VARANASI : “I am Narendra Damodardas Modi’s brother, but not the Prime Minister’s. Just like you, I am an ordinary citizen of this country.” That was Som Bhai Modi’s stock response whenever curious residents of the ancient city of Varanasi asked him whether he is indeed the Prime Minister’s elder brother.
So what was he doing in the holy city at the same time that the Prime Minister—with his tight security cover—launched a high octane campaign for his party, tirelessly addressing roadshows and rallies recently? Why was the elder Modi, sans security or any other trappings of power, visiting ashrams, temples and hospitals and indulging in ‘’gup-shup’’ with local residents over cups of tea, and during his morning walks?
Dr Kulpati Tiwari, the Mahant of the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple, who accompanied Som Bhai on his sojourns, has the answer. ”No way, he is not in politics. We are having chai pe charchas with people from all walks of life.
We have been going for jan sampark programmes. All that Som Bhai appeals to people is to cast their vote, and to choose the right person and right government.
Neither he nor I say which party one should vote for. We talk only development, not politics,” asserts Dr Tiwari, who accompanied the senior Modi to other places like Mirzapur and Bhadoi. “Wherever he goes and once people come to know he is Narendra Modi’s brother, they like to talk to him and he too talks like any other person,” he said.
So how does it feel to walk around with the elder brother of the most powerful man in the country? “He is a very down to earth person and has no airs of being Modi’s brother. He categorically tells everyone that he cannot do any ‘’sifarish’’ for anyone with the PM as he does not entertain any. If he comes across any genuine problem, he tries to pass it on to Narendra Modi just like any other Indian citizen,’’ smiles Dr Tiwari.