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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora