Prime Minister Narendra Modi tackled gender discrimination in his first Independence Day speech.
The issue of rape and sexual violence in India has been under scrutiny since the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi, in 2012, brought to the world’s attention the severity of the problem. Now, India’s new Prime Minister has take on the issue in a powerful speech.
In his first Independence Day speech as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi told the crowds that it’s the responsibility of parents to teach their sons right from wrong.
‘Today as we hear about the incidents of rapes, our head hangs in shame,’ Modi said. ‘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,’ he said.
In the bold speech, which addressed India’s ingrained societal problem of gender discrimination, he also appealed to doctors to stop the practice of aborting female foetuses and the general discrimination against little girls. He also beamed with pride as he spoke of the ’29 medals women athletes have won’ at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Good work, Modi. We have to start somewhere…