Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday became emotional while recalling the hardships he said his mother had faced, including washing utensils in neighbours’ homes, to raise her children.
Answering a question about the role of his mother at the Facebook townhall meeting, Modi said he hailed from a humble and poor family.
“I sold tea in railway stations. It is hard to imagine that a tea seller has become the leader of the world’s largest democracy. I salute the people of India who have made a commoner like me to this top position.”
He said his father had died and his mother, who is now 90, is fit and does all her work by herself. Modi’s mother’s name is Hiraben, and she lives in Gujarat.
“She cannot read or write but keeps in touch with the news through the television,” Modi said.
Recalling his tough childhood, Modi took long pauses, and his voice choked.
“When we were small, in order to make ends meet, my mother would wash utensils in neighbours homes. She used to clean the dishes, fill water, work as a labourer; you can imagine what a mother had to do to raise her children, the difficulties she went through.
“And this is not the case just of Narendra Modi. In India, there are hundreds and thousands of mothers like that who have sacrificed their entire life for their children. And that is why I salute all mothers.”
“And their blessings will give us strength to remain on the right path. That is the mother’s biggest strength, she will want that you become something but be focused on how you become that something, and that is the biggest contribution in a person’s life; the role of a mother.”
Modi later met Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s parents, who were among the audience.