I have witnessed the power of the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice amongst the crowd. But never had the opportunity to sit with him face-to-face and converse.
The blessed opportunity presented itself on August 6, 2021, when I was invited along with my co-author Amit Bagaria to meet with the Prime Minister of India.
We were elated to interact with one of the finest and much-talked-about global leaders emerging out of our nation.
Modi is not a politician that has risen to such a pinnacle of political success on muscle power or money power. He has matured and grown with the power of his intellect and hard work.
Let me be honest. He did not have the aura of a powerful man who is intimidating. I certainly was not intimidated by his presence. In fact, I felt that I was conversing with an elder brother.
Often I have witnessed that conversations with people in positions of power end up being a monologue. Our conversation was a dialogue and not a monologue. You can only have a dialogue if you respect the view of the other person.
PM Modi is undoubtedly a man of power, but, his power is in the mind, and his power is in the people. He does not need to intimidate, he merely needs to inspire and people get inspired.
In the 25-minutes discussion with PM Modi. I could see in him a man kindled with a deeply rooted sense of purpose to work for the betterment of India and the betterment of the world but most of all to work for humanity. He has such a humane approach to all issues.
I did not find a hint of arrogance in him. He was simple and courteous. I did not feel that I was sitting in the presence of the Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world. In his presence, I felt like I was having a cup of ‘Chai’ in the courtyard of my home with a man of knowledge and compassion for people.
He showed immense concern for my safety and security, when I asked him for a piece of advice, on whether I should go to China to further investigate the COVID-19 origins. He also in simple words spelled out my way forward in the investigations. His concern was genuine, his concern was familial.
You read so much of Modi the politician that we often forget Modi the human and we build up an image of a power-centric political leader. I did not see Modi the politician in our meeting. I saw Modi the human. I saw Modi the friend.
In fact, the camaraderie during the meeting was that of three friends meeting after a long time, eager to take pictures and talk, yet respecting each other. Prime Minister Modi made us feel like we were in our own homes.
As a journalist and an analyst, I take great pride in reading people, their faces, their body language, and their behavior during interactions. And I often tend to look at the eyes of a person. PM Modi has eyes of compassion.
He is not in a position of power with a self-driven purpose. He is in a position of power because he believes that his purpose is to take India to great heights and he can do that in this position of power.
I could see that this man at the opportune time, after completing his job, will pass on the mantle to the next leader to take India forward. He does not covet the position of the Prime Minister out of self-importance but out of a sense of his own self-driven mission of contributing to the growth of India. He is a man on a mission. After completing his mission. He will move on.
After my face-to-face interaction with PM Modi, I am amused by the past and present adjectives of evil attributed to him. Modi is not a fascist. He is far from it. He is a humanist.
Modi is a simple man of Dharma. He is following his Dharma. He is living out his Karma. He did not move into the position of power out of family legacy or political aristocracy. He has worked hard for it and he strived unflinchingly to be a change manager for India. That’s why people connect with him.
Political growth in India is often related to political legacy. Modi is not a leader born out of political aristocracy or of political nepotism. He is a leader that has come from the common people of India and now is the hope of the common people of India.
The people of India admire Modi because they see him as one of them. A leader of the common man born out of the common man’s strife in life. The people of India trust that under Narendra Modi’s leadership India will rise to take center stage in the world.
Post my face-to-face conversation with Modi, I am convinced that Narendra Modi is more than just a politician occupying the chair of the Prime Minister of India. He is a visionary. He has a vision for India and its people.
He is working on that mission and vision. Of course, along the way, he will make some mistakes. But they would be because of bad decisions based on bad advisors. I do not for a moment believe that Modi will err out of an intent to cause harm to India or Indians. He loves India and our people too much. More so, I do not personally believe, a leader, politics, or otherwise can please 100 percent of people. There will always be a few grudging elements.
I see Narendra Modi as an elder brother in charge of my home – India. I trust Modi because his intent for India is pure.
I will disagree with some of his decisions but I will stand by him as a brother and a friend because he puts India first and that is the only truth that matters to me.
Narendra Modi in simple words is a good man. He is focused on India. I know I have found an elder brother and a friend in him.