Narendra Modi’s Mann Ki Baat: New India possible only through women empowerment

New Delhi: The dream of building a New India can be realised by empowering women and providing them equal opportunities in society and economic matters, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.

Modi said India was moving toward women-led development. He said the idea of New India envisages women who are strong, empowered equal partners in development of the country.

“The country is moving towards women-led development. It is our duty to ensure that women get equal opportunities in social and financial issues. Swami Vivekanand had said that the idea of perfect womanhood is perfect independence,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat.

Modi said the inner-strength and ability to overcome difficulties have made women self-reliant. “Not only has she herself advanced but has carried forward the country and society to newer heights,” Modi added.

“We are part of a tradition where men were identified because of women. Yashoda-Nandan, Kaushalya-Nandan, Gandhari-Putra, these were identities of a son,” he said.

In the course of the radio address, Modi also said that there was a need for India to become a risk conscious society and imbibe the values of safety. He said people will have to understand the importance of value of safety and that they should make it a part of their everyday life.

“We have started a new initiative that along with joint military exercise, there should be joint disaster management with BIMSTEC. India has taken the lead in this initiative,” he said. BIMSTEC nations include Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

Elaborating, the PM said that apart from natural calamities, most of the accidents happen because of mistakes. “If we are alert and take necessary precautions, we can protect our lives and society from various accidents,” said Modi.

Modi added that there was a need to leverage artificial intelligence for betterment of everyone. He said that science and technology are value neutral and it was upon us to decide how to use technology. “Science and technology can be used to improve the lives of people,” he added.

Political analysts feel that the idea of development for all given by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party would be incomplete without the upliftment of women. “If it is development for all then the fruits of development should reach to women also. The government has taken steps to empower women by providing subsidized LPG cylinders and easy loans to women to start their own business. Electorally also women have become more conscious and it is the duty of all political parties to reach out to the women and try to address their concerns,” said A.K. Verma, Kanpur-based political analyst and political science professor at Christ Church College.livemint