NEW DELHI: Regretting that politics has acquired a bad name and is scaring away good people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked people from all walks of life to join it and not be apprehensive about it.
In his second interaction with students on Teachers' Day celebration after becoming the PM, Modi gave a pep talk asking students not to get deterred by failure in pursuit of their goals while advising parents to refrain from foisting their own career choices on children.
Encouraging students to develop leadership qualities, the PM said he has asked the HRD Minisry to award aptitude certificates rather than character certificates, relflecting the overall personality of students when they leave school.
During a candid interaction with students, Modi lamented, "Politics has aquired a bad name in the country. People fear, they cannot come here and that good people should not join it. This has hurt the country much," he said.
A relaxed Modi responded to a range of questions including on his school days and dress sense during his 105-minute interaction with 800 students and 60 teachers from schools in Delhi who participated in the event at the Manekshaw auditorium here. Students from nine other states joined the programme through video conference.
In democracy, political parties are an important constitutent and it is crucial that good, intelligent and talented people from all spheres participate. The more good people join, the better it will be for the nation.
"When Mahatma Gandhi spearheaded the freedom movement, people from all walks participated. Therefore, the independence movement was very powerful," he said.
Modi also called upon the bright minds from various professions to devote at least one hour a week or 100 hours annually to teaching students, infusing a new strength in the area of education.
However, he in a lighter vein added that politicians should not do so as they would end up "teaching something else".
When a student from Goa asked him about his favourite sport, Modi quipped, "We all know the games politicians play." He went on to narrate how as a youngster in a family with limited means, he did not pursue any dedicated sport but had learnt how to climb trees.
He had also learnt swimming while going to the village pond to wash his clothes. PTI