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In September 2013 Modi was named the BJP's candidate for prime minister ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.[166][167] Several BJP leaders expressed opposition to Modi's candidature,[168] including BJP founding member L. K. Advani, who cited concern with leaders who were "concerned with their personal agendas".[169] Modi played a dominant role in the BJP's election campaign.[170][171] Several people who voted for the BJP stated that if Modi had not been the prime-ministerial candidate, they would have voted for another party.In September 2013 Modi was named the BJP's candidate for prime minister ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.[166][167] Several BJP leaders expressed opposition to Modi's candidature,[168] including BJP founding member L. K. Advani, who cited concern with leaders who were "concerned with their personal agendas".[169] Modi played a dominant role in the BJP's election campaign.[170][171] Several people who voted for the BJP stated that if Modi had not been the prime-ministerial candidate, they would have voted for another party.[166][172][173] The focus on Modi as an individual was unusual for a BJP election campaign.[168][174] The election was described as a referendum on Narendra Modi.[153]

Modi meets his mother after winning the 2014 elections

During the campaign, Modi focused on the corruption scandals under the previous INC government, and played on his image as a politician who had created a high rate of GDP growth in Gujarat.[153][168&

During the campaign, Modi focused on the corruption scandals under the previous INC government, and played on his image as a politician who had created a high rate of GDP growth in Gujarat.[153][168] Modi projected himself as a person who could bring about "development," without focus on any specific policies.[168] His message found support among young Indians and among middle-class citizens.[153] The BJP under Modi was able to downplay concerns about the protection of religious minorities and Modi's commitment to secularism, areas in which he had previously received criticism.[153] Prior to the election Modi's image in the media had centered around his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but during the campaign the BJP was able to shift this to a focus on Modi's neoliberal ideology and the Gujarat model of development,[171] although Hindutva remained a significant part of its campaign.[168][172][15] The BJP's campaign was assisted by its wide influence in the media.[158] Modi's campaign blitz cost approximately 50 billion (US$700 million),[153] and received extensive financial support from corporate donors.[158] In addition to more conventional campaign methods, Modi made extensive use of social media,[153][168] and addressed more than 1000 rallies via hologram appearances.[15]

The BJP won 31% of the vote,[14] and more than doubled its tally in the Lok Sabha to 282, becoming the first party to win a majority of seats on its own since 1984.[171][172] Voter dissatisfaction with the INC, as well as with regional parties in North India, was another reason for the success of the BJP,[172] as was the support from the RSS.[168] In states such as Uttar Pradesh in which the BJP performed well, it drew exceptionally high support from upper-caste Hindus, although the 10 per

The BJP won 31% of the vote,[14] and more than doubled its tally in the Lok Sabha to 282, becoming the first party to win a majority of seats on its own since 1984.[171][172] Voter dissatisfaction with the INC, as well as with regional parties in North India, was another reason for the success of the BJP,[172] as was the support from the RSS.[168] In states such as Uttar Pradesh in which the BJP performed well, it drew exceptionally high support from upper-caste Hindus, although the 10 percent of Muslim votes won was more than it had won before. It performed particularly well in parts of the country that had recently experienced violence between Hindus and Muslims.[172] The magnitude of the BJP's victory led many commentators to say that the election constituted a political realignment away from progressive parties and towards the right-wing.[153][172][175][176] Modi's tweet announcing his victory was described as being emblematic of the political realignment away from a secular, socialist state towards capitalism and Hindu cultural nationalism.[177]

Modi himself was a candidate for the Lok Sabha in two constituencies: Varanasi and Vadodara.[178] He won in both constituencies, defeating Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi and Madhusudan Mistry of the INC in Vadodara by 570,128 votes.[179] Modi, who was unanimously elected leader of the BJP, was appointed prime minister by India's president.[180][181] To comply with the law that an MP cannot represent more than one constituency, he vacated the Vadodara seat.[182]

On 13 October 2018, Modi was renamed as the BJP candidate for prime minister ahead of the 2019 General Election.[183] The chief campaigner for the party was BJP's president Amit Shah.

Modi contested the Lok Sabha elections as a candidate from Varanasi.[184] He won the seat by defeating Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party by a margin of 479,505 votes.Modi contested the Lok Sabha elections as a candidate from Varanasi.[184] He won the seat by defeating Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party by a margin of 479,505 votes.[185][186] Modi was unanimously appointed the prime minister for a second time by the National Democratic Alliance,[187] after the alliance won the election for the second time by securing 353 seats in the Lok Sabha with the BJP alone winning 303 seats.[188][189]

After the Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance won a landslide in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Narendra Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014. He became the first Prime Minister born after India's independence from the British Empire.[190] Modi started his second term after the Bharatiya Janata Party led National Democratic Alliance won again in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Modi became the 4th longest serving Prime Minister of India and the longest serving Non-Congress Prime Minister in 2020.[191]

Governance and other initiatives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on India's 74th Independence Day

Modi's first year as prime minister saw significant centralisation of power relative to previous administrations.[126][192] His efforts at centralisation have been linked to an increase in the number of senior administration officials resigning their positions.[126] Initially lacking a majority in the Rajya Sabha, or upper house of Indian Parliament, Modi passed a number of ordinances to enact his policies, leading to further centralisation of power.[193] The government also passed a bill increasing the control that it had over the appointment of judges, and reducing that of the judiciary.[14]

In December 2014 Modi abolished the Planning Commission, replacing it with the National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog.[194][195] The move had the effect of greatly centralising the power previously with the planning commission in the person of the prime minister.[196][193][194][195][197] The planning commission had received heavy criticism in previous years for creating inefficiency in the government, a

Modi's first year as prime minister saw significant centralisation of power relative to previous administrations.[126][192] His efforts at centralisation have been linked to an increase in the number of senior administration officials resigning their positions.[126] Initially lacking a majority in the Rajya Sabha, or upper house of Indian Parliament, Modi passed a number of ordinances to enact his policies, leading to further centralisation of power.[193] The government also passed a bill increasing the control that it had over the appointment of judges, and reducing that of the judiciary.[14]

In December 2014 Modi abolished the Planning Commission, replacing it with the National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog.[194][195] The move had the effect of greatly centralising the power previously with the planning commission in the person of the prime minister.[196][193][194][195][197] The planning commission had received heavy criticism in previous years for creating inefficiency in the government, and of not filling its role of improving social welfare: however, since the economic liberalisation of the 1990s, it had been the major government body responsible for measures related to social justice.[195]

The Modi government launched investigations by the Intelligence Bureau against numerous civil society organisations and foreign non-governmental organisations in the first year of the administration. The investigations, on the grounds that these organisations were slowing economic growth, was criticised as a witchhunt. In

In December 2014 Modi abolished the Planning Commission, replacing it with the National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog.[194][195] The move had the effect of greatly centralising the power previously with the planning commission in the person of the prime minister.[196][193][194][195][197] The planning commission had received heavy criticism in previous years for creating inefficiency in the government, and of not filling its role of improving social welfare: however, since the economic liberalisation of the 1990s, it had been the major government body responsible for measures related to social justice.[195]

The Modi government launched investigations by the Intelligence Bureau against numerous civil society organisations and foreign non-governmental organisations in the first year of the administration. The investigations, on the grounds that these organisations were slowing economic growth, was criticised as a witchhunt. International humanitarian aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres was among the groups that were put under pressure.[126] Other organisations affected included the Sierra Club and Avaaz.[196] Cases of sedition were filed against individuals criticising the government.[126] This led to discontent within the BJP regarding Modi's style of functioning and drew comparisons to the governing style of Indira Gandhi.[126][193]

Modi repealed 1,200 obsolete laws in first three years as prime minister; a total of 1,301 such laws had been repealed by previous governments over a span of 64 years.[198][199][200] He started a monthly radio programme titled "Mann Ki Baat" on 3 October 2014.[201] Modi also launched the Digital India programme, with the goal of ensuring that government services are available electronically, building infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet access to rural areas, boosting manufacturing of electronic goods in the country, and promoting digital literacy.[202][203]

Modi launched Ujjwala scheme to provide free LPG connection to rural households. The scheme led to an increase in LPG consumption by 56% in 2019 as compared to 2014.[204] In 2019, a law was passed to provide 10% reservation to Economically weaker sections.[205]

He was again sworn in as Prime minister on 30 May 2019. On 30 July 2019, Parliament of India declared the practice of Triple Talaq as illegal, unconstitutional and made it punishable act from 1 August 2019 which is deemed to be in effect from 19 September 2018.[206][207][208] On 5 August 2019, the government moved resolution to scrap Article 370 in the Rajya Sabha,[209] and also reorganise the state with Jammu and Kashmir serving as one of the union territory and Ladakh region separated out as a separate union territory.[210] In 2019, Ayodhya dispute was resolved. The Supreme Court ordered the land to be handed over to a trust to build the Hindu temple. It also ordered the government to give alternate 5 acre land to Sunni Waqf Board for the purpose of building a mosque.[211]

The economic policies of Modi's government focused on privatisation and liberalisation of the economy, based on a neoliberal framework.[196][212] Modi liberalised India's foreign direct investment policies, allowing more foreign investment in several industries, including in defence and the railways.[196][213][214] Other proposed reforms included making it harder for workers to form unions and easier for employers to hire and fire them;[212] some of these proposals were dropped after protests.[215] The reforms drew strong opposition from unions: on 2 September 2015, eleven of the country's largest unions went on strike, including one affiliated with the BJP.[212] The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, a constituent of the Sangh Parivar, stated that the underlying motivation of labour reforms favoured corporations over labourers.[196]

The funds dedicated to poverty reduction programmes and social welfare measures were greatly decreased by the Modi administration.[126] The money spent on social programmes declined from 14.6% of GDP during the Congress government to 12.6% during Modi's first year in office.[196] Spending on health and family welfare declined by 15%, and on primary and secondary education by 16%.[196] The budgetary allocation for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or the "education for all" programme, declined by 22%.[196] The government also lowered corporate taxes, abolished the wealth tax, increased sales taxes, and reduced customs duties on gold, and jewellery.[196] In October 2014, the Modi government deregulated diesel prices.[216]

Modi at the launch of the Make in India programme

In September 2014, Modi introduced the Make in India initiative to encourage foreign companies to manufacture products in India, with the goal of turning the country into a global manufacturing hub.[196][217] Supporters of economic liberalisation supported the initiative, while critics argued it would allow foreign corporations to capture a greater share of the Indian market.[196] Modi's administration passed a land-reform bill that allowed it to acquire private agricultural land without conducting a social impact assessment, and without the consent of the farmers who owned it.[218] The bill was passed via an executive order after it faced opposition in parliament, but was eventually allowed to lapse.[193] Modi's government put in place the [126] The money spent on social programmes declined from 14.6% of GDP during the Congress government to 12.6% during Modi's first year in office.[196] Spending on health and family welfare declined by 15%, and on primary and secondary education by 16%.[196] The budgetary allocation for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, or the "education for all" programme, declined by 22%.[196] The government also lowered corporate taxes, abolished the wealth tax, increased sales taxes, and reduced customs duties on gold, and jewellery.[196] In October 2014, the Modi government deregulated diesel prices.[216]

In September 2014, Modi introduced the Make in India initiative to encourage foreign companies to manufacture products in India, with the goal of turning the country into a global manufacturing hub.[196][217] Supporters of economic liberalisation supported the initiative, while critics argued it would allow foreign corporations to capture a greater share of the Indian market.[196] Modi's administration passed a land-reform bill that allowed it to acquire private agricultural land without conducting a social impact assessment, and without the consent of the farmers who owned it.[218] The bill was passed via an executive order after it faced opposition in parliament, but was eventually allowed to lapse.[193] Modi's government put in place the Goods and Services Tax, the biggest tax reform in the country since independence. It subsumed around 17 different taxes and became effective from 1 July 2017.[219]

In his first cabinet decision, Modi set up a team to investigate black money.[220] On 9 November 2016, the government demonetised ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, the use of counterfeit currency, and terrorism.[221] The move led to severe cash shortages,[222][223][224] a steep decline in the Indian stock indices In his first cabinet decision, Modi set up a team to investigate black money.[220] On 9 November 2016, the government demonetised ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes, with the stated intention of curbing corruption, black money, the use of counterfeit currency, and terrorism.[221] The move led to severe cash shortages,[222][223][224] a steep decline in the Indian stock indices BSE SENSEX and NIFTY 50,[225] and sparked widespread protests throughout the country.[226] Several deaths were linked to the rush to exchange cash.[227][228] In the subsequent year, the number of income tax returns filed for individuals rose by 25%, and the number of digital transactions increased steeply.[229][230]

Over the first four years of Modi's premiership, India's GDP grew at an average rate of 7.23%, higher than the rate of 6.39% under the previous government.[231] The level of income inequality increased,[232] while an internal government report said that in 2017, unemployment had increased to its highest level in 45 years. The loss of jobs was attributed to the 2016 demonetisation, and to the effects of the Goods and Services Tax.[233][234]

In his first year as prime minister, Modi reduced the amount of money spent by the central government on healthcare.[159] The Modi government launched New Health Policy (NHP) in January 2015. The policy did not increase the government's spending on healthcare, instead emphasising the role of private healthcare organisations. This represented a shift away from the policy of the previous Congress government, which had supported programmes to assist public health goals, including reducing child and maternal mortality rates.[235] The National Health Mission, which included public health programmes targeted at these indices received nearly 20%[236][237] less funds in 2015 than in the previous year. 15 national health programmes, including those aimed at controlling tobacco use and supporting healthcare for the elderly, were merged with the National Health Mission. In its budget for the second year after it took office, the Modi government reduced healthcare spending by 15%.[238] The healthcare budget for the following year rose by 19%. The budget was viewed positively by private insurance providers. Public health experts criticised its emphasis on the role of private healthcare providers, and suggested that it represented a shift away from public health facilities.[239] The healthcare budget rose by 11.5% in 2018; the change included an allocation of 2000 crore for a government-funded health insurance program, and a decrease in the budget of the National Health Mission.[240] The government introduced stricter packaging laws for tobacco which requires 85% of the packet size to be covered by pictorial warnings.[241] An article in the medical journal Lancet stated that the country "might have taken a few steps back in public health" under Modi.[235] In 2018 Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, a government health insurance scheme intended to insure 500 million people. 100,000 people had signed up by October 2018.[242]

[235] On 2 October 2014, Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission ("Clean India") campaign. The stated goals of the campaign included eliminating open defecation and manual scavenging within five years.[243][244] As part of the programme, the Indian government began constructing millions of toilets in rural areas and encouraging people to use them.[245][246][247] The government also announced plans to build new sewage treatment plants.[248] The administration plans to construct 60 million toilets by 2019. The construction projects have faced allegations of corruption, and have faced severe difficulty in getting people to use the toilets constructed for them.[244][245][246] Sanitation cover in the country increased from 38.7% in October 2014 to 84.1% in May 2018; however, usage of the new sanitary facilities lagged behind the government's targets.[249] In 2018, the World Health Organization stated that at least 180,000 diarrhoeal deaths were averted in rural India after the launch of the sanitation effort.[250][251]

Hindutva

Modi pays obeisance at Tirumala Temple in Andhra Pradesh

During the 2014 election campaign, the BJP sought to identify itself with political leaders kno

During the 2014 election campaign, the BJP sought to identify itself with political leaders known to have opposed Hindu nationalism, including B. R. Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Ram Manohar Lohia.[126] The campaign also saw the use of rhetoric based on Hindutva by BJP leaders in certain states.[252] Communal tensions were played upon especially in Uttar Pradesh and the states of Northeast India.[252] A proposal for the controversial Uniform Civil Code was a part of the BJP's election manifesto.[15]

The activities of a number of Hindu nationalist organisations increased in scope after Modi's election as Prime Minister, sometimes with the support of the government.[126][252] These activities included a Hindu religious conversion programme, a campaign against the alleged Islamic practice of "Love Jihad", and attempts to celebrate Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, by members of the right wing Hindu Mahasabha.[126] Officials in the government, including the Home Minister, defended the conversion programmes.[252] Modi refused to remove a government minister from her position after a popular outcry resulted from her referring to religious minorities as "bastards."[126] Commentators have suggested, however, that the violence was perpetrated by radical Hindu nationalists to undercut the authority of Modi.[126] Between 2015 and 2018, [126][252] These activities included a Hindu religious conversion programme, a campaign against the alleged Islamic practice of "Love Jihad", and attempts to celebrate Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, by members of the right wing Hindu Mahasabha.[126] Officials in the government, including the Home Minister, defended the conversion programmes.[252] Modi refused to remove a government minister from her position after a popular outcry resulted from her referring to religious minorities as "bastards."[126] Commentators have suggested, however, that the violence was perpetrated by radical Hindu nationalists to undercut the authority of Modi.[126] Between 2015 and 2018, Human Rights Watch estimated that 44 people, most of them Muslim, were killed by vigilantes; the killings were described by commentators as related to attempts by BJP state governments to ban the slaughter of cows.[253]

Links between the BJP and the RSS grew stronger under Modi. The RSS provided organisational support to the BJP's electoral campaigns, while the Modi administration appointed a number of individuals affiliated with the RSS to prominent government positions.[253] In 2014, Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, who had previously been associated with the RSS, chairperson of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).[15] Historians and former members of the ICHR, including those sympathetic to the BJP, questioned his credentials as a historian, and stated that the appointment was part of an agenda of cultural nationalism.[15][254][255]

The North East Delhi riots, which left more than 40 dead and hundreds injured, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi's Hindu nationalist agenda.[256][257][258][259]

Foreign policy

North East Delhi riots, which left more than 40 dead and hundreds injured, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi's Hindu nationalist agenda.[256][257][258][259]

Foreign policy played a relatively small role in Modi's election campaign, and did not feature prominently in the BJP's election manifesto.[260] Modi invited all the other leaders of SAARC countries to his swearing in ceremony as prime minister.[261][262] He was the first Indian prime minister to do so.[263]

[260] Modi continued Manmohan Singh's policy of "multi-alignment."[264] The Modi administration tried to attract foreign investment in the Indian economy from several sources, especially in East Asia, with the use of slogans such as "Make in India" and "Digital India".[264] The government also tried to improve relations with Islamic nations in the Middle East, such as Bahrain, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as with Israel.[264]

During the first few months after the election, Modi made trips to a number of different countries to further the goals of his policy, and attended the BRICS, ASEAN, and G20 summits.[260] One of Modi's first visits as prime minister was to Nepal, during which he promised a billion USD in aid.[265] Modi also made several overtures to the United States, including multiple visits to that country.[262] While this was described as an unexpected development, due to the US having previously denied Modi a travel visa over his role during the 2002 Gujarat riots, it was also expected to strengthen diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.[262]

In 2015, the Indian parliament ratified a land exchange deal with Bangladesh about the India–Bangladesh enclaves, which had been initiated by the government of Manmohan Singh.[193] Modi's administration gave renewed attention to India's "Look East Policy", instituted in 1991. The policy was renamed the "Act East Policy", and involved directing Indian foreign policy towards East Asia and South

During the first few months after the election, Modi made trips to a number of different countries to further the goals of his policy, and attended the BRICS, ASEAN, and G20 summits.[260] One of Modi's first visits as prime minister was to Nepal, during which he promised a billion USD in aid.[265] Modi also made several overtures to the United States, including multiple visits to that country.[262] While this was described as an unexpected development, due to the US having previously denied Modi a travel visa over his role during the 2002 Gujarat riots, it was also expected to strengthen diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.[262]

In 2015, the Indian parliament ratified a land exchange deal with Bangladesh about the India–Bangladesh enclaves, which had been initiated by the government of Manmohan Singh.[193] Modi's administration gave renewed attention to India's "Look East Policy", instituted in 1991. The policy was renamed the "Act East Policy", and involved directing Indian foreign policy towards East Asia and Southeast Asia.[264][266] The government signed agreements to improve land connectivity with Myanmar, through the state of Manipur. This represented a break with India's historic engagement with Myanmar, which prioritised border security over trade.[266]

India's nominal military spending increased steadily under Modi.[267] The military budget declined over Modi's tenure both as a fraction of GDP and when adjusted for inflation.[268][269] A substantial portion of the military budget was devoted to personnel costs, leading commentators to write that the budget was constraining Indian military modernisation.[268][270][269]

The BJP election manifesto had also promised to deal with illegal immigration into India in the Northeast, as well as to be more firm in its handling of insurgent groups. The Modi government issued a notification allowing Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to legalise their residency in India. The government described the measure as being taken for humanitarian reasons but it drew criticism from several Assamese organisations.[271]

The Modi administration negotiated a peace agreement with the largest faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCM), which was announced in August 2015. The Naga insurgency in northeast India had begun in the 1950s.[271][272] The NSCM and the government had agreed to a ceasefire in 1997, but a peace accord had not previously been signed.[272] In 2015 the government abrogated a 15-year ceasefire with the Khaplang faction of the NSCM (NSCM-K). The NSCM-K responded with a series of attacks, which killed 1

The BJP election manifesto had also promised to deal with illegal immigration into India in the Northeast, as well as to be more firm in its handling of insurgent groups. The Modi government issued a notification allowing Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh to legalise their residency in India. The government described the measure as being taken for humanitarian reasons but it drew criticism from several Assamese organisations.[271]

The Modi administration negotiated a peace agreement with the largest faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCM), which was announced in August 2015. The Naga insurgency in northeast India had begun in the 1950s.[271][272] The NSCM and the government had agreed to a ceasefire in 1997, but a peace accord had not previously been signed.[272] In 2015 the government abrogated a 15-year ceasefire with the Khaplang faction of the NSCM (NSCM-K). The NSCM-K responded with a series of attacks, which killed 18 people.[271] The Modi government carried out a raid across the border with Myanmar as a result, and labelled the NSCM-K a terrorist organisation.[271]

Modi promised to be "tough on Pakistan" during his election campaign, and repeatedly stated that Pakistan was an exporter of terrorism.[273][274][275] On 29 September 2016, the Indian Army stated that it had conducted a surgical strike on terror launchpads in Azad Kashmir. The Indian media claimed that up to 50 terrorists and Pakistani soldiers had been killed in the strike.[276][277][278] Pakistan initially denied that any strikes had taken place.[279] Subsequent reports suggested that Indian claim about the scope of the strike and the number of casualties had been exaggerated, although cross-border strikes had been carried out.[273][280][281] In February 2019 India carried out airstrikes in Pakistan against a supposed terrorist camp. Further military skirmishes followed, including cross-border shelling and the loss of an Indian aircraft.[282][283][284]

In naming his cabinet, Modi renamed the "Ministry of Environment and Forests" the "Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change."[285] In the first budget of the government, the money allotted to this ministry was reduced by more than 50%.[285] The new ministry also removed or diluted a number of laws related to environmental protection. These included no longer requiring clearance from the National Board for Wildlife for projects close to protected areas, and allowing certain projects to proceed before environmental clearance was received.[196][285] The government also tried to reconstitute the Wildlife board such that it no longer had representatives from non-governmental organisations: however, this move was prevented by the Supreme Court.[285]

Modi also relaxed or abolished a number of other environmental regulations, particularly those related to industrial activity. A government committee stated that the existing system only served to create corruption, and that the government should instead rely on the owners of industries to voluntarily inform the government about the pollution they were creating.[196][286] Other changes included reducing ministry oversight on small mining projects, and no longer requiring approval from tribal councils for projects inside forested areas.[286] In addition, Modi lifted a moratorium on new industrial activity in the most polluted areas in the countries.[285] The changes were welcomed by businesspeople, but criticised by environmentalists.[286]

Under the UPA government that preceded Modi's administration, field trials of Genetically Modified (GM) crops had essentially been put on hold, after protests from farmers fearing for their livelihoods.[287] Under the Modi government

Modi also relaxed or abolished a number of other environmental regulations, particularly those related to industrial activity. A government committee stated that the existing system only served to create corruption, and that the government should instead rely on the owners of industries to voluntarily inform the government about the pollution they were creating.[196][286] Other changes included reducing ministry oversight on small mining projects, and no longer requiring approval from tribal councils for projects inside forested areas.[286] In addition, Modi lifted a moratorium on new industrial activity in the most polluted areas in the countries.[285] The changes were welcomed by businesspeople, but criticised by environmentalists.[286]

Under the UPA government that preceded Modi's administration, field trials of Genetically Modified (GM) crops had essentially been put on hold, after protests from farmers fearing for their livelihoods.[287] Under the Modi government these restrictions were gradually lifted.[287] The government received some criticism for freezing the bank accounts of environmental group Greenpeace, citing financial irregularities, although a leaked government report said that the freeze had to do with Greenpeace's opposition to GM crops.[287]

In accordance with Ghanchi tradition, Modi's marriage was arranged by his parents when he was a child. He was engaged at age 13 to Jashodaben, marrying her when he was 18. They spent little time together and grew apart when Modi began two years of travel, including visits to Hindu ashrams.[28][288] Reportedly, their marriage was never consummated, and he kept it a secret because otherwise he could not have become a 'pracharak' in the puritan Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.[289][55] Modi kept his marriage secret for most of his career. He acknowledged his wife for the first time when he filed his nomination for the 2014 general elections.[290][291] Modi maintains a close relationship with his mother, Hiraben.[292]

A vegetarian and teetotaler,[293][294] Modi has a frugal lifestyle and is a workaholic and introve

A vegetarian and teetotaler,[293][294] Modi has a frugal lifestyle and is a workaholic and introvert.[295] Modi's 31 August 2012 post on Google Hangouts made him the first Indian politician to interact with citizens on a live chat.[296][297] Modi has also been called a fashion-icon for his signature crisply ironed, half-sleeved kurta, as well as for a suit with his name embroidered repeatedly in the pinstripes that he wore during a state visit by US President Barack Obama, which drew public and media attention and criticism.[298][299][300] Modi's personality has been variously described by scholars and biographers as energetic, arrogant, and charismatic.[14][301]

He had published a Gujarati book titled Jyotipunj in 2008, containing profiles of various RSS leaders. The longest was of M. S. Golwalkar, under whose leadership the RSS expanded and whom Modi refers to as Pujniya Shri Guruji ("Guru worthy of worship").[302] According to The Economic Times, his intention was to explain the workings of the RSS to his readers and to reassure RSS members that he remained ideologically aligned with them. Modi authored eight other books, mostly containing short stories for children.[303]

The nomination of Modi for the prime ministership drew attention to his reputation as "one of contemporary India's most controversial and divisive politicians."[153][304][305][306] During the 2014 election campaign the BJP projected an image of Modi as a strong, masculine leader, who would be able to take difficult decisions.[153][168][166][172][173] Campaigns in which he has participated have focused on Modi as an individual, in a manner unusual for the BJP and RSS.[168] Modi has relied upon his reputation as a politician able to bring about economic growth and "development".[307] Nonetheless, his role in the 2002 Gujarat riots continues to attract criticism and controversy.[7] Modi's hardline Hindutva philosophy and the policies adopted by his government continue to draw criticism, and have been seen as evidence of a majoritarian and exclusionary social agenda.[7][168][14][126]

As a Prime Minister, Modi has received consistently high approval ratings; at the end of his first year in office, he received an overall approval rating of 87% in a Pew Research poll, with 68% of people rating him "very favorably" and 93% approving of his government.[308] His approval rating remained largely consistent at around 74% through his second year in office, according to a nationwide poll conducted by instaVaani.[309] At the end of his second year in office, an updated Pew Research poll showed Modi continued to receive high overall approval ratings of 81%, with 57% of those polled rating him "very favorably."[310][311] At the end of his third year in office, a further Pew Research poll showed Modi with an overall approval rating of 88%, his highest yet, with 69% of people polled rating him "very favorably."[312] A poll conducted by The Times of India in May 2017 showed 77% of the respondents rated Modi as "very good" and "good".[313] In early 2017, a survey from Pew Research Center showed Modi to be the most popular figure in Indian politics.[314]

Awards and recognition

Modi was named the Best Chief Minister in a 2007 nationwide survey by India Today.[315] In March 2012, he appeared on the cover of the Asian edition of Time Magazine, one of the few Indian politicians to have done so.[316] He was awarded Indian of the Year by CNN-IBN news network in 2014.[317] In 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.[318][319][320][321] He was also declared winner of the Time magazine reader's poll for Person of the Year in 2014 and 2016.[322][323] Forbes Magazine ranked him the 15th Most Powerful Person in the World in 2014 and the 9th Most Powerful Pers

Modi was named the Best Chief Minister in a 2007 nationwide survey by India Today.[315] In March 2012, he appeared on the cover of the Asian edition of Time Magazine, one of the few Indian politicians to have done so.[316] He was awarded Indian of the Year by CNN-IBN news network in 2014.[317] In 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.[318][319][320][321] He was also declared winner of the Time magazine reader's poll for Person of the Year in 2014 and 2016.[322][323] Forbes Magazine ranked him the 15th Most Powerful Person in the World in 2014 and the 9th Most Powerful Person in the World in 2015, 2016 and 2018.[324][325][326][327] In 2015, Modi was ranked the 13th Most Influential Person in the World by Bloomberg Markets Magazine.[328] Modi was ranked fifth on Fortune Magazine's first annual list of the "World's Greatest Leaders" in 2015.[329][330] In 2017, Gallup International Association (GIA) conducted a poll and ranked Modi as third top leader of the world.[331][332][333] In 2016, a wax statue of Modi was unveiled at Madame Tussaud Wax Museum in London.[334][335]

In 2015 he was named one of Time

In 2015 he was named one of Time's "30 Most Influential People on the Internet" as the second-most-followed politician on Twitter and Facebook.[336] In 2018 he was the third most followed world leader on Twitter,[337] and the most followed world leader on Facebook and Instagram.[338][339] In October 2018, Modi received UN's highest environmental award, the 'Champions of the Earth', for policy leadership by "pioneering work in championing" the International Solar Alliance and "new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action".[340][341][342] He was conferred the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication to improving international co-operation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts. He is the first Indian to win the award.[343] In January 2019, PM Narendra Modi, a biographic film starring Vivek Oberoi as Modi, was announced.[344]

Following his second swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister of India, a picture of Modi was displayed on the facade of the ADNOC building in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[345] Premiered on 12 August 2019, Modi appeared in a special episode of Discovery Channel's show Man vs Wild with the host Bear Grylls,[346] becoming the second world leader after Barack Obama to appear in the adventure/survival show.[347] In the show he trekked the jungles and talked about nature and wildlife conservation with Grylls.[348] The episode was shot in Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand and was broadcast in 180 countries along India.[349] The Texas India Forum hosted a community event in honour of Modi on 22 September 2019 at the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The event was attended by over 50,000 people and several American politicians including President Donald Trump, making it the largest gathering for an invited foreign leader visiting the United States other than the Pope.[350][351] At the same event, Modi was presented with the Key to the City of Houston by Mayor Sylvester Turner.[352] He was awarded the Global Goalkeeper Award Award on 24 September 2019 in New York City by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in recognition for the Swachh Bharat Mission and "the progress India has made in providing safe sanitation under his leadership".[353][354] In 2020, Modi was among eight world leaders to have received the Ig Nobel Prize in Medical Education "for using the COVID-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can".[355]