iconimg Monday, May 04, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 16, 2014
With emphasis on women’s safety and empowerment, in his maiden Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the nation to shed negative social attitudes in a country where women remain highly vulnerable. Terming the recent increase in incidents of rape as shameful, the PM appealed to parents to start taking responsibility for their sons actions to check such crimes. “Have you ever asked your sons where they are going, why they going and who their friends are? After all the person committing the crime is somebody’s son,” Modi said. This is the first time that an Indian PM has made such hard hitting remarks on gender equality in his Independence Day speech.

Noting the alarming dip in child-sex ratio, Modi called for an end to female foeticide and warned doctors against partnering in such crimes. “Such cases are a reflection of the rot that has crept into society in the 21st century,” he said.

The PM said he has seen families prefer boys in the hope that they will look after them when they are old and said, “I have seen families where girls stay away from marriage and devote their lives to serving their parents.”

Modi pitched for building more toilets for women and said that preserving the dignity of women was everyone’s responsibility. “Even today our mothers and sisters have to defecate in the open. Women cannot relieve themselves till dusk. How much pain they must be going through...How many diseases they must be prone to,” Modi said.