PM Narendra Modi’s Poetry Through The Eyes Of A Critic

Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi, commonly known as Narendra Modi, had a humble beginning but through his devotion, dedication and inner strength he has reached to high political office of Prime Minister of India. There might be some people who condemn his social, political, economic policies, programs and views but his literary achievement remains unchallenged.

By Acharya S.P.Dwivedi

Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi, commonly known as Narendra Modi, had a humble beginning but through his devotion, dedication and inner strength he has reached to high political office of Prime Minister of India. There might be some people who condemn his social, political, economic policies, programs and views but his literary achievement remains unchallenged.

His collection of stories- “PREMTEERTH” was published first and then collection of poems- “Aankh AA Dhanya Chhe” (2007) in Gujrati language. His      book of poems was translated in Hindi by well-known poetess and linguist Prof. Dr. Anjana Sandhir under the title- “Aankh Ye Dhanya Hai”. She has closely followed the sentiments, emotions and sensitivity of poet Narendra Modi and has done the translation ‘impossible into possible’. Since then it has been translated not only in main Indian languages but in the world languages. She has written another book in 2018 “Aankh Ye Dhanya Hai Sameekshko Ki Drissti Men”. (In the eyes of critics these eyes are blessed). Anjana Sandhir, a literary friend of mine, sent the book for my personal comment.

The collection contains sixty-seven poems. Poet covers all aspects of life. Truly, what he has seen, experienced and lived all got expression in poems as he admitted in poem- ‘Apni Baat’. No doubt, his poems have created unprecedented vibration in literary circles.

Modi boldly accepted in the introduction: “Main saahityakaar athva kavinaheen” (I’m neither a literary person nor poet) that shows his lack of pretention and ego. He further requests to readers: “Meri prathana hai/pustak men meri pad pratishtta ko na dekhen/ kavita ke pad ka anand leejiye” (My request is/ don’t consider my post-position/enjoy the poem). It reminds me “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman and Goswami Tulsidas’s feeling “Swantah sukhaay”. His poetry exhibits a great variety of themes-nature, social, cultural, national and universal.

His long poem – “Kaargil ka Yudh” (The War of Kargil) deals with the sacrifice, dedication, gallantry and heroism of soldiers: “Yahaan/har javaan/ kisaan tha…. apne khoon se seench raha/taaki kal murjha na jaaye (Here/every soldier/ was peasant…. watering with his blood/because our tomorrow will not dry) (p.40).

Love of Nature: Narendra has appreciated earth in these words: “Prithvi sundar hai/ aankh ye dhanya hai (Earth is beautiful/eye is blessed) (p.20). Perhaps he was inspired by the hymns of Prithvi Sukta of Yajurveda. Modi has composed poems which are showing different aspects of nature such as- “Narmada sirf nadi nahee hai…. Kul devi hai, vardaayni hai” (Narmada is not only river…Narmada is the deity, is boongiver) (‘Narmada’p.51), “Vraksh/meri aatma ka ansh/mere astitva ka paryaaya/mera rahasya” (Tree (Vraksh) is part of my soul /Synonym of my existence/my secret) (‘Vraksh’ p.85.),Spring(Vasant),“Titlee”(Butterfly),“Dhanya” (Blessed) and “Drashya”(Scene).Modi’s poems on nature reminds me Rousseau’s ‘Emile’.

Modi has also described the dreadful aspect of nature unlike Shelly and Wordsworth-“Nadee aaj krodhit ho baaghin ho gayee hai….uska jal kitna nishttur katthor ho sakta hai/kee gaavon ke gaavon dubaata hai/tairtee hain kitnee laashen( River has turned angry and becomes lioness….the water can be so pitiless and harsh that sinks village after village/many dead bodies are floating.( ‘Aafat’.p.27)

Global Love: Modi has love for human beings. He criticizes the difference created between human beings on basis of religion, culture, language etc. in poem ‘Lalkaar’- “Sampradaayon men batta manav/manav se bantaahai daanav. (Man is divided in sects/ man becomes demon) (p.61) and he says in another poem: “Saara vishwa mere aagosh me samaaya hai” (Whole world is sinking in my lap) (p.29). His love for humanity is neither shallow nor sentimental. Poet’s these lines need special attention– “Mujhe to swetu ban na hai/Prem ka hetu ban na hai” (I want to become bridge/ the cause of love) (Gulchhadi p.48).

Humanism: He cares, concerns and loves human beings. He admits, “Manushya hona hi badi baat hai” (To be a human is big thing) p.83 and “Koyee panth nahee, na hi sampradaay, maanav to bas maanav hai” (No sect, no denomination, human is only human ‘Ham To’ p.26). He does not make any difference between persons based on position, wealth, religion and nationality. He wants everyone should progress, enjoy happiness and prosperity. He exhorts youth: “Vasudha ki hai mushkil bela/logo sab ho jaao ikatthe…. Irsha- dwesh ko chhod” (There is difficult time for earth/all should join…. leave jealousy, enmity ‘Uttho Laal! Vijay Sweekaaro’p.31). He calls the people in his other poem-“Kayarta shareer men samaa jaaye/usse pahle uttho…. veer ab to jaago” (Cowardness enters into your body/rise before that//brave awake now.’Uttho Veer’ p. 34).

Karmvaadi and Aashavaadi (Actionist and Optimist): He believes in Karma (Fruitive Action) not in Destiny and carries passion for action: “Bhagya ko kaun poochha hai yahaan/maito chunauti sweekaar karne vaala maanav hoon (Who enquires about fate here/I’m the man who accepts challenge?  ‘Jindadil’p.60). Modi emphasizes, “ Tum mujhe mere kaam se jaano/kaarya hee mera jeevan kaavya hai (You know me from my work/ work is the poetry of my life, ‘Tasveer Ke Us Paar’).His self-confidence, adoration for truth and warmth of pure love strengthen him to act for the wellbeing of all, as he says-“Hum foot jaayen/aise bulbule naheen”  ( We get burst/not like bubbles,‘Hum’,p.22).

Modi embraces truth and reveres love : “Satya mere liye soorya hai/aur…mera jeevan (Truth is for me sun/and…my life,‘Praathna’p.70) and “Bina prem pangu ban maanav laachaar (Without love man becomes lame and helpless, ‘Prem’) and “ Hum jindgee ke yaar hain/hum pyaar kee dhaar hain” (We are the friend of life/we are the flow of love ‘Hum’ p.22). Love and beauty are the eternal themes of poetry and poet has applied his expression with refinement. Modi has used the symbol of ‘Kati Patang’ (Motionless Kite) to express his optimism “Patang/mere liye oochee udaan ka utsav/mere sooraj kee taraf kaa abhiyaan” (Kite/festival of my high flight/my journey towards sun). We find the similar idea of optimism of P.B. Shelly’s – “If winter comes can spring be for behind” (Ode to West Wind).

Nationalism:  Modi finds:  “Dil men desh-bhakti kee jwaala hai” (There is fire of nationalism in heart, ‘Mallaah’p.97), “Vande maatam…. /ye shabd nahee/ye mantra hai hamaara (Vande maatam…. this is not word/this is our mantra, ‘Vande Maatram’p. 88) and “Mere desh ko prem karo, vo mera pamaatma” (Love my nation, that is my God, p.104) but he has no hatred, jealousy or enmity for other nations. Love for life and nation is the dynamic passion and guiding principles for every writer and Modi is not exception to it.

Although, Narendra Modi is obsessed with the idea of Hindu but he prefers to call himself first human: “Mujhe sada se garv hai kee maanav hoon aur Hindu hoon…kee .vishaal,viraat sindhu hoon” (I’m always proud of human and a Hindu….that great, grand ocean‘Gaurav’p.49) and “ Koyee shatru naheen, sab hain mitra….ham ujaala failaayenge”(Nobody is enemy, all are friends….we will spread the light ( ‘Hindu-Hindu Mantra’,p.101). He touches new aspect of life in poem ‘Jaana Naheen’, ‘Prayatna’ and ‘Visham Aur Vichitra’.

Dr. Nagendra has talked about progressive poetry and we notice the glimpse of that idea in Modi’s these lines: “Gati ka chitra kheechna hai/pragati ka path banana hai”  (To take the snapshot of speed/make the path of progress, (‘Gati ka Geet’p. 44).). He has same views and attitudes of progressive writer.

Poet uses simple words with new imagery, fresh symbols, unfaded similes, unused metaphor from every-day -life and a few examples are given here-“ Tirchha -banka ho satya”(The truth may be triangle-unique, ‘Prathana’) , “ Jalta hua lalten hoon” (I’m a burning lantern,p.60),“Raat ko kaale burkhe pahan ke khade vraksh”( Trees  are standing to wear black burkha in the night,’Rahasya’ p.85) and “Raajhans saa tairata mera ye prem” ( My this love like swimming royal swan,‘Prem’ p.72).Of course, Modi has assimilated the traditional and modern sensibility in poetic diction which suits for the expression of feelings ,emotions, pressures and ideas. He has used both rhyming and unrhyming form of poetry, mostly in blank verse.

S.H. Vatsayan ‘Agyeya’ has written in the introduction of ‘Saptak’ – “….Abhi raahi hain, raah ke anveshi” (….Now is a traveller, the searcher of path) that is somewhat true with Modi’s literary journey.


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