Modi claims he was 'sent by God,' not born biologically

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses U.S. Congress. (Photo: YouTube Screenshot/CBS News)

In a remarkable claim that has stoked controversy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted he was not born through biological means but was instead "sent by God" with a divine purpose.

The startling remarks came during an interview with News18 channel while campaigning for his BJP party ahead of the ongoing general election. Speaking in his constituency of Varanasi, Modi said, "When my mother was alive, I believed I was born biologically. But after her death, reflecting on all my experiences, I am convinced that God sent me."

The 72-year-old leader went on to say that the energy he possesses could not be from a "biological body" but was bestowed upon him by God. "This energy is not from my biological body, it has been given to me by God. That's why God also gave me the ability, strength, pure-heartedness, and the inspiration to do this. I am nothing but an instrument that God has sent," he stated.

Modi's astonishing claim has sparked ridicule and backlash from opposition parties. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi mocked the Prime Minister’s remarks depicting himself as a quasi-messiah.

"The country's Prime Minister openly says in an interview in front of his cronies that 'I am not biological… God has sent me on a mission,'" said Gandhi.

Jairam Ramesh, a Congress spokesman, characterised Modi's assertion as an "unprecedented level of delusion and arrogance" that signalled his impending electoral defeat after nearly a decade in power.

Other opposition figures have also weighed in, with senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor questioning whether a "self-proclaimed divinity" should even be allowed to participate in elections. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Tharoor asked the Election Commission if "a divine being be eligible for citizenship in India, and if not, does he have the right to vote or to contest elections?"

The remarks have also drawn criticism on social media, with many accusing Modi of expressing an unhealthy ego and messiah complex unbefitting of a democratically-elected leader. Trinamool Congress candidate Mahua Moitra mockingly suggested the BJP should have "consecrated idols of Narendra Modi in temples instead of Lord Ram."

The controversy comes at a crucial time, with India in the final phases of a marathon seven-phase general election to decide if Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP will win another five-year term. The Prime Minister remains a polarising but very popular figure among many Indians who have backed his economic growth policies.  

While Modi has projected a pious Hindu image, his premiership has been accused of encouraging intolerance towards India's religious minorities and of undermining secular governance. This latest controversy around perceived divine allegations seems unlikely to dampen the zeal of his devoted base but may alienate more moderate religious and irreligious voters.