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Rediff.com  » News » Never wanted him to join politics, says Narendra Modi's brother

Never wanted him to join politics, says Narendra Modi's brother

Last updated on: December 18, 2012 15:42 IST

Never wanted him to join politics, says Narendra Modi's brother

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Sheela Bhatt and Sonil Dedhia in Ahmedabad

Somabhai Modi talks to Sheela Bhatt and Sonil Dedhia about his famous younger brother, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi

In the middle of his conversation with us, Somabhai Modi is interrupted by the news flash on television that former prime minister IK Gujaral has passed away. Not many know that Somabhai is the eldest brother of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Somabhai seldom speaks to the media. It was after pursuing him for almost a week that he agreed to give an interview to Sheela Bhatt and Sonil Dedhia.

A retired government officer who now runs an old age home in their hometown Vadnagar, Somabhai is a composed person. When he started the conversation, memorable for his high-pitched voice and use of short sentences, about his brother Narendra Modi, he comes across as someone who doesn't mince words.  

In this candid interview, the 69-year-old recalls the childhood days of his brother, narrates stories about his sibling's culinary skills, and explains why he is happy with his progress despite Narendra Modi taking a different way.

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Image: Narendra Modi's elder brother Somabhai in Ahmedabad
Photographs: Reuben NV/Rediff.com

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'Narendrabhai was different from the rest'

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Somabhai recalls his brother Narendra Modi as someone who was different from the rest. 

He proudly says, "Among the boys who use to study and play with him, he had a different attitude. He had such an influence that all the boys used to respect him. Whenever there was any problem among them, they used to wait for Narendrabhai. And when he came he used to solve the problem, take everyone together and move on."

He also mentioned that Narendra Modi was an average student in school.

"But his teachers had a lot of regard for him. There was never a complaint against him from school. His work was always uptodate," he says.

Narendra Modi's favourite subjects in school were history, geography and science. He showed special interest in science, Somabhai recalls.

"And because of his interest in science, you see so much technology being used in Gujarat today.  During this election, he used 3D technology for his rallies, which I guess no one in the world has used so far," he adds.

Video: Reuben NV/Rediff.com

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'Never wanted my brother to join politics'

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Somabhai Modi further says that he never thought nor did he want his brother to become a politician.

"Politics is like quicksand. Many people have spoilt their lives after getting into politics and that's why I never wanted him to get into politics," he says.

But today, after looking at the developments in the past 10 years in Gujarat under his brother's chief ministership, Somabhai's opinion has changed.

He says, "I feel proud of his achievements. I want him to continue as chief minister because he has been successful in whatever he has been doing and I feel Gujarat and its people need him."

Video: Reuben NV/Rediff.com

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'He makes some amazing batata poha, khichdi'

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Somabhai Modi describes Narendra as a very good cook.

"He is fond of cooking and he is very good at it. He is good at preparing all kinds of Gujarati delicacies," he says.  "He can make such good phulkas, which sometimes even a good cook may not be able to match. He also makes some amazing batata poha and sabudana khichdi."

Video: Reuben NV/Rediff.com

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'It is untrue that he isn't attached to his family'

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Somabhai Modi denies that his brother is not close to his family.

He says, "It is absolutely untrue that he doesn't have any attachment with his family. He has feelings for his family, but for the path that he has selected, he doesn't need our help."

"Our family isn't influential enough to assure him even one thousand votes," he adds.

Video: Reuben NV/Rediff.com




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