Prime Minister Narendra Modi received lots of love and support for his 2014 campaign “Chai pe Charcha”. As part of an extension of pet charcha theme, Modi organized “Pariksha pe Charcha” where he interacted with students from across the country and addressed their examination-related concerns at Talkatora Stadium in the national capital.
The program was organized days after MHRD launched the book penned by Narendra Modi, titled "Exam Warriors", a collection of amusing stories from his growing up years, that also lists mantras on how to stay calm before the examination.
Lakhs of students from all over the country participated in the event, which was live telecasted, connecting live audience as well students from all over the country through video conferencing. Students could also leave their queries by either emailing to Times Now with #ExamWarriors or leaving a tweet with the above hashtag. Some of the issues that the students face during exam time that the Prime Minister addressed at “Pariksha pe Charcha” included:
When asked about how to maintain self-confidence, PM Modi responded, “It's not a pill or herb. There is no tablet that can be consumed for instant confidence. We have to build it every day". He recalled one of the writings by Swami Vivekananda which he very fondly read as a student and suggested, “You may have the blessings of all the gods and goddesses, but if you don't believe in yourself, then all those blessings are futile”.
Answering a question on how to handle the stress that students undergo even after preparation, Modi said that it is crucial to believe in oneself and staying confident because if you are well prepared but still not believe in your capabilities, doubt takes over and it gets difficult to succeed. “Self-confidence comes by challenging ourselves and working hard. We should always think of bettering ourselves. People think concentration is a major thing that has to be learnt. But that is not true. Everyone throughout the day does something which requires complete concentration,” he said.
Exam time is stressful and causes anxiety, which is a leading health problem among the youth that constantly doubts and question their capabilities. To spread awareness about the same, the Prime Minister in his radio speech of March 2017 urged Indians to talk about depression and seek help if and when required. The National Crime Records Bureau in its 2015 report recorded that the number of student suicides stood at 8,934. By 2015, 39,775 students have killed themselves.
PM Modi suggested that students need to learn on how to run their own race because it is when you compare it with others’ that you only see imbalances, the heights that others have already achieved while you are yet to. He added, “Trying to become someone is a conventional path, take the road less travelled”.
Also, it is important to associate competitiveness graciously, with ambition and betterment of one own self as constantly competing with everyone else indicates that you're only competing in arenas that others have set up for you. Though you might someday get to the point where you excel in those arenas, if your entire life is spent competing with other people, those are the only arenas you'll ever see.
A Good Bookish Advice for Parents
A student from Leh, Meera Bano expressed, “Parents have a very high expectation from their children. Can you please make our parents understand to take us as we are?”
In response, PM Modi advised the parents to not inflict unnecessary pressure on their children by comparing their Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 20. "Every child is different. Try to find out what they are good at and don't force your dreams on them. Marks should not be made a social status”, he suggested.
He argued that however it is justified to expect your kids to perform well, parents sometimes miss out on basic introspection. He said “parents must know that the kids are not bound to do what they wanted to achieve in their early age. Every individual is unique and shall pursue their field of interest”.
Modi also asked the students to not doubt the intention of their parents who’d always want their best. Further, he emphasized upon the importance of maintaining a two-way communication, which is the best way to know what the kids are facing and conveying what parents want for them.
"Let yourself loose, do what want to do. It will help you focus”, was another suggestion by Narendra Modi. "Be warriors, not worriers, treat exams like festivals”, he added. According to him, the children must keep the student inside them as energetic as possible. Also, the will to study and learn should be a way of life and not a choice.
Emphasizing upon the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), he added "Emotional bonding is essential for your overall development. It helps in forging relationships. Intelligence without an emotional connect is worthless. IQ might help you achieve success, but EQ gives you a purpose in life”.
When asked about the best ways to stay focused, he suggested that Yoga is a wonderful way to improve concentration. Also, “a happy mind is the secret to a good mark sheet".
Girish Singh, a Class 11 student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mungeshpur, New Delhi asked PM about his own preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, to which PM responded to in his witty style, “If I was your teacher I would’ve guided you to take up journalism kyun ki aise lapet ke sawaal journalists hi puchte hain”.
He added, “Results and marks are by-products of exams, one must concentrate on giving their best. I follow a similar approach in politics, I only look at giving everything I have to my fellow Indians. If you think too much about results, it comes in the way of achieving other things. I wish you all the best for your board exams, for my board exams I have the wishes of 125 crore Indians with me”.
Modi said that unlike the annual exams of students, he takes an exam every day where his credentials are tested at any small or big election. He further discussed how sometimes ambition can cost happiness and how dreams should be grounded in the little joys that life offers instead of depending on long-term goals.
The entire session was huge success and Prime Minister Narendra Modi certainly won the hearts of all. He ended the event by quoting a line from a poem of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee - 'haar nahi manunga' (I will not accept defeat), which he says has been his mantra to success.