New Delhi: "I have an exam tomorrow," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday on the eve of presentation of General Budget in Parliament as he sought to motivate students appearing for board exams for which he even roped in icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Vishwanathan Anand.
Modi, who admitted to feeling "tension" sometimes, said he was "full of confidence" ahead of his "examination" by 125 crore people, a trait which he wanted students to emulate when they appear for their examinations for Class X and XII starting Tuesday.
In his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', he emphasised that students should appear for the exams with a
"positive approach" having free and calm mind without any anxiety. He also asked parents not to put pressure on them.
In this context, he cited his example in the context of presentation of Budget which all the countrymen closely monitor and analyse.
"Friends, your exams are starting. I too have exam tomorrow. The country's 125 crore people are going to take my
examination," the Prime Minister said, while pointing out that Budget is being presented tomorrow.
"But you must have seen how healthy I am feeling, how full of confidence I am. Let my exams take place tomorrow and yours day after and may all of us succeed so that the nation succeeds...Move ahead with a free mind, without any tension of success or failure," he said in his 35-minute programme.
To lay stress on a positive and tension-free approach, Modi roped in Sachin, the iconic cricketer, Anand, the world
chess champion, besides Bharat Ratna scientist CNR Rao and spiritual leader Murari Bapu, whose messages were played
during the programme. They gave their own examples of how they approached their exams in their respective fields, keeping tension aside.
He also invoked Thomas Alva Edison, who invented electricity, and JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame, saying their success had possibly come after many failures.
Underlining that "positive approach" and "positive frame of mind" help in all aspects of life, Modi talked about
himself and said when he comes across some issues which he is not familiar with, he concentrates to deal with them.
"Sometimes I feel tension within. Then I feel that I should relax a bit so that I feel good. So I have developed my
own technique. I do some deep breathing. I take deep breath three times, five times. It may take a few seconds but my mind becomes ready to deal with the situation with a calm mind. This may be my experience but this may help you too," he told the students.
Modi, a practioner of yoga, also referred to this art and mentioned how it helps in improving concentration and
strengthening inner peace.
"There is success in failure too" if there is a positive approach, he said, while asking students to have dedication, determination and diligence to achieve success.
Emphasising that students should have sound sleep before appearing for exams, Modi said he himself sleeps less, which was his "shortcoming" and he was trying to rectify it.
"I agree that sleeping on time and deep sleep are as important as other activities during the day. I am lucky that
I sleep less but I have deep sleep. This helps," he said.
Giving the example of Sachin, he asked students not be burdened by expectations of others but set their own targets
with "free thinking, free mind and independent capability".
The prime minister told students that nobody can stop them if they set out to break their own records.
The students should link their efforts to achieve big goals like Sachin and even if the targets are not achieved, do not be demoralised but try harder, Modi said.
Sachin, in his message played during the programme, said, "I understand that exams are starting in a few days. Many of you must be tense....I want to say that your thinking needs to be positive, then positive results will follow. So be positive. God will give you good results... Write the exams with free mind and results will be good."
He said there will be many expectations of the students from their parents, teachers, family members and friends who all will keep enquiring about their preparations and their expected percentage.
"I will only say that you yourself set your targets and don't come under pressure of expectations of others. Work hard but set a realistic achievable target and try to achieve it," said the cricket icon.
Giving his own example, Sachin said, "When I played cricket, there were many expectations from me. In the last 24
years, there have been many tough moments and at times good moments also. But people's expectations kept rising with time. So I had to find a solution. I thought that I will keep only my expectations and set my own targets.
"If I am able to achieve those targets, then I am able to do some good for the country... I always focussed on the ball and with time my targets were achieved.
Underlining the need for discipline and focus in life, Modi gave the example of Vishwanathan Anand, saying his
concentration is always intense when he plays the game and checkmates others, like Arjun's target of the eye of a fish.
Anand asked students to have good sleep, eat well and be calm when they appear for examinations.
"It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself, don't keep your expectations too high. Just see it as a
challenge... Don't be over-confident. But don't be pessimistic either," he said.