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HomeEditorialModi can be mentor to students instead of becoming self-obsessed

Modi can be mentor to students instead of becoming self-obsessed

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Modi has elements of greatness of his own which will give him a place in any galaxy of leaders who transformed India. He does not need state governments to go overboard to prop him; in fact, thus they will do a great damage. Way back, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opposed the move of some BJP-ruled state governments to include a chapter on his life in school textbooks. Expressing his disapproval of the move, Modi further tweeted, “India has a rich history of several stalwarts who made India what it is today. Young minds should read about these greats and emulate them.” The Gujarat education department in 2014 announced that it is planning to introduce a chapter in school textbooks on Narendra Modi’s life, if the state government gives approval to the proposal.

Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan governments had also announced that they were considering teaching the biography of Narendra Modi in schools. While going little aggressive, the Maharashtra government has decided to purchase books worth Rs 59.42 lakh on Prime Minister as supplementary material for students in Classes I-V. The BJP government and the State Education Department believe that the books on Prime Minister Narendra Modi are apparently better literature than those on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Mahatma Phule.

Earlier it was Modi replacing Gandhi in the Khadi photo. Now we see his photos in several government agency and ministry websites; latest is the book about him. I do not believe Mr Modi likes this action by the Maharashtra Government. No one can come near Mahatma — his care for his fellow citizens; knowledge and academic qualifications, selflessness, taking forward steps and action with forethought to achieve the high goal by peaceful means. He was a living legend who wanted that ‘means and goals’ should be good for the people. Let Modiji slowly rise up to Gandhiji’s level through his actions and he will definitely be held in high esteem by all. Mahatma, Phule and Babasaheb had their pre-independence history; they have contributed to the struggle in their own capacity. India had many great Prime Ministers and some of them were better than Modi; given that their chapters bagged place in text books, if one of the chapter is included on Modi, there is no harm. Rather students will learn his struggles and achievements, but imposing an entire book as additional subject is not fair.

Hope the state government has received sanction from the centre, as otherwise it is unlikely for an ordinary person eulogised so much as to store so many lakhs worth of books. One would definitely question, what sacrifice Modi has done or what were his achievements! It was Mahatma Gandhi who achieved freedom from British Government and we are now celebrating. Ambedkar had uplifted lower castes that were being neglected and were not having proper education.

People like Sardar Patel, has been forgotten altogether. While the PM tops the list, books worth Rs 3.25 lakh on Mahatma Gandhi, Rs 24.28 lakh on Dr Ambedkar and Rs 22.63 lakh on Mahatma Phule will be stocked in government school libraries as supplementary reading material. The books on Mr Modi include 72,933 Marathi copies and 33 Gujarati copies of Chacha Chaudhary and Narendra Modi, each costing Rs 35; 424 Hindi copies of Pradhanmantri Narendra Modi at the same price, and 7,148 English copies of the same book. In addition, the Education Department is also buying 69,416 Marathi copies of Narendra Modi. The government will also be purchasing and distributing 72,933 Marathi copies of a book on former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The books on Mahatma Gandhi include 2,675 copies of Samrat Prakashan’s Mahatma Gandhi, 33 Gujarati copies of the same book by Diamond Pocket Books and 7,260 Marathi copies of Nishingandha Prakashan’s Ek Mahatma. The government has sanctioned the purchase of 79,388 copies of different biographies of Dr Ambedkar for Rs 24.28 lakh and 78,348 copies of different biographies of Mahatma Phule and Savitribai Phule for Rs 22.63 lakh.

I may not be in favour of book on Modi in schools, but I am for the book compiled by the Modi for the students. In the wake of the good response to his ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi composed those thoughts, complementing them with some unique new insights and anecdotes, in the form of a book. Modi hopes to become a friend of the students through the book. The PM was supposed to release a book for students that will help them deal with the stress and anxiety they face during the examination season. Exam Warriors is out and the book was launched on February 3, 2018. It will be made available in multiple languages for students preparing and appearing for examinations. The book will cover several aspects that students can relate to, especially with regards to the crucial class X and XII examinations. Without changing the history or disrespecting freedom fighters, by launching such books Modi can be a good friend to students.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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