News / Asia

    India's Likely PM Modi Has Modest Roots

    Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (C), the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gestures as he arrives to seek blessings from his mother Heeraben at her residence in Gandhinagar in the western Indian state of
    Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (C), the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gestures as he arrives to seek blessings from his mother Heeraben at her residence in Gandhinagar in the western Indian state of
    VOA News
    Narendra Modi, who is set to become India's next prime minister, had a modest upbringing that stands in contrast to that of his chief political rivals in the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
     
    Modi grew up in a lower-middle class home in the western state of Gujarat, where his father worked as a railway station tea vendor and his mother served as a domestic helper.
     
    Narendra Modi, the man set to become India's next prime minister:
     
    • Member of main Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party
    • As a child, helped his father sell tea at a railway station
    • Served as chief minister of Gujarat state since 2001
    • Criticized for handling of deadly Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002
    • 63 years old; unmarried; has no children
    At a young age, Modi joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization that he says educated and instilled a sense of discipline in him.
     
    Since 2001, he has served as the chief minister of Gujarat, where he has overseen a period of rapid growth that has given him a reputation as an economic reformer.
     
    His political career was once in jeopardy following criticism of his handling of religious riots in 2002 in Gujarat that left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly Muslims.
     
    Modi denies wrongdoing in the anti-Muslim riots, which are believed to have been sparked when Muslims set fire to a train carrying Hindu pilgrims.
     
    Late last year, an Indian court ruled there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not Again from: Canada
    May 16, 2014 2:32 PM
    A new hope purveyour is raising in India; let us hope he does not disappoint the people. India's potential capabilities and economic development potential are enourmous, but so are India's stumbling blocks, that need to be addressed in a very directive and determined way; every one of his predecessors ignored these stumbling blocks, with very negative consequences= economic, social, cultural and political stagnation; everything was done as during the colonial period.

    A man of humble beginings may be the answer to rapidly advancing the country into a better future for all, for he has credibility, because he was not born with a golden spoon and dozens of servants to cater to his every wish; but sometimes people have convenient short memories of hard times.

    So far, Narendra Modi has demonstrated to be a dilligent technocrat, that gets the needed jobs started, moving, and correctly done. His crucial problem, and test, will be as to how he handles the security and justice files. Will he be able to put the terrorists out of business? and will he be able to ensure social justice prevails for all, not just the few self appointed elites?

    On the international stage, I do hope he can step out of the shadows of colonialism, and firmly aligne India with the Western democracies as an equal partner, and not just sit on the non-aligned, no influence precarious position, that has served India so poorly in the past; seating on the fence, was a attribute engendered by colonialism, that looked badly on native asertiveness. The other big issue, will see, if the days of past rampant privilages to the few unmotivated fence seaters, will come to an end, and not just a change in the names of the new beneficiaries will be observed!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora