Saturday, 15 July 2017

Jashodaben, the spurned wife of PM Narendra Modi.

Smt. Jashodaben (b 1952), abandoned wife of Modi
  • Jashodaben (born 1952) is the spurned wife of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They were married in 1968 when Narendra Modi was 18 and Jashodaben was 16. Shortly thereafter Narendra Modi ceased living with Jashodaben, traveling for three years to practice Sannyasa, going into business with his uncle, and later pursuing public office. 
  • Jashodaben continues to identify as the wife of Narendra Modi. She completed her education and had a career as a teacher. After retirement in 2009, Jashodaben lives with her brother Ashok Modi and his wife in Unjha and her pension is Rs.14,000 per month.  
  • She blamed their situation on destiny and bad times. She once said "I have never interfered in his life and nor has he". Jashodaben and Modi met for the last time in 1987, she said that Modi apologized to her for not staying with her all those years and asked her to consider divorce and re-marriage and carry on with her life. She however replied saying, "Why would I re-marry? You move forward on your path and I will on mine." 
  • In1992, when a Gujarati weekly carried for the first time a story on Modi's marriage, Jashodaben and her family have refrained from talking to media, calling it a personal affair, and wishing Modi good luck in his endeavours.
  • Modi, who has ruled Gujarat since 2001, has left the field for "spouse" blank in four Assembly polls. Of late, he has also flaunted his single status at rallies, saying that he was single and had no one to be corrupt for.
  • In 2009 a media report quoted her as saying, “I will not say anything against my husband. He is very powerful. This job is all I have to survive. I am afraid of the consequences.” 
  • But the Lok Sabha elections 2014 papers made it mandatory for him to 'do the needful'. Virtually overnight, Jashodaben's existence became known to the public. 
  • Jashodaben was living a life of total obscurity, even during the time her husband was the high profile chief minister of Gujarat. And there she would probably have stayed even after he rose to lead his party to victory in the 2014 elections, had the Supreme Court guidelines not forced Modi to declare his marital status. 
  • It was only after armed guards started to 'protect' her 24x7 that the lady decided it was time to ask a few relevant questions. On whose orders was she being provided these guards? She expressed her own fears that the 'ambiguity' revolving around the identity of these guards, made her believe there was a grave danger to her life. What an extraordinary charge to make, given her unique position!
  • The guards demanded to be treated like her family's 'guests' - which means they expect khaana-peena from her kitchen, which is a burden on her finances.
  • Her RTI application is bold, blunt and to the point. It reads, "I am the wife of the prime minister of India and have been extended security as per protocol. Which other service can be extended to me under the protocol? Give me a detailed description of the protocol. She also stated in an interview to a journalist that she is willing to go and stay with the prime minister as his wife in Delhi. Jashodaben wears a mangalsutra around her neck and sindhoor in the parting of her hair - easily recognisable symbols of being a married woman. She was thrice denied information on security protocol and her entitlements on the ground that her queries were related to local intelligence bureau which is exempted under RTI Act.
  • Jashodaben’s younger brother, Ashok Modi, with whom she lives, said "What necessary facilities should a a PM’s wife be getting, the love that she should be getting is not being given to her”  
  • In Nov 2015, Jashodaben had wanted to visit relatives abroad and applied for a passport. The regional passport office in Gujarat said that her application was 'incomplete' because she did not attach a marriage certificate or a joint affidavit with her spouse, which was compulsory to get a passport. Now, Jashodaben has asked a very relevant question – How did Prime Minister Narendra Modi get a passport without showing his marriage certificate? Jashodaben has asked for all details to be provided to her, including a copy of Narendra Modi's passport issued to him when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. An official from the regional passport office in Ahmedabad said, “We will give a reply within the stipulated time frame of 30 days.”

My View:
To a Hindu wife, her husband is her God and her life becomes one of selfless service and profound dedication to her husband. She not only shares the life and love, but the joys and sorrows, the troubles and tribulation of her husband and becomes an integral part of her husband’s life and activities. Hindu marriage is “holy” and “sacred” and she should not be left in her difficulties. Man has “pre-existing duty” to help and protect wife and estranged husband doesn't qualify for divorce even with mutual consent. Modi was 18, an adult and major, when got married and can't plead ignorance of his marital obligations. Modi walking out of marriage unilaterally is unacceptable nonsense and is despicable and such people usually get socially castigated then and even now. Harassing her with surveillance at school as CM, and denying her passport as PM, are heights of his insanity. Such a person is now PM of our great nation and its interests are highly unsafe in his hands. The man who could not fulfill his sacred and legal obligations towards his wife can't be expected to rule all classes of people without prejudice or fervor. Such 'wife deserters' should be black listed, like bank loan defaulters, and denied all kinds of social benefits and stripped of right to participate in political activities.

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