Thank you all…you took me back in time: Narendra Modi answers questions from students
On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, Shri Narendra Modi interacted with over 1.5 crore students of Gujarat through technology and answered some of their questions on a wide range of issues ranging from his personal beliefs, his personal habits and issues of governance. Shri Modi answered each question in his quintessential style and shared many anecdotes from the yesteryears. The young children enjoyed the interactive session. On the occasion, Shri Narendra Modi felicitated best teachers from across Gujarat and also paid tributes to former President of India, Dr. S Radhakrishnan.
A girl from Bharuch district asked Shri Modi about the upcoming Statue of Unity and from where he got the idea. Shri Modi shared that this was the best way to commemorate a person who worked towards uniting the nation and added that the Statue of Unity will be double that of USA’s Statue of Liberty. He also pointed that Sardar Patel was a Loh Purush (Iron Man) and a Khedut Putra (Child of a farmer) and thus, the Government is seeking agriculture tools used by farmers from all parts of the country to build this statue.
A girl from Junagadh district questioned Shri Modi on three of his favourite development initiatives in the past decade. Shri Modi replied that this is his toughest exam ever and went on to say that there have been various development works that have touched his heart. “There are so many development works…ask me to find three and I will not pass…tell me to find a thousand and I will pas,” he avowed. He shared he feels equally touched when a widowed mother calls him to say that the 108 service saved her young son’s life as he feels when someone tells him about the success of Jyotigram or when people tell him how SWAGAT initiative has made a difference in their lives.
Answering a question of a girl from Vadodara on how many times he gets angry in a day and what he does about it, Shri Modi shared that he too is human and is now above the shortcomings that humans have. He went on to opine that anger can be controlled but it is about controlling it at the right moment. Shri Modi rightly said that getting angry on others reflects nothing but a failure of the self. He affirmed that the more one’s patience increases anger decreases.
A young boy asked Shri Modi if he will meet youngsters in Gujarat on 5th September next year after he becomes the Prime Minister, Shri Modi answered, “I am here to serve you till 2017 and that is what I am doing. I will answer your questions not only on 5th September but whenever you ask me.” He opined that he has never worked to become something but only worked to serve society.
Shri Modi talked at great length about his Mantra of ‘India First’ in answer to a question of a Class XII student from the newly created Aravalli district. He said, “Let us do everything for the nation first! India First! That way we will rise above division and differences.” He urged the people to work with a determination that what they are doing is for the good of the country and went on to state that no work is small.
The Chief Minister was asked about how he celebrates his birthday and whether he accepted any greetings or not. He answered that on his birthday he prefers to give time to himself and that on that day he does not take any calls or meets people. Shri Modi pointed that not celebrating his birthday was something he has been doing since childhood but he told the youngsters that they are most welcome to send him greetings through email or mediums such as social media.
He went on to talk about how he learnt Yoga while answering a question of a student of Tapi district. Shri Modi affirmed that the best way to remove poverty is education.
A Class VIII girl wanted to know how many siblings Shri Modi had and that whether they fought when they were young. He answered, “I have two elder brothers, two younger brothers and a younger sister. What is the fun if siblings do not fight? There were no daily but hourly fights. But, there is no bitterness in any fight only love and affection.”
A question was posed to Shri Modi about a picture in which he is dressed like a member of the Sikh Community. The student wanted to know if this photo was real and whether Shri Modi belonged to the Sikh community or not. He told her, “This photo is real but it is not during a play. It is not that I like dressing differently. This photo was in 1975, when the Emergency was imposed and opposition leaders were jailed. That time there was no television, mobile phones or social media. It was as if an entire nation is imprisoned. That time I was working for the RSS and I also had a warrant in my name. We were fighting for democracy. This dress is a memory of the time when we were saving democracy and I am proud of that.”
Shri Modi was questioned whether he liked to stay in a village or in a city by a girl from Kutch district. He answered that the real spirit of India lies in its villages. He also called for greater interaction between youngsters living in villages and the youngsters living and studying in the cities.
An interesting question was asked by a boy from Anand district- you have to travel with security for the whole day. Do you not get bored of this? In his witty style Shri Modi remarked, “My friend, you have spoken exactly what is in my mind. This bulletproof car is also comfort proof. Travel in it for an hour and see what happens to your back! But this is a professional hazard….”
A girl from Patan district asked Shri Modi on which deities he worships. Shri Modi opined, “We have many deities. Our diversity is our strength. We have believers and non-believers also. We say Jaisa Bhakt, Vaise Bhagwan. A wrestler will serve Lord Hanuman, those who are more interested in money serve Lakshmi ji.” He added, “Personally, I have believed in Shiva and Shakti. I do Shakti Upasna during Navratri. When the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra started, I went there. However, I am not attached to rituals. I am away from that. I feel there are divine blessings that have given me the opportunity to serve common people.”
In the end, Shri Modi stood for photographs with the youngsters and thanked them for taking him back in time. Education Minister Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Principal Secretary Education Shri Tiwari and others were present on the occasion.