By Soumya Priyadarshani
Edited by Shambhavi Singh,Senior Editor,The Indian Economist
India’s political role model addressed the future generation of the nation on 5th September, the day which is celebrated as the Teacher’s day. PM Narendra Modi turned teacher for a day as he gave lessons on life, lifestyle, character, and nation building to the students. Modi elaborated his plan for digital India and on his plan to democratise education to a greater extent with the help of advances in technology. He explained his transformation from being a Chief Minister to the nation’s Prime Minister, emphasising that his life has not changed in any other way except that now since he is shouldering a bigger responsibility, his life has become busier and this is motivating him to work harder. To make it all the more interesting, there was a lot of political drama as well with Congress making fun of Modi’s idea of addressing the students by assuming the role of a teacher.
Apart from the scornful and discouraging remarks from the Congress spokesperson, the responses from different states were disheartening as well. The West Bengal government did not make any arrangements for screening the event. Mamata Banerjee’s government had made it clear last Monday that it would not install TV sets or arrange for Internet access in schools to enable the students to listen to the Prime Minister. Instead, she addressed a gathering of students and teachers at the Netaji Indoor Stadium and awarded the Siksha Ratna to hundred teachers for their contribution. Bihar stated poor infrastructure as the reason for not being able to set up screenings in many government schools, albeit Uttar Pradesh showed an unusual interest in the telecast of Modi’s address.
Apart from the fact that there were political reasons behind the schools for not setting up the TVs for Narendra Modi’s speech, but there were some genuine reasons as well. Questions regarding the space and time constraints were also raised as the speech was to be delivered after the school hours. Student safety was also a matter of concern.
It is true that for the first time a PM has chosen to address all the students and the teachers as well. Several private schools came forward with enthusiasm, but government schools cried about the lack of facilities. On one hand some schools took it so seriously that they even thought of preparing a quiz for the students after the speech the next day, and on the other hand, a lot of schools called it money wastage.
Political opponents have written it off as another political promotion and publicity gimmick. It is disheartening to see that the state government schools funded by the Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan also believed it to be money wastage. In a country where not only the youth, but also the children are also going astray, I strongly feel that guidance by such powerful people should be given once in a while. PM Narendra Modi wins hearts wherever he goes. Modi has a charismatic persona and knowledge that is not available in the books, and the need for such values is high in the present times. The education system has failed miserably in inculcating values and patriotism in the students, as there is so much stress on grades, marks, exams and rote learning that real learning has lost its importance. So, what can be a better interface and a better occasion than the teacher’s day to teach the students as well as the teachers about these values like respecting women and elders, becoming good citizens by simple living and high thinking, helping the underprivileged people, leading a disciplined life etc? Who can be a better person than our Prime Minister NaMo who is a perfect paradigm of all these qualities? So in my view, this event was perfectly timed, delivered by the right person, and I hope that all the students and teachers gathered something beneficial out of it.Soumya is currently pursuing B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She holds prior experience as an editor at Srijan (her college’s annual magazine). She is a brilliant singer, an avid reader and she spends most of her time pondering over various issues which often inspires her to write. Usually she can be found surfing the internet and reading almost any impossible thing in the world right from biology to astrology. She wants to serve the nation and she feels that writing is the most effective and the easiest way to work on all problems and eradicate them. She believes in learning something new from whatever she experiences. She is extremely excited about writing for a large number of enthusiastic readers here and she promises to deliver her best. She really appreciates constructive criticism. You can reach her at her blog (hearabuzz.blogspot.in) or her email id (email@example.com).