New Delhi, 20 June-2014, Raj Singh/IndiaTV: The relationship status of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was always a matter of intense media speculation before 2014 parliamentary elections.
Before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the relationship status of Narendra Modi was not clear. Since he was a RSS pracharak in the past, many people believed that Modi was single as was the practice in RSS for its pracharakas.
It was in 2009 that the ‘open’ magazine did a story on ‘Jashodaben’ claiming her to be the wife of the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi’s silence on the topic gave credence to the story but the status of Narendra Modi was still not clear.
Narendra Modi publically accepted his married status for the first time while filing his nomination papers from Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency.
Before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Modi used to mark the space with a short dash where a candidate had to mention whether he was married or not. Actually it was not mandatory earlier but it was made mandatory by a SC judgement and subsequent order by the Election Commission in September 2013, for all candidates to provide all the information that was sought from them in the prescribed format of the affidavit.
Since Modi was left with no option, he publically accepted in his affidavit while filing nomination papers from Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency that he was married and his wife’s name was Jashodaben although he made it clear that he had no other details available with him about his wife.
The moment Modi filed his affidavit, his wife Jashodaben became a household name. Modi was criticized by his opponents for concealing his marital status but it was a moment of joy for Jashodaben- the forgotten wife of Narendra Modi.
Let’s have a look at 10 most interesting facts about Jashodaben, the wife Narendra Modi, india’s 15th Prime Minister:
1. Jashodaben married Narendra Modi when she was 17 and Modi was 18. Jashodaben separated from Narendra Modi within three years of marriage as Modi had bigger things to do.
It came as a shock to Jshodaben but she accepted it as part of her destiny. Even today Jashodaben blames it on her destiny and says that Modi was destined to serve the nation and that’s why he left the home.
After Modi left him, Jashodaben decided to remain single for rest of her life and even today she expects Narendra Modi to invite her to stay with him at 7 race Course Road.
2. Jashodaben, now 62 years old, is a retired school teacher and gets a monthly pension of Rs 14,000. Jashodaben lives mostly with his brother and spends much of her time in prayer.
According to Jashodaben, she feels lucky that she has got dependable brothers who have supported her whole heartedly throughout her life.
Jashodaben had quit studies once she went to Modi’s place although Modi wanted her to pursue education.
Inspired by Modi’s wish, Jashodaben pursued her Primary Teachers Training (PTC) course and got a job.
Even today, Jashodaben fondly remembers Modi taking keen interest in talking to her and even in the affairs of the kitchen.
3. Jashodaben’s marriage with Modi lasted for three years but according to Jashodaben, they were not together for more than three months.
Jashodaben conceded the fact that she and Modi parted ways on positive note and there were never any fights between them. Once they parted ways, they were not in touch.
Jashodaben tracks all the news relating to Narendra Modi .
“Jashoda would read and watch every bit of news about Narenbhai. Despite being abandoned, Jashoda never spoke ill of him. That is a true Indian woman for you,” Vasanti, sister of Narendra Modi, told a leading newspaper.
4. When Narendra Modi told Jashodaben that he would be leaving home and moving around the country, Jashodaben asked Modi to take her along with him.
When Jashodaben would visit her in-law’s place, Modi would not be present and gradually he stopped visiting his home.
As Modi got busy with his RSS work and stopped coming to his home, jashodaben too stopped going there after a point and she went back to her father’s house.
Jashodaben does not feel bad about Modi having abandoned her because she feels it’s all because of her destiny. She believes that Modi did this because of her destiny and bad times.
5. Jashodaben faced lots of difficulties in her life after Modi left home although her in-laws always treated her well.
Jashodaben’s father supported her when she wanted to pursue education and he paid the fees for her studies. Even her brothers supported her financially so that she could complete her studies without any problem.
Jashodaben lost her parents by the time she was in class 10. However, she continued with her education and did her SSC in 1974. She completed her teachers training in 1976 and became a teacher in 1978. Jashodaben charted her own course after Modi moved away from her life.
6. Jashodaben has fond memories her interactions with Modi in the past. She admits that she has moved forward in life because of Modi and that they both interfered in each other’s lives.
A nostalgic Jashodaben told a leading publication, “Once I had come to meet him with Hiraba (Modi’s mother) 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.”
7. Jashodaben’s joy knew no boundaries after Narendra Modi win the race for 7, Race Course Road.
An emotional Jashodaben went on to say that she is his wife and will always remain his wife and that she is proud of her husband.
An excited Jashodaben told mediapersons, “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.”
8. According to Jashodaben, she last spoke to Modi on January 1, 1987. From the core of her heart, Jashodaben still considers Modi as her husband.
Jashodaben never ever thought of marrying again after Modi moved away from his life. When asked to explain why she didn’t consider marrying again, Jashodaben told a publication – After this experience, I don’t think I want to. My heart is not into it.
Even his elder brother Ashok Modi says, “Jashodaben never stayed with Narendrakumar (Modi) after marriage and has led a life alone dedicated to spiritualism. But by heart she still considers Narendrakumar (Modi) as her husband. She had taken a pledge of not eating rice or any preparation made out of it till he (Modi) becomes a prime minister.”
9. Jashodaben enjoyed teaching and taught classes from the first to fifth grade and taught all subjects.
She starts her day by 4 am and begins with prayers to Ambe Ma (Goddess Durga). She is deeply spiritual in personal life and spends all her time in prayer.
She mostly lives with her elder brother Ashok Modi who lives in Unjha. She also keeps visiting her other brother Kamlesh who lives in Brahman Vada near Unjha.
Jashodaben is proud of her two brothers and believes that God has been kind to her for giving her two caring brothers. They never let her feel lonely in life.
10. 2014 turned out to be a very happy year in Jashodaben’s life. In this year, Narendra Modi first accepted her as his wife and then he won a landslide victory for which Jashodaben had also prayed to the deities.
Jashodaben was excited when Narendra Modi won a landslide victory in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Jashodaben was also planning to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi , if invited.
“It is the happiest thing for me that he has become the prime minister. No invitation has reached me so far, but if I get one I will surely go, why would I not go. If he calls me I will go. After all, it is my husband who is calling me and not someone else,” Jashodaben had told media.
It’s a different matter that the invitation from Modi never reached her.