So often these days we hear and speak of ‘the conquest of nature’, ‘the taming of a river’, ‘the war against insects’ and so on. Often these phrases are used without consciously attaching any value to them, but they have underlying them an attitude of hostility towards Nature & it’s creatures, a viewpoint which seems to assume nature as an enemy that needs to be vanquished. Alternatively, nature is seen merely as a ‘resource’ to be exploited to take the maximum out of it, regardless of what this does to natural processes & to other creatures which depend on these processes. It is this attitude which sees fellow humans too as a resource to be exploited or other human communities as enemies to be conquered.

For one who sold tea at a railway station, Narendra Damodardas Modi hasn't done bad for him. His rise from an ordinary Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh pracharak to Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, has shown that hard work and a shrewd brain does pay in Indian politics. Modi's stint as a young RSS pracharak saw him cleaning and sweeping the office, making tea as well as breakfast and evening snacks for senior colleagues, and replying to mails. As he turns 63, we look at the Gujarat chief minister's meteoric rise in India politics: