As soon as the clock struck 12 midnight on September 17th, people across the world started to wish Narendra Modi. Party colleagues, businessmen,sportsmen and many took to Twitter to share their best wishes. Sushma Swaraj, Amit Shah, Venkaiah Naidu, Vijay Rupani, Smriti Irani and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore extended their greetings, in words and pictures. The list also included the Apple CEO, Tim Cook. Greetings are now a public affair, thanks to Twitter.
There were also some ingenious greetings for Modi: “I will work hard from now on as it is your birthday and hence will keep tweeting!”
PM’s birthday was observed as Sewa Diwas and many spent organizing cleanliness programs.
So how did the rest of the country wish its leader? The main celebration was planned in his home state, Gujarat, as Modi regularly visits his mother on his birthday to obtain her blessings(he promptly tweeted the photograph of his receiving blessings from her). The state of Gujarat recently witnessed unprecedented Dalit protests after the inhuman Una incident, when four Dalits were publicly flogged and humiliated for skinning a dead cow(the only job they were traditionally allotted to do). Last year it was rocked by the Patidar protests led by Hardik Patel demanding special reservation for the community.
The state government organized many events in Central Gujarat and announced many water supply and lift irrigation projects in this predominantly tribal belt. On his 66th birthday , Modi unveiled schemes worth Rs. 3,800 crore at Limkheda in Dahod district of Gujarat.
Events were also designed to break existing world records and enter the Guiness book.
“We have broken three world records here. The records were made in the presence of representatives of the Guinness World Records,” Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, said while addressing people at Navsari, Gujarat, in the presence of Modi.
1,000 differently-abled persons made a formation on wheelchairs at a single venue(Navsari) creating the largest wheelchair logo(previous record was only 346). An achievement,indeed! 1,700 deaf persons were distributed 3,400 hearing aid machines at one place.
A cake weighing 3,750 kg was made in Surat by a private bakery owner. By the way, it was totally vegetarian and will be distributed among tribal children and the disabled.
“Yesterday, on the eve of Prime Minister’s birthday, 1,002 children tried to light diyas (earthern lamps) within 30 seconds, out of which 989 persons lighted lamps in 30 seconds and made a world record,” Gehlot said.
Do these photo-managed events serve any purpose other than break some record of numbers? Shouldn’t the duo (PM and his Social Justice minister) be more serious in setting things right for the beleaguered Dalits of the state which stooped to such a low in the Una incident and set another kind of record?