It is well known that ever since he took over as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has been working tirelessly to promote the unity and integrity of India. He has strived to ensure that every citizen of India irrespective of state, caste, religion or creed enjoy the fruits of India’s development equally and get treated equally.
His immediate travel to west Bengal and Odisha in middle of the pandemic to assess the ground situation in wake of destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan and announce immediate relief of ₹1,000 crore demonstrated his resolve to stand with citizens of India in moments of crisis. Earlier In 2015, after the Puttangal fire tragedy in Kerala also PM Modi immediately visited the site, met with victims and assured the state government and victims of all possible help. The immaculate execution of mass evacuation programs to rescue citizens stuck in conflict ridden South Sudan and Yemen also reflect PM Modi’s resolve to go all out to help citizens in times of crisis.
PM Modi at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College with Victim of fire blast
PM Modi at the site of the tragedy in Kollam with CM Oommen Chandy & other officials.
These are just a few instances when PM Modi took to the frontline to help Indians in moments of crisis. However, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, it would be pertinent to note that even before he became Prime Minister of India, he has stepped up to serve India and stand with Indians whenever a crisis of serious nature emerges. Here are few such instances.
Ladakh or Kargil PM Modi stands with Indian Soldiers
PM Modi traveling to the frontlines in Ladakh and delivering a resolute message that not only boosted the morale of Indian soldiers stationed in Ladakh but also unnerved the enemies of India at the same time. His declaration that India is both the land of the flute playing Krishna and the sudarshana chakradhari, and that the age of expansionism is over demonstrated India’s resolve to protect and defend our borders. He later also met our brave soldiers who were injured during the Galwan valley clashes. This image of PM Modi visiting our brave troops who got injured was in stark contrast to the Chinese who did not even acknowledge their own soldiers who were killed in action.
PM Modi interacting with Injured soldiers at Ladakh, 2020
This also brought in memories of a younger Narendra Modi who, when he was just a dedicated BJP Karyakarta working for the party in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, visited the frontlines of Kargil to spend time with our brave Indian soldiers there in 1999.
Narendra Modi interacting with Injured soldiers at Kargil, 1999
Sharing his experience of visiting the frontlines during Kargil war on its 20th anniversary in 2019, PM described the experience of interaction with soldiers and showing his solidarity as unforgettable.
During the Kargil War in 1999, I had the opportunity to go to Kargil and show solidarity with our brave soldiers.
This was the time when I was working for my Party in J&K as well as Himachal Pradesh.
The visit to Kargil and interactions with soldiers are unforgettable. pic.twitter.com/E5QUgHlTDS
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 26, 2019
Narendra Modi Springs into Action during 2013 Uttarakhand Floods
We all know the fondness PM Modi has for Kedarnath dham, with PM personally monitoring the reconstruction of the Kedarnath temple. We also saw his serene side after he went to meditate in a cave after the hectic campaigning for 2019 Lok Sabha elections ended.
But in 2013, a major calamity in form of Floods stuck Uttarakhand that ravaged large parts of the state.
PM Modi and his Gujarat government who after the massive 2001 Kutch earthquake had gained understanding, knowledge and expertise to deal with natural disasters immediately swung into action.
The Then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra immediately sanctioned ₹2 crore from Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund and offered Gujarat’s services on three fronts: Medical help to the victims, contribution to the long-term process of rehabilitation and reconstruction, and developing an impressive complex at the flood-ravaged Kedarnath shrine. He even took 4.5 hours of aerial survey of the four valleys of Yamuna, Bhagirathi, Mandakini and Alaknanda to assess the damage and followed up with this another offer of ₹3 crore for disaster relief efforts.
Undertook aerial survey of parts of Uttarakhand. There is a need of food, medicines and rescuing those who are stranded there.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 22, 2013
Following this, a high-level Gujarat Relief Co-ordination team under the leadership of P K Parmar, IAS, Relief Commissioner and Principal Secretary was deputed to provide support including lodging, boarding and transportation and to coordinate efforts to facilitate safe return of the Gujarati travelers. The team camped at a central location near the main exit point of the travelers. The first action taken was publicising the phone numbers of the officials co-coordinating the relief.
Each returning pilgrim was given medical facilities, lodging, boarding and food packets and water for their return journey. A medical team from Gujarat screened 12,266 pilgrims and treated 1,396 during their stay.
During the entire duration of the operation, special care was taken to ensure no discrimination between Gujarati and non-Gujarati pilgrims was exercised.
About 27,934 Complete Family Kits with ration, clothes, utensils, etc., with around 43 articles and 3,482 Ration Kits were donated by Gujarat to Uttarakhand to be distributed in the affected areas.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi inspecting relief centre in Uttarakhand
Yatras For India’s Unity
At the end of the 1980s, the country’s northern most state of Jammu and Kashmir that was once known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ had become a full-fledged battlefield. The opportunistic politics of the Central government led by Congress combined with blatant subversion of democracy during the 1987 State Elections made Jammu and Kashmir a hotbed of anti-India activities.
The valley that had once been called the most beautiful place on Earth was fast becoming a battlefield as blood spilled on the streets. Matters reached such a low that even the hoisting of the tri-colour had become taboo in Kashmir.
It was during this time that the then BJP President Dr Murali Manohar Joshi decided to embark on a Bharat Ekta Yatra advocating national unity, which would begin from Kanyakumari and end at hoisting national flag at Lal chowk Srinagar. The chief organiser of this important yatra was none other than Narendra Modi, then a young man of 41 years already known for his organisation skills.
The Ekta Yatra received rousing welcomes virtually wherever it went and fitting reply was given to anti-national elements when the national flag was unfurled on 26th of January, 1992 at Lal chowk in Srinagar!
Narendra Modi unveiling Tricolour at lal chowk in 1992
Fight for Democratic Soul of India
25th of June, 1975 is a day that lives in infamy. It was the day when Indira Gandhi subverted India’s democracy and imposed emergency. All top opposition leaders were jailed and socio-cultural organisations like RSS were banned. It was during such a time that a 25-year-old RSS Pracharak by name of Narendra Modi stepped up and did his duty to fight the dictatorship of Indira Gandhi and restore democracy in India.
Narendra Modi was one among the activist leaders who wore disguises to avoid arrest so that they could plan a resistance against her. Disguised as a Sikh named Prakash, Narendra Modi carried banned literature to Delhi and met Jan Sangh leaders in jail and even posed as a sanyasi and took leaders such as George Fernandes to safe houses.
A small leader at that time, Modi’s job was to serve as a connector between top leaders and circulate banned literature. He also succeeded in building a state-wide net of supporters providing safe havens and financial support and organising meetings that escaped prying eyes of police.
Whether as chief minister or party functionary or young man of 25 years, Narendra Modi has always been fighting for Indian citizens and standing with them in hour of need. As Prime Minister of India, his resolve to do the same has only increased manifold.