The horizon glows as light makes its way. The cock croons, marking the breaking of dawn. Sejal is bursting with energy. Tying the laces of her left shoe, she announces “Ma.. i’m ready”. Instantly, her mother appears with a glass of milk which Sejal grabs and gulps down. Her mother watches her teenage daughter admiringly. The medals that Sejal has won, a reminder of her excellence, glisten in the background. “OK ma, practise ma jaun chun” (I’m going for my practise). At 16, she has won several accolades to make her parents proud. Just as she is about to leave, her mother calls out, “Dhyaan raakhje (take care), you are a big girl now.” Sejal shoots back almost immediately, “Don’t worry ma, aa Modi nu Gujarat chhe. ( This is Modi’s Gujarat)”Her mother nods in agreement.
This is not Sejal’s story alone. This is the sentiment most women in Gujarat resonate. Be it revelling in garba till the wee hours or simply being able to grab a cuppa with friends after dark on a regular day, these are privileges that girls in Gujarat enjoy. Life in Gujarat spells freedom. Something that, unfortunately, is a rare phenomenon in the rest of the country. Such is the sad state of affairs that even in the country’s Capital, parents are scared to death while even thinking about their daughters staying out at twilight. It is not surprising then that a large part of this demographic is cheering for Narendra Modi.
“I trust Modi to do a good job with the country like he did with Gujarat,” asserts 26-year-old Neha Sharma. “I had the good fortune of living in Ahmedabad for a few months and after living under a constant insecurity in Delhi, it was like heaven,” she adds.
Womens’ safety has always been a priority for Modi. He reiterated recently at a rally in Gujarat saying, “We don’t have the right to call ourselves ‘mard’, if the women in the country are feeling unsafe.” In the wake of misogynist times, women want a leader who ensures a safe scenario for growth. The trust that they have in Modi is deep.
“Modi is smart, confident, with-the-times and above all is a go-getter. I am tired of having dysfunctional leaders. I want a bright tomorrow. I need someone like him who’d take the bull by its horns,” claims Neelam Batra, a chartered accountant from Pune.
So is safety the only virtue that is drawing the ladies? Well the list is long for most women. From scams that surface on an everyday basis to the ever rising prices, the issues are too many. Most feel Modi is the panacea. And to think that only educated, working women are chanting NaMo would be wrong. A large number of homemakers are in awe of his managerial skills and vision.
Rani Singh, a 54-year-old housewife in Hyderabad, feels Modi can deliver India from the twin problems of “corruption and mehangai”. What makes her so certain? “Yeh bas dil ki feeling hai. He gives out positive vibes,” she says, adding that she likes how Modi seems always on the alert.
She is not alone in feeling instinctively great about Modi. “The average housewife is deeply affected by price rise and has finally woken up. I meet a number of women in my circle who absolutely want Modi to win,” says Priti Gandhi, secretary, BJP, Communication Cell (Maharashtra). Gandhi was enrolled in BJP after the party saw her effectively take on Modi and BJP detractors on Twitter with her conspicuous Twitter handle @Mrs Gandhi.
Says Shipra Nagar, a 24-year-old homemaker from Lucknow, “His confidence gives me faith and hope. He will set things right for us. I can’t live in fear of rising price and rapes.” When asked if she is getting a little carried away, she retorts, “Look at what he has done with Gujarat. The women there run small industries from home and are able to contribute to their homes. These things are a result of good governance only.”
They say the instinct of a woman is hardly wrong. That they are blessed with a sixth sense. If that is true, do we have a winner already?