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

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs