PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi clash on ‘Shakti’ remarks

PM Modi, addressing a rally in Telangana’s Jagtial, rebuked Gandhi’s remarks, asserting, “For me, every mother, daughter, and sister embodies ‘Shakti’.” He emphasized his reverence towards women, equating them with divine power.

| Updated: 18 March, 2024 5:55 pm IST
Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi

NEW DELHI: In a fiery exchange of words, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi sparred over the concept of ‘Shakti’ (power) in Hinduism, igniting a political storm ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The clash unfolded following Gandhi’s assertion that the opposition is combating the “might of the state.”

PM Modi, addressing a rally in Telangana’s Jagtial, rebuked Gandhi’s remarks, asserting, “For me, every mother, daughter, and sister embodies ‘Shakti’.” He emphasized his reverence towards women, equating them with divine power. Modi underscored the significance of ‘Shakti’, citing the Chandrayaan mission’s landing point named ‘Shiv Shakti’, and proclaimed readiness to safeguard this force against adversaries.

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Modi said, “We are fighting against a Shakti” remark. During his public address in Telangana’s Jagtial, PM Modi said, “Can someone talk about the destruction of ‘Shakti’? We dedicated the success of the Chandrayaan mission by naming the point where Chandrayaan landed as ‘Shiv Shakti’. The fight is between those who want to destroy ‘Shakti’ and those who worship ‘Shakti’. Muqabla 4 June ko ho jaaega’ (contest will happen on June 4).”

Meanwhile, Gandhi defended his stance, alleging Modi was distorting his words for political gain. He reiterated his critique of the ruling regime’s control over institutions, symbolizing it as a usurpation of ‘Shakti’. Drawing parallels with Hindu mythology, Gandhi portrayed the opposition’s struggle as akin to confronting negative forces, with Modi representing the mask of power. He posted on Twitter, “Modi ji does not like my words. He tries to twist my statements and change the meaning because he knows I have spoken a deep truth.”

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Decoding the row On Monday, Gandhi defended his remark, saying, “The ‘Shakti’ I mentioned against whom we are fighting, its mask is none other than Modiji. It is a power that has captured India’s voice, institutions, CBI, I-T department, ED, Election Commission, media, industries, and constitutional structure.” The verbal duel escalated as BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya accused Gandhi of misogyny and Hinduphobia, invoking Hindu symbolism to denounce his narrative. Malviya’s rebuttal underscored the multifaceted nature of ‘Shakti’, emphasizing its association with women empowerment and divine energy.

The exchange underscores deeper political narratives intertwined with cultural symbolism, setting the stage for an ideological showdown in the upcoming elections. As both leaders vie for public support, their contrasting interpretations of ‘Shakti’ reflect divergent visions for India’s future. Amidst the rhetoric, the electorate awaits to discern the true embodiment of power and its implications for the nation’s trajectory.

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