[ View the story "Does India need toilets before temples?" on Storify] Does India need toilets before temples? Prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi causes a stir with 'toilet first, temple later' comments.
The Stream· Thu, Oct 03 2013 12:05:29
"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' (toilet first, temple later)," he said.economictimes.indiatimes.com
Narendra Modi- "Buildings toilets are more important than building Temples" #ThyagarajSportsComplex #NewDelhi #CAG.instagram.com
Access to sanitation remains an important issue in India, where
fewer than half
of households have a toilet. Some netizens started using the hashtag #sanitation4all to discuss the candidate's comments.
Why Modi's #Sanitation4All drive is imp: Lack of sanitation facilities in rural & urban areas create trouble for young children & women.1/3Akhilesh Mishra
#Sanitation4all millions of people are forced to do toilets in open-This is our country's one of bitter truth since 66 years of independenceAmit goswami
Modi's comments were
by Congress Party leaders, including Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who has been
by BJP officials for making similar remarks in the past. In April he reportedly said, "No matter how many temples we go to, we are not going to get salvation. We need to give priority to toilets and cleanliness". The comment was heavily criticised by the Hindu nationalist BJP at the time.
There were also
protests outside of his house
when the minister made a similar statement last year. Responding to Modi's statement, Ramesh has
him of political opportunism.
Despite their similarities, many online are highlighting the differences between the politicians' statements.
. @Shishir_Singh76 Narendra Modi : 'First toilets then temples' while Jairam: 'Toilets important than temples' #Difference @malviyamitRavi Ghiyar
"Toilets a priority before places of worship." "Toilets are better than temples." Spot the difference. #LowIQAG
Toilets are better than temples, said J Ramesh. Toilets first, temples later, says Modi. And the morons wonder why they offend & he connectsVinod Sharma
Others did not see a significant distinction between what was said.
When Jairam Ramesh said India needs more toilets than temples, the BJP said he was hurting "the fine fabric of faith and religion". Now?ranjona banerji
Toilets before temples was wrong when Jairam Ramesh said, and remains wrong when NaMo says itdoubtinggaurav
Many saw Modi's comments as a response to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's
call for secular forces
to unite against him. Modi, a Hindu nationalist,
has been accused
of doing little to stop the 2002 anti-Muslim rioters in the 2002 Gujarat religious riots that left more than 1,000 dead.
Modi's construct toilet first temples later statement sinks Manmohan call for secular parties to get united against him#India electionsJAVED JAIDI
@bdutt "Innovative & creative" idea from Narendra Modi in order to present a "secular" image with apparent consent of Sangh & BJP leaders.R.S.CHAUHAN
The upcoming election, due by May 2014, is
expected to be
a tough battle between the BJP and the Congress Party, the largest party in the current ruling coalition. Modi was only recently formally
to be the BJP's candidate for prime minister on September 13.
The BJP Friday Formally Declared Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi its prime ministerial candidate, and he promptly vowed to lead the party to victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.Narendra Modi