Indian Prime Minister Visits Sacred Heart

Mr. Modi spoke about women's issues at the University of the Sacred Heart.

Staff

Mr. Modi spoke about women's issues at the University of the Sacred Heart.

Joanna, Editor

Walking into Miyashiro Hall on 2 September, Indian Prime Minister His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi seemed calm and relaxed as he was welcomed by a flurry of standing Sacred Heart University students, the ISSH High School, as well as members of the embassy and press. The newly elected Prime Minister of India, the largest democracy in the world, was on a five-day tour of Japan, and decided to visit the University of the Sacred Heart, an all-girls university, because he is a strong supporter of women’s education.

Mr. Modi began his lecture by saying that he chose to visit the University of the Sacred Heart because he believes that understanding schools is the key to understanding the country’s culture. He went on to discuss the topic of women in India, which many students at ISSH are interested in.

Despite the many issues surrounding the status of women in India, Mr. Modi’s lecture started by focusing on the spiritual role of women in Indian culture. He mentioned that in India, people view god as a female goddess, and that “most ministries are controlled by goddesses, including education wealth, and security.”

 “I am so attached to girl’s education,”

— Prime Minister Modi

He went on to talk about the importance of girl’s education. “I am so attached to girl’s education,” said Mr. Modi. After the British left India, only 9% of women received education. However, in Mr. Modi’s previous position as chief minister of the Gujarat state, he carried out multiple campaigns and auctions to raise money for girl’s education.

As a result of his campaigns, Mr. Modi has collected 780 million rupees for girl’s education. Mr. Modi added that he has made it compulsory that 33% of Indian local governments members must be female. He also stated that it is now mandatory that every two years there will be a female chief of state. “We have given priority to women in the decision making process,” stated Mr. Modi. This is evident in his cabinet, which is 25% female.

At the end of Mr. Modi’s 15 minute lecture, a brief question and answer period was organized by a senior student at the University of the Sacred Heart. Luckily, ISSH had the opportunity to ask him one question. Mina (11) from the International Relations class, asked a question concerning his plan regarding environmental issues in India. Currently, India faces tremendous environmental challenges, including water pollution, salinization, and air pollution. “Exploitation of nature is a crime,” said Mr. Modi. However, he did not elaborate on the specifics of any of his policies; instead, he stressed the importance of viewing nature as our family. “When we are kind to nature, nature will be kind to us,” said Mr. Modi.

View President Modi’s Speech: