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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
29 JAN 2019 10:00PM by PIB Delhi
English rendering of PM’s address at Pareeksha pe Charcha 2.0

Last year too I had the opportunity to meet the students who were preparing for the exam. This time too I have got the chance and I am grateful to the Education Department for giving me this opportunity to meet you all.

Today I am extremely delighted that the students from almost all the states of India are present here today. In a way, a mini- India is in front of me. While from another perspective, the future of India is in front of me.

Before coming and talking to you all, this morning our country's former Defense Minister Mr. George Fernandes passed away. He was a robust and a soldier-like leader. He was born at one place, worked in some other place, had been a representative of the people of yet another place. In a way, he had lived in different parts of India. During the emergency period, he had struggled a lot to re-establish democracy. But he had been ill, unconscious and bed-ridden for the past several years. Today he has left this world. I pay my homage to George Saheb.

Friends,

There has been a change in ParikshapeCharcha from the last time in terms of experience. As per the demand, people from different countries of the world are also associating today. Similarly, it has been ensured that there are representations from all the states of India and can interact with those students. There are both senior students as well as junior students. It would have been incomplete if guardians, the parents and the teachers were not present. Therefore efforts have been made to generate opportunities of interacting with those who are directly associated with the lives of the students.

I believe that whatever has been depicted in the dance performance just a few moments ago makes my speech irrelevant. Everything is inherent in that. This dance presentation had created a new faith and a new hope for everyone present here including me, and the viewers of this programme across the country. I congratulate them all and a special applause for the amazing performance of Rina in that entire program; she exhibited an extraordinary enthusiasm of living life despite being handicapped with two missing arms and a leg.

We were watching an old video. And I had told you to just forget that you are here in this programme. Just try to feel that you are with your family and are conversing with your family members and a familiar face of your family is chatting with you. If the environment remains light and casual then even I will be able to learn a lot!

I am here in this programme not to preach. Neither do I wish to preach the parents, the teachers or even the students. I am here so that I can live like you all do and to try to experience your state of mind.

Come let's begin. From where should we start?

Presenter - Sir, this time there are students, teachers and parents too; that too from within the country as well as from foreign countries. Firstly RoliDatta, from Kolkata, who is a teacher, wants to ask you questions.

Questioner - Hello Sir, My name is RoliDatta and I teach biology at KendriyaVidyalaya, Kolkata. My question to you is sir, as a teacher, what should we tell the parents who believe that the future of their children depends solely on an exam?

Presenter - Sir, there is another question similar to this, from Rohit Shree who is sitting among us now and is basically from Kerala but staying in Delhi and preparing for civil services.

Questioner - Honorable Prime Minister Greetings, my name is Rohitshree, I am a resident of Kerala and I am now preparing for the UPSC in Delhi. Sir our parents and our teachers have a lot of expectations from us, due to which we are burdened with a lot of pressure. Sir, I think your situation is just like ours. The people of the country have more expectations from you. Prime Minister sir, kindly tell us how do you deal with these expectations, and how shall we deal with it? Thank you.

Presenter - Honorable Prime Minister, you are requested to please inspire them.

Modiji- You are from Kerala but you can speak better Hindi than me. During your classes 10th or 12th or during final exams, most of you have to hear the rebukes, sometimes even ten times a day - don't you understand? Why are you always on the telephone with friends? Leave the computer! Start studying! What are you doing? Isn't that the case? Do tell me the truth.

Actually, one cannot deny the importance of an examination. I can never say that you should not bother about it; or we can deal with it later. Was that exam the life's examination? Or was it just for that particular class? So if we decide that the exam is just for class 10th or class 12th and not a criterion for my life. With this thought, the burden will be reduced. This will also improve our focus in that work.

They say life becomes worthless if one fails in class 10th.   Life is not limited to the corridors of examinations, there is big world outside of it too.

Long time ago, I read a poem. I don’t remember the whole poem but it carried a line.

It said- ‘Few toys if broken, does not end the Childhood’.   I believe this line conveys a big message- ‘Few toys if broken does not end the Childhood’. Life does not stop if one does not perform well in exams.  It is important to havechallenges in every moment of life. It makes us strong, and gives us new energy. It provides us an opportunity to display our knowledge. If we don’t face challenges, Our life will stagnate and stagnation cannot be the life. Life means pace, life means dreams, life means to put our best efforts to achieve these, and otherwise life becomes meaningless.

Sometimes, we children are in such state of mind, when we reach a particular stage, we think that whatever we are doing is correct and parents don’t understand anything. Isn't that the case? They don’t understand anything.

First of all, I would like to advise students to listen carefully to their parents and not react to it. You are enjoying it; you are listening with lot of interest. Your parents should feel that you are paying attention. Sometimes while listening if you don’t understand, do ask mother what she meant. Then you will not have to explain her anything, she will understand herself.

Thus, behavior also matters. When parents are in good mood, you can also tell your viewpoint to them- that I reflected on what you told me- I tried also but still fell short of it.  Tell me, how to do it? This will complete your exam and start their exam. They will not be able to figure out how to respond. This does not mean I am teaching how to make your parents speechless but sometimes not listening can create friction. This will later result in friendly communication with your parents, they will become your helping hands. I also ask Guardian if you are forcing your childhood ambitions on children. You thought of becoming Doctor but you became a clerk so you are imposing your aspirations on your children. Those parents are unsuccessful whoimpose their unfulfilled dreams on children.  They should not do so. They should make efforts to know and understand the potentials and capacities of their children. And Parents don’t require training for this.

You must have observed at home how little child learns to walk.  He takes few steps and falls again. How does mother respond to this? Mother responds by clapping, and the child feels it’s not wrong to fall. Was any mother taught by a Prime Minister to clap when the child falls?  Did she read it somewhere?   But she is aware that she has to encourage her child.  So, she will stand with some of her child’s favorite items asking her child to walk towards her. Parents encourage their children. But there comes a stage in Life, when Parents believe, their child is ready and they need not pay attention to them. This is where the mistakes begin. Parents should continue taking care, comforting and motivating their children. Scolding a child will not result in any positive change.

As far as expectation are concerned, expectations are good. Expectations are essential. We also aspire to do more because of expectations. If there are no expectations, then tell me- if a patient has no will to live, does not want to get better, and is waiting for his death. Even if we arrange best doctor, best hospital, will that patient recover? Can a depressed person, family or society benefit anyone? And, therefore Hope and Expectations are mandatory for upward pace in life.

Since you aspire to become IAS, this was a natural question. It is very natural to have expectations in society; there should not be any despair.

People say Modi has awaken many aspirations.  I desirethat, 1.25 billion Indians should have 1.25 billion aspirations. Those aspirations should also be expressed. We should not burden ourselves with the expectations.  We should enhance our capacities to meet those aspirations.

Presenter – Sir, Krishna Kumar Sharma from Jammu is now joining us.  He wants to share his problem with us.

Question- Namaste Sir, My name is Krishna Kumar Sharma. I belong to Roopnagar, Jammu. Nowadays not only kids, but we parents are also under pressure, like whose kids get a better score? How to remove this tension? Thankyou Sir.

Presenter – Honorable Sir, NeelaKumari from Imphal, North East has asked a similar question.

Question: I am NeelaKumari from Imphal, Manipur. As a parent and a working woman, I would like to know how can I de-stress myself during my children’s exam? Thank You Sir.

Presenter–Honourable Sir, Lavanya a student from Banglore has a question.

Questioner- Good morning, I am Lavanya. I am studying in St. Mary’s Public School, Queens Road, Bangaluru. My question is to Honorable Prime Minister. Good Morning Sir, Today my question is how can we students overcome the fear created by our parents, teachers and all our loved ones?

Presenter– How should the students remove the fear of pressure put on them by their parents, their teachers and their loved ones? Sir, both Parents and Children are talking about stress. We are eager to know your response. 

Modi Ji – I request the guardians that you must have dreams, you must have expectations but pressure worsens the situation.  For instance, just consider your child is having a food cooked by you. As you have cooked it so well, you start pressuring the child to have that food and once you pressurise, instead of having food, your child will just go away. Isn't that the case? We should be careful that this should not happen. 

Pressure leads to reaction.  But, why do Parents behave in such manner? There is a psychological reason behind this. When parents go for family function, social function they take the report card of their children as their own visiting cards. The root cause of the problem is that Parents keep boasting about their children’s achievement in the society.

Parent believe that success and failure of their children will affect their social life. They always try to maintain a position in the society. Therefore, it becomes a habit to put pressure on children.  This is not their intention but they should do it correctly.

Actually, in reality, after a certain age parents do not maintain a bond with their children. When the children are small, Parents openly describe and discuss their mistakes- for example- yesterday he did this- he dropped the milk bottle- he dropped hot tea, got burn etc.  They also describe their errors because they take note of his activities. Parents keep a close watch at children only when they are young.  And don’t realise that they should also observe their children after they attain age of 7-8 years. What are the changes? What are his interest? What is he doing and how is he doing?

This relation of observing discontinues after they attain 7-8 years. Parents observe children only when they are 3 months, 6 months old. But, one must keep observing children until he gets busy.  Observing does not mean shaping them in a definite way. Parents should observe them, find out their strength, and this will ensure pressure free environment.

Presenter – Honourable PM, amongst us is a mother, she belongs to Assam but resides in Delhi. She is little worried and I feel her problem is a common problem. MadhumitaSen Gupta wants to say something.

Questioner- Respected PM, Greetings. My name is MadhumitaSen Gupta.  My son studies in class 9th.  Sir, Earlier my son was good in studies.  Teachers appreciated him but now from some days, he is distracted by online games. I have tried to explain him a lot but I am unable in doing so. Please, guide me how to handle this situation. 

Thankyou.

Modiji - Is it of PUBG? Or it may be of frontline. It’s a problem as well as solution. If we want our children to stay away from technology, it will be like going back from one’s whole life. So, in terms of technology, they should be encouraged. But the point is how this technology should be used.Whether this technology is making him a robot or a better human being? It would be nice if parents take little interest and discuss sometimes about technology while dining. They may ask what’s new in the field of technology.What kind of new apps have come in the market? What are the main features of these apps? Thus, children will feel that their parents may support them in their endeavor whatever they are pursuing. So, the first step should be not to discourage them. I see here almost everyone is carrying mobile phone in his or her hand. There may be some people here in the Prime Minister’s programme who might be trying to inform their friends that they are sitting here.  What happens by this – gradually we tend to shrink ourselves and if it becomes narrower, perhaps it will be a bigger loss to us and our lives.  Technology must be for our expanse, for our broadening and for boosting our capabilities.  For this, teachers should also discuss these aspects repeatedly. Only then, this will be crystallized. Otherwise, it will be a same situationwhere there are no children in the playground. Sometimes parents believe that it’s excellent to be at studies. But they get frightened once, just ahead of the examination, the child falls sick. It’s good that the child pays attention towards studies, but he has to spend some time in the playground as well. You all should think about this. When I was the chief minister, since then I regularly talk to children. Though the character and nature of that programme has changed now, but I still do it.I have seen it. Sometimes I used to ask how many children are here who have sweated four times while laboring hard in a day. You will be surprised to know that even children from rural areas used to reply that nothing like that happens to them. What sort of life is this? Laughing and playing in an open ground should be a part of our life and it is this which rejuvenates us. Therefore, it’s imperative to think how technology should be used?  I myself consider technology as a very powerful tool. I am an ardent supporter of technology. Today I remain in touch with so many countries and their people because of technology only. Everything has two aspects – one forces somebody to shrink and other makes the horizon broader for someone.Your concerns are genuine. But do sit with him. Sometimes assign him some work. The mother may say that I have heard that people from North–East cook rice in some different method, will you fetch that method for me with the help of technology son?He will feel that his mother wants to learn some new dishes of Nagaland with the help of technology. Thus, technology will become a source of bringing you together. You can make him understand that new things can be learnt with the help of technology, technology canmake life easier. So she will feel, yes, mother wants to learn what is the methodology of Nagaland to cook rice herself with the help of technology, that technology can be a cause for connecting both of you and her new technology can be known from the mind. Can be learned, which can work in life, you can take it gradually on it. You can ever ask him that today we have heard that this has happened in the space, or today we have heard that cyclone is coming, then you see how these cyclone reports are coming. So that child will work on that. You should gradually move it towards the correct use of technology and it should be assumed that the child is the direction of development, instead of going on the wrong path, instead of wasting time, instead of staying within a sports itself,  I think just going from the play station to the play field. So we try all that direction in that direction. She will feel that my mother wants to learn the procedure of cooking rice of Nagaland. That technology can be a reason to join both of you. She too will try to know things regarding technology. Such things that can be helpful for her. Slowly and steadily she will learn many things. At times, you may ask her something about space or you can tell her that today I knew that a cyclone is to come. You mush watch how these people give the news regarding the arrival of cyclone. The same child will work on that slowly you turned your child towards the better use of technology. The child will himself instead of wasting time or going in a wrong direction will use his time in a better way. He will leave his play station and go to the play field. We must try in this direction.

Presenter:  Sir, Vansh Aggarwal is from Faridabad. He is present here. His question is different. Vansh!

Questioner-  Good Morning sir,my name is Vansh Aggarwal and I am a student of class 10, MananvRachnaInternation School. Sir, my question is that how should we decide our aim ? Whether we should be conservative in our approach or should always fix big aims? What is your experience in this regard? Thanks!

Presenter: Honorable Sir. Please tell us something in this regard.

Modiji – Let me ask you a question, raise your hands. How many people think that the aim should be short enough? What is the number of such people? Only two or three. On the other hand, how many people are there who think that the aim should be big? So it is determined in the democratic way. We in Gujarat often hear a proverb – Missing an aim can be forgiven but striking below the aim cannot be forgiven. It means that if you miss an aim, it is pardonable but if you strike below the aim, you won’ be forgiven. When you decide an aim, the aim must be within your reach but beyond your catch or hold. Assume, I have to touch here, I am trying but unable to touch it. Here, if I jumped a foot, I can touch it or can get hold of it. It generates the inspiration for a new aim. Such things should not be there that we do not do anything and always busy in making great aims. I have come across many children who say that I am doing CA. It is a matter of wonder for me that so many people are pursuing CA. I am talking all these things that happened some twenty years ago. Why they are doing all these things? I gathered information about their family members and other things I found that it is very difficult to reply that they do not do anything. Now the boys are in the age group of 20-22 years. If a marriage proposal comes it is very difficult for parents to say that their son does not do anything. They answer very easily that their son is pursuing that degree of CA. So, this is not an aim, this is only a trick to make yourself secure. We should first know ourselves thoroughly, in our own way, not in the eyes of someone else, not in the eyes of our parents or teachers, not in the context of prime minister's speech, but in our own eyes. What's the status of the dreams I have set for myself. You would then realize I can do this much, so you decide not to halt at this stage, move five steps further. Our target has to be in accordance with our capabilities and it should lead us to our dreams. If our dreams are dead, our might will also gradually die out, and never should we have such a life, therefore in my opinion our objective has to be clear. There are two types of objectives- one is the final objective, and the other one is the small steps w 

you must have seen when one wants to climb a big hill, he sets the target to reach at smaller hillocks and move further to the next peak after reaching there. We should also do the same, only then, in my opinion, we would be able to live our life along with the chosen destination and achieve our objective. And if we have not been able to achieve the target, we should introspect and find out in what all areas we were lacking. Whether we failed in making efforts, or we lacked in the planning, if we continue to verify these small steps, we would not meet with a mishap while achieving our desired objective. You would easily take corrective measures and sail through. So setting an objective is not just enough, but how much concentration you put in to achieve the objective, how much energy you use, how much time is required to be given for each work and in what manner, if you are aware on all these areas, I believe you would achieve the objective, the objective itself makes you more capable.

Presenter- Sir, One Student from Tamil Nadu, Narendran wishes to share his man kibaatwith you.

Questioner- Namaskaar, Sir, I am Narendran from Tamil Nadu. What motivates you? Also how to manage time? Thank you, Sir.

Presenter- When we are not successful in exams or in sports or in any competition or face any problem, we are motivated by your efforts to lead the country to greater heights continuously. What is in you, which motivates and lead to you to remain energetic and enthusiastic without any tiredness in throughout your 17hrs? of daily tight schedule?  How should we follow proper time management schedule to achieve our goal? Hon’ble Sir, please address.

Modiji- You might have noticed in your family; some time you might have felt tiredness, sometime you might have felt boredom, your mind might have been thinking to do something else, but have one ever thought our mother also possess a body, she might have also felt tiredness? She might have also fallen sick. Sometime, she would have wanted to go for bed, but despite her sickness, she always stood up at the door with smiling face to welcome her children returning from school. Has any child asked his mother where from she get so much energy that she does all the works simultaneously, like working 8 hrs. in kitchen out of total 24 hrs, attending telephone calls when it is ringing, opening doors when a bell rings, serving or offering a glass of water when a guest arrives in, make arrangement to call maid when she does not come, etc?  Why? She feels it is her family, all are her part of her. She feels in her heart that if she does not do all these works, then who will do all that? When this kind of belongingness originates from a heart, energy automatically gets out, and tiredness never sets in. I think over, every moment when I retire for night in the night, I ensure what to do next morning, forget what I did during the day at all. I go to the bed with a thought to see the dawn with a renewed vigor, and get energy and enthusiasm when I get up.  As far as time management is concerned, we may note that if you solicit a time to meet somebody, and if he says he is very busy and has no time now a days, it means he is speaking clear lie. I mean that he does not know how to utilize the time. This situation can’t be with you, if you are aware of the time available with you and its proper utilization. There may be few of you, who may have factually analyzed 24hrs.of your daily life at least once in a week. You do one thing - write down memorizing what have you done right from the morning to evening during last one week; how have you utilized your time, you will not know why have you done this work; oh! I have lost the time for doing nothing, I was sitting idle here, I was thinking useless, I would see something - you will realize immediately, no, no, I should stop all these 6 steps, and I will get time out of them to utilize same for some constructive work. Time management is in our reach and in our hands. We can manage it very easily. There is no need to do any MBA, or to read any large Oxford book for this. You just observe your maid, who works in your house. Now-a- days, there are very few maids doing house work in families. They work for 10-12 houses every day, and they know exactly the timings of each house, say to reach which house at 7 O’clock to clean utensils, which house at 11 O’ clock to wash clothes and which house at 12 O’clock to enter into the kitchen. You see they may be on bicycles, scooty; may be stranded in traffic jam, but their time management is perfect. For how much families they work till 3-4 O’clock, their time management is perfect. Isn’t that. We have not followed or observed her. That means, she or he might not have attended school, classes, but she or he are also aware of how to allocate their time to a particular house. You may have noticed in a family, if any person is late for bathing and his/her clothes, after batch, are to be washed, the maid says, Ok, keep them stored as it is, I will wash them tomorrow, I cannot not wash them today, because her time is fixed. Isn’t that? You have not noticed or observed her or him, which is why there is a problem before you. See successful people, who work with good humor, they never have a stress of time. They never run to board a train, some time they leave behind their lunch box, spectacle, book at their house, but they never feel perturbed or stress of time; for them everything is very perfect, Why?  because they have understood the value of their time. We have been coming across - Time is money, time is money, but it is our nature to kill that. We need to ensure - whatever is left, I will not let the time go waste. I have also same 24 hrs, as you. The God has provided social justice to all of us in this regard. God has given 24 hrs to everyone, whether he is a rich or a poor man, and therefore a habit can easily be formed for best time management.

Presenter- Sir, there is a student from Pathankot, Amit Chauhan.

Questioner -Namaskaar Sir, how to study with interest and fun?

Presenter - Please tell us so that we undertake study with fun and interest, not as a stress.

Hon’ble Sir, one question relating to exam stress is being asked by SurpreetDegole from Kathmandu. He is a student.

Questioner - Good morning Sir, I am SupreetDangole, a student from Kathmandu. Do you think exams groom our personality or stifle it? Thank You Sir.

Presenter - We start listening the term examination right from our primary classes. This becomes part of our personality. Hon’ble Sir, do you feel exam grooms our personality or this creates interruption in development of our overall personality? Hon’ble Sir, please address us on both these questions.

Modiji - You see, canon and exam cannot be attributed as bad. This depends upon us as to how we see or take it or deal with it. My philosophy is that canon tests us. Canon is not to be cursed. People curse the canon. Let us take an example of a person dreaming to play in Olympics. How will he be successful, if he has not played at Tehsil, district, state, interstate, national levels? He has to go through cannons or acid-tests every time. Therefore, we should take exam, cannon as an opportunity. If we take it as an opportunity, you will feel good. To combat a challenge, the God has given an extraordinary power to every human being. Sometime, you speak in a normal voice, but when you have to call a person from a crowd, such amount of energy generates from your heart that you utter your words loudly, that even an Army officer’s voice may fail do so. Although, it may originate from your heart even one time, but this is a fact that energy is inbuilt in you. When there is such opportunity, your energy comes out. You have to observe which of my abilities has come out. You might have seen and noticed such things in your heart or when you speak with your friends. This mean, that the God has provided enormous capabilities in you. However, you do not have a mechanism to judge that capability. Exam gives you an opportunity to judge your capability. Secondly, we should not consume our life for exams, we should enjoy it. When we live for ourselves and enjoy our life, then we feel to acquire knowledge, and when we start acquiring knowledge, then you see marks are bound to follow you, even at your doorstep. But, we do mistakes, we run after marks and in the process life goes in vain. Hence, we should first love our life; acquire sufficient knowledge and forget about marks. Not only they will run after you, but they will have a race among them to embrace you first. If you have a clear vision to judge an opportunity, I hope exam will never be a burden. One should take every exam as like a festival or rather an opportunity to have a fight with it. This should be the general mood to be energetic.

Presenter: Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji, Mohammed Salim is a student from Aligarh Muslim University and he would like to ask you a question.

Questioner Salim: Greetings, sir. My name is Mohammed Salim. I am a 1st year student of Aligarh Muslim University. I believe that the first question that arises in the minds of students after they clear the 12th standard is “How to choose a career?” Similarly, when a student passes the 10th standard, the first question that arises in his/her mind is “Which stream should I choose?” Parents, without understanding the interests of the child, force their children to opt for science. Kindly guide us through this issue. Thank you, sir.

Presenter: Sir, I am preparing for the entrance examination. It is a new phase in the lives of bachelor students. Please guide us for getting a better job and the challenges before a good course.

Questioner: Honourable Prime Minsiter, Some children have different apptitude. Some can write well, some can sing well, some other can dance but it is not quite necessary that they all are good at maths and science which is cosidered a very great thing in our country. How can we make our parents understand that if we can not do maths and science we can achieve a lot in other fields. It is not a great deal that we are not good at a particular subjects.

Questioner Shambhavi: Greetings, sir. My name is Shambhavi Shukla, a Bachelor of Arts (3rd year) student at Vasanta College, Rajghat, under the Banaras Hindu University. Sir, it is the time for me to prepare for my Master’s examination. Sir, kindly guide me how to get a better job and choose further career opportunities. Thank you, sir.

Presenter: Honorable Prime Minister Sir,kindly guide us through these questions.

Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji: Your worries are very fair and natural that students do not get proper guidance, it is important to get the correct guidance at this important juncture, which you do not get. People keep sharing their personal experiences all the time. When mother gives an advice, father gives some other advice, then your uncle will give some other advice, so much so that even your friends in your locality will give you their advice, and all these will definitely confuse you. One of the most significant reasons why we get confused like this is because we are not sure what we ourselves want to do. What is my passion? Where does my interest lie? Have I been able to do anything pertaining to my interests so far? ‘What are my dreams’ comes as a later question. First identity what your passion is.

Then, it will be easier for you to convince your parents for it. Look, you would have gone through this phase where you must have thought – ‘I had done this when I was in the eighth standard’, ‘I had done this when I was in the ninth standard’, ‘My teachers have told me about this’, ‘Back then, where there was a particular competition in my tehsil, I had participated’, ‘I believe I am strong in this aspect’. Sometimes, we should approach the teacher we feel the most connected to and ask this question that, “Sir/Madam, you have been teaching me for close to four years now, you have been seeing how I have fared so far, what is your opinion about me, what do you think I should do?” It is not true that teachers do not have time for their students. If a student feels a strong connection with a teacher, then the teacher would also feel ‘Yes, I should spend some time with this student and guide him/her’. Your confusion is not because of the advices that different people give you or what your parents tell you. You are yourself confused and that is where the problem lies. There is confusion in your mind because you yourself are not sure what you want to do. I very well remember this instance when, several years ago, around 1977-1978-1979, I used to visit the hostels of Maharaja Sayaji Rao University in Baroda and interact with students there. I used to meet them, sit with them and ask them what their outlook was towards life, what their plans were. Most of them told me that becoming a graduate is all that they had planned so far. They did not know what they wanted to do after that.

During one such instance, when I asked the same question to students, one of them, who had come to study there from another state, said “I want to rule”. I scolded him and asked him “Do you have plans to enter politics?”. He replied by saying “No, I do not want to enter politics, but I want to become a government officer, a babu. Politicians will come and go but babus will continue to hold positions”.I told you this story that dates over 40 years from now because that student had such a clarity at that stage itself what he wanted to do in life. Recently, when I enquired about him, I came to know from his friends that as per his plans, he did become a government officer and held a very high post in his job.

The reason why I am saying this is because it is important to have clarity in your mind. You need to have clarity in your thoughts and faith in your conviction. You should trust your instincts. Following this, if you have the courage to act on your dreams, and develop your will-power, mind, brain, body and time in that direction, then we are definitely on the right path. Science and mathematics definitely have their importance in life. But, this prevalent thought in our Indian society that any other dream does not have an importance or credibility, is wrong. Even though we give so much importance to science and mathematics, the percentage of people who should excel in that direction do not end up that way. It is a matter of concern. The reason why that happens is those students do not get the right amount of motivation in the initial stages itself. I believe we lack in that aspect as a society. At the same time, when some teachers, schools and guardians take a special interest to develop these qualities, then such students go a long way in life. Some people have this mindset of entering the ‘graduation’ factory and leaving as graduates in hordes. This keeps going on. Which is why, this fear that you have, is very natural. I would advise you to not succumb to pressure. You work on your strengths and take help from someone who you think could help. I don’t mean to say that your own judgements could be wrong, but if you talk to people around you and ask for guidance from them, I am sure you will head in the right direction.

Student Jenith - Good Morning Sir! My name is Jenith of Class 9th from KendriyaVidyalaya, Moscow. You gave many suggestions to our parents last year. This resulted in the change of attitude of my parents and now I interact with them about my examination tension, fear of failure etc. Their smile with a statement that you can do it, motivates me. I am really very thankful to you sir.

Modiji- You gave me the credit. In fact, the credit goes to your parents. They understood the right thing and after this, they left their old habit or ego and started to think in a new way. It is very clear that the positive attitude of parents becomes a great force in the lives of children. You have also watched some teachers. Some teachers are such that they like only three or four children. They ask them questions; they interact with them. They like this. They feel that these children manage everything quickly. On account of such attitude other children of the class feel envious of these children. It makes a distance between children and the teacher. It shows the dearth of sense of equality. If parents go to their friends’ house and come to know that the son/daughter of the host has achieved something, they instantly call their children and say harshly- listen what their son has achieved. In other words, in a gathering of more than 25 relatives, parents pursue their sibling to learn something from Mohan’s son who has achieved a lot. Almost all people possess such sort of habits. When you are in home, you will be told that the son of maternal uncle has gone a long way while pursuing his career. The child becomes very sad. He has been discouraged. It bears a psychological effect on his mind about which he has not even imagined. Our duty is to encourage him. A child may be weak at studies, but why he is weak? Because you have compared him with a child who has secured 90% marks. That is why you feel bad at times. But you should tell him- “last time you got 55% marks and this time you secured 60%. What a great achievement! I am proud of you.” The happiness to get 60% marks from 55% may lead him to get from 60-90%. If you repeatedly discourage a child for securing 60% marks, then he may go down from 60 to 40%.  He will not go forward from 60 to 70%.  So, such sort of environment is very necessary.  If we begin to discourage our children, we won’t ever be able to make him powerful. 

I work in the Government.  If I have to say a little thing to any official, and he meets me somewhere, then I ask him – “How this work will be done?” But when I meet him in gathering, I praise him a lot.  That praise is genuine.  He has also worked very hard.  It may be possible that he may have been a little bit behind the PM.  But this does not mean that his labor has gone in vain.  This quality is very essential for the team spirit.  I also urge to you that you must compare yourself to your old records.  You should compete with your old performance and break your own records.  If you break your own record, you will not be saddened. Let us assume that you can work for three hours non-stop.  If you can work for three hours, you can think of working for three and a half hours.  The other boy can work for five hours.  Now, if you think that I can’t work for five hours, so it is better to leave even three and a half hours. This change is very necessary.  If you do this in such a way, I think you will not have to go through any kind of tension. 

Student Jaipreet Singh:Namaskar sir. My name is Jaypreet Singh Shahpuri. I study in Central School Tehran Embassy School. I'm speaking from Tehran(Iran). Sir, I have a question for you. When you learn if you get praise, you feel more interest to learn. So why do not our parents and teachers adopt all this? Except for two or three children in the class, others do not get praise even if they do good.   So Sir, did you also have similar experience? Thanks.

Modiji: Firstly, why does such things come before us? Why does our attention go onto this?  The reason for this is that we are over conscious and we are weak from within. Unless someone praises me and appreciates me, I do not get happiness from what I do. To those with self-confidence, it does not matter how much applause they get or do not get.  They do not care for how much praise they get.  He believes in it and I believe that first of all, you should believe in yourself whether anyone applauds/praises us or not. You should think that you  will create such a condition that sometime or the other, the teacher will have to notice you. Do not challenge them, keep in mind. You decide to win them.  Once you decide to win, then you see, there is strength in the childhood, and will win the teacher in three months. Another topic came in the middle of a question, I got an idea in my mind, sometimes what happens, the teacher also believes or takes interest in the child, when the teacher feels that the child’s family is interested in the child. There may be many parents not be knowing who the teacher is, while their child is studying between the  classes 7th to 10th or the 12th. Did the parents ever call the teacher along with friends on the child's birthday? Did parents ever go to school to wish the teacher on their birthday when the child told them that it is their teacher’s birthday? Did the parents ever went to school, congratulated child's teacher on their birthday, and said that the child spends just 3-4 hours at home but he is with you for 5-6 hours.  Now that his life is in your hands, I have come to give you best wishes. Tell me what the teacher feels, tell me. He will feel that this child has been handed over to me. He is my responsibility now. But this role of the guardian is not just that. No one calls the teacher to their house; neither do the parents go to the teacher’s house.  The children just comes and tells that the teacher scolded me, parents, without going into the truth, without ascertaining whether he is telling truth or not, or crying for any trouble, they just say that they will file RTI, FIR etc. There are many parents who never find any fault in their child. And because of that, perhaps they feel better, but problems arise for the child's life.

It is good if teacher, management, students and parents should have a feel of unity, should be interconnected. It won’t be good if they do different things in their own way. This arrangement can be developed in a natural way which will also yield good results. I believe that the whole family should have a respectful attitude towards those teachers who teach us.  Then whatever the knowledge the teacher possesses, he will transfer it to you. You will see that the teacher would pay special attention.

Student Sarah: I am student in class XII. I am observing that there are no synergies between the questions asked in the exams and the purpose for which we are studying. Our teachers often say that we should be a good person, but questions in question papers do not reflect such concern. There is a suggestion to our education system that our exam should be linked to the extensive goal of education, and that teachers, Students, parents, and board examiners should be aware of this.  Honorable Sir, we all would like to know your thoughts about this.

Modi ji — See, teaching has all these things and this teaching has not come into being overnight. Over thousands of years, new things keep getting attached with journey of mankind. New and newer techniques become vogue. But the difficulty started when we remove education from our lives and started linking it with exams. As a result of that, it seems that what is taught to us in school, for instance in school you must have seen that if you go to a tourist place, the children of class fifth, sixth and seventh go as tourists in school bus, all children will walk just exactly how teacher has told them to. Isn’t it? With your hands on your back, will tour like this entirely, isn’t it? Now, that is not the case in teaching. But that what is taught, is it not the subject connected to the life? Discipline, I mean I am not saying that you don’t keep your hands and feet like this at all. There are all kind of things that we are not conscious of those, what teacher tells us, he enlightens us what is there in the syllabus, but how that things is applied in our lives, that he does not tell us. The reality is it should be hobby of teachers to bring out the relevance of every aspect of education. I will tell you a small thing. When I was small, I had a teacher, I studied in primary government school. In government primary school, And my village was in Gaikwad state. Gaikwad king had one quality that wherever was his state, there used to be a primary school, girl child education was compulsory, there used to be post office, a pong and a library. Such were his specialties. Where all he ruled, as many facilities were available. In my village there was his school, a government school, I used to study there. Our teacher had one specialty. What he would tell us, he would tell all students, okay, you five get up. You will bring five grains of Moong Dal from home, and you will bring seven grains of Moong, and you will get nine grains of Moong. To others he will say, you will bring three grains of Chana, five grains of rice. Will take along such food grains, not too many just a few of these. So what does child do, he will remember that he has to get five grains of Moong, and learns what is known as Moong at home; gets it along, with care, and did not have to taught what is Moong. I will tell something of very early days. One teacher, what he used to do, he will mix them all, then ask children, okay kids, come on five of you. Will ask one of them, okay now find five Chana grains from this, and show. So he picks up Arithmetic, get know what Chana is. To other, he will tell, okay [pick up five rice grains and show. That is, their way of teaching was unique. Nor it look small thing, but they were able to relate to the life. That there is only specific way in teaching, is not the case. Everything matters, there can be a song, music, feelings, dreams, and everything is there. But out family, teachers all harp – ranking, ranking, and ranking. Trouble starts right there. Let the life be laid open, let the life be spread out. Look for self in everything, you will see your own life will change, and also of the people surrounding you.

Student — Molly Singh, Namaskar, Respectable Prime Minister Sir, I am Molly Singh, Thakur Tej Singh, from Agra. My Question to you is so many students stay away from home and study. They are not able to adapt and adjust at the new place quickly. My students face home- sickness and depression. How they should handle this situation and how parents and teacher can help them? Thank you.

Modi ji — In country like India, this issue of depression is a matter of concern. The basic social structure of India is such that there are ways to release this pressure, simple ways. But unfortunately the changes that have taken place in society, changes do happen, they are not bad as such. But some things have happened that has created this situation. Earlier we used to have a joint family. What a child could not tell his father, used to tell his mother. Heartfelt lighter. Couple of things he will tell to his grandmother, then would think I would go and ask my mother also. This way he would get an opportunity to express himself. Today the situation is we are moving less towards the expression and more towards the suppression. And this cooker bursts. Its main reason is only that the steam build up, and it needs a way to get out. It needs to get out. The parents should talk openly with their children according to their interests. Even if he has gone to the hostel, there is assurance that he will tell all to his parents and they will understandwho went with you, who was on phone? If this goes on then this cut off stage can create a big problem. Secondly, it remains responsibility of parents that depression does not set in suddenly. This is a long drawn process. Sometime, in excitement may achieve something, that is a different matter, but mostly it starts wearing down slowly. Watchful parents wonder what is happening. Early they insisted but did not eat well, not when he sits down, he eats too much. He has put on weight suddenly, what happened psychologically? Parents wonder something must be there that is why he is stress, he is eating somewhat more. He never slept during the day, today he came home from office in afternoon and fell asleep. Went to his room, sat down and covered his face. What is happening? If parents handle this consciously, they must see that can they integrate him back to the family? For children. The local acquaintances [guardian], if they can spend a little they must, they should call the child once to their home. If it suits the child, he get a new family.

Secondly, we should shy away from counselling. Sometime parents fret against leakage of information that their son is undergoing counselling. We feel we lose prestige as well the child. We should not hesitate. Even on small symptoms we should take counselling. People who work with children are experts who can slowly remove all the ailments hidden inside. To those who stay in hostel, I can share my small experience and solution. Quite possibly some incident is troubling your mind. Or you heard something, you are anxious, anguished, but hesitant in expressing your pain. Do nothing, just get out of hostel, take a note book and write down everything. Keep on writing. What happened, how it happened, who did it, how did you feel, just as movie goes on, go on writing. Then don’t read it. Then tear it all, put the pieces inside your pocket — this is Swatch Bharat — don’t put it elsewhere! You aren’t feeling light still? Write again. What you wrote in eight pages before now will come down to three - four pages. Again tear it. Put pieces in your pocket. Write for third time. You will see it is now only a page and a half. What is there inside will pour on the paper, and it weighs less and lesser inside. You will feel absolutely relaxed. You will also not fear that someone will read it. If II tell someone, why we do not tell anyone, because we fear if I tell this, I will be humiliated. There is a place inside us, write yourself, and tear it off, you will see for yourself, even if things have gone awry at home, mother is angry, etc. And suppose you write that out, write in privacy, all the conclusions of mind and heart will pour out on paper. This is not the ultimate remedy. But a small solution. This small solution, too, can give a much needed support for the moment. Can support you for some days. Can help you stand up once again. Secondly, if we live in hostel, we must find some teacher or senior student on whom we can rely.

Tell them your thoughts.  Tell them, I did not receive mother’s call.It’s not a big thing.  Tell them, he will say.  If he is younger to you, he will say don’t worry, mother must be busy in some work.  We will feel, we got cured. We got our treatment right?  If somebody says mother must be busy in work, today is my Birthday but I did not   get any call today.  It is possible that there is internet connectivity problem. And we are venting our anger on Mother. It can be technology failure. It can be a small problem. Let’s not worry, and have some food. Let’s move to hostel and have food.

It’s your birthday today, even if you did not receive your mother call, nothing to worry, I have money, let’s have a chocolate. Few friends comfort your stressful life also.

I believe, there should be some openness in life. As I have stayed outside from a very young age, so I have witnessed life from a very different angle. My life has gone through different ups and downs.  It has only taught me to live. And I thought my life was different so it may not be of use to anyone.

But this is a small effort, Children, Gaurdian and Teachers should not take depression lightly.  This should be utmost priority. If you properly communicate converse, spend time with them, it can be easily resolved. And our Indian Society is such that, we can easily bear these things. We can fight with these, and it can open ways of our lives.

I have faith that you all will also proceed in this direction. I understand that this was last question. I felt good conversing with you all. You all asked good questions. I also got an opportunity to have a conversation with you but I have a request to guardian that do reflect on what happened when you were 14 years old, what were the thoughts in your mind? How you felt by your parent’s behavior? If you recall it once, then there will be no stress between you and your children. Your experience will only teach you how to behave with your children. All that you learnt from your parents, will teach you. But there are many parents, who are 50 years old, so they want their children also to behave with them as 50 years old. Father should place themselves as 14 year old and understand their children. This will solve many problems of the family.

I once again, wish you the very best. Let this exam be a festival, may you achieve success. Numbers written on paper are not ultimate in life. We should educate and train ourselves. As important is education in life, training is also important. Maintain this balance in life. 

My best wishes to you. Thank you very much.

 

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AKT/VJ/IG/RSB/AK