IMPHAL: For the whole world, Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India and a very powerful leader. But for Okram Singhajit Singh, a resident of Manipur’s Thoubal district, Modi is a dear friend who helped him by giving him money to pay his hostel and university fees during his university days in Gujarat.
“My elder brother, who used to send me Rs 250 every month for my hostel and university fee, could not send the amount for two months as he was seriously ill and hospitalized,” said Singhajit, who studied MA with Modi in Gujarat University.
He added, “The hostel warden would frequently ask me to clear the dues but I was helpless. My Manipuri friends also couldn’t help me. On a fine Monday morning, I frantically looked for Narendra and finally found him standing on the second floor of the university and sought financial help from him.”
Stating that he did not have enough money, Narendra asked him to come to his residence. “With a friend of mine from Manipur, I went to his house and were warmly received by his mother,” said Singhajit.
He added that though he had asked Rs 400 from Modi, he was offered Rs 800. “After Narendra’s insistence, I was compelled to take Rs 600 from him,” he said.
After about 10 days, when Singhajit received money from his home, he went to Modi’s house to return the amount but the latter refused to take it saying that it was just a help from a friend. However, Singhajit somehow managed to return the money.
‘Narendra was kind and a quick learner’
He recalled, “My friend Narendra was kind-hearted and a quick learner. I completed my MA in political science in 1983 and returned to Manipur and served as a lecturer on contract basis in Manipur University before joining as the principal of Canchipur College for more than 10 years,” he recalled.
Singhajit, a member of RSS in Manipur, said Modi was not a regular in class owing to his hectic RSS programmes. “I used to give teachers’ notes to him. But in all exams of the university, Narendra scored more marks than me,” he added.
Singhajit went on to say that Modi wore Khadi clothes most of the time and carried a bag. He added that both of them passed their MA in political science in 1983 and had parted ways after that to pursue their respective professions.
Singhajit (66) is currently working as the principal of a private school in Thoubal.
Recollecting his first meeting with Modi on May 6, 2015 after he left university, Singhajit said, “Accompanied by my nephew N Kenedy, who is working in Delhi, I went to meet Modi at his office chamber in New Delhi. I had also taken my certificates so that he could remember me. During the 10-minute meeting, we had tea together, clicked pictures and recalled our days in the university. The Prime Minister also asked me to keep my certificates in good condition.”
Singhajit’s family members and people of his village, who did not initially believe that the PM was his university friend, realized the truth only after he showed them his photos with Modi.
“We have learnt that Singhajit was a close friend of PM Narendra Modi during their university days in Gujarat. We feel proud and glad for having a good friend of the PM in Manipur,” said S Tikendra Singh, president of Manipur unit BJP.
Singhajit, who has joined BJP as a simple member in 2016, is helping the government implement its development programmes at his village at present.



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