THIS IS THE STORY of an extraordinary life.
As always there is a context: Narendra Modi is the prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in what is likely to be a historic general election. The 2014 Lok Sabha poll will set the course for Indian politics and policy well into the next decade. It could be the most dramatic and important election since March 1977, when Indira Gandhi was defeated after revoking the Emergency. The Emergency ended before most Indians alive today were born. Today over 60 per cent of Indians are under thirty-five years of age. This election will belong to young India and that is why, despite rising disenchantment with politics and politicians, voters are energized by the prospect of change.
When I began working on this book, the compelling nature of the subject struck me: Narendra Modi is both a complex and simple man, but within a multilayered persona. He can be decisive, firm, unyielding. And yet he has a calm about him that enables him to surmount crises with dispassionate meticulousness, even detachment.