Narendra Modi and his Wife

Every time any talk about PM Narendra Modi comes up, those who dislike him always refer to his having left his wife. They question as to how someone who has left his wife can help other women in distress. They want to know how one who was heartless enough to ‘abandon’ his own wife, can help other abandoned women. One wonders about the mental status of these people who brush aside the choice that Jashodaben made in the whole matter, and paint her as a victim. Why do they think that only a man with a wife can understand the problems of women, married or otherwise. How does the marital status of a man determine whether he is capable of compassion or not?

In Bharat, we give a lot of importance to the preservation of the ‘Veerya’; especially Yogis believe that conservation of the life giving force helps in enhancing our energies and powers of concentration. It is also believed to help in gathering our energies and directing them to focus on attainment of our goal. Our scriptures are filled with stories of people who led a life of abstinence from sex (I’m talking about married people) or even leaving their wives for long periods. Who can forget the sacrifice of Lakshmana, the brother of Sri Rama, who left his wife and went along with Sri Rama for Vanvaas. It is believed that he was able to kill Meghnad, the son of Ravana, only because he abstained from sex and sleep for those 14 years of exile. Bhima had left behind his wife Hidimba because he wanted to fulfil his life’s purpose of destroying the adharmi Kauravas.

Hundreds of years ago, Mandana Mishra followed Adi Shankaracharya on the path of Sannyasa. In fact, his wife Ubhaya Bharati is said to have criticized Shankaracharya that unless he lived the life of a married man, he couldn’t win the debate. Shankaracharya then led the life of a householder in the body of the King Amaruka for a short period, and returned to the debate. Many criticize Him for this even today, but what mattered to Adi Shankaracharya was the steadfastness of His Sannyasa, something that Ubhaya Bharati (who was Maa Sharada incarnate), accepted and appreciated. Needless to say, He won the debate.

So many married people also leave their families every day …. when they take up a job at a different location, for example. Is that not their tyaag (sacrifice)? Sure, you can say that they are still responsible for their families, but they have a different goal to their life. I feel PM Modi’s goal is to see to it that our Bharat Mata reaches new heights of prosperity and peace, something that She hasn’t done in a long time. For such a stupendous turnaround, a lot of focus and one-pointed aim is required. PM Modi has given up all family pleasures for this one aim right from his young age. He has never misused this so-called abandonment for running after other women or marrying anyone else.

His wife too has never come out complaining or crying about it, because she must be privy to his life’s goal. Frankly, i feel her moral support to him must be one of his strengths, just one that is not visible. On her part, Jashodaben (Modi ji’s wife) has chosen to lead her life as a married woman, without any desire to relinquish this status, even before Narendra Modi became the CM of Gujarat. Theirs was a child marriage, reportedly fixed when Modi ji was just 14 years of age. There was no restriction from Modi ji’s end preventing her from remarrying. People who understand Hindu Dharma must give her due credit too, before making any kind of loose talk.

While any Bharatiya can serve the Nation, married or not, one must respect those who have sacrificed their personal life for the Nation. One must respect the soldier who leaves his family behind to protect the Nation, one must respect the doctor who forgets personal occasions to serve the needy, one must respect the Sannyasi/Sadhu who sacrifices a family life while meditating for the whole of Humanity and one must respect the PM who has decided to consider all Bharat-Vaasis as his family.

So dear critics of PM Narendra Modi ji, please stop crying about his married status and that of his wife and concentrate on some real issues. Criticizing the PM for something that is part of his private life, is just plain cheap and unnecessary. They say “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. So maybe you could try to live a life of abstinence too and work towards improving our Nation? Jai Hind !!!


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About the Author

Rati Hegde
Rati Hegde is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.