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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Now, Chhota Modi in Varanasi to charm voters

Manish Chandra Pandey, Hindustan Times  Varanasi, May 10, 2014
First Published: 00:33 IST(10/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:43 IST(10/5/2014)

After the BJP’s PM hopeful Narendra Modi, now his child version —packaged in a 48-page glossy comic book, Bal Narendra —has arrived in Varanasi to lure the voter.

The first edition of the book, priced at Rs. 150, was quickly sold out. And the second edition of 20,000 copies has now started reaching the party cadres in Varanasi.

The book, published in Ahmedabad with “real life stories” from Modi’s childhood, has come two days before campaigning ends here.

It’s not known whether the book is part of an attempt for an image makeover or just a smart publicity ploy to rope in kids and, through them, a larger audience.

Rannade Publication and Blue Snail Animation — both Ahmedabad- based companies — however, confirm the role of saffron spin doctors in the project.

A BJP leader said, “It appears to be an attempt to tell the people about the real Modi as so many lies and half-truths have been propagated about him.”

The book contains 17 stories to recount what is described as “life shaping experiences that moulded Bal Narendra into Narendra Modi of today”.

Take for example, his bringing home a baby crocodile one day only to be told by his mother how painful it’s for a child to be separated by its mother. Narendra promptly went back to the river to put the crocodile back in the water.

Another story with brilliant animation talks of how Modi set up a tea stall with money given to him to enjoy a carnival so that he could collect funds for victims displaced by floods.

The book tries to depict that even as a child, Modi was particular about his appearance. One of the stories shows how Modi used chalk to shine his only pair of white canvas shoes.

Modi has in his recent interviews stated that he has never been afraid of pursuing the path of truth.

This aspect has also been narrated through a story that as a child Modi never hesitated from following the right path whether it meant jumping into a lake to save a friend or standing up to bullies in school.


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