Prime Minister Narendra Modi is no stranger to the limelight. At the helm of political affairs for more than two decades, he been an integral part of modern Indian history. But as party workers and supporters devise many ways to celebrate his 71st birthday on Friday, it is perhaps also time to take a look at the individual beyond the political persona.
From seeking his mother's blessings on his birthday to showing off skills as a drummer while in Tanzania - there are many 'non-political' moments over the years. On the occasion of Modi's 71st birthday we have put together a compilation of videos and photos highlighting seven times when Prime Minister Modi was not just a politician.
Over the years, Prime Minister Modi has been photographed meeting with his mother ahead of many important milestones. Photos shared by various news organisations show him meeting Heeraben Modi at her residence for his birthday, seeking her blessings before being sworn in as Prime Minister and more. In May 2019, an elated Heeraben Modi watched her son take oath as the leader of the world's largest democracy on television from her home. She has also been photographed joining initiaties championed by her son - from donating Rs 25,000 to the PM-CARES Fund to lighting diyas in response to Modi's 9 baje, 9 minute appeal.
Prime Minister Modi has been a vocal yoga enthusiast, sharing photos and videos on Yoga Day, launching the M-Yoga app and more. He had enthusiastically participated in the fitness challenge introduced by cricketer Virat Kohli and shared pictures of himself doing Yoga exercises.
A combo picture of the still images taken from a video shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi doing yoga exercises. The world is set to observe the 4th International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2018. | Twitter/@narendramodi via PTI Photo
Log onto YouTube and you can even follow animated 3D videos of the Prime Minister practicing various Asanas.
On multiple occasions the Prime Minister has been spotted showing off his musical side. In one rather memorable occasion joined Tanzanian President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli in an impromptu duet, with the two skillfully harmonising on the traditional drums. Closer to home, on another occasion in November 2018, Modi had played a traditional drum during a rally in Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur.
Be it enjoying some Litti Chokha for lunch at Delhi's Hunar Haat or the revelation that the Prime Minister eats only once a day during Chaturmas, the prime Minister's culinary preferences have in the past made their way into news headlines. There was also a memorable, if somewhat confusing, interview that saw actor Akshay Kumar asking the Prime Minister whether he harboured any preference for mangos.
While Prime Minister Modi is comfortable being in front of the camera (we don't think his role would allow otherwise), he is also an avid photographer. In the past, the Prime Minister has on several occasions shared images that he has taken in various parts of the country.
In Discovery channel's, "Man Vs Wild with Bear Grylls and Prime Minister Modi, the Indian leader walked through the wild, took a ride through a cold river on a makeshift boat and more. Teaming up with survivalist Bear Grylls, he braved the rain and cold in the jungles of in Uttarakhand's Jim Corbett National Park to promote causes close to his heart – conservation of nature and cleanliness.
Over the years many fans and supporters of the Prime Minister have reached out to him via social media platforms seeking his blessings and good wishes. And in countless cases, they have received a response - from thank you messages after sending him Rakhis to birthday wishes and more. In July this year, a Twitter user by the 'Dextrocardiac1' had sought a birthday greeting from the Prime Minister. He obliged, even using her chosen name for the day - Dextrodiwas.
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