School Principal: Namaste Sir!
Prime Minister Modi: Namaste!
Prime Minister Modi: Hope I didn’t disturb you? You were all having a great time. You were burning calories online!
Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy: Namaskar Sir! Many thanks to you Sir for joining us! I just told them that a special guest is about to join us. Sir, they would not have dreamt that you would join us. They were talking about you before you joined us. You have so many fans here.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok! I just dropped in, but I don’t want to disturb you because you were in a very cheerful mood and I found that there was no tension of examination. It seemed that your happiness had no end because of that. And you have also learnt how to burn calories while in a closed room.
Prime Minister Modi: So, how are all of you?
Students: Very well, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Are you fine?
Students: Yes Sir, we are fine.
Prime Minister Modi: Are your entire family members fine?
Students: Yes Sir!
Prime Minister Modi: The day before when you heard (about the cancellation of the Board examination), did you have tension? Now there is no tension, is it so?
Students: Yes Sir, indeed.
Prime Minister Modi: So, you have tension about the examination?
Students: Yes Sir. Very much.
Prime Minister Modi: Then my book is of no use, because I have written in Exam Warrior that never ever harbour tension. Then why did you harbour tension?
Student: Sir, when we do the preparation every day, then there is no tension.
Prime Minister Modi: So, when tension is there?
Student: As such, there was no tension. The health of the youth is important. We will remain indebted to you forever for such a great decision.
Prime Minister Modi: What is your good name?
Student: Sir, Hiteshwar Sharma from Panchkula.
Prime Minister Modi:Hiteshwar Sharma ji! So you live in Panchkula?
Student: Yes, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: In which Sector?
Student: Sir, Sector 10.
Prime Minister Modi: I have lived in Sector 7 for many years.
Student: I got to know just today, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Yes, I lived there.
Student: Sir, there are many people who support you and want to see you again here.
Prime Minister Modi: Tell me, you were topper in Class X. You would have prepared for Class XII to top again. Now that there would be no exams, so what now?
Student: Sir, I was telling the same. There were expectations. But I liked the decision, as pressure was increasing for the examination. It had reached the saturation point. And we could sense it is not safe also. You have made a great decision. I believe that those who are toppers or those who put in efforts, their efforts never go waste and the knowledge always remains with us. And those who have been preparing consistently will remain topper no matter what the criteria is. So, they don’t need to have any tension. Some people are saying that the toppers are disappointed. There is a provision of sitting for examination and one can always write the examination. I consider it a very well thought out decision and we will remain indebted to you forever.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok children, when some people consider themselves to be brave and say that they will not wear masks or will not obey the rules. How do you feel about it?
Student: Sir, we will have to follow the rules. As you just said that there are some people who don’t wear masks and don’t follow the Covid guidelines, it is really very disappointing, because our government and international organizations have been creating so much awareness regarding this pandemic. It really feels bad when people don’t understand it. I would like to share something with you. We ran an awareness drive in our locality when the lockdown was lifted. We held street plays regarding proper Covid guidelines and told people to follow them, maintain social distancing, wear masks and wash hands regularly. I think a bigger change can come about if we take the initiative at our level and become responsible.
Prime Minister Modi:I would like to know one thing that when children are in Class XII, they and their family members are worried about what to do next. Till a day before, i.e., June 1, all of you were in a mood to sit for the examination and had made a proper timetable and planned accordingly. Now that there will be no examination, there is a vacuum. How will you fill that vacuum?
Student: Namaste Sir, I am Vidhi Choudary from Guwahati Royal Noble School.
Prime Minister Modi: Are you from Guwahati?
Student: Yes, Sir.
Student: Sir, I would like to tell you one thing that as you said that there were so many things in one’s mind before this decision was made. I would like to tell you all about Exam Warriors. When I was in Class X, I was travelling from Kolkata to Guwahati when I saw your book at the airport. My 10th exams were about to start, so I bought the book immediately. It is my personal experience that I read that book every day for about a month. Sir, you started the book with a suggestion that one should celebrate exams as a festival. So, Sir, where is the question of fear for the festival? When we prepare for a festival, we want it to be successful. You ended the book with the great mantra of Yoga. These two things remained with me. I understand the circumstances were not very good, but the way I prepared for the examinations for my 12th class, I thank you for the book.
Prime Minister Modi: But the answer to my question remains. There is a youngster who is raising his hands as he has not got the opportunity (to speak). What is your good name?
Student: Sir, my name is Nandan Hegde.
Prime Minister Modi: Are you from Karnataka?
Student: Yes Sir, from Bengaluru.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok, tell me.
Student: Sir, I think that this is not the end-all examination of my life. There will be so many examinations in future. We have to remain healthy so that we can prepare for the forthcoming examinations.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok. Now that you are relieved of the exams, where will you spend your time? Watching IPL or Champions League finals or French Open or the Olympics which are starting from July? Who all from India are going to participate in the Olympics, what is their background? Or you will think about the Yoga Diwas which is on June 21?
Student: Everything, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: This bespectacled daughter wants to say something as she has not got the opportunity for long.
Student: Namaskar Sir. The moment I got to know that you have cancelled our exams, I was very happy that one stress has lessened. But now we know that we have to study for competitive exams. Earlier, we used to prepare for Board exams and then for competitive exams. Now that we have so much time, we can prepare for the competitive exams in a much better way. I am very grateful to you, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: So, the issue of exams does not go out of your mind?
Student: Yes Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: You are at your home, so your parents must be listening to everything now.
Student: Yes, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Show me, where are they?
Student: Sir, I call them.
Prime Minister Modi: Namaste ji.
Parent: Namaskar Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: How did you feel now that your daughter has been relieved (of the examination)?
Parent: Sir, it is a good decision, because the situation is really very bad in the entire country. It is good that the students have been relieved of the tension now and they can better prepare for their career.
Prime Minister Modi: I am happy that you have taken that decision in a positive way. Yes, are there other children who want to say something?
Student: Namaskar Sir! I am from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Bengaluru. I am a huge fan of yours.
Prime Minister Modi: Thank you.
Student: Sir, your decision was really very good because if the head is safe then one can wear so many turbans.
Prime Minister Modi: It is said in our country that Health is Wealth.
Student: Yes Sir, You are our inspiration.
Prime Minister Modi: When you talk about head, do you only think about it or the entire body?
Student: Physical way, sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok. What do you do for physical fitness? How much time do you spend and what do you do?
Student: Sir, I do yoga and other exercises for 30 minutes every morning along with my younger brother.
Prime Minister Modi: Your family members are listening to what you are saying. You will get caught, if I ask them.
Student: No Sir. Me and my brother do Yoga every day for 30 minutes. I also play tabla to keep my mind fresh. I have been training for about a year.
Prime Minister Modi: Is music in the nature of everybody in your family?
Student: Yes Sir, my mother also used to play Sitar and Tanpura.
Prime Minister Modi: Therefore, there is an atmosphere of music at home.
Prime Minister Modi: Now, I will give opportunity to others who have not been able to speak. There is a girl in front of me who has put on white earphones and she wants to say something.
Student: Namaste Sir. My name is Kashish Negi. I am from MRADAV Public School, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. I would like to tell you that it is like a dream come true. I never thought that I would be able to meet you. I would also like to thank you for the decision which is very right, because our life had come to a standstill for the last one-and-a-half years. There was no development. I am very happy with your decision. Thank You.
Prime Minister Modi: The girl who has raised her finger. Yes, tell me.
Student: Namaste Sir. I am a student of Class XII of Delhi Public School, Jaipur, Rajasthan. My name is Jannat Sakshi. I welcome your decision for the Board examination. The decision is very right in the wake of the present situation, because the safety and well-being of children is paramount. We have complete faith in CBSE that their evaluation methods will be in our interest. I am confident that our efforts will bear fruits. Thanks Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: All the parents should come before the screen. It will also be easier for me that you will speak truth. I can see a youngster in front of me. The gentleman wearing white shirt is speaking.
Student 1: Sir, my mother is not here. When we sit together, she tells me not to worry as Modijiis there and he will do it. During lockdowns, my beard would grow also. Mummy would often ask me about my beard. I would tell her that being a fan of Modiji, I would grow my beard.
Student 2 : Sir, my name is Shivanjali Agarwal. I am a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, JNU, New Delhi. I would like to tell you that now that exams have been cancelled, I will utilize the extra time now for entrance and competitive exams. Thank you very much for cancelling the exams.
Prime Minister Modi: You do one thing. Write down one number on your paper. I will call you by the number. Otherwise, what is happening is that I don’t know your names as I came suddenly and I am unnecessarily troubling you.
Parent: Namaste Sir. We are your fans. Whatever decision you take will be in the interest of the students. We are with you and will remain so forever.
Prime Minister Modi: Number one?
Parent: Namaskar Sir. Thank you so much Sir. Your decision was very fruitful for our children.
Prime Minister Modi: Just now, I have told everybody to come out of this exam issue. Can we talk about something else?
Parent: Of course, Sir. Must say, I did not feel as good by meeting Shahrukh Khan as you Sir. It’s a dream come true. You are the best. We would like our children to utilize the time and make a better career.
Prime Minister Modi:Number 26.
Student: Sir, I think I dance for my mental and physical health. I do Kathak. I also do cycling when I feel like it. The first thing that I did after your decision (to cancel Board exams) was that I slept till 12 p.m. as I had to wake up at 8 a.m. everyday due to exams.
Student: Sir, I am from Tamil Nadu. I knew that Board exams would be cancelled. Therefore, I did not study much. Though we are from Rajasthan, we live in Tamil Nadu.
Prime Minister Modi: So, you also know about astrology? How did you know that it (exam cancellation) was about to happen?
Student: Yes Sir. I had anticipated this. It was a good decision. I spent a good time with the family due to the lockdown.
Prime Minister Modi: You see, your family members would become angry with you within a week if you don’t do something, not wake up early, or not taking bath. You will be told that your father is about to come and you are going to be scolded.
Student: Namaste Sir. I am Tamanna. I am from DAV Model School, West Bengal. As you said, we have so much spare time. So, I along with my friend started a YouTube channel…
Prime Minister Modi: What’s the name of your YouTube channel?
Student: Tamannasharmilee. We keep on putting different videos. We have uploaded poetry and a short film.
Prime Minister Modi: Number 21. Yes, tell me, son.
Student: I am with my grandmother and father.
Parent: Sir, thank you very much for everything you have done for our country, Sir. Thank you very-very much. I don’t have any more words to say. Thank you very-very much for whatever you have done in different fields.
Student: Sir, my grandmother keeps herself updated more than me. She follows every news related to you and tells me about the announcements made by you. She is a very huge fan of yours.
Prime Minister Modi: So, the grandmother understands everything related to politics?
Student: Yes Sir. My grandmother is aware of everything related to politics. She keeps herself updated about all the political news.
Prime Minister Modi: This year is going to be the 75th anniversary of our independence. Can you write an essay on what happened in your district during the freedom struggle?
Student: Yes Sir. Indeed, we can write.
Prime Minister Modi: Will you do the research?
Student: Yes, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Promise?
Student: Yes, Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Ok, fine.
Parent: I am a huge fan of yours. Sir, you have made a very good decision. You thought about the children. And Sir, I also liked your decision to revoke Article 370 in Kashmir.
Prime Minister Modi: Thank you.
Student: Sir, here are my parents.
Prime Minister Modi: They have come to know about whatever you have told me. Now, you will have to follow them.
Parent: Sir, I want to say something. I respect all your qualities, but I am convinced about your honesty. But, I have a request. Still, the people who do their job honestly continue to be exploited in our country. Please formulate a policy so that those people are honoured and children and others can also emulate their honesty.
Prime Minister Modi: Policies are formulated. But the intention of some people is the major hindrance. If we all come forward and create such an environment, it can be done.
Prime Minister Modi: Number 31?
Student: Jai Hind Sir.
Prime Minister Modi: Jai Hind. Yes, what do you want to say?
Student: Sir, my name is AraniSamle and I study in Annie Besant School, Indore. The decision that you have taken is very good and besides this ….
Prime Minister Modi: Indore is famous for what?
Prime Minister Modi: Indore is being talked about by everybody for its cleanliness. I can’t see the number properly. Is your number 5?
Student: Namaskar Sir. Sir, I am from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. My father is a huge fan of yours.
Prime Minister Modi: Where is your village?
Parent: It is in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. It’s about 8-9 kilometres from Mandi. Are you fine?
Prime Minister Modi: I am fine. Earlier, I used to get sevbadi from your region.
It was nice talking to you and my trust has further strengthened that the youth of India is positive as well as practical. Instead of negative thoughts, you turn every difficulty and challenge as your strength. This is the specialty of the youth of our country. The innovations that you have carried out while under home restrictions and the new things that you learnt have infused a new self-confidence in you. I noticed that when I came all of a sudden without your knowledge, you did not stammer while talking to me. You talked to me the same way as you do while talking to your teachers or your parents. I am very glad about this affinity. This experience is very pleasurable that I am able to talk to so many children with so much ease. Otherwise, what happens is that a person is taken aback after seeing somebody and he does not talk openly. But I have noticed that you are talking very confidently. It was a very nice experience for me.
Your experiences are going to be of great use to you at every stage of your life. Don’t waste time crying by remembering the toughest of times.You must have learnt something from difficult times. You will gain strength by learning from those experiences. And you will be able to do a lot of new things in whatever field you go to. You must have noticed that we are constantly told about team spirit and united strength in schools and colleges. But in the midst of Corona’s difficulties, we have had a new opportunity to look closely at these relations, to understand them and a new way to live our life. How everyone in our society held each other’s hands and how the country has faced such a big challenge with team spirit. We have experienced all this. I am sure that this experience of public participation and teamwork will give you a new strength too.
Even in the toughest of times, as much as we see the history of our country, we will know.This time also, whenever I talk to someone … as a daughter was saying that she lost two members of her family. It is not a small thing in life, but still a belief is there in her eyes. Everyone feels that a disaster has come, but we will come out victorious. Every Indian is saying that this is a global pandemic, such a crisis has not been witnessed in the century, nobody heard about this in the last four to five generations, but this has come during our period. Still, every Indian is vocal that we will defeat this and we will come out of this crisis and will take the country forward with a new energy. We have to move forward together. I am confident that wherever you go, you will continue to move forward together and take the country to newer heights.
And as I said, 5th June is Environment Day, do something for the environment because it is the responsibility of all of us to save the earth and nature. Similarly, 21st June is the International Yoga Day. Most of the countries have supported this decision of Yoga Day. Never before has it happened that almost all the countries supported it in the United Nations. Adopt Yoga on the occasion and do it with your family. As I said earlier there are so many matches, Olympics are there, we should know who all from our country are going to take part in the Olympics. We get new inspiration when we get to know the efforts put in by these players and how they have come out of difficult situations. I am confident that all the youngsters will utilize this time.
During this Corona period, you can register your family members for vaccination. Register people from your localities and as the vaccines are available they will be vaccinated. Include service as part of your work. My best wishes are with you. May the blessings of your parents remain with you! May you live your dreams and your parents will be proud of your dreams. It was a very nice feeling though I joined you suddenly. You were having a great time cracking jokes and I disturbed you a bit. But it felt good. I am grateful to you.