Narendra Modi’s marriage has always been a hotly debated issue. And Narendra Modi has always maintained a stoic silence about it.
And he is expected to continue with his silence even after admitting on oath that Jashodaben, the 62 year old retired school teacher is indeed his wife.
And his acceptance owes more to the compulsion of fulfilling a technical requirement while submitting his poll affidavit for the Lok Sabhal polls 2014 than to some inner enlightenment or to some other factor.
Though separated amicably, as in Jashodaben’s words, the marriage was never formally annulled, and so could have legal repercussions for Narendra Modi’s candidature.
Also, as reported, it is not a controversial nuptial arrangement that is in Modi’s past. It represents more of typical, circumstantial, social agreements in Indian families where disagreements still don’t have chances in many cases, especially in rural areas and in orthodox families. And Modi’s case dates back to late 60s when marriages were strictly family elders’ affairs, decided and affixed by them. According to the reports, both were underage when got married.
And who cares about women in this country, especially politicians (and the men in them). Don’t we know how they have sabotaged the passage of the women’s reservation bill so far?
Yes, but it compels us to think what makes Jashodaben still add Narendra Modi to her name? But, then, don’t we know the secondary status of women in the patriarchal society? Remarriage, in case the husband walks out, is still an uphill task in our fractured society.
The issue of the season is whether the issue has any potential to harm Narendra Modi’s electoral prospects. Can it derail his rise to the prime ministerial office of the country as being projected in every pre-poll survey?
The issue may have no vitality except for rating-points mileage for the media houses after a threshold limit. And on affecting the electoral prospects, it is not expected to dent Narendra Modi’s chances even a bit. Yes, but to satisfy and meet the speechmaking efforts of many politician, it is a high calorie fodder.
But should that be socially acceptable? Wouldn’t it be humiliating a soul even more?
In electoral season, when ‘no decorum and decency’ becomes the norm of the political communication, who is going to think of this fine print of the issue? Yes, the issue is going to stay in public discourse, until the last phase constituencies have voted, fueled by political commentaries and their media interpretations.
That is all about the colour of communication driven democratic process in a country that still has to travel miles to learn what a democracy intends to do with its citizens and its systems.
And that is the irony of the democratic march in India.
Most of us are not aware of what went in their personal lives after they separated after three years of wedlock (with total three months of stay together, as said by Jashodaben in an Indian Express interview) but, certainly, we should not make it a matter of public debate.
The lady who still adds Narenrda Modi to her name has lived the issue gracefully as the Indian Express interview tells us: (On asking how she felt on Modi not acknowledging her as wife) – ‘I don’t feel bad, because I know that he is doing so due to destiny and bad times. In such situations he has to say such things and also has to lie. I don’t see my situation as being bad because I feel, in a way, my luck has improved too.’
Her privacy should be preserved. Narendra Modi was always not this powerful. Even then if she decided to maintain her silence, we should try to know about that phase of silence first, if we have to validate our curiosity about her now. That we cannot do. We cannot and should not speculate and comment on how she would have felt after reading about Modi’s admission about her because we never bothered about her silence (and possibly her pain) when Narendra Modi was a non-entity or a beginner in the political big league.
And it should also be about Modi’s privacy and possibly his pain, if indeed the marriage was forced on him when he had already made up his mind to leave his home and abandon his family ties.
Yes, it is basically about our fractured Indian society.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/