Gujarat govt clarifies Modi's remarks

Facing flak for Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial remark in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Gujarat government issued a clarification on Thursday evening.

“During an interview with Wall Street Journal Chief Minister Narendra Modi gave elaborate answer to a question regarding malnutrition,” the release stated.

“We are the first state in the country to raise the issue of malnutrition. It came to our mind that Gujarat is by and large a vegetarian state. And secondly, Gujarat is also a middle class state. The middle class is more beauty conscious than health conscious – that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they’ll have a fight. She’ll tell her mother, ‘I won’t drink milk. I’ll get fat.’ They have money but she’s beauty conscious, she’s not health conscious. So being a middle-class state is also a problem for me.

A large segment of the population in my state is middle-class. Second is vegetarianism,” the release quoted Modi.

“So a lot needs to be explained to both the beauty conscious and the health conscious. We have to request to them that there should be a good nutritional situation.

We gave a budget of Rs 700 crore. But these things are such that you see a sudden change in a child after the age of 13-14 years. They grow up so fast from zero to 13 you don’t come to know how they got so big, ” it said. “Even after a lot of improvement, we still have to measure (malnutrition), conduct surveys,”it stated.

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