Prime Minister in waiting. Modi’s wife – the secret is out arranged marriage in a love-struck world

At last the horrible secret is out. Courtesy an Indian Express scoop, we know that Modi has a wife, whom he hasn’t seen or talked with in the last 42 years 

Godhra, “snoopgate” and Jashodaben are now three issues that Modi needs to publicly talk about.

.“Snoopgate” and now the case of Jashodaben are both broadly similar in that both relate to Modi’s personal life. Is Modi a Brahamchari? Was he personally involved in snoopgate? Why did he abandon his wife? Does he still consider himself married to her? Is he keen to have her live in Racecourse Road in a grand, happy conciliation of earlier personal inconsistencies? This is rich material for Modi to reach out in a reality show, not just to the electorate, but also to the World and allow it to understand him better.Everyone of us that has made resolutions either forget them, rarely make them materialise and remember them at the end of the year when it’s time to make new ones. Most people focus on what they want to achieve for themselves, which is not wrong, but is anything worth putting such humungous effort into if it doesn’t translate into a source of great and constant happiness?  When I look around I see the fundamental problem in lives, relationships, work and daily interactions with others is the lack of “niceness”.  We command people, unburden on people, nag people, make idle conversation with people and then of course there are happy times with people too. But a majority of the time I see people with grim or expressionless faces, even sitting across the table eating dinner together at restaurants. Initiate positive conversation, be complementary, help a random stranger and at least once a day resolve to put a smile on someone’s face. It’s a ripple effect and is said, “Smile and the world smiles back at you”. It’s true, what goes around comes around. Everyone thinks they are nice, but being a nice person has no value if you’re not spreading it. And remember, it’s not what you say, but how you say it that matters. Let’s resolve to be “nice” people this year. Not just to ourselves and our loved ones or people we need something from. Let’s be nice to everyone. Let’s just be “genuinely nice” people! Fullstop.

Why do women feel cheated when men withhold romance after marriage?
Women complain that men pack up the romance as soon as a woman commits. They no longer feel the need to ladle it out as they did during courtship. And the woman is left feeling cheated and deprived, looking for that elusive element that her man wooed her with, but never bothered to adopt again,  last the horrible secret is out. Courtesy an Indian Express scoop, we know that Modi has a wife, whom he hasn’t seen or talked with in the last 42 years.Apparently, they never got divorced. Jashodaben is reported to have said they only saw each other occasionally for the first three years, of which they spent only three months together, since Modi travelled a lot on Shakha business.

Thereafter Modi applied himself solely to the RSS. Jashodaben, as advised by Modi, got herself educated and worked as a teacher. She never got any support from Modi, or his family, but was not ill-treated either, by him, or his family. The marriage simply died away and she returned to her brother’s home.Why does a man ditch romance the moment he secures his woman? For most men, romance is like a weapon they use during the chase, much as they would use a rifle for a hunt. Once the hunt is over and the prize secured, the rifle goes up on the wall and romance into the man’s pocket, till he needs to use it again.    On the other hand, a woman invariably mistakes romance to be a part of the entire package she is saying yes to and expects it to last forever. And so, when the man lays down his weapons and withholds the candles, chocolates and roses, she feels cheated and betrayed.A tragic tale of millions of middle class, urban Indian girls, whose only future and function in the 1960’s was to get married.At last the horrible secret is out. Courtesy an Indian Express scoop, we know that Modi has a wife, whom he hasn’t seen or talked with in the last 42 years.Apparently, they never got divorced. Jashodaben is reported to have said they only saw each other occasionally for the first three years, of which they spent only three months together, since Modi travelled a lot on Shakha business. Thereafter Modi applied himself solely to the RSS. Jashodaben, as advised by Modi, got herself educated and worked as a teacher. She never got any support from Modi, or his family, but was not ill-treated either, by him, or his family. The marriage simply died away and she returned to her brother’s home.

What happens when after a decade of decade you end up marrying a guy who your family chooses for you, whom you had no choice but to marry?It’s surprising how many women (and men)  find ourselves in this situation. We’re brought up on a diet of Bollywood, Archies and romance. We are brought up having crushes on cute boys or pretty girls, and boyfriends / girlfriends that our parents probably do not know of. We have all spent nights chatting on the phone, chat or email to that boy or girl who we have that magnetic crush on… how then do you reconcile with the idea of sudden arranged marriage?

At last the horrible secret is out. Courtesy an Indian Express scoop, we know that Modi has a wife, whom he hasn’t seen or talked with in the last 42 years.

Apparently, they never got divorced. Jashodaben is reported to have said they only saw each other occasionally for the first three years, of which they spent only three months together, since Modi travelled a lot on Shakha business. Thereafter Modi applied himself solely to the RSS. Jashodaben, as advised by Modi, got herself educated and worked as a teacher. She never got any support from Modi, or his family, but was not ill-treated either, by him, or his family. The marriage simply died away and she returned to her brother’s home.

A tragic tale of millions of middle class, urban Indian girls, whose only future and function in the 1960’s was to get married.

At last the horrible secret is out. Courtesy an Indian Express scoop, we know that Modi has a wife, whom he hasn’t seen or talked with in the last 42 years.

Apparently, they never got divorced. Jashodaben is reported to have said they only saw each other occasionally for the first three years, of which they spent only three months together, since Modi travelled a lot on Shakha business. Thereafter Modi applied himself solely to the RSS. Jashodaben, as advised by Modi, got herself educated and worked as a teacher. She never got any support from Modi, or his family, but was not ill-treated either, by him, or his family. The marriage simply died away and she returned to her brother’s home.

A tragic tale of millions of middle class, urban Indian girls, whose only future and function in the 1960’s was to get married.

How is this likely to affect the Modi electoral juggernaut? The bulk of the electorate is unlikely to bother much. Abandoning wives to their own devices, is a national habit, which whilst not celebrated, or condoned, is accepted as a possible outcome of poverty or other compulsions. This approach is aligned to traditions which prescribe socially limited roles for wives. This is evidenced by Jashodaben’s own placid acceptance of the situation; continued admiration for Modi and his spectacular “personal” achievements and a willingness to share in his glory should he invite her to do so.

The few who are horrified, view this incident as yet another piece in the puzzle which unpeels the true Modi. A socially backward looking, egotistical man, focused on self-advancement. Of course this is the correct view.

National leaders are rarely expected to be sinless unless they are American Presidents. Obama is so squeaky clean that he is unreal. His only sins are lighting up a smoke and a light hearted “selfie” at Mandela’s funeral with the attractive, blonde, Danish Prime Minister and Cameron. India is today more aligned to the American way of doing things, than ever before. The Lok Sabha elections themselves are being managed like Presidential elections. This makes the personal lives of “Prime Ministerial” candidates fair play, in the run up to the elections.

Godhra, “snoopgate” and Jashodaben are now three issues that Modi needs to publicly talk about.

After Arnab’s scoop of Rahul’s TV interview, it is time Modi gave a similar opportunity to a Hindi TV channel. Modi’s executive capabilities are well known and not all the Planning Commission’s rebuttal statistics can convince people that Bihar is a better place to live in than Gujarat.

But Godhra does need to be put to rest. Rahul’s interview confirmed the widely held view that the Congress was complicit in the 1984 riots and subsequently loathe to pursue the criminals. It is not enough for Modi to rely on the serial judicial confirmations exonerating him and the positive statistics on convictions by the court in Godhra versus the low conviction rate in 1984 . He needs to be open to a free-wheeling discussion about what he went through, whilst Godhra was happening. He should explain all that he tried to do personally to control the violence and subsequently to resettle the victims. BJP representatives have often shared this information but not hearing it from Modi and his not encouraging a discussion around minority security does not serve him well.

“Snoopgate” and now the case of Jashodaben are both broadly similar in that both relate to Modi’s personal life. Is Modi a Brahamchari? Was he personally involved in snoopgate? Why did he abandon his wife? Does he still consider himself married to her? Is he keen to have her live in Racecourse Road in a grand, happy conciliation of earlier personal inconsistencies? This is rich material for Modi to reach out in a reality show, not just to the electorate, but also to the World and allow it to understand him better.

In all this, the only real winner is Jashodaben, who comes like the role model she is; dignified; proud without being an egotist; accomplished, competent and determined. The modern World would of course disagree and call her a loser for not dragging Modi to court for abandoning her and not seeking support or even for not divorcing Modi. All these actions would have been justifiable. But Jashodaben, by refusing to beg for favors and living life on her own terms; by being self-reliant and courageous, emblemizes the best in Indian womanhood.

Recently at an all-women’s poetry club meet, after dissecting, venerating and romancing the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, we all settled down to discuss one of Rumi’s recurrent themes – of the ecstasy of love and its inherent pain. Why must love be painful? The ladies debated…

Said one, “Oh, love is ecstatic to begin with, and then you marry –

Recently at an all-women’s poetry club meet, after dissecting, venerating and romancing the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, we all settled down to discuss one of Rumi’s recurrent themes – of the ecstasy of love and its inherent pain. Why must love be painful? The ladies debated…

Said one, “Oh, love is ecstatic to begin with, and then you marry – and the pain begins!

Gujarat cop Sanjeev Bhatt’s revelations, contained in his affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, may come as a surprise to many. But for all those who lived in Gujarat during those fateful days and were in the thick of things, the contents only provide substantiation of what they had heard then. A top police officer of the state told me a couple of days after the riots started how director general of poice K Chakravarthy was uncomfortable on being told by Narendra Modi at a meeting to allow Hindus to vent their feelings.Though perturbed, Chakravarthy, a naturally timid person, could not muster the guts to stand up to his boss. So, instead he lamented to top police officers like the person to whom I had spoken. Or at least that is what the officer told me.


It was also being speculated that not only had “Hindus” been allowed to vent their feelings, they had been given “three days” to do this. Then defence minister George Fernandes who had been sent to Ahmedabad by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee also knew of this “three days” and I personally can vouch for this. With a view to figure out what he was up to, I had called on Fernandes on Saturday, March 2, 2002, in Circuit House in Ahmedabad. Initially, I had some apprehension about how much time the minister would give me because he was on a mission and the riots were on full blast. But I was pleasantly surprised that he had all the time in the world for me. Very soon I could figure out the purpose Fernandes was so keen to engage me in conversation: he wanted to cross-check the facts of the riots that he had heard. It was a long three-hour meeting. At one point the chief secretary, G Subba Rao, and additional chief secretary Ashok Narain, along with a senior army officer, came into the room. They had been confabulating with the minister before I dropped in. Leaving them behind, Fernandes took me to his room. Now the officials wanted to know if they should wait or could leave. The minister asked them to leave and resumed his conversation with me. Fernandes spoke about a whole lot of things, how Ahmedabad had changed, how he had come to the city when there was a massive riot in 1969, how he had walked to the Governor Shriman Narayan’s house from the airport at that time, etc. With the evening advancing and the need for me to go back to the office, I excused myself. Fernandes persisted but I went out. As I climbed down the stairs, the defence minister beckoned me once again from the top of the stairs and said that I should have dinner with him. In the end, I retraced my path. While having an early dinner, Fernandes who was beating around the bush for so long suddenly let it out: “ I have heard that the rioters have been allowed three days time before any action is taken?” I shot back: “ Ya, I have also heard it.” The minister said: “Humm. I see.” We continued on the dinner silently. I must admit that there was no talk about the Modi meet about which Sanjiv Bhatt has now filed an affidavit. But very soon our meeting was broken. Harin Pathak, the minister of state for defence and the BJP MP from Ahmedabad and a hardliner himself, walked into the room with decisive steps and plonked himself on the sofa. In the manner that he walked in it seemed that Pathak was aware that we were having a long meeting and wanted to be privy to the conversation. Immediately after the dinner, I left the place.


A couple of months later, the Outook magazine ran an exclusive report on a serving minister of the Gujarat government having deposed before a citizens’ commission about the Modi meeting on the evening of January 27 where the chief minister had talked about allowing the Hindu reaction. The minister was not named but I instinctively knew that it was Haren Pandya. So I called Pandya and said: “So you tendered evidence before the commission?” Pandya demanded: “How do you know?” I said: “I can make out because you have told me this before. Though I am not sure about others because there is some speculation that it is Suresh Mehta ( another minister). But I am sure your boss Modi can make out too.” The minister said in a dismissive tone: “Who cares about him.” Then I told Pandya: “But your testimony is second hand. Why don’t you get me somebody who attended the meeting and confirm this to me?” Pandya thought for a moment and replied: “Chakravarthi (director general of police ) can.” I told him: “I don’t know him. But since you were close to him and once were his boss as home minister, why don’t you set up a meeting.” Pandya said: “Let me get back to you.” He was back on the line in 10 minutes. “I have spoken with him. Here is his cell number. You have to ask him the questions but he will answer only in yes or no. He is not willing to go any further.” OK, I said and kept down the phone. In the event I did not call up Chakravarthi. The reason: I had written an article for the edit page about the guilty men of Gujarat and had named Chakravarthi and this was going to appear in the paper the next day. I did not think it morally right to get information from a source one day and next day publish an article that would put him on the mat. Moreover, the prospect on a yes or no answer did not appeal to me.


A few months later when I came to know of the names of officers who were present at that fateful meeting, I asked one of them about what had transpired. The officer, Anil Mukim, then private secretary to Modi and now a joint secretary to GOI told me: “Not while I was there.” My specific query was: “Did Modi say that a Hindu reaction be allowed?”. I noted from media reports recently that this is also exactly what Mukim told the SIT on the Gujarat riots. If I recollect correctly Ashok Narayan, the additional chief secretary (home) who had attended the meeting told the Nanavati Commission that there were instructions that the bodies of all those perished in the Godhra train carnage be allowed to be brought to Ahmedabad. This is what Sanjiv Bhatt has also said as part of his affadavit about what had transpired at the meeting.
Incidentally, it seems that on the evening of February 27 there were two meetings that had been convened by Modi. The first one was a law and order meeting with top cops and secretaries, which Sanjiv Bhatt is supposed to have attended. The other was a meeting of ministers. Haren Pandya had told me that at this meeting some of the ministers said that the bodies of those who died in the Godhra carnage be brought to Ahmedabad. Haren said that he resisted because he felt that this could lead to an outpouring of sentiments leading to a serious law and order situation. Pandya said that he was outshouted at the meeting and mentioned a minister (I am withholding the name, but it was not Modi) who said that this is what we want. “Our party strength is in Ahmedabad. We want everything to happen here. It will help our party.”
Haren Pandya was murdered under mysterious circumstances in early 2003, so he cannot come back to life to testify whatever is attributed to him by me. I am acutely aware of this. I am also aware that George Fernandes is suffering from Alzhiemer’s, a disease that robs its patients of all his memories.

The conviction of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi in the Naroda Patiya case : why is it that the associates of Narendra Modi get nailed every time but he gets off scot-free? I am referring to Modi’s former minister Amit Shah and police officers like DG Vanzara who were close to him and had a free run. Vanzara and Rajkumar Pandyan (another police officer close to him) are languishing in jail; Amit Shah is also facing charges. Today, 31 more have been convicted but Modi  the Naroda Patiya incident happened on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning incident. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had given a bandh call and a huge crowd gathered at Naroda Patiya in Ahmedabad and attacked members of the minority community, killing 91 people. This was the same day when at Gulberg Housing Society, former MP Ehsan Jaffri was killed along with members of the same society even as police made themselves scarce. In fact, the attack on Gulberg Society happened after the additional police commissioner MK Tandon had visited the place and said that there was nothing to fear. His departure had been taken as a signal by rioters to burn down Gulberg Society. This was also the day when rioters and other antisocials had a free run, looting establishments belonging to the minority community and killing them at will. A Muslim high court judge had to run away from his house and take refuge at the house of a colleague for no crime other than being a Muslim. The car of the collector of Gandhinagar was also stoned because the collector was a Muslim. Sitting at the police control room were two ministers of the Modi government doing God knows what and this is when Ahmedabad was literally burning. The police commissioner of Ahmedabad, PC Pande, had gone into hibernation mode that day and director general of police K Chakravarthy was fuming and fretting in private with no guts to lead his men from the front.On Wednesday (August 29, 2012), Maya Kodnani (who was an MLA then but was subsequently promoted as a minister; the question remains: if she was in the eye of a storm, why did Modi promote her?) was convicted under more than a dozen sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy). Ditto for Babu Bajrangi. For those who do not know who he is, he is a VHP member who saw himself as a ‘social reformer’. Eyewitness accounts on which the court relied to convict Maya Kodnani spoke of how she had incited the mobs to murder.what Modi’s reaction is to the convictions in the Naroda Patiya case. He will probably say that it only proves that his government has not tampered with the law and justice machinery in the state. Well that’s not that simple as that because this was a case monitored by the Supreme Court and witnesses protected by central paramilitary forces and legal aid from luminaries. But the question still buzzes in my mind: everything happened when Modi was at the helm of affairs. How is it that he is not being made to take responsibility for what happened in Gujarat in those fateful days. Does merely winning elections absolve him of everything? What sort of system is this where politics decides everything and extinguishes the line between right and wrong?

With Gujarat cop Sanjiv Bhatt out on bail, you can expect new facts to emerge about the Haren Pandya murder case. At the end of last month just days before he was nabbed by his own department on charges that looked very doubtful, Bhatt had said that the former Gujarat home minister and bete noire of Narendra Modi had not been killed by Asghar Ali (who had been convicted by the trial court for the offence) but it was Tulsi Prajapati who did the honours.

In his first exclusive TV interview after being released on bail on Monday Bhatt said that he could also be eliminated like Haren Pandya. Moreover, his house was being searched to find out stuff that could shed light on who killed Pandya. Bhaatt had revelad that he had collected information about the Pandya murder case while he was superintendent of the Sabarmati prison.

For those who came in late Tulsi Prajapati was an associate of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and both had been bumped off in different encounters in November 2005 and December 2006.  Prajapati was bumped off when the investigators in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case wanted court permission to interrogate him in Udaipur jail where he was lodged and ask him if he knew anything about how Sohrabuddin Sheikh had been killed.

Three IPS officers from the Gujarat and Rajasthan cadre are now in jail for their involvement in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter which also saw the cold blooded murder of his wife Kauser Bee. Though it is being made out that Sohrabuddin Sheikh had been killed because he was a notorious criminal involved in extortions of various kinds and had the marble lobby of Rajasthan in knots, the reality may have been quite different.

The suspicion is that he knew too much about the Haren Pandya murder case. Therefore he had been done away with before he opened his mouth and spill the bins on who commissioned the murder of Pandya. Ditto for Tulsiram Prajpati, it appears.

That the CBI case was patently faulty (to put it in mild terms) was proven by the scathing indictment made by the High Court which threw out the case and set the accused free.  The HC observed: “…the investigation appears to have been so botched up and misdirected that the confessional statements recorded during police remand could not be safely relied for convicting any of the appellants for abetment or conspiracy to commit murder.”

Not only is the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case inextricably linked with the murder of Haren Pandya (who at 41 was cut off at the prime of his youth) but the pathways of both the episodes lead to Hyderabad. Those who are knowledgeable feel that Sohrabuddin Sheikh was lured to Hyderabad and then kidnapped along with his wife Kauser Bee from a bus travelling to Sangli from Hyderabad and whisked away to Ahmedabad where the couple were killed in separate encounters. But who lured Sohrabuddin Sheikh to Hyderabad?

Insiders aver that this was none other than Nayeemuddin, a renegade Maoist who after being nabbed started working at the behest of some rogue police officials. It is believed that Nayeemuddin was contacted through these rogue police officials by the rogue elements in Gujarat police and the entire operation was planned.  The rogue Gujarat police officials  were working on their own or at sombeody’s behest has to be investigated.

It would be naïve to assume that Nayeemuddin was aware why Sohrabuddin was to be lured and why he was to be kidnapped. For that matter even the rogue elements in Andhra Pradesh must not have been aware about the details. The interesting point to note is that Nayeemuddin- who in his post Maoist days acted not only as a police agent but was also a kidnapper and extortionist par excellence – has now disappeared from public view.

He apparently cannot be found any more. Whether he has been bumped off or not I do not know. But what I do know is that the CBI investigating team in the Sohrabudin Sheikh case now knows of the name of the rogue elements of the AP police. Whether they have talked to them or not as yet, I do not know. However interrogation of these officials will reveal valuable information relating to the murder of Haren Pandya and clues about who commissioned it.

It is fairly well known now that Pandya as a minister in the Gujarat government (he was revenue minister then) had deposed secretly before the Citizen’s Tribunal providing invaluable insights about the infamous post Godhra riots of 2002.

Though a highly popular youth leader, he was denied a seat in the assembly election later that year from is Ellisbridge constituency in Ahmedabad. A few months later he was bumped off ostensibly as he was ready to disembark from his self driven car at the Law Gardens for a morning. But now it is clear that he was probably bumped off elsewhere and his body dumped in the car in such a way so as to convey the impression that he was shot at the spot. “An eye witness” to the incident has been found not to be reliable by the High Court.

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