By Shishir Tripathi
Reminiscent of the brisk pep talk given by teachers before the board exams, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning reached out to the students appearing for board examination through his monthly radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.
Sunday's Mann Ki Baat opened up with the message of (in the words of the Prime Minister ) “the most successful opener of the cricket history", Sachin Tendulkar, who stressed on positive thoughts as instrumental in gaining success and never geting burdened by expectation.
Even while speaking about examinations, Modi brought many diverse aspects of exams to the fore. He talked about everything from how to manage time just before exam to what one should do on the day of the exam and how one should relax; that included suggestions to talk to parents and friends to remain cool and confident while avoiding any wave of anxiety and any sort of negativity.
In the midst of busy Budget Session and uproar in the Parliament over JNU issue, with Opposition showing no sign of accommodation, the Prime Minister decided to address the students appearing for the most important exam of their life. All these students, probably nervous about the upcoming exams, will be young adults, using their most important democratic right of vote in the general elections of 2019. Engaging with them now would certainly help the Prime Minister then; a perfect exam example of ‘catch them young’ strategy.
While motives can be read out in each and every act of leaders, the fact remains that engagement of such sorts undoubtedly have great motivating effect on students. Especially for lakhs of not so very privileged lot who need some motivation to make their way through numerous struggles. And what could have been a better way to motivate these young people than by bringing on board youth icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Viswanath Ananad?
Tendulkar gave some real ‘cool’ mantras of success. He stressed on setting one’s own targets and not getting too affected by the targets others have set. He also added that when people set their own targets and achieve them, that contribution is indeed cherished.
Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand offered very practical advice to the students on the dos and donts while sitting for an exam. True to his own style, he emphasized on keeping calm, a very important thing during exams.
CNR Rao’s words of wisdom centred on self-belief and tenacity. He told the students that the sky is the limit and urged them to follow their passions.
Morari Bapu shared the age old wisdom with the students of not fearing the failure and having faith in one’s own self.
Considering the politically charged atmosphere in the country over the JNU and other issues, Modi could have used this platform to make a point and reach out to the people to clear the air. However, following the precedents, he chose to keep it apolitical and instead chose to engage with students
One aspect in anchoring this edition of Mann Ki Baat where the Prime Minister scored a full hundred was his ability to ensure that it does not turn into a preachy lesson. It was possibly because of the interaction, as evident from the frequent names taken by the Prime Minister of people who contributed ideas and anecdotes on his Mobile App.
Prime minister stressed that how the way look at exams makes thing quite easy. He reiterated the old age wisdom of competing with one own self.
Much required humour. To ease out the tension that exams brings in, the Prime Minister talked about having proper sleep but at the same time cautioned the students not to sleep in the exam and blame him for lesser marks.
PM used life stories of JK Rowling, Edison and great mathematician Ramanujan to tell how failures should never come in the way of pursuit of success.