New Delhi : As Narendra Modi, who began from humble roots as tea vendor in a railway station in Gujarat, takes oath as India’s 14th prime minister Monday, tea-sellers are eyeing the occasion with a feeling of joy, hope and even kinship, reports IANS.
“Gareebi se utha hai, garibo ke takleef samjhta hoga” (He was himself poor once, so he must be knowing what it means to be poor),” said Shankar, a tea vendor in the national capital’s busy Palika Bazaar area. “I am hopeful he will work for our upliftment,” he added.
Tea vendors across the national capital region seem to have an impression that Modi did a lot of development in Gujarat and he would deliver similar good governance throughout India. Murli, a tea vendor at Green Park, said it was a moment of great pride for him to see a man like Modi rising from his humble origins to lead the country. “Modi has done us proud, I am happy for him,” Murli said. He added, “There was such a noise about him. I am waiting to see what he does for us.”
At the same time, there is also the realisation that it was Modi’s hard work and determination – rather than destiny – which paved his way to 7 Race Course Road, the official residence of the prime minister in New Delhi. “It will not be wise to say there is any link between him and us tea sellers. He has risen to his stature by his hard work and education,” Rakesh Kumar, who runs a tea vend in busy Parliament Street, told IANS. Another tea seller by the road side nearby Great India Place, Noida, was relatively less optimistic in his assessment of Modi, whose swearing in ceremony is being attended by top-notch SAARC leaders, including Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif. “Hame kya karna hai, hum to thele pe chai hi bechenge (what has his swearing-in to do with us, we are destined to sell tea by the roadside),” he said, not wishing to be named.