Encounter with Narendrabhai Modi in 1993

Suresh Mandan

Suresh Mandan is a graduate of St Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. He joined the Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs where he saw action in many trouble spots of the country. After a career span of 36 exciting years, he retired as Deputy Director. He served a short stint with Conflict Management Associates, a venture of former Punjab Directors General of Police KPS Gill and Julio Rebeiro. Suresh now lives in the USA, working for an information technology company based in California. He is enjoying his retirement with a purpose.

It was somewhere in the middle nineties that I, as an Intelligence Bureau (IB) Officer, was called to meet the then Sah Sar Sangh Chalak of the All India RSS in their office at Kankaria, Ahmedabad. It was personal-cum-officio meeting arranged through a friend from the RSS. The backdrop was the bombing of the RSS office in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu.

The Sah Sar Sangh Chalak who was from the South of the Vindhayas was a very humble man. The room where he was staying was just basic with a small bed, a single chair and some odd furniture. I was impressed with his and the organisation's simplicity. The office of the Organisation which was a headquarters for the state was itself very spartan, unlike offices of the other organisations which display so much of splendour.

There were no hurdles here to meet the No. 2 of a national organization. I went to the small hole-in-the-wall like reception office where I introduced myself and gave reference to the appointment I had. I was asked to go to the first floor where I found the Sah Sar Sangh Chalak meeting me in a small room which was adorned with nothing else except a basic few things.

While I was talking to him for about 10 minutes, a sevak entered and informed Sar Sangh Chalak that Narendrabhai had come and wanted to call on him (Sanghchalakji). Sanghchalakji asked the sevak to inform Narendrabhai to wait for few minutes and he would be called after the present meeting is over.

After another five minutes sevak once again came and repeated the request of Narendrabhai. Sanghchalakji once again asked him to inform Narendrabhai that he would be called as soon as this meeting is over.

A little later sevak once again came and said that Narendrabhai was in a hurry to meet and the response of the Sanghchalakji was repeated with little more force. Due to these intrusions, neither the Sanghchalakji nor I could concentrate on the discussion. Seeing the haste of Narendrabhai and feeling that Narendrabhai may barge in, I excused myself and made an early exit.

When I came out, I saw Narendrabhai Modi sitting on a sofa outside. Without introducing myself I said "Namaste" to him and made my way. He was a pracharak then and hence had no official protocol. His hurry or rather impatience impressed me, though I was aware that Narendrabhai had nothing so important to talk to the Sah Sar Sanghchalakji. At that time I had no idea that he would become the model Chief Minister of a state and later become the Prime Minister of our country who would set new standards.

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