Narendra Damodardas Modi, (born 17 September 1950) is an Indian politician who is the 14th and current Prime Minister of India, in office since 26 May 2014. Modi, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and is the Member of Parliament from Varanasi.
Born to a Gujarati OBC family in Vadnagar, Modi helped his father sell tea as a child, and later ran his own stall. He was introduced to the right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh at the age of eight, beginning a long association with the organisation. He left home after graduating from school, partly because of an arranged marriage which he rejected. Modi traveled around India for two years, and visited a number of religious centres. He returned to Gujarat and moved to Ahmedabad in 1969 or 1970. In 1971 he became a full-time worker for the RSS. During the state of emergency imposed across the country in 1975, Modi was forced to go into hiding. The RSS assigned him to the BJP in 1985, and he held several positions within the party hierarchy until 2001, rising to the rank of general secretary.
Narendra Modi was appointed chief minister of Gujarat in 2001, due to Keshubhai Patel’s failing health and poor public image following the earthquake in Bhuj. Narendra Modi was elected to the legislative assembly soon after. His administration has been seen as complicit in the 2002 Gujarat riots, or otherwise criticised for its handling of it, although a court found no evidence to prosecute Modi. His policies as chief minister, credited with encouraging economic growth, have received praise, and several industrial projects were begun during his tenure. His administration has been criticised for failing to significantly improve health, poverty, and education indices in the state.
Narendra Modi led the BJP in the 2014 general election, which gave the party a majority in the Lok Sabha, the first time a single party had achieved this since 1984. Modi himself was elected to parliament from Varanasi. Since taking office, Modi’s administration has encouraged foreign direct investment in the Indian economy, increased spending on infrastructure, and reduced spending on health and social welfare programs. Narendra Modi has encouraged efficiency in the bureaucracy, and centralized power through the abolition of the planning commission. Modi has begun a high-profile sanitation campaign, and loosened environmental and labor laws. A Hindu nationalist and member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Modi remains a controversial figure domestically and internationally.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Modi was named Best Chief Minister in a 2007 nationwide survey by India Today. In March 2012, he appeared on the cover of the Asian edition of Time, one of the few Indian politicians to have done so, He was awarded Indian of the year by CNN-IBN news network in 2014.
In 2014 and 2015, he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He was also declared winner of the Time magazine reader’s poll for Person of the year in 2014, a feat which he repeated again in 2016.
Forbes Magazine ranked him the 15th-most-powerful person in the world in 2014 and the 9th-most-powerful person in the world in 2015 and 2016 again