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Jyotipunj: Narendra Modi writes on 'my organisation, my leaders'

TNN Apr 9, 2008, 11.30am IST

NEW DELHI: A third book from a political figure belonging to the saffron stable is going to hit the stands soon. `Jyotipunj,' a 200-page book written in Gujarati by chief minister Narendra Modi, will be launched in Ahmedabad on April 14 by RSS general secretary Mohanrao Bhagwat.

But unlike Mr L K Advani's memoirs, My Country, My Life, which kicked off a row because of his account of certain events and personalities, Mr Modi has sought to steer clear of potential trouble by turning the spotlight not on himself, but on several known and unknown RSS workers who not only played a stellar role in building the organisation, but also shaped the Gujarat chief minister's thinking.

In that respect, the idea behind `Jyotipunj'' is completely different from Mr Advani's autobiography. While the shadow prime minister's account of his political journey was seen as a part of the larger project to reach out to various sections of people, a sort of image-building exercise, Mr Modi's narrative takes a close look at the functioning of an organisation which, to many people, still remains shrouded in mystery. It, at the same time, seeks to inform people about the elements that go on to constitute his core — elements which were fashioned during the decades spent in the Sangh. This should be reassuring to the parivar adherents.

Again, while Mr Advani's reflexes during and after his last stint in power, captured colourfully in his memoirs, have baffled many in the Sangh Parivar, Mr Modi has used the book with a telling effect to reassure the cadre about his roots and convictions — that he remained firm in his ideological commitment.

The Gujarat chief minister was himself a RSS pracharak (full-time functionary) before he entered the rough and tumble of electoral politics. The book, therefore, has been written by a person who has seen the organisation from close quarters. It profiles the life of 15 RSS workers, most of whom are still relatively unknown entities, but played a significant role in building the organisational network in various parts of the country.

Among these 15 RSS leaders, six hail from Maharashtra, while the remaining nine belong to Gujarat. Those featured in the book include the first RSS chief K B Hedgewar, better known as Doctor Sahab, and his successor, M S Golwalkar, called as `Guruji' by followers.

Also figuring in the anthology is Madhukarrao Bhagwat, the present RSS general secretary's father, who was the prant pracharak in Gujarat before independence, and Laxmanrao Inamdar, an RSS pracharak who's credited with building the organisational structure in Gujarat.

It was the late Laxmanrao Inamdar, also known as `Vakil Sahab,' who shaped Mr Modi's thinking and vision during the formative years of his life.

Published by the Rajkot-based Praveen Prakashan, `Jyotipunj' is also seen as attempt on the author's part to familiarise people with the working of the RSS.

This is not the first time Mr Modi is trying his hand at a literary project. Before this, he had authored eight books, primarily collections of short stories aimed at children.

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