The first book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Urdu language Narendra Bhai Modi Fars Se Arsh Tak (Narendrabhai Modi: from rags to riches) was written by Jasim Mohammad of Aligarh. Jasim has been a journalist and is currently working as Professor of Comparative Studies at Arunachal University of Studies, Arunachal Pradesh.
He has done his PhD from Aligarh Muslim University and has served as Director of Jamia Urdu, Aligarh, and Media Consultant at AMU. Malick Asghar Hashmi and Abdul Hai Khan of Awaz-the Voice had a long conversation with him about writing a book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Here are excerpts from the conversation:
How did the idea of the book on Modi ji in Urdu come about?
Life as a student at Aligarh Muslim University makes one interested in writing on Muslims and in urdu language. I too had developed similar ambitions. Before 2014, my thoughts about Narendra Modi were not positive. These were similar to those nurtured by the students coming out of other Muslim universities. The organization I was associated with did not have a good view of the Gujarat riots. I was against BJP in my student life. I would oppose the Sangha (RSS) without knowing about it. I was also against Narendra Modi.
When Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in May 2014, a thought hit my mind. I wondered why there is so much hatred towards Modi ji among Muslims, when the whole country is singing his praises. I wanted to dig deeper and know the truth. I started studying about Narendra Modi. I read about 30-35 books in English, Hindi and Urdu languages from the point of view of research. I realised that what people, opposition parties and other organizations say about Narendra Modi is not the reality. I vowed that I would write a book that would bridge the gap between Indian Muslims, BJP and Narendra Modi. I decided to write it in Urdu and named it Narendra Bhai Modi Farsh Se Arsh Tak. This is the first book written on him in Urdu language.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the book at his home.
How did Muslims react to the book?
The purpose of writing the book was to bridge the gap and clear misunderstandings. The misconception that was created among Indian Muslims about Narendra Modi has definitely come down. Political parties, Congress and Left have played a big role in confusing the Muslims about the Prime Minister. Muslim politicians and religious leaders have also contributed to creating misunderstandings between the two communities. Instead of bridging the gap, these leaders have contributed to widening the chasm between the two.
How was your first meeting with Modi ji? What happened?
When I met Narendra Modi for the first time, I realized that he has a though process, an ideology and a vision. I realized he is not just a politician but an institution.
Did you meet his close friends in the course of writing the book?
My book on Narendra Modi ji has been written without meeting anyone close to him. Nor have I made any such claim. I haven’t touched the trivia like what he likes to eat or drink; at what time he starts his day etc. I find such things are personal and therefore unnecessary. The book I wrote is based on his thought. He had a certain thought and worries about certain things. People realize it only after meeting him. To speak in a line, his thinking is Nation first. He believes that destiny of people is not different from that of the nation; the country is because of the nation. His thinking is good for people of all religions. I was impressed with this thought and decided to write a book on him.
How do you see Prime Minister’s work and the efforts he is putting in?
In 2020, when the whole world was battling the Covid pandemic it was the 70th birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A lot of things were going through my mind on that day. I thought that I should do some work which will further his ideology, concerns and vision. People must read about all aspects of his personality. I immediately started my esearch. I felt like there is the Center for Gandhi Studies and the one for Ambedkar studied, there should be a Center for Narendra Modi Studies. I am pleased to inform you that I have started an institution named Narendra Modi Study Center on about 500 yards of land near the Aligarh Muslim University premises. Different research papers of Modi ji's 'Mann Ki Baat' are being prepared. I have worked on a paper on Modi ji's international address. Work is being done to set up Narendra Modi Study Center in every state of the country. Observer Research Foundation intends to carry forward the work on the lines of Vivekananda Inter National Foundation