1. Jashodaben Chimanlal Modi and Narendra Modi’s marriage was arranged by the latter’s parents, in keeping with the traditions of the Ghanchi caste. While the two were engaged when Modi was 13 years of age, they got married in 1968, when Modi was 18 years of age. The marriage took place in Modi’s native village, Vadnagar, in Mehsana district.
The couple lived together for 3 months, after which Modi left home to travel across India, journeying as a ‘sanyasi’, as he described it to his family. After a period of three years, Modi stopped visiting his wife and family, as he got involved in his work as a RSS pracharak. Media reports state that the marriage was never consummated.
2. Immediately after her marriage to Modi, Jashodaben, who had studied only till class VII, decided to complete her education. She started studying in Dholka and completed her school education (old pattern SSC) in 1972. She then went on to do her primary teacher’s course, after which she started working as a teacher.
According to Jashodaben, Modi always encouraged her to study further. In an interview to a Gujarati news channel, she said attributed her success in life and as a teacher to Modi’s early encouragement.
During the latter part of her teaching years, Jashodaben survived on a salary of 10,000 rupees per month. She retired in October 2009 and is currently entitled to a government pension of 14,000 rupees per month.
3. A 2009 Open magazine media report, which was one of the early introductions to Jashodaben, indicated that she was being observed and controlled by powerful people. The report quoted her as saying, “I will not say anything against my husband. He is very powerful. This job is all I have to survive. I am afraid of the consequences.”
However, in a separate interview to Financial Express, Jashodaben claimed that she was not in touch with her estranged husband. She said, “We parted on good terms as there were never any fights between us. There has been no communication from his end to this day.”
In the same interview she also stated that she didn’t feel bad for not being acknowledged by Modi, as his wife, for all these years. She blamed their situation on destiny and bad times.
P.S. Modi had a difficult childhood. After coming in contact with the RSS pracharaks, he became attracted towards the saffron ideology which made him stay away from his home more and more. This made his mother worry about his future. And as most mothers in those days, she too decided to get him married. However, the saffron pull was greater, hence he stayed away.