The Origins Of The Modi Surname

Written by: Edina Ferrao



Time to read min

Since it's PM Modi's birthday, we'll look at the origins of the Modi surname and some trivia associated with it. Let's go.

  1. Modi is a surname commonly found in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, MP, UP, Bihar, and Jharkhand.
  2. The surname Modi does not denote any specific community or caste.
  3. In Gujarat, the Modi surname is used by Hindus, Muslims, and Parsis. There are people with the Modi surname among Vaishnavas (Baniyas), Kharwas (fishermen from Porbandar), and Lohanas (who are a community of traders).
  4. Narendra Modi is from the Modh Ghanchi caste of Gujarat. Equivalent to “Teli” in other parts of India, the community has traditionally engaged in activities related to the extraction and trade of edible oils.
  5. The Modh in the caste Modh Ghanchi seems to have led to the adoption of the Modi surname amongst this specific community. And Modh, historically, was an adjective used by Gujaratis who originated from the village Modhera (near Mehsana) in Gujarat.

In a nutshell, the PM's surname Modi can be linked to his ancestors who may have had connections with the village Modhera near Mehsana.

Narendra Modi with his extended family
Image from India Today's article - A 2003 photo when Modi, as Gujarat CM, hosted the family at his official residence in Gandhinagar