Narendra Modi is the Indian election frontrunner and has based his anti-corruption rhetoric on his single status. However, Modei left India baffled on Thursday when he unexpectedly revealed that he, in fact, had a wife.
The admission, which was made in a ‘spouse name’ field in an election nomination form, came as more of a shock as he had left the same field blank in the previous four elections.
However, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. At 63, Modi is not a newly-wed, as a matter of fact, he has been married for almost fifty years to Jashodaben.
According to Modi’s brother, he was arranged to be married at 17 to cater family traditions but soon left his wife and took a vow of celibacy before joining politics.
Until recently, Modi had publically declared he had n family. At a recent rally, he told his supporters, "I've no familial ties. Who would I ever try to benefit through corruption?"
What’s surprising is not that he is married, it is the fact that he failed to acknowledge the existence of his wife for most of his life.
His wife, Jashoda Chiman Modi, is a retired schoolteacher who lives on a monthly pension of merely 14,000 rupees ($232). After three years of marriage, Modi left her, but the couple is not officially divorced.
The news of Modi’s marriage from days-gone-by, has not been received well by the critics who were, to put it mildly, outraged at the news. According to them, his silence on the matter reflected his poor attitude towards women.
As soon as the news broke out, they took to Twitter to register their reactions.
A man who is not true to his personal responsibilities can nvr be trusted to be true to any other responsibility. Yes tht's hw I judge a man— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) April 10, 2014
Ladies of India @NarendraModi pretends for 20 years that he doesn't have a wife. Will you fare any better with his govt?— Mahesh Murthy (@maheshmurthy) April 10, 2014
Why is it that after all these years Modi has revealed his wife’s name.Till now where was #Jashodaben, what was his role towards his wife?— MAULIN SHAH (@maulinshah9) April 10, 2014