Build toilets first and temples later, said Hindutva icon and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today.
Speaking at a function organised here for the youth, Modi said he dared to say so even though his image as a Hindutva leader did not allow him.
"I am known to be a Hindutva leader. My image does not permit to say so, but I dare to say. My real thought is-- Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya' (temple first, toilet later)," he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister's comment could well stoke a controversy from within his party and sister organisations, which are keen to rake up the "temple issue" again ahead of next general elections.
A similar comment on toilets from Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh that the country needs more toilets than temples had stirred a row with a large number of women organisations and NGOs protesting against the remark.
In fact, even the BJP and the VHP had slammed Jairam Ramesh for his insensitive remark.
Touting the slogan of development that could take the country on the path of speedy progress, Modi said lakhs of rupees were spent on temples in villages, but there were no toilets there.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi's thoughts, he lamented that it was ironic that women in the country had to go in the open for easing themselves in the absence of toilets.
Modi said it was the quality of a real leader to have the strength to handle all problems and lead the way forward.
He said that for good governance and speedy progress, it was necessary for planners to focus on outlay, outcome and social audit.
How Modi Views Untouchability?
'It was the year 2007 when collection of Narendra Modi’s speeches to IAS officials at various points of time were compiled in a book form named ‘Karmyog’ and were published by the Gujarat government.....Pages 48-49 of the said book give an inkling of Modi’s ideas. He writes :
”I do not believe that they have been doing this job just to sustain their livelihood. Had this been so, they would not have continued with this type of job generation after generation….At some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their (Valmikis’) duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods; that they have to do this job bestowed upon them by Gods; and that this job of cleaning up should continue as an internal spiritual activity for centuries. This should have continued generation after generation. It is impossible to believe that their ancestors did not have the choice of adopting any other work or business.”'
69/D-152 V N K Murti
D108 R V Subramanin Sir
It was indeed pleasure, to read 'Latrine line of
Communication'. The older used to tell the young:
" my but has seen more ponds than yours', and
that ends a small argument.
A Tamil PM?
It appears that the practice of Manual clearance of Nightsoil still continues in some places of Gujarat. Looks like Modi has given due consideration to this while making the remark of " Toilets First......"
What most of these politicians, who try to score Poltical brownie points (as always), do not recognise, is that open air defacation is a habit built into generations (making it into a cultural heritage). Moreover, the open fields used to be a meeting point for consultations particularly among women - a family planning researcher called it the "Latrine Line of Communication". The use of Toilets would also be dependent on a change of mindset.
Long back when i complained to a local legislator about building public toilets in the area I lived in those days. The Legislator said it is easier to build Public Toilet but it is difficult to maintain (Public Apathy) - an ill maintained toilet will make the whole area stink (24*7)!
Not only build Toilets! Need to change the mindset and bring in the sense of caring for Public Hygeine!