, not power.
- In my entire life there has been no occasion when I had to beg anyone for anything. This is the first time in my life that in Rajkot I have the occasion to ask for votes. I assure the people of Rajkot that I will return with interest whatever the people of Rajkot give me.
- [...] there are many opportunities for development in Rajkot. There are numerous avenues for growth in the domain of education. After the Gujarat earthquake we have decided to develop earthquake management system in Gujarat. One of the departments connected with that work will be set up in Rajkot. I want that Rajkot should become a shiksha dham [centre of education] and a centre of hope for the people of this region. Rajkot has the distinction of being considered the foremost city of Saurashtra.
- Please ask Congressmen whether their candidates are in favour of running illegal butcher houses? Do they want to protect the hapless animals or the butchers?
Interview, 27 August 2002
- I have allowed the media to behave as it wants. [...] I am not worried. The truth will certainly be known.
- As far as the BJP is concerned, our belief has been the same for years. Justice to all, appeasement of none. We cannot support divisive politics. We strongly believe in President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam when he says we need 'unity of minds'. People who played the politics of appeasement have ruined the country, not us. Blame them.
- I have always criticised violence in my speeches but the way the trouble in just two per cent of the area is blown up and used against us should be countered. Arundhati Roy paints Gujaratis as rapists and then goes scot-free by apologising. Isn't it an insult to Gujarat?
- In Gujarat, the poison of casteism was injected in the name of the KHAM [Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasis[,] and Muslims] theory. Gujaratis rejected it and turned towards the unity of society. Casteist forces have been rejected in Gujarat, the people's mood is anti-casteist.
"When select phrases are lifted and distorted out of context", 2002
Narendra Modi on state television on 28 February 2002 (Original video on YouTube). Partly cited in Madhu Kishwar ""When select phrases are lifted and distorted out of context" at Manushi.in: Statement issued by Narendra Modi in the immediate aftermath of the Godhra train burning and during the outset of the ensuing 2002 communal violence.
- For any humanist such an incident would cause indescribable grief. But at the same time creating disturbances (ashanti)[,] indiscipline[,] and expressing outrage (akrosh) is not the solution.
- Won’t you help the [g]overnment in saving Gujarat? Won’t you help us in maintaining peace and harmony? The Government of Gujarat appeals to you for help, appeals to you for shanti (peace) and sanyam (restraint [or] self-discipline).
- Let us serve Gujarat by maintaining shanti and sanyam. Let us strengthen the arms of law.
- I understand your anger and outrage, I understand your pain. And yet in the self-interest of Gujarat, and to ensure that we don’t jeopardize the future of Gujarat, that Gujarat doesn’t get a blot on its face [or] carry a stigma connected with these times all the 5 crore Gujaratis need to keep calm and exercise self-restraint.
- It is my request to you, tit for tat is not a solution. Ver ver thi shamtu nathi[.] [Hatred is never won over by hatred.]
- Jai jaigarvi Gujarat mantra jeevant karne ke liye hame shanti ka marg hi chahiye. [In order to give life to the mantra of Jai Garvi Gujarat, we need to follow the path of peace.]
- I went to assure the people that Gujarat shall not tolerate any such accident. The culprits will get full punishment for their sins. Not only this, we will set an example, that nobody not even in his dream, thinks of committing a heinous crime like this.
- Cited in: Caroline Sweetman (2005) Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction. p. 94
2006 essay by Modi
Essay issued by Modi several months after the death (on 9 September 2006) of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader K. K. Shastri, reproduced by Aakar Patel, First Post, "Modi's mentors: K. K. Shastri, the scholar who helped save the Gujarati language".
- After the Godhra incident and the subsequent riots, Shastriji was head of the Gujarat VHP. He was a firm advocate of Gujarat's welfare. In a newspaper interview he said TV channels and national newspapers had spoiled Gujarat's image after the riots. By not speaking of the Godhra incident but only of the riots that followed, they had damaged Gujarat before the world. These channels would be damaging to Indian culture, he said. With a great deal of courage, Shastriji had rallied the Hindus.
- Hindus were tolerant, he said, and would remain so. But tolerance didn't mean they wouldn't defend themselves. Looking at the terrorism that had been encouraged to spread in the last few years, Hindus would have to be aware of their need for self-defence. Else the coming days would be dangerous for them.
- Shastriji had digested the message of the Gita. Some of us have memorised it in full and spout couplets from it at will. But I learnt of what it meant for someone to have actually digested it from Shastriji.
"Modi walks out of TV interview after being quizzed on riots", 2007
Interview with Karan Thapar, quoted by Rediff, "Modi walks out of TV interview after being quizzed on riots" (20 October 2007).
- I am busy with my work. I am committed to Gujarat and I am dedicated to Gujarat. I never talk about my image, never spent a single minute for my image and confusions may be there[.]
- The friendship should continue. You came here. I am happy and thankful to you. These are your ideas, you go on expressing these. I can't do this interview. Three–four questions I have already enjoyed. No more please[.]
- Suswagatham [Welcome.]
- Quoted in Business Today, "Supersize Gujarat".
- One-word SMS invitation sent to Ratan Tata in the immediate wake of Tata Motors' pullout from Singur, West Bengal on 3 October 2008 after 28 months due to agitations led by Mamata Banarjee against the state's forcible acquisition of fertile private farm land. After negotiations, the proposed car plant was instead built within 14 months in Sanand, Gujarat, on land voluntarily acquired at quadruple the per-acre market price.
Speech, 14 January 2008
- He said that, uh, there is an allegation that you have won elections on a communal card. I said, there are so many media persons here, they are not noting, but now they've started. You see, this is the tragedy of the country. Because when I was talking about development, they were not ready to note even! Now do you understand why I love Cho?
- I gave a reply: that my election speeches are available with the election commission. My statements are available in the newspapers. If you will find out a single statement that you can brand as communal, I will declare myself defeated. No one dared to come forward.
- What do you mean by communal? If I speak against the terrorism, is it communal?
- I do not know the meaning of the secularism. Yet I do not understand. Of course the dictionary meaning is absolutely different. There was a time when people were talking about the secularism, they were about the simply [sic] religious harmony. Slowly it changed the colour. Then, secularism means a lip sympathy to the minorities. Then slowly the colour changed. Then, secularism was [...] means appeasement to the minorities. Then the secularism changed the colour. Focus only on the Muslims' votebank in the name of secularism. Then the secularism changed the colour. Then, hate Hindu means secularism.
- In this type of the [...] every five years, the secularism is changing the meaning. So now I am thinking that I must come with a new meaning of the secularism.
- For me, development gives strongest foundation to the secularism.
- Nowadays, there is a new trend that has started. Up to [assembly election] results, they were targeting Modi. Now it is very difficult for them to target Modi. So now you must have read so many articles, so many discussions on the TV: "there's something wrong with the people of Gujarat". This has the [sic] started!
- You are lucky, that Modi is not here [in Chennai]. Otherwise they will blame you also. Otherwise they will blame the people of Tamil Nadu are not good, that they have, they are going to listen [to] Mr. Modi!
- The reality is different. They are so matured as far as democracy is concerned, they rejected the color TV [promised by Congress]. They rejected the color TV, and they accepted a person who says that I'll serve the notice [to tax evaders]. And this is the strength of the democracy.
- And I have advice to the each and every political party. When you are in the office, don't target for the next election. Just try to win over their heart. Election may be the byproduct. In last five years I never tried for the election results. Never. I was never thinking about the elections. I was never talking about the elections. But of course, I was very, very conscious [that] I want to win the heart of the people. And this election was simply a byproduct.
- We have a Gujarat State Wide Area Network. The optical fibre network. We are [the] largest in Asia, number one. We are number one in Asia. And we are second largest in the world. Can you image how we are using the technology?
- And friends, nowadays one project is going on in my state: the broadband connectivity to the rural area. Within six–seven months we will complete this project. When I say the broadband connectivity in my state means, the facility which is there in Washington, White House, the same facility will be available in the rural area of my Gujarat. And when America denied the visa [for Modi in 2005], I said I'll create so many Americans in my state, and Americans will come to my state. They will ask for the visa! And it will create a revolution in the social structure. This broadband connectivity is such a powerful instrument [...]
- And that's why in my Gujarat, my motto is: minimum government, maximum governance.
"The nation is waiting for a strong, experienced leader", 2009
Interview in: "'The nation is waiting for a strong, experienced leader'," in: Rediff.com, 8 April 2009.
- It's very simple, Dr[.] Manmohan Singhji in reality is not a leader, and he has himself said that he is not a leader. The nation cannot be ruled by an academician, it can be run only by a leader. What was Indiraji [Indira Gandhi]'s education was never an issue, but she was a leader. (P. V.) Narasimha Rao was a leader. Only those who know the pulse of the nation can run it.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri knew the pulse of the nation very well, which is why he was able to leave his imprint on the nation in such a short time. Atal Bihari Vajpayee knew the pulse of the nation, Morarjibhai [Morarji Desai] knew the pulse of the nation, Chandra Shekharji was a mass leader. We also had [H. D.] Deve Gowdaji who had never left Karnataka, Indra Kumar Gujralji thankfully never made any claims. Manmohan Singhji is like that.
- That is why I say the nation needs a leader. Dr[.] Manmohan Singh has not even visited all the states in the five years of his prime ministership, while Advaniji is a leader who has, at some point in time, spent a night in our 400 districts.
- He knows the entire land, there is not a stain on him, he is blemishless, has vast administrative experience having served in various [c]abinets, and fulfilled his responsibilities to everyone's satisfaction, whether it was as the chief executive of the Delhi metropolitan council or as information and broadcasting minister or deputy prime minister. Advaniji rose from the ranks to become a mass leader, there's a world of difference between the two.
- There is a saying 'justice delayed is justice denied'. Everyone knows of it, you do too. I have done three major things in Gujarat. I have increased court hours by 30 minutes every day; reduced court vacations by seven days; started evening courts with the same infrastructure.
- We had 45 lakh cases pending from 2003–2004, to which 65 lakh new cases were added, making it more than one crore pending cases. After our initiatives, there are only 20 lakh pending court cases. Now my target is that by 2010, when Gujarat will complete 50 years, we will make it no-pendency. Cases will be disposed of in the very year they are filed.
- You tell me, since Independence, in the field of justice delivery, has so much work been accomplished anywhere? But, for news traders, these things perhaps are not saleable. Now you tell me if these things are pro-poor or not.
Interview with C. S. S. Latha, 2011
Interview with C. S. S. Latha of Society Magazine; Reproduced by NDTV, "Narendra Modi on politics, poetry and Rahul Gandhi as PM" (16 September 2011).
- I have been an early riser since the beginning. My initial life demanded labour and effort for survival, so I am very hard working by nature. I would toil more than my peers. Be it sports, theatre activities or even reading a book, I would feel I should read faster and more books than the others. Lazing around is not in my nature. Even today, I don't avail a Sunday. I remember when I was a child, during the India–China war, 50 kilometres from my village; there was a railway junction from where the army was dispersing aid to the war field. I accompanied some young men who went there to serve tea and snacks and give a pep talk to boost the soldiers' spirits. I didn't know what exactly this whole act was about, but I was there[.]
- I am not religious. I go to the temple on the Gujarat New Year day. I can't claim to be spiritual because it's a very profound epithet. But, I like it when I get to read or hear anything related to the spiritual world. I have been practicing yoga and meditation for many years. Detachment is something I believe in practising for my spiritual self. In fact, with great difficulty, I have torn myself away from pursuing mendicancy in totality to be a part of this world. The call of the Himalayas has been put on the back burner. When the time is right, it is like crossing from one room to the other for me. You will be surprised to know that despite having lived in this house for 10 years now, until of late, I didn't even know how the entire house looked. I only used spaces like my office, bedroom, dining room and the study. Only when recently there was a move to relocate my library did I take a tour of the rest of the building. That is what I mean by detachment. And, what makes me angry? That's the problem. I don't get angry, but have to enact anger in order to get work done.
- After being the CM for two consecutive terms, I had two desires. One was to unearth my childhood friends with whom I had completely lost touch. One day, I sat up and listed all the names I could remember. I remembered them all but had lost track of their whereabouts. Some 35 names popped up. I wanted to invite them to the Chief Minister's residence and share my childhood with them and also because I wanted to remind myself about the real Modi lest I lose sight of him. So, I spent time with my friends getting down-to-earth. They too felt that if I remembered and spent time with them after having reached where I have then I must be fine. So, that was my test. The other desire was to get together all the teachers in my lifetime and honour them. One of them was 93-years-old. I invited them here and organised a big function to honour them. It gave me immense happiness that I was able to honour and say thanks to those who have contributed their might in shaping me. So, I fulfilled both my desires and I am happy about it.
Interview given in Japan, 2012
Answers given by Modi after being told that he is "viewed as anti-Muslim" in an interview with a Japanese news outlet (23 July 2012).
- How can you come to this conclusion? Do you have any statement in my whole life [in which] I've ever said anything wrong against any religion? Any religious book? Any prophet? Any god? Do you have any single sentence? How one can be "anti"? And, I belong to the Hindu phil [...] and I belong to the India, the Bharat! Where our great traditions are there. What is our philosophy? We never say that "if you believe in my philosophy, then you will achieve your goal". What we say [is] that ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti: "truth is one, [but] sages call it in a different way". So we don't believe. We believe in one god.
- God is one. We don't say that [the] Hindus' god is separate, Muslim god is separate, Christian god is separate. This is not our philosophy. We believe [the saying] vasudhaiva kutumbakam: "whole world is family". This is in our DNA. This is in our genetic system. I belong to a culture which culture says "the whole world is one family". How can we hate any community? Even any person? It's impossible!
"Satyameva Jayate: Truth Alone Triumphs", 2013
"Satyameva Jayate: Truth Alone Triumphs" on narendramodi.in, 27 December 2013; Statement issued in response to a 350-page court verdict which accepted the 541-page closure report, issued by an investigative panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India, concerning Modi's actions during the 2002 violence.
- The law of nature is that Truth alone triumphs—Satyameva Jayate. Our judiciary having spoken, I felt it important to share my inner thoughts and feelings with the nation at large.
- Within a mere five months however, the mindless violence of 2002 had dealt us another unexpected blow. Innocents were killed. Families rendered helpless. Property built through years of toil destroyed. Still struggling to get back on its feet from the natural devastation, this was a crippling blow to an already shattered and hurting Gujarat.
- On one side was the pain of the victims of the earthquake, and on the other the pain of the victims of the riots. In decisively confronting this great turmoil, I had to single-mindedly focus all the strength given to me by the almighty, on the task of peace, justice and rehabilitation; burying the pain and agony I was personally wracked with.
- During those challenging times, I often recollected the wisdom in our scriptures; explaining how those sitting in positions of power did not have the right to share their own pain and anguish. They had to suffer it in solitude. I lived through the same, experiencing this anguish in searingly sharp intensity. In fact, whenever I remember those agonizing days, I have only one earnest prayer to God. That never again should such cruelly unfortunate days come in the lives of any other person, society, state or nation.
- However, as if all the suffering was not enough, I was also accused of the death and misery of my own loved ones, my Gujarati brothers and sisters. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and shock of being blamed for the very events that have shattered you!
- For so many years, they incessantly kept up their attack, leaving no stone unturned. What pained even more was that in their overzealousness to hit at me for their narrow personal and political ends, they ended up maligning my entire state and country. This heartlessly kept reopening the wounds that we were sincerely trying to heal. It ironically also delayed the very justice that these people claimed to be fighting for. Maybe they did not realize how much suffering they were adding to an already pained people.
- The Gujarat Government had responded to the violence more swiftly and decisively than ever done before in any previous riots in the country. Yesterday’s judgement culminated a process of unprecedented scrutiny closely monitored by the highest court of the land, the Honourable Supreme Court of India. Gujarat’s 12 years of trial by the fire have finally drawn to an end. I feel liberated and at peace.
- Those who derive satisfaction by perpetuating pain in others will probably not stop their tirade against me. I do not expect them to. But, I pray in all humility, that they at least now stop irresponsibly maligning the 6 crore people of Gujarat.
- I am constantly trying to find solutions to the problems of the nation. However, our opponents are engrossed in finding a solution to Modi. This mentality can never benefit the nation[.]
- Rally in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, quoted by First Post, "Modi welcomes Paswan to NDA: 'National Development Alliance'" (3 March 2014).
- I don't do anything in a vindictive manner. Look at my 14-year track record in Gujarat. People don't vote me to power to take revenge.
- Interview with media outlet, quoted by First Post, "People don't vote me to power to take revenge: Modi" (16 April 2014).
"'I was not silent on Gujarat riots,' says Modi", 2014
Interview with Smita Prakash of Asian News International, "'I was not silent on Gujarat riots,' says Modi" (16 April 2014).
- I was not silent, I answered every top journalist in the country from 2002–2007, but noticed there was no exercise to understand truth[.]
- If the media would not have worked to malign Modi, who would know Modi today?
"Narendra Modi on the Role of NDTV during the 2002 Riots", 2014
Interview answers translated by Madhu Kishwar, Manushi, "Narendra Modi on the Role of NDTV during the 2002 Riots" (8 April 2014).
- It was my endeavour that we restore peace at the earliest possible. If you look at the data you will see that in 72 hours we had put down the riots and brought the situation under control. But these TV channels kept on playing up the same incidents over and over again. At the time, Rajdeep [Sardesai] and Barkha [Dutt] were in the same channel NDTV. During those inflamed days, Barkha acted in the most irresponsible manner. Surat had not witnessed any communal killings, barring a few small incidents of clashes. However the bazaars were closed [as a precautionary measure]. Barkha stood amidst closed shops screaming "This is Surat’s diamond market, but there is not a single police man here."
- I phoned Barkha and said, "Are you providing the address of this 'unprotected' bazaar to the rioting mobs? Are you inviting them to come and create trouble there by announcing that there is no police here so you can run amok safely?"
- In a second incident in Anjar, she played up the news that a Hanuman mandir [temple] had been broken and vandalized. I told her, "What are you up to? You are in Kutch which is a border district. There you are showing the attack and destruction of a mandir. Do you realize the implications of broadcasting such news? We haven’t yet recovered from the earthquake. Have you actually done proper investigation into the riots? Why are you lighting fires for us? Your news takes a few minutes to broadcast that such and such place is unprotected or a mandir has been vandalized. But it takes for me a few hours to move the police from one disturbed location to another since these incidents are breaking out in the most unexpected places."
- What is worse, when I got the matter enquired into by the local police, we found out that it was a small, insignificant structure under a tree which had been damaged a little bit by some crazy individual. But NDTV presented it as an attack on a Hanuman mandir. When the fires were raging these journalists were pouring fuel on those fires.
- On that day I had put a ban on TV channels because they were actually provoking trouble. But it was only for one day.
- Since Rajdeep Sardesai was among the leading reporters covering the disturbances, I phoned him to say, "I will have to put a temporary ban on your channel if you continue with the provocative coverage. There is a well-established regulation that media should not name communities during communal riots nor identify a damaged place[s] as a mandir or masjid. Why are you violating that code and [established] protocol about not naming communities or identifying places [...] of worship? You are going against established norms."
"Read full interview of Narendra Modi to Rajat Sharma", 2014
Interview with Rajat Sharma and audience members on Aap Ki Adalat, aired and translated by India TV, "Read full interview of Narendra Modi to Rajat Sharma in Aap Ki Adalat" (14 April 2014).
- I had started the campaign from 15th September. So now it’s 6–7 months since I started the campaign. I am a laborer and my childhood was very tough and physically I am used to all this. I also do my [y]oga and [p]ranayam. But the important point is that I believe you never get tired by doing work. You get tired when you don’t work. When you clean your house, you don’t get tired, it gives you satisfaction.
- People’s blessings give you the power to work tirelessly. The only thing required is commitment. The love and affection that I have received from people in last 6 months keeps me running.
- He should have remembered, there was [an Islamist] attack on Akshardham temple in September 2002, so many people were killed inside the temple, yet Gujarat maintained peace. Gujarat maintained peace even after serial blasts. There was a time when Gujarat used to have riots over kite flying and cricket matches. Gujarat has not witnessed riots for last 12 years. The children of Gujarat don’t know what is curfew all about? Gujarat has progressed because of peace and harmony. And this is what the nation needs for growth as these things will have catalytic effect in achieving that.
- We have always focused on degrees only. Now is the time to focus on skill development that will bring employment to our youth. If we have to compete with China then we have to focus on three things—skill, scale and speed. We need better skill, greater scale and faster speed.
"GhoshanaPatra with Narendra Modi", 2014
Interview with ABP News, "Full text in English: GhoshanaPatra with Narendra Modi" (22 April 2014).
- Until I don’t lose, until I am not defeated such allegations will continue. People who have been trying to defeat me for the past 12 years have been using all their strength. They couldn't give me even a scratch. This is their ego problem.
- I never proposed my candidature for anything or for any post since I have been born. Decision [regarding] me is taken by BJP. I have never asked for my position, never snatched or done any kind of scheming. Whenever I have been bestowed a work I do it with full dedication, hard work and have sacrificed my life for it.
- What is our aim, aim of the people is to eradicate this current government. That happens then the aim is fulfilled or else there is no win.
- If due to environment businesses flop then we don’t look at religion involved in it right? We worry about environment; similarly we have to look at the rural economy. So country’s problem is not Modi but a "stagnated perverted mindset". They want to take every issue to that one [communalised] corner.
- Till 2007 I have responded to everyone to all questions asked. You can read it in print media, electronic media. Yes, in 2007 when UPA again tried to take all legal routes to drag me to court then I stopped talking as I didn't want it to influence the issue because of Supreme Court ruling. Has any [other] CM been grilled for 9 hours? SC has seen the tape as it ordered the questioning. I have been through all those hurdles and I am ready for it. Modi won't surrender to such false political intentions.
- I think this is a very dirty question [asked about Robert Vadra]. On one hand, no one is above the law. Suppose there is an allegation against Narendra Modi, and suppose tomorrow Narendra Modi becomes the Prime Minister, then should the case against him be initiated or not; just because I became the Prime Minister everything be closed. It cannot be like that, right? I am not above anyone. But I am talking about myself here, not the person you asked about, don’t mix it up, I am sure you won’t play the news trader gimmick. I have 14 years to experience of running a government. I tell you, I have never opened anyone’s file ever. It is my opinion that I got involved in all that then I would just have gotten more lost in it and would have been unable to do any good work. This is my personal opinion, I am not telling this as a government policy. I have separated myself from all this in 14 years and gave support only to new positive initiatives. I am not even aware of them, they are old things and must be in progress, the government knows it’s work. We come in for five years, if we start lugging this garbage [e.g., old corruption cases] around then when will we [have time to] do some good work[?] So it is my opinion that my energies not be wasted in garbage. My energies should be directed towards good constructive work. Five years is very little time, if we get caught elsewhere then how will we do any good for the country. Rest [of] the law [e.g., the judiciary] should take its own course.
- See, you asked the wrong question. What is good or bad is not my issue. If you pick up things from every nook and cranny and demand answers from me, then aise kaam kaise chalega [how will we manage]. Whatever my party’s official stand is, I reflect only that.
- My work never ends. I am a workaholic. Other than sleeping and eating, I spend all my time working for the people. Even today, I have just come from the airport, the whole day I was in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. I held three meetings but when I left Jalgaon I found out that there is a huge storm. So started to check from there itself, what the condition is, if there were any casualties, if there had been any loss. This I why also got late in reaching here. So you see, I cannot sit still. To me I am a worshipper and the people are my god.
- Swami Apasthanand is still there, he is very old now, but I had gone to see him and stayed with him for quite some time. But it is a different world, why get into it here.
- I am still much attached to them, but now since I am unable to go, it pains me to think of them. So I just stay busy with this work.
- The country does not function with sharpness, it functions according to the constitution, and it will continue to function according to constitutional integrity. Sharpness is for elections only, not for running the country.
- I just don’t get the time [to watch films], earlier I used to watch. Once I saw Paa on its launching with Amitabhji, and once with Anupamji I saw A Wednesday!. These two films in the past 10 years, and a film [that was] made on Swami Vivekanand on his 150[th birth] anniversary, that I saw because I also worked to make it successful. [...] It was good. It is good for giving a message to the young generation, on an international level too. I liked that they did not show any miracles but kept it simple, the story of a social worker.
- Usually I get up at 5, it’s a habit I have had since I was in the RSS. I don’t need much sleep, three hours is enough for me. My friends and my doctors complain that it is too less, but it is sufficient for me. You can see, I have worked all day but even now I am sitting here easily talking to you.
"Election results 2014 LIVE: Vadodara goes wild as hero Modi arrives", 2014
Translated excerpts from a victory speech by Modi published by Firstpost, "Election results 2014 LIVE: Vadodara goes wild as hero Modi arrives" (16 May 2014).
- I bow my head to the love shown by the public in Vadodara. Each voter worked like Narendra Modi. You completed a very big responsibility.
- I didn't get to speak in Varanasi but their stamp of approval was the other big thing. My brothers and sisters in Vadodara, do you know you have established a new record for the first time in 60 years[?] I haven't told anyone in the media either. My margin of victory in Vadodara is the most ever in [an Indian general election]. I thank the EC, the people, the 'impartial' NGOs[,] and the 'impartial' media.
- Democracy, voters, voting responsibility [...] everyone in Vadodara [...] the awakening of the voters was very important and I thank and congratulate them.
- When they would speak earlier, they would make fun of me. But if we had got 25 out of 26 [Gujarat Lok Sabha seats] also, I would have got a beating. But I thank Gujarat for the [26-seat BJP] clean sweep. I was told, in Gujarat, almost 60 [percent of] people voted for BJP, That is a new misaal [paradigm] in India.
- After independence most governments were formed by Cong. And the few times BJP came to power, it was a coalition. But this is the first time that we have won purely on our own—with a national agenda based on governance.
"Election results 2014 LIVE: 'The era of divisive politics is over', says Modi in Ahmedabad", 2014
Translated excerpts from a victory speech by Modi published by Firstpost, "Election results 2014 LIVE: 'The era of divisive politics is over', says Modi in Ahmedabad" (16 May 2014).
- From the time, I have been in politics, your love has kept me going. All Guj[a]ratis have all right on me, but you have now shared that right with the people of India." "It's the first poll in my political life when I didn't have political sabha in Ahmedabad.
- I will never let down the faith you have shown in the BJP, the words of our workers and me. The rivals were busy mudslinging but the people of India have said that the answer to their problems is vaikaas [development].
- Todne ki rajneeti ka yug samapt ho chuka hai, aaj se jodne ki rajneeti ka yug shuru. [The era of divisive politics is over, it is all about getting people together now.]
- Those who criticised me didn't know Modi is such a magician who also made them speak on important agendas. But all these discussions also told the country that only development can save the country. Even if they spoke about Gujarat negatively, they still spoke about development. There is only one medicine to all problems—development.
About Narendra Modi
"Narendra Modi through the eyes of Gujarati Muslims, Christians and ...", 2013
Zafar Sareshwala recounting his 17 August 2003 meeting with Modi, interviewed by Madhu Kishwar for Manushi, Narendra Modi through the eyes of Gujarati Muslims, Christians and ... (29 March 2013).
- So I sent an email. I was not apologetic about anything. I wrote plainly, "Yes we had fought Modi. But now we feel that we have exhausted all the battle options and realize nothing will come out of it. I will become a hero in the process but I don’t want to become a hero. Therefore, I want to meet Modi and ask him, what is your problem with Muslims?" He forwarded my email to Modi sahib. I am told at first Modi got very agitated saying 'Zafar Sareshwala has created so much gadar against me, led so many demonstrations against me.' But I think he must have also looked into my family background and found that we are good people. I had stated very clearly that we have no agenda. We just want to meet and talk about 2002.
- See how Modi met us! He kept track of what time we arrived in the building and came to the elevator to receive us. I was really nervous about the outcome of this meeting. He shook my hand and broke the ice saying in Hindi: "Aayo yaar!" Inside, there was a jhoola [swing]. He made me sit next to him on the jhoola. Because at that time Modiji used to talk of Gujarati asmita [identity], I said to Mr[.] Modi you are a slightly diluted Gujarati than me. He said: How come? I replied: You know that I am an [Ahmedabadi] and Ahmedabadis by all accounts are the purest of all Gujaratis while you are from Vadnagar. You are a very impure Gujrati. He said: "Yes, you have a point."
- Then we began talking of all the riots and asked him: what were you doing on the morning of 27 February 2002? Why did you not call your police and the army? Why did you not go to Juhapura? Why did you not visit refugee camps? The questions that the [Supreme Court of India-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT)] asked of Modi much later, we asked him all those questions that day.
- Maulana literally made Modi stand in the dock. It is Modi's maturity that even after winning the election with a thumping majority, he listened to all of that.
"Personal experience of interaction with Modi", 2013
- My husband said, if he faced any problems on [the] job, he would contact Modi’s office. Modi replied: "Not my office, but me directly." So much for the so-called intolerance of Modi towards people who held views not agreeable to his.
- What they narrated to me showed that the media, particularly, English[-]language media were lapping up one-sided news portraying Modi as the Demon and all his opponents angels. They told us about the earlier riots in which the Hindus were mostly at the receiving end. There were several instances of stone-throwing on Hindus passing through Muslim dominated areas of Ahmedabad. The governments of the day kept a blind eye to all this. All the suppressed passions broke loose at the Godhra carnage, and no government, Modi or no Modi, could have stopped what followed—despicable and condemnable as both the Godhra and post-Godhra killings were.
- Modi also ensured poor people’s access to justice, by streamlining the administration in the Secretariat. I was told, during Keshubhai’s time and before, the officers were not found on their seats even by 11 am, and they would nowhere be found in Gandhinagar by 3 pm. After Modi took over, the same officers were suddenly found on their seats 9 am to 5 pm, for fear of being reported to Modi, by the people with grievances to resolve.
- I have heard instances of Modi putting down some of his relatives who tried to exploit their relationship with Modi. Till this day, no allegation of corruption sticks on him.
- After this question I finally let out the Djinn of Godhra which has been disturbing me from past eight years and Mr. Modi as well, on whose mind Godhra has been looming for a long time. Mr. Modi paused for a little while and then started explaining to me in detail the events which happened on that day and thereafter. Such was his minute detailed explanation that I felt being transported to Godhra and Gujarat of those times. He gave a detailed description about government action on rioters, curfews which were imposed in Gujarat as soon as riots were started, the police action on rioters and many more things. He even compared the Godhra riots with the Anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and talked about the difference between the actions taken by the government in both the cases as soon as the killing started. Along with it, Mr. Modi even emphasi[s]ed on the fact that in Gujarat, peace was restored in most of the places within 72 hours of riots while in 1984 riots, nothing was done in the first three days, which caused dangerous losses to the minority community involved. Then Mr. Modi described the actions took by him, like dispatching immediate orders to reserve police for taking strict actions against the erring people, strongly dealing with casualties and finally providing for rehabilitation.
- Towards the end, I asked him if he wanted to give any message to the youth of the country. Mr. Modi replied, "Read, read the truth. Go back and read whatever is available and then judge me. Support me only if you think I am right. You can shake someone from a slumber of ignorance by telling him the truth. You can discuss the conversation we had with your friends and share the experience, and then shape you own viewpoint. India needs youth power. And make India stronger. Never manipulate things. Try to serve the society. Awaken your community. Always try to see things with your own eyes and judge them accordingly."
- Surprisingly, when I met Modi, he did not utter a single word about [R. B.] Sreekumar. He asked me why my case is getting prolonged for so long. He said, "I understand that it has been more than 19 years." I told him that it was because of the games played by various political parties that it was still going on. I told him that it was a false case foisted by both the coalition fronts (the Left Democratic Front and the United Democratic Front) in Kerala, as was established by the CBI. Neither coalition wanted to admit the error in their judgment, as it was a matter of prestige for both.
- S. Nambi Narayanan interviewed in "Wronged ISRO scientist: India will be safe in Modi's hands" Rediff (26 February 2014).
- Whatever the reasons behind dubbing Modi an international pariah and the subject of a diplomatic boycott involving both the US and the European Union member states, one conclusion was inescapable: it was a brazen attempt to pronounce judgment on the internal affairs of a sovereign country. Modi, after all, hadn’t been held guilty [of] "mass murder" by an Indian criminal court. Indeed, there were no charges against him then or subsequently. Yes, the Gujarat leader had been pilloried mercilessly by both his political opponents and the human rights lobby that has formidable international links. A political aversion to Modi was translated into the diplomatic censure of a man who held a [c]onstitutional position. It was a step too far and one that didn't lend itself to an easy U-turn.
- Modi told me the last straw for him with regard to NDTV was when one of their correspondents Vijay Trivedi, accompanied him in a helicopter for an interview. When he started asking the same old insulting questions, Modi simply kept quiet and refused to respond any further. Piqued at being ignored, Trivedi spread the canard that Modi nearly threw him out of the helicopter mid-air because he had asked "tough questions". Modi says on that day he decided never to give legitimacy to NDTV by giving them an interview or responding to any questions from them. Vijay Trivedi treats this incident as a badge of honour and has boasted about it on numerous occasions—in writing.
- Madhu Kishwar, Manushi, "Narendra Modi on the Role of NDTV during the 2002 Riots" (8 April 2014).
"I like to read about him (Modi) … I know he will become PM", 2014
Jashodaben, interviewed by the The Indian Express, "I like to read about him (Modi) … I know he will become PM" (1 February 2014).
- We married when I was 17 [...] I had quit studies once I went to his place and remember him saying he wanted me to pursue my education. He would mostly talk to me about completing my education. Initially he took interest in talking to me and even in the affairs of the kitchen.
- We have never been in touch and we parted on good terms as there were never any fights between us. I will not make up things that are not true. In three years, we may have been together for all of three months. There has been no communication from his end to this day.
- I have never gone to meet him and we have never been in touch. I don’t think he will ever call me. In whatever I say, I do not want it to harm him. I just wish that he progresses in whatever he does. I know he will become PM one day!
- He told me once that "I will be travelling across the country and will go as and where I please; what will you do following me?" When I came to Vadnagar to live with his family, he told me "why did you come to your in-laws' house when you are still so young, you must instead focus on pursuing your studies". The decision to leave was my own and there was never any conflict between us. He never spoke to me about the RSS or about his political leanings. When he told me he would be moving around the country as he wished, I told him I would like to join him. However, on many occasions when I went to my in-laws' place, he would not be present and he stopped coming there. He used to spend a lot of time in RSS shakhas. So I too stopped going there after a point and I went back to my father’s house.
- My in-laws treated me well, but would never speak about the marriage.