With pressure mounting on the government to take swift action in the Kathua rape case, which has led to a national outrage and has seen protests break out across the country, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday called the incident “revolting” while appealing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pay more attention towards security of women.
“What has happened (in India) is just revolting. I would hope that the Indian authorities, starting with Prime Minister Modi, pay more attention because it is needed for the women of India,” Lagarde said, during an interaction with reporters at the start of the spring meeting of the international finance organisations. However, the IMF chief clarified that it was her personal view and not that of the organisation as a whole. “By the way this is not an IMF official position. It is my position,” PTI quoted Lagarde as saying.
This happens to be the second time in four months that Lagarde has asked PM Modi to improve the conditions for women in the country. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Lagarde said she had informed Modi that his speech did not mention much about the women in India. “When I was last in Davos after Prime Minister Modi’s speech, I did tell him that he had not mentioned the women of India enough. And it’s not just a question of talking about them,” the managing director of IMF said.
Lagarde’s latest nudge to the Indian authorities on the condition of women comes at a time when three rape incidents – Kathua, Unnao and Surat – have fuelled anger in the country, more so over the apparent silence that Modi and senior leaders maintained following the incidents. However, the PM, who just completed a trip to Sweden and UK, broke his silence over the incidents last week.
The PM promised ‘justice to India’s daughters’, while in London at a town hall event. Modi said such incidents should not be politicised as a rape is a rape. The anger among NRIs over the incidents back home was palpable when hundreds of protesters greeted the PM with placards “Modi go home” when he arrived in London for bilateral talks with Theresa May and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.