Jashodaben is awaiting an invitation to husband Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on Monday. And if the invitation comes, the 62-year-old says, she would definitely be there.
“It is the happiest thing for me that he has become the prime minister,” she told The Indian Express on Friday. “No invitation has reached me so far, but if I get one I will surely go, why would I not go?”
Jashodaben, who has been living separately for the past many years, says she would go to Delhi even if her husband just called. “If he calls me I will go. After all, it is my husband who is calling me and not someone else,” she says. She last spoke to Modi on January 1, 1987, she says.
Just back from a two-week tour of south India, Jashodaben says she has agreed to take SPG protection that is given to a PM’s wife.
From among Modi’s family members, his mother Hiraba finds special mention. “She used to treat me well and we had briefly met once, years after our marriage. I may go and meet her.”
Recalling anecdotes from the past, she says, “Once I had come to meet him with Hiraba at the RSS shakha in Vadnagar. He had hurt his hand and I put medicine on it. Another time he had acted in a play called ‘Ek Phool, Do Maali’, which I went for. After the play got over, I told him he was very good in it. If it is in my fate that we are meant to be together then we will be. I have also moved forward in life because of him. I have never interfered in his life and nor has he.”
After years of silence, Modi declared Jashodaben as his wife in the nomination form filed in Vadodara for the LS elections. “Since it was made compulsory, he admitted to it. After so many years I felt good that he remembered me. I felt very happy on hearing this, why won’t I feel happy… He has never publicly said he was unmarried…. I am his wife and will always remain his wife. I am proud he is my husband. I have experienced the greatest joy that he is PM now. I will go and meet him when the time comes.”
She has never been to any of Modi’s swearing-in ceremonies as chief minister or to any of his public meetings, because she says “he has a lot of detractors”.
Jashodaben says she knew in 2002 that he would become PM one day. “He had a different style even in walking and talking and had dedicated himself to the nation at a young age,” she says.
“He quit worldly life, so we stayed apart,” she says. “I still have a lot of affection for him as he never did anything bad to me and has only done good things…I hope he rules for 10 years, serving the country, and lives for 125 years.”