Think tank to mark 100th birth anniversary of PM Narendra Modi's mother

Amid the opposition boycott, Deve Gowda attended the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his mother Heeraben Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his mother Heeraben Modi (File Photo: ANI)

Archis Mohan New Delhi

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The Centre for Narendra Modi Studies, a think tank founded three years back, has invited former prime minister H D Deve Gowda as the chief guest for its June 18 event to mark the birth anniversary of Heeraben Modi, the late mother of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Centre for Narendra Modi Studies will mark the day as "matritva divas", or motherhood day, with a seminar on "A mother's influence: How PM Modi's mother shaped his leadership and vision". Heeraben, who died on December 30, would have turned 100 this year. 

Jasim Mohammad, the Centre for Narendra Modi Studies chairman, said the think tank would release a 125-page souvenir on the day. Half a dozen governors, including Anandiben Patel, Arif Mohammad Khan and others, have sent their messages, lauding the effort to organise the "Maa Divas". A dozen more would send their messages soon, he said. Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh, vice chancellors of Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Jawaharlal Nehru University have also sent their messages. The Centre has also sought the presence of educator Sudha Murty at the event.

"We have reached out to former prime minister H D Deve Gowda to be the chief guest. He is currently undergoing treatment, but we are hopeful he will accept our invite," Jasim said. Business Standard contacted Deve Gowda's office, but a response was awaited. Sources close to the former PM said he was unlikely to attend, but was exploring an alliance with the BJP in Karnataka.

Amid the opposition boycott, Deve Gowda attended the inauguration of the new Parliament building on May 28. In the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls, the Janata Dal (Secular) had its worst performance of the last two decades. On Tuesday, when asked about Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's efforts for opposition unity and speculation of a BJP-JD(S) truck for the 2024 Lok Sabha, Deve Gowda said in Bengaluru, "I will answer questions on JD(S)-BJP tie-up after you show me one party that has not done politics without a relationship with the BJP." 

Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) chairman Ram Bahadur Rai, Jharkhand governor C P Radhakrishnan among others, have attended the events the Centre has held in its brief existence. The Centre also plans to mark the birthday of Narendra Modi on September 17, which the BJP celebrates as ''seva divas'', or service day, by releasing a couple of its research works. It has released several compilations of PM's ''Mann ki Baat' broadcasts. 

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Last year, the PM blogged when his mother entered her centenary year, recalling her sacrifices for her children in the family's modest house in Gujarat's Vadnagar and her commitment to ''garib kalyan'', or helping the underprivileged. On Wednesday, PM tweeted a link to a Discovery channel documentary on Vadnagar, his birthplace.

"Vadnagar has a rich history and vibrant culture. Here, the ancient meets the modern in beautiful harmony. It is a symbol of India'sIndia's glorious heritage," Modi tweeted, urging people to catch the documentary, which "promises to be an engrossing watch". The Centre plans to develop the school in Vadnagar, where the PM studied as an inspirational school as part of a project named ''Prerna: The Vernacular School'' where students from across the country will be brought for an immersive experience. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) restored the school.

Currently, the Centre for Narendra Modi Studies functions out of Chandrashekhar Bhawan in the heart of Delhi, which also houses the Chandra Shekhar Centre for Applied Politics. Admirers of the former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, such as IGNCA's Rai, are associated with the effort. On the Centre's website, also called "NaMo Kendra", Jasim has proudly put photographs of him presenting copies of 'Mann ki Baat' compilations.

First Published: Jun 8 2023 | 0:04 AM IST

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