LAUNCHING A war on female foeticide, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said girls should be treated as equal to boys, and women must be provided equal rights irrespective of their financial and social background.
Addressing the Dussehra programme at Lucknow’s Aishbagh Ramlila ground, Modi said the international Girl Child Day has coincided with Vijayadashami, or Dussehra, this year. “I ask the people of this country, when we have made a commitment to burn the effigy of Ravan every year because he had abducted Sita, have we ever thought how many Sitas (girl children) are killed in the womb every year due to discrimination between son and daughters? Who will kill this Ravan inside us? Will we have female foeticide even in the 21st century?”
Giving the message of gender equality, Modi said, “Shikshit ho, ashikshit ho; garib ho, ameer ho; shahri ho, gramin ho; Hindu ho, Musalman ho; Sikh ho, Isaai ho, Baudhha ho…kisi bhi sampraday ke kyun na hon, kisi bhi arthik prishthabhoomi ya samajik prishthabhoomi se kyun na ho, betiyan samaan honi chahiye…. Mahilaon ke adhikar samaan hone chahiye (Let them be literate or illiterate, poor or rich, urban or rural, Hindu or Muslim, Sikh, Christian or Buddhist… whichever community, financial or social background they may come from, girls should be treated equal to boys…. Women should enjoy the same rights as men).”
Besides female foeticide and terrorism, the Prime Minister also said communalism, casteism and nepotism are the other ‘Ravans’ in today’s milieu, and the society needs to get rid of these evils at the earliest.
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav welcomed Modi at the Lucknow airport along with Governor Ram Naik. Akhilesh, however, did not attend the Ramlila event.