New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday took a jibe at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's 'beehive' remark, and said mothers come above everyone else in our culture and heritage.
Modi said our country's cultural heritage and tradition gives the highest status to mothers.
"A sense of reverence appears before us when we hear the word mother. Wherever there is purity and accuracy, the mother appears to us; this is in our values and tradition. If we have reverence for (the river) Ganges, then we will call it our mother. If we have reverence for India, then we will call it our mother. If we have reverence for the cow, then we will call it our mother. And in that sense, the mother and woman has been considered on the top in our country for centuries.
Modi, however, said a lot of evils and shortcomings came to us in the period of slavery.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said we thought that we would move towards a modern India with the country gaining independence.
"We thought that we put forward our values and tradition proudly before the entire world. We would show to the world the true position of a woman in the society. Sometimes I think we have gone back further than the 18th century. At least in the 18th century, the girl child could see her mother's face and breathe. But in the 21st century, the foetus is killed," he added.
Addressing the Women wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here today, Modi praised the vital role played by women in important sectors, including agriculture, education, and health.
" If we have to create a modern India, we have to take pride in our women and their power. I know of families where women have decided not to marry so they can dedicate their lives to looking after their parents in their old age," said Modi.
"When given a chance, women have far out-performed men. I have seen women take care of parents better than men. Should we not recognise that as a society?" he asked.
Modi said the women should be involved in decision-making.
"We have to bring this change. We should involve them in the decision making power," he added.
Emphasizing that a beehive is stronger than an elephant, Gandhi earlier on April 4 highlighted the need to give powers to the people, and said that no person on a horse can fix all the problems of the country.
"One man riding a horse cannot solve the country's problems, but it is a collective effort. The architecture we have to build is to connect the grassroots with the political system, open the political system. The legislative engine in India consists of 5,000 people who determine everything, how many people choose them? How can you talk of Centre-State relationship when only MPs and MLAs are defining the Vidhan Sabhas?" said Gandhi.
"People talk about individuals, large number of problems can be sorted out by the lower level people. Give a billion people the power to solve a problem, it'll be solved in a jiffy," he added, while addressing the annual general meeting of industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here. (ANI)