PM Modi’s lesson in humility to the nation

PM Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on the allegations of sycophancy and self-aggrandisement surrounding the naming of a stadium in Ahmedabad after him. “These people are jealous. Actually I was not so keen on this anyway, but the love shown by my fellow Gujaratis and their insistence that at least one stadium be named after me, broke my resistance. Far from gloating in pride, I am humbled by the honour”, he said, in an online address to captains of industry today. 

When some of the businessmen present praised him for his humility, he accepted it with his characteristic charming smile. “Since you are interested, let me confess what I have told my well-wishers across India. I have told them that loyalty is one thing, sycophancy quite another. We should be setting examples of humility for the younger generation, not of sycophancy and seeking glamour like what the Congress did … see how the Gandhi family has its name branded on all sorts of places. I am made of much humbler stuff. So I have given strict instructions that no more than one stadium, one airport, one railway station, one road or highway, one chowk, one shopping mall, one bus station, and so on (you can see the full list in an annexure to the order, on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs), should be named after me.” 

When asked by one of the businessmen present, whether this was for the country as a whole, the Honourable Prime Minister clarified: ‘no, per city. And I forgot to add, the order also says that on no account should a public urinal be named after me. This is not because I feel it is lowly to have one’s name on a public urinal, but because there may be an unnecessary rush to use it by my millions of loyal fans, and I don’t want any municipality to be inconvenienced.”

PM Modi also referred to the “unkind” remarks by some “andolanjeevis” about whether he considers himself greater than Sardar Patel, since Patel’s name was replaced by his on the stadium. “This kind of vicious comment is unwarranted; we first made the world’s biggest statue in honour of the great Sardar … and I am not referring to those obstinate anti-nationals camping outside Delhi … and then only such a change was permitted. I have also directed that if any existing personality’s name has to be replaced by mine, it can only be after giving a bigger honour to that person. There are exceptions to this, e.g. of people we consider traitors to India, such the Gandhis.” “And,”, he added with a chuckle, “I leave it to your imagination to figure out which Gandhis!” 

Apparently in a confessional mode, he also gave this inside information: “Some of my friends are so loving they can go to extremes. One of them wanted to rename the country Narindia! I told him to not be ridiculous … at least he should wait till I am no more the Prime Minister, or till I pass on to my next life, whichever is sooner.” 

PM Modi ended the interaction with industrialists by advising them to follow the example of Gautam, if they wanted a real lesson in humility. When one of the participants exclaimed that he also follows the Buddha, the Honourable Prime Minister clarified: “no, I did not mean him … I meant Adani.” 

The full text of the Prime Minister’s address is available at:

The order on naming public places after Mr. Modi is available at:

Reported by: Ashish Kothari, Press Information Burrow, Ahmodibad

1 April 2021

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