Indian PM backs women’s rights

IN a speech made to mark the 68th anniversary of Indian independence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi underlined in no uncertain terms the types of social changes he desires for the country.

Addressing his countrymen from the Red Fort, as per tradition, Modi refused to gloss over the serious problems that India must face to achieve its dream of being a future power at a global level.

Focusing first on the economy, the premier invited the world to set up their businesses in India, urging Indian citizens to proudly guarantee the quality of their products.

Modi then moved on to tackle the serious issue of violence against women within the country: an uncomfortable topic, which has harmed India’s international reputation again and again over the past few years.

To his credit Modi did not hold back, saying that with every rape, India sinks into deep shame, and a huge effort on the part of the family is needed to educate male children on how to treat their female counterparts.

He said: “Today as we hear about the incidents of rapes, our head hangs in shame.

“I want to ask parents when your daughter turns 10 or 12 years old, you ask, ‘Where are you going? When will you return?’

“Do the parents dare to ask their sons, ‘Where are you going? Why are you going? Who are your friends?’

“After all, the rapist is also someone’s son. If only parents decide to put as many restrictions on their sons as they do on their own daughters.”

Lingering on the worrying inequality between men and women in Indian society, the Prime Minister begged families to no longer turn their backs on female children in favour of their male siblings.

Modi has been in office less than three months, but shows encouraging signs of social reform. His popularity remains high, with 63 per cent of people considering him the right man for the job.

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