When a 70-member Jat delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 26 over quashing of the OBC quota for the community by the Supreme Court, he stumped them over by seeking a commitment or a promise in return for the government’s efforts to restore the benefits.
“You have come here seeking my support. But I want to extract a promise of you,” Modi is learnt to have told the Jat leaders from different states. The Jat leaders were stunned and wanted to know what exactly was on the PM’s mind. The PM insisted on a commitment first. When the Jat leaders relented, Modi said, “I want you to put an end to female foeticide and killing of daughters.” The Jat delegation was taken aback: the PM had sought their support to put an end to a social malaise, in lieu of a political favour.
On Thursday, Modi himself narrated this instance during his address to BJP office bearers to drive home the point on the need to link the party volunteers to change the society as well and to transform the political activities into social movement.
A senior BJP leader said the Jat leaders then informed the Khap Panchayat about the PM’s request. The state of Haryana has the lowest rate of sex ratio in India and the figures show the ratio of 877 of females to 1,000 of males.
The PM recently launched twin programmes — “Beti bachao, beti padhao” and “Sukanya Samriddhi account” — in Panipat, in BJP-ruled Haryana. He had specifically chosen the location in a bid to sensitise the people and encourage birth and education of girls and tackle the abysmally low child sex ratio in the region.
Modi had also made an emotional appeal in Panipat and termed the practice of female foeticide as a “mental illness” and if it did not stop, it would result in a terrible crisis.