NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a peep into his early days as a swyamsevak on Sunday, saying how he learnt the difference between a successful and a meaningful life. At the birth centenary celebrations of Eknath Ranade, RSS leader who founded the Vivekananda Kendra, Modi said it was from him that he learnt the importance of a "sarthak" (meaningful) life, not merely a "safal" (successful) one. "This is a lesson the youth must imbibe," Modi said.
The PM said he was extremely fortunate to spend his formative years with Ranade. He mentioned the leader's eye for detail, perfectionist streak, his emphasis on involving the people and love for the nation. Modi said Ranade lived up to Swami Vivekananda's call for "One life, one mission" with single-minded purpose.
"It was my good fortune that I had a chance to hold his finger and learn," Modi said as he narrated several anecdotes from his youth. From a precisely worded press statement to a symmetrically placed tube-light, Ranade sought perfection in everything. "He never compromised on perfection. There was not even one among us from the Sangh, who was a perfectionist like him," Modi said.
Giving an insight into the jan-bhagidaari scheme, Modi said that the Vivekananda Rock Memorial - a brainchild of Ranade - was made by aone rupee contribution from people all over the country. "I used to sit in the discussions that used to take place on the statue. Eknathji was very particular about the direction in which the statue would face and the scene that would be visible from the eyes of Vivekananda. He ensured the rocks were strong and would not crumble, and the chemical coating would preserve the statue. I learnt planning and looking ahead from him," Modi said. Perhaps this is what gave Modi the idea of janbhagidaari for the Sardar Patel statue.