NEW DELHI:Regretting that politics has acquired a bad name and is scaring away good people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked people from all walks of life to join it and not be apprehensive about it.
In his second interaction with students on the eve of Teachers’ Day, 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 Prime Minister said he had asked the HRD Ministry to award aptitude certificates rather than character certificates, reflecting the overall personality of students when they leave school. Aptitude certificates would contain peer reviews in the areas of discipline, punctuality and friendliness that would eventually help the student to correct himself, he explained.
During the candid interaction with students, Modi also lamented, “Politics has acquired 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.” The Prime Minister responded to a range of questions, including some 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 in the Delhi cantonment. Students from nine other states also joined the programme through video conference.
“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. When a student from Goa asked him about his favourite sport, he 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 to climb trees. He had also learnt swimming while going to the pond to wash his clothes.
On his dressing sense, especially his ‘Modi kurta’, he said, “There is no winter in Gujarat, so I wore kurta-pyjamas. I had to wash my clothes and full sleeves took more time to clean. So I cut off the sleeves and made it the sleeveless kurta. It made my work easier so I started wearing short-sleeves,” he said.