NEW DELHI: Asserting that even detractors of Prime Minister Narendra Modi agree that he is a "phenomenon", Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday said that while Mahatma Gandhi took the freedom struggle out of the hands of the elite to turn it into a mass movement, Modi had converted developmental initiatives into mass movements.
Naidu also said that Modi put to effective use his valuable learnings to write a development script for his state of Gujarat as its chief minister and scaled up the same at national level as prime minister.
Addressing the gathering after releasing the book 'Modi @ 20: Dreams Meeting Delivery', Naidu said Modi's vision, his dreams and Mission India have been shaped by his extensive travels and insightful, experiential journey.
"This is the fundamental differentiator that makes Modi unique in several ways. There is probably no other public figure in contemporary times who has had a comparable experiential journey as Modi," he said.
The first prime minister born after independence, Modi, has, over the last 20 years, carved out a unique place in the history of post-independent India, Naidu said.
"Even his detractors, opponents agree that Modi is a phenomenon. He is a phenomenon, whether you like it or not, at the national level and even at the international level also. We are all seing the reports that a person who previously had no administrative experience earlier, becoming a chief minister doing wonderful work, and then becoming a prime minister. In the international arena also, he is recognised and respected, India also is respected and recognised," Naidu said.
"The book presents different facets of the distinct thought process, the pioneering, pro-active approach and the quintessential, transformational leadership style that Narendrabhai Modi has come to be so closely identified with," he said.
Naidu said the book encompasses the experiential journey of Modi since he left his house at the tender age of 17 and set out on a mission of knowing himself, his country and finally defining the mission of transforming India.
Naidu said Modi is impatient to slow progress and wants everything to be accelerated "because after 70 years of independence, still there are problems for the country".
"Modi ji's vision, his dreams and mission India have been shaped by his extensive travels and insightful, experiential journey.
This is the fundamental differentiator that makes Modi unique in several ways," Naidu said.
The vice president said that despite demonetisation, Modi was able to win polls due to his communication skills as he communicated with the people and they had trust in him.
Born into a working class family, Modi is fully conversant with the struggles of the poor and India had them in good numbers when he was young, he said.
"Modi's comprehensive vision is shaped by his deep understanding of the life, works and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar ji, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya ji and other leading lights.
While the Mahatma took the freedom struggle from out of the hands of the elite to turn it into a mass movement, Narendrabhai Modi, both as the chief minister and prime minister converted developmental initiatives into such mass movements," Naidu said.
Taking bold decisions even when the odds are stacked up against us, comes instinctively to Modi, Naidu said, adding that temporary failures and episodic surprises do not deter him.
He said achievements such as opening of about 45 crore new bank accounts for financial inclusion, building over 12 crore toilets and over 3 crore houses to add dignity to life, over 5 crore MUDRA loans to make entrepreneurs out of the unheard of and transferring over Rs 20 lakh crore to the deserving beneficiaries under 320 schemes under Direct Benefits Transfer, speak for this "think big and act in scale" approach of Modi.
"It is not that some of these things like building houses and toilets were not done earlier. Modi doesn't do all new things. The difference is he thinks differently and acts differently. What Modi does is, he brings a lot of passion and energy to whatever he thinks and undertakes," Naidu said.
Modi is a man whose "Sankalp" or determination is firm and who has the perseverance to do whatever is necessary to make the mission succeed, he said.
Modi is very conscious of the need for 'Jan bhagidari' and makes people's participation the key operating principle, Naidu said.
The vice president said that guiding the destiny of the nation as prime minister since 2014 is only an extension of Modi's tenure as the Gujarat chief minister.
Modi has travelled a larger canvas and a variety of brushes to paint an India his fellow citizens inspire him to create, he said.
"I have no hesitation in describing Narendra Modi as a scientist who first experiments and then scales up based on results. Modi does yeomen service to the nation by adopting evidence based initiatives and actions, and reducing the chances of failure," he said.
Stating that Modi is a politician 24X7, Naidu said it is 'politics of hope', as appropriately defined by Amit Shah in his article in this publication.
'Modi@20' is an anthology edited and compiled by BlueKraft Digital Foundation, and is a compilation of chapters authored by eminent intellectuals and domain experts, Rupa Publications have said, adding that it attempts a definitive and expansive exploration into the fundamental transformation of Gujarat and India over the last 20 years due to Modi's "unique model of governance."