Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Can Modi be a custodian of women’s rights?

The story is fully filmy. A couple entering into a wedlock due to the companionship and close bond between their fathers. The guy wants to remain a brahmachari, an idea which was reinforced by his constant visits to the RSS shakhas. The guy, in pursuit of his desire deserts his wife after a period of three years. The wife like a true pativratanari, not remarrying, not encouraging any feelings of animosity or hatred against her husband to surface. Living a life of penance with the hope that her husband would accept her one day, surviving in her meagre pension, she is an enigma of religiosity and virtue. Like a true Indian women, she suffers in silence.

Yes, I am talking about Narendra Modi’s wife Jashodaben, now 62, who was married off at the tender age of seventeen, suddenly came into limelight when Modi filed his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections in which he mentioned her name. In doing so, he triggered the ire of many. Congress leaders said that Modi should be charged for filling false affidavits earlier. This clearly means that till then, Modi refused to acknowledge her existence, forgot about financially supporting her to take care of her livelihood. Jashodaben is known for her love for children and her religious nature. She is a retired teacher who earns a pension of Rs 14,000.

True, Modi has shirked off his family responsibilities in the pursuit of his political career. He might defend himself saying that before his marriage, he told his father that he did not want to get married but he was forced into it. Modi could say that he encouraged his wife to complete her SSC and pursue a teaching degree post which would have enabled her to earn livelihood. However, does his responsibilities for his wife end there? Isn’t he supposed to be her support system throughout his life? Imagine if this man becomes PM, will he actually do something worthwhile for women in our country?
At a time when issue of women security and empowerment assumes centre stage, can this man be trusted to be a custodian of women’s rights? Take a leaf from his personal life and one seriously has doubts. When media tried to approach her, they were informed that she had gone on a pilgrimage. Was this a tactic to protect Modi’s image from further damage? However, she kept her trip short and returned to cast her vote. People say that she has resigned to her fate and has no accusations against Modi. Long live Bharatiya Nari!

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