Prime Minister Narendra Modi is celebrating his 70th birthday on September 17. Born as Narendra Damodardas Modi on September 17, 1950, he was elected the Chief Minister of Gujarat for three terms (2001 to 2014) and is the current and 14th Prime Minister of India.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday, here’s looking at some of the lesser-known facts about the Prime Minister.
1. Born to a Gujarati family in Vadnagar, Modi used to assist his father sell tea at the local railway station as a child.
2. At the age of eight, Modi found out about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and started attending the lectures or training sessions. He met Lakshmanrao Inamdar who became his mentor after inducting him as a junior cadet in the RSS.
3. Modi completed high school education in 1967 and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1978. He earned a Master’s degree from Gujarat University in 1982.
4. Modi, who went into forced hiding during the 1975 Emergency, has written a book in Gujarati language sequencing events of the time.
5. Post the 1971 war, Modi became a full-time campaigner for the RSS. He was assigned to the BJP in 1985.
6. Modi played a vital role when the then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani was headlining the 1990 Ram Rath Yatra.
7. Modi is a firm follower of the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and has often described visiting ashrams founded by Vivekananda: the Belur Math, Advaita Ashrama and the Ramakrishna Mission.
8. Modi sleeps every day for around 5 hours and wakes at approximately 5-5:30 in the morning. He is practicing a vegetarian diet so as to keep his metabolism and health intact.
9. Modi ranked 15th in the 2014 Forbes Magazine list of most powerful people. In the same year, he was ranked the Person of the Year by Time magazine. He has been included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
10. Modi is the second most followed leading personality on Twitter, followed by former US President Barack Obama, with over 50 million followers.
11. He is the first Prime Minister ever to be born in Independent India.