Yesterday, I was having a political discussion with someone, which turned into a debate.
“How could Narendra Modi NOT mention his wife all these years? How could he leave his wife in the lurch?” The girl, I was speaking with, said.
“There are lots of people who choose to get separated (For various reasons). I think, it’s better than living in a bad, sad or abusive marriage. Many bollywood celebrities have left their wives for other woman and remarried. I think it’s their private affair and it should not be taken as a national affair.” I said.
“No, no. If a man cannot take care of his family and wife, how could he take care of our country? If he doesn’t respect his wife, how could he talk about the respect and security of Indian women?” She countered.
“If a man gets separated or divorced, it doesn’t mean he disrespects women. There could be many internal reasons that we do not know. It’s not like Mr. Modi had tortured and left his wife in the lurch and indulged himself in a steamy affair or remarried. If you see closely, even Gautama Budhha did the same.” I said as an example.
“Aree, ye aap kahan ki baat kahan le jaa rahi hain. Ye to ekdum alag baat hai. (Oh, you’re going off-track. It’s quite different.).” She sounded taken aback and raised her voice a little.
I don’t understand how is it different.
The other day, I caught a serial called “Budhha”, running on the television, in which Siddhartha (As Gautam Budhha) returns home, many years after he left. Everyone seemed delighted and ran to greet him at the entrance of the palace. But, his wife Yashodhara was so angry and upset with him that she refused to greet him and said, “Wo bina bataaye mujhe chhor kar chale gaye the, ab agar unhen mujhse milna hai to wo yahan aakar milen.” (He left us without saying a word. Now, if he wants to meet me, he should come here to meet me.)
Sidhhartha’s mother said, “Ab use maaf kar do, Yashodhara. (Forgive him now.)”
I don’t know how authentic this serial is, but if you think from the point of view of a wife and (especially) a little son, it is unfair. If you bring a child in this world, your prime responsibility is to look after her/him.
When we think about “The Gautama Budhha”, this act of unfairness becomes “sacrifice”. And since Narendra Modi (He might have his own reasons to leave a family life. Fair or unfair) is a politician, and now our PM, we can easily make his act of unfairness (From the point of view of Yashoda Ben. Oh, see the similarity in name!) whirl around as a national issue and declare it an offence.
Here, I’m not advocating Mr. Narendra Modi or his decision regarding his marriage. I cannot think of demeaning the stature of Gautama Budhha. I’m just expressing my thoughts and I want to ask you:
How these two decisions are different from each other?
And is comparing Narendra Modi’s married life with Gautama Budhha’s an offence?