He was fearless as a child, but he never looked back at his family: Narendra Modi brother Somabhai

Lakshmi Ajay,RituSharma Posted: Dec 04, 2012 at 0530 hrs
Somabhai Modi, 67, retired govt officer, speaks about younger brother Narendra

Will Narendra Modi become chief minister again?

In the history of Gujarat, the work of no other chief minister is comparable to his. He certainly has the support of the people, who will ensure that they get to see him work as chief minister a third time too.

Does the family support him too?

He does not need us, nor do we want to interfere in his work. We understand his obligation to his work. He left home in 1967 at the age of 16 and has never called us. We invite him to all family functions but he did not even attend the weddings of his siblings. The last time I met him was at a public event around two-and-a-half months ago.

Is it because he is the chief minister?

No, it has nothing to do with that. Even if he wasn’t chief minister, he would have been the same. Perhaps it is because of his upbringing as a RSS worker.

How does the family react to the criticism he has faced for communal riots?

To answer this, I will share what my friends told me. Back from a trip to Kashmir, they told me that people believe if Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister, the long-pending Kashmir issue will be resolved. This is the feeling among people in Gujarat as well as in Kashmir.

What about his style of working, which is often termed dictatorial?

Right from his childhood, he has been very disciplined and determined. If he decides he has to do something, he will do it in any way. Even before joining the RSS, he would follow a strict daily regime. Even as a child, he was fearless. I remember when he was a kid, he brought home a little crocodile from the pond, which of course he had to give up when our mother objected.