New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reached out to the women of the country saying women and mothers are supreme and are held in the highest regard in the country. Addressing the FICCI Ladies Organisation, Modi said, "A mother's place is supreme in our culture and values. We call river Ganga our mother, India is also mother India. A mother's place and a woman's place in our country is supreme."
Modi also slammed the practice of female infanticide saying it is creating an imbalance in the society. "Our ideas have only deteriorated with education, we are becoming more medieval than we were in the 18th century. In the 21st century, girls are aborted inside the mother's womb. Both men and women have a role to play in this crime. This happens in Gujarat too. The data on female infanticide is shocking," Modi said.
Pitching for women empowerment, Modi said, "Now, women are two steps ahead of men. We need to recognise the power of women. Boys want to marry women who are working, times are changing. It should not be only for financial interest, the mindset should also change."
He also highlighted how women empowerment has been a priority in his state. "In Gujarat, if anyone buys property on the name of the woman of their family, they will not have to pay the stamp duty. In Gujarat's schools, we ask for the mother's name for the child's admission, not the father's," Modi said.
"I don't agree with westerners having the view that in India women are housewives," Modi added and went on to give examples of women to highlight how Indian women can lead from the front and have entrepreneur qualities. "In Ahmedabad Jassu Behen's pizza is very popular, people prefer those pizzas over Pizza Hut pizzas. Jassu Behen died 5 years back but her pizzas still capture the markets of Gujarat: Narendra Modi. Lijjat papad was started by Gujarat's tribal women. It's a model of entrepreneurship," Modi said.
Modi's speech was then followed by a Q&A session where he was asked about his weaknesses. To the question, Modi replied, "I have all the weaknesses, which are in a common man, but I work on my strong points. A lot of my weaknesses, I wouldn't notice about myself. Please send your suggestions to my Facebook, Twitter IDs."
When asked what he would do about the Women Reservation Bill 'when he comes to power at the Centre', Modi said, "We wanted 50 per cent reservation for women in Gujarat, but the Governor didn't allow that."
He was also asked what more needs to be done in Gujarat, following which he took a dig at the Congress. "A lot needs to be done in Gujarat, I have only done the damage control of the damage done by Congress, now Gujarat is on level field. The work has just started in Gujarat," Modi said.