In part one, I told you about our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his wife Jashodaben’s marriage and how he had abandoned her. In part two, I wrote about Jashodaben’s interview to various media houses and why Modi put hyphen on election form and why he used her name in recently concluded Lok Sabha Election. In this concluding part, I’m trying to draw some conclusion as to why she has filed RTI to know her rights as a PM’s wife.
Six months into the role of PM’s wife, Jashodaben Narendra Modi has asked police why she must use the bus when (for security reason) she should travel in a government car and what perks she should get as the wife of the country’s most-powerful man. In the RTI application submitted, Mrs. Modi stated that “I want to know under which legal clauses/provisions and acts of [Indian] Constitution have I been given the security cover,” according to the police spokeswoman.
A spokesman for the prime minister was not immediately available for comment. “I am the wife of the prime minister and as per formal procedure, I want to know what other services am I supposed to get,” Mrs. Modi wrote in a submission under India’s Right to Information Act 2005. Referring to the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her security guards in 1984, Mrs. Modi said she “is frightened by the presence” of the commandos and “asked for all the details of her personal bodyguards.” Besides, she also asked for information about the “other honours and benefits” she is authorised to receive as the PM’s wife. She has asked for the details to be provided to her within the next two days as “it is a matter of life and death for her”.
The security of the prime minister and his immediate family is governed by the Special Protection Group Act of 1988. Under this law and its amendments, armed guards from the special protection group provide close security to the prime minister and members of his immediate family. However, the prime minister’s wife can refuse such protection if she wishes, according to the law. Former prime ministers and their close relatives are also entitled to security from the special protection group for one year after they leave office and for longer if there is a “grave and continuing” threat to their safety from a terrorist or militant organisation. The law says that those protecting the prime minister’s nearest and dearest should not be members of any trade union, labour union, political association or members of or associated with any society, institution association or organisation that is not of a purely social, recreational or religious nature. The security staff are also forbidden from communicating with the press, publishing or causing a book to be published, or publish any letter or other document unless in the line of duty or if it is purely literary artistic or scientific in nature.
As the spouse of a minister, Mrs. Modi is also entitled to share his rent-free furnished residence throughout his term of office and for a period of one month immediately after his term ends. If PM passes away during his tenure in office, his wife would be able to use the residence for one month free of charge and another month provided she pays the rent. As wife of a Member of Parliament, Mrs. Modi can also get 34 single air journeys a year with Mr. Modi or eight single air journeys if she decides to go alone, according to the list of amenities for members of the lower house of Parliament and their families. She can also obtain a free railway pass to travel in a first class compartment in any train from her place of residence to Delhi during the Parliament session up to eight times a year. Her healthcare should also be taken care of if Mr. Modi has paid his monthly contribution of Rs. 500. Although, most of the treatment centers are free of cost for MPs and their families in Delhi and Mrs. Modi lives in Gujarat. The prime minister’s wife can also expect a pension equal to half the pension Mr. Modi will receives after leaving the job as a Prime Minister. If PM passes away before his wife then wife is entitled to get half pension.
Now, here the question is, will she be happy with these benefits and perks or she would be much happier being with him as his wife? Her right question would be, “what are my constitutional rights as a wife of Indian Man”
Anyway, being a woman I can feel her pain, and wish her struggle should come to an end.
Note point: Sources from the various publications and agencies.