The striking image of PM Narendra Modi lovingly pulling the nose of a child in his last lap to Canada of a three-nation tour shows the other side of the political strategist.
Well, this is not just one occasions, such candid moments can be captured every now and then. Clearly, it is not the people of the country, but also the children who are smitten by his casual demeanour.
His views too speak of a strong man within who is of the firm conviction that children are the future of the nation (on the lines of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru), but there is a certain coarseness about it that Modi seems to be more grounded than his elite predecessor. Here are some of his pet projects for children that speak a lot about him:
"Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao andolan": He was very open about his thoughts about women, especially female foeticide. Denouncing female foeticide, he said "such discrimination reflects mental illness and displays a mindset worse than people in the 18th century." Incidentally, the movement was launched in Haryana, which has the lowest sex ratio with 775 girls per 1000 boys.
Modi could be seen begging to the immense crowd at a rally here during the launch of his pet project for the future of the society. He said,"The Prime Minister of this country has come to you like a beggar and is begging for the lives of daughters."
Sukanya Samridhi Yojna or the girl child prosperity scheme: Under this scheme, a girl child below the age of 10 years will have a bank account with more interest and income tax benefits. Parents should ensure depositing only Rs 1,000 at the time of her birth, followed by any amount in multiples of 100 thereafter, for the girl to get Rs 1,50,000 when she is 18 years old.
On teacher's Day: With his digital interaction to students from across the country, he assured separate toilets for the girl child. "Do not let the child in you die. Play hard and study," he said.
He also urged the eminent people to teach at least one period at a nearby school. He inspired people with his childhood stories and said that hard work, discipline and perseverance can take one to the top. He also insisted students to read the biographies of great men to get the right direction of life.
Action says a lot more than words and Modi proves this during Rakshabandhan every year. A celebration of a 'protector' protecting everyone from the evils of society, children know where to look for help as they line up to the PM to tie their Rakhis.
But will Modi be able to replace the progressive image of 'Chacha' Nehru, whom children know from their syllabus books, is something that is yet to be seen.