Many letters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a young man wrote to the mother goddess, whom he addressed as ‘Jagat Janani’, every night on varied topics will be published in a book form in English next month.
HarperCollins India said “Letters to Mother”, translated from Gujarati by renowned film critic Bhawana Somaaya, will be released as eBook and hardback.
These letters have been taken from Modi’s diary, dating back to 1986.
“This is not an attempt at literary writing; the passages featured in this book are reflections of my observations and sometimes unprocessed thoughts, expressed without filter…” a HarperCollins India statement quoted Modi as saying.
“I am not a writer, most of us are not; but everybody seeks expression, and when the urge to unload becomes overpowering there is no option but to take pen and paper, not necessarily to write but to introspect and unravel what is happening within the heart and the head and why,” he said.
As a young man, Modi had got into the habit of writing a letter to ‘Jagat Janani’ every night before going to bed. The topics were varied: there were seething sorrows, fleeting joys, lingering memories.
“In Modi’s writings there was the enthusiasm of a youngster and the passion to usher in change. But every few months, he would tear up the pages and consign them to a bonfire. The pages of one diary, dating back to 1986, survived, however. These are now available in English for the very first time,” the statement said.
According to Somaaya, Modi’s strength as a writer is his emotional quotient.
“There is a raw intensity, a simmering restlessness which he does not disguise and that is his attraction,” she said.