New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi had wooed voters in 2014 with his Chai Pe Charcha campaign. And now he has shifted his gaze to students who are about to sit for their annual examination. As part of his Pariksha Par Charcha, an extension of his pet charcha theme, PM Modi interacted with thousands of students from across the country and addressed their examination-related concerns today at Talkatora Stadium in the national capital and complimented them for being "born politicians".
Before he took questions from the students, he said "it was his exam today", and thanked his teachers for whom he is "still a student". "They inspired me to keep the student alive in me," PM Modi said.
When asked about how to maintain self-confidence, he said, "Self-confidence is very important. 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."
PM Modi recalled when he was student, he read Swami Vivekananda's writings who said that 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.
He asked the students not to compete with others, and advised parents not to put unnecessary pressure on their wards by comparing them with other children. "Every child is different. Try to find out what they are good at and don't force your dreams on them. Try to be friends with your children," he said.
As far as children of India are concerned, he said, they are "born politicians". "They know how to get their work done."
He spoke about the importance of a healthy balance between IQ (intelligence quotient) and EQ (emotional quotient). "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," he added.
Learn to "defocus" before you can focus, was another suggestion by PM Modi. "Let yourself loose, do what want to do. It will help you focus."
The interactive session, also being dubbed as "Exam Ki Baat", was organised days after the prime minister launched his book "Exam Warriors", which is a collection of anecdotes from his growing up years and lists mantras to help students to stay calm before the examination.
"Trying to become someone is a conventional path.... Take the road less travelled," he says in this self-help guide. He also urges students to "be warriors, not worriers". "Treat exams like festivals" and "a happy mind is the secret of a good mark sheet" are among other suggestions.
The PM has often spoken about exam stress and tackled the subject in his radio talk, "Mann Ki Baat".
Last week, PM Modi had requested students to share their thoughts on pressure, anxiety related to examination, and suggest ways de-stress on the Narendra Modi and MyGov app. The students were also encouraged to ask questions on Twitter using the hashtag #ExamWarriors.