News / Asia

    As India Grapples with Sexual Violence, Modi Urges Society to Raise Sons Better

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addresses the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort to celebrate Independence Day in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addresses the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort to celebrate Independence Day in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014.
    Anjana Pasricha

    Amid the recent spotlight on sexual violence in India, the Indian prime minister has called on the country to pay more attention to how its raises its sons. In an Independence Day address to the nation, he also urged an end to communal violence as he vowed to defeat poverty.

    Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the Indian capital Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country had been shamed by a series of rape cases.

    He said while the law will take its course, it was also the social responsibility of parents to teach boys the difference between right and wrong.

    Modi said parents ask daughters many questions when they go out, but never question sons about their actions. Pointing out that the rapist is someone’s son, he said parents should take care to stop boys from going down the wrong path. 

    Expressing dismay at the country’s skewed sex ratio, Modi said there should be greater recognition of women’s contribution to society. India has fewer girls than boys, a situation blamed on the practice of aborting girl fetuses by parents who prefer to have sons. It was Prime Minister Modi’s first Independence Day address to the nation since his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party won power.

    Some critics had voiced fears that a BJP government could fan a communal divide, citing the 2002 religious riots that wracked Gujarat state, which Modi governed before becoming prime minister.   

    In his speech, Modi appealed to people to end caste and communal violence in India, saying only unity and peace will make it possible for India to move ahead. 

    He said that if people look back, they will realize that such divisions have achieved nothing. He appealed to the country to leave behind all divisions based on caste, class, or community because they are stalling the country's growth. 

    The Indian leader also pledged to defeat poverty in a country where millions of people live on less than $2 a day. To help low-income people who have no access to banks, he announced a scheme for financial and insurance services for the poorest.

    The Indian prime minister reiterated his vision for working with his neighbors, saying he needs cooperation from neighboring South Asian countries to jointly tackle poverty.  

    Modi also spoke of his surprise at encountering discord and infighting in government departments in the federal government, saying these were barriers to good governance, which he is trying to break.

    Modi was swept into power on promises of bringing development and improving governance at a time when the previous government was wracked by corruption allegations and economic growth had stalled.  

    In an address on the eve of Independence Day, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee said there are signs of economic recovery.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rajan from: indja
    August 15, 2014 9:00 PM
    Yes boys should be questioned too; girls r not safe untill society awakens

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora