‘Symbol of resilience’: When PM Modi recalled his enduring bond with mother | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Symbol of resilience’: When PM Modi recalled his enduring bond with mother

Dec 30, 2022 11:58 PM IST

In his eight years as PM, Modi often spoke of his mother, mentioned her as the strongest root of his family in a blog when she entered her 100th year, visited her occasionally, and once brought her to Delhi to stay at his official residence.

New Delhi During his first trip to the US as Prime Minister in 2015, Narendra Modi didn’t hold back his tears in an otherwise formal occasion when he spoke about his humble roots and mother Heeraben at a Facebook townhall.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by his mother Heeraben after he returned from the Ekta Yatra. (Modi Archive Twitter)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by his mother Heeraben after he returned from the Ekta Yatra. (Modi Archive Twitter)

“My father is no more. My mother is older than 90, but does her own work. When I was young, my mother worked in neighbours’ homes, washed utensils, fetched water and did mazdoori (labour),” the PM said before being overwhelmed with emotion.

In his eight years as PM, Modi often spoke of his mother, mentioned her as the strongest root of his family in a blog when she entered her 100th year, visited her occasionally, and once brought her to Delhi to stay at his official residence. Heeraben died in the early hours of Friday after a brief bout of illness.

Many visits of the PM to Gujarat included a trip to Heeraben’s residence at Vrindavan Bungalows Society. Modi celebrated several birthdays and special occasions with her.

In Lok Sabha, in 2015, when Bharatiya Janata Party (MP) member Hukum Deo Narayan Yadav spoke about the PM’s childhood and how his mother brought him up, Modi was visibly moved and teary eyed.

In 2016, two years after Modi moved to his official residence in Delhi, Heeraben stayed for a few days with him. The Prime Minister’s Office released pictures that showed Modi showing her the gardens and pushing her wheelchair.

On June 18 this year, on her birthday, Modi wrote a long article on her. “My mother is as simple as she is extraordinary. Just like all mothers.”

He mentioned the “innumerable everyday adversities” that his mother encountered and “successfully overcame” in their “tiny house in Vadnagar with mud walls and clay tiles for a roof”.

“My mother not only did all household chores by herself but also worked to supplement the meagre household income. She used to wash utensils at a few houses and take out time to spin the charkha to help meet the household expenses,” Modi recalled in the blog.

“During the rains, our roof would leak, and the house would flood. Mother would place buckets and utensils below the leaks to collect the rainwater. Even in this adverse situation, mother would be a symbol of resilience,” he wrote.

Heeraben, who never missed voting in an election, rarely accompanied Modi to political functions . At an event in Ahmedabad in 1991, soon after he returned from BJP’s Ekta Yatra in Srinagar, she applied tilak on his head. She was also present when Modi took oath as Gujarat’s chief minister in 2001 for the first time. In 2014, after he was elected as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance, Modi took her blessings before returning to Delhi to take oath as Prime Minister.

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